Every dollar you bring in should have a purpose or a ‘job.’ This is the premise behind the zero-based budgeting model, and it works for millions. It helps you not only pay your bills on time, but also makes sure you save money every month, something many of us plan for the end of the month only to find that our money is gone.
So how do you give every dollar a purpose? Follow these steps.
Continue reading “How to Give Every Dollar a Purpose”
If you’re like millions of others, you spent a lot less during the pandemic. The stay-at-home orders and the spread of the virus made it easier for us to spend less and save more. Sure, there was plenty of online spending, but much less spending on food and entertainment.
Now that we’re headed back to ‘normal’ what does it mean for our spending? How do you avoid the bad spending habits you had before the pandemic and keep your finances on track?
Continue reading “Time to ‘Return to Normal’ for Spending”
If you lost control of your finances this summer, you aren’t alone. After the year we had in 2020, many of us felt like letting loose and living life to its fullest. After all, the pandemic showed us just how short life can be.
But as you tally up your finances and get ready for the upcoming holidays, you might find that you spent too much this summer.
You’ve taken the first step, admitting there’s a problem, and now it’s time for the solutions.
Continue reading “Did you Spend too Much this Summer?”
Summer is a time for fun and vacation, but bad habits can quickly put you into debt for temporary fun. If you’re trying to stay out of debt, there are plenty of ways to have summer fun while staying within your budget.
Have a Staycation
Becoming tourists in your hometown is one of the best ways to have the best of both worlds. You can have fun and save money. You don’t have to pay the high hotel costs or even need money to eat out. You have the comforts of your own home, yet can venture out and be ‘tourists’ in your area.
You can even keep it free by visiting national parks, hiking local trails, visiting museums on ‘free museum days,’ and using your library’s resources (many offer free passes to local attractions).
Stay with Friends
If you want to head out of town for a true vacation feel, travel to areas where you have friends and see if you can bunk at their place. If you don’t have friends who live out of town or at least where you want to visit, consider traveling with friends and splitting the cost of a rented house versus paying inflated hotel costs.
Look for Coupons before you Travel
You don’t have to be a resident to take advantage of local deals, and do your research before you go. Many tourist service centers have coupon books for travelers, but you can also look on Groupon or the area’s local chamber of commerce page.
Find out where the deals are, including Happy Hour, buy one get one free deals, or even free times to enter attractions (sometimes going to attractions a couple of hours before they close) are all great ways to save money.
Budget your Vacation
Continue reading “Managing Your Summer Vacation and Debt”
Back to school spending is inevitable. As parents, we do it every year, and yet every year it sneaks up on us, right? Even in 2020, most parents had extra expenses to send their kids back to school, even if it was at home.
This year, let’s do something different and budget for the return to school spending so it doesn’t catch you off guard.
Continue reading “Budgeting for Back to School”
Parents can’t wait until the days of no more alarms or harping on kids about homework, but then there’s all the free time summer creates. Without schedules and structure, it can feel overwhelming and if you aren’t careful, you may forget about budgeting and spend money just to keep your kids occupied.
Rather than throwing all caution to the wind this summer, plan a staycation. This way you’ll have fun planned for your family without the expenses of a vacation and the rest of the summer won’t feel as unstructured.
Before you plan a staycation, though, learn the top budgeting techniques to make it affordable.
Continue reading “Summertime Staycation Planning & Budgeting”
Tax time can be exciting or overwhelming, depending on whether or not you get a refund. If you get a refund, you feel like you’re on top of the world. If you owe money, it can send your budget into a tailspin.
Relying on a refund is not the right choice. Everyone should be prepared to NOT receive a refund, by planning and budgeting throughout the year.
At Creditaid, we want our clients to be prepared for the tax season financially, rather than letting it derail their finances and cause financial destruction. It’s not as hard as it seems. You just need to budget and plan long before tax season begins.
Continue reading “Preparing for Tax Season When you Don’t get a Refund”
A proper budget makes room for needs and wants. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to differentiate between the two. It can be subjective, but certain things are clear-cut and easy to determine.
So how do you tell? Let’s look at the basic definition of each.
What are Needs?
Needs are items you must have to survive. Clothes, food, proper healthcare, and transportation – those are needs. You can’t live without them, and these apply to everyone.
Other needs may be more individualized. For example, one person may NEED dental insurance because they have extensive dental issues, while another person may only go to the dentist for routine cleanings twice a year and may not consider dental insurance a need.
Write down the things you NEED in your life. If you didn’t have one, it would make it hard to survive or cause financial destruction.
Continue reading “Distinguish Between Needs vs. Wants”
Does tracking your spending sound about as fun as going to the dentist? We get it. But just like the dentist is important for your oral health, tracking your spending is important for your financial health.
Obviously recording your spending identifies where you overspend, but there are plenty of other reasons too.
You can say you want to save for specific goals all you want, but if you don’t do it, you’ll never reach your goals.
Recording your spending provides visualization of where your money goes. You can see ‘gosh I spent $50 eating out and now I can’t save for my XYZ goal.’ That accountability is HUGE when you’re trying to meet financial goals.
Continue reading “Why you Need to Record your Spending”
Goodbye, 2020! It was a strange and challenging year for many of us for several reasons.
This 2020 tax year will be unlike any other, with many individuals collecting CERB without any tax withholdings. However, this income is taxable, which means that individuals receiving CERB will owe tax on the funds they received, which can seriously impact your 2020 tax return. Those who typically expect a refund might owe money for tax in the current year or significantly reduce their refund.
At Creditaid we want to ensure our clients are prepared financially to assure continued success in our program and beyond. We have provided several tax tips below, some of which may apply to the current year. These are beneficial tax tips and suggestions that can benefit you and your family for years to come!
If you have any questions or wish to set up a tax planning session, please give us a call at 204 987 6890.
Working From Home Office Expenses
Continue reading “2020 Tax Season Tips”
Employees who worked from home more than 50% of the time over a period of a least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to COVID-19 will now be eligible to claim the home office expenses deduction for 2020. The use of a shorter qualifying period will ensure that more employees can claim the deduction than would otherwise have been possible under longstanding practice.