Life is trying to get back to normal. As the COVID-19 numbers drop, more retail stores are reopening, which is a great sign for our economy, but may not be as good for your pocketbook. Try to avoid getting caught up in the excitement of things getting back to ‘normal,’ and be mindful of your spending.
Before you shop, ask yourself the following questions.
Is this an Impulse Buy?
Are you shopping with a list? If you are, is the item you’re holding or that you ‘need to buy’ on your list? If not, it’s an impulse buy. Even if you don’t have a list, but you look at things you don’t need or didn’t intend to buy; it’s an impulse buy.
Rather than buying without thinking, give yourself 48 hours. Leave the store or close your web browser without buying the product. After 48 hours, if you’re still thinking about the item, maybe it’s something worth buying. Chances are though, if it was an impulse buy, you won’t even think about it again.
Continue reading “Stores are Open – Reign in your Spending”
Another year has come and gone. For some, it’s been magical, and for others, a little less so. The new year is a time for retrospection, to look back at what’s happened, evaluate where we are, and make preparations for the coming year.
Let us offer you one piece of advice – a few simple steps can give you a whole lot of peace of mind when it comes to securing your financial future. Make 2019 the year that you prepare for unforeseen financial challenges with an emergency fund. The security you’ll feel when you know you’ve protected yourself from an urgent home or car repair, a “blip” in your employment, or any one of a million other unforeseen circumstances is one of the best goals to attain.
How Much is Enough?
The amount of money you need in your emergency fund is really up to you. We’d say, the more the better, but in the end you’ll have to make your own decisions. How much will get you over a rough patch – a month’s salary? Six month’s salary? A thousand dollars? Ten thousand dollars? It’s unpleasant to imagine all of the bad things that can happen to your finances, but it’s important to determine a worst-case scenario to help you set a savings goal.
Continue reading “How to Set Up an Emergency Fund for 2019”
Half of Canadians surveyed are willing to postpone retirement for their children according to a study by BMO Wealth Management. Even more worrying is that 24 per cent said they’d be willing to go into debt to help their children succeed. Ironically, one of the top reasons parents cited for their financial concern about their children is that they will incur debt that they can’t manage.
According to Statistics Canada, today’s youth are more educated, staying at home longer and putting off their entry into a treacherous labour market where unemployment rates for young adults are twice the national average. This is daunting information but not insurmountable. Parents and their children can find a way through the morass by learning about how to manage their money better.
Continue reading “Canadians are Postponing Retirement to Help Their Adult Children”
Canadians are highly-educated in areas like academics and trades. But one of the most important areas that is often lacking is their degree of financial literacy.
Learning how to manage debt and build a solid credit rating requires education. Creditaid has developed a financial literacy program to help Canadians Build or rebuild their credit, Learn valuable budgeting skills that will guide them into a future of financial health, and Save money to spend on life’s most important things.
Build Learn Save is an 18 month credit building program designed to educate participants about budgeting, credit, and debt while their credit is being re-established in order that they can be in a position of financial health upon program completion.
Building a healthy credit rating is not something that we commonly learn in school. Many people do not understand the repercussions of a poor credit rating and how it can affect many aspects of their lives. For instance, a $20,000 car financed over 7 years will result in approximately $350 in payments for a person with a good credit rating but $850 with a poor one.
This difference in cost is only one example of the kind of problems faced by those with poor credit. Renting an apartment, buying a car or house, using credit cards to buy online or guarantee a hotel room, car rental, or airplane seat—all are affected by a poor credit rating.
Financial literacy is a way for Canadians to find their way out of debt and build a solid credit rating that will stand them in good stead for their future.
Call Creditaid to find out more about the Build Learn Save program. Our friendly and understanding staff will let you know if your situation fits the bill and if we can help you to get started on the road to a healthy financial future.
We all know that we need to be careful with credit – because it’s easy to borrow money, and wind up owing as much, or more than we can pay. We all know what it feels like when there’s “too much month left at the end of the money”.
And there’s this vague fear of a negative impact on our credit history that can affect us in the future. The more we know about credit reporting, the more we can work to improve the way potential lenders see us, and then we can leverage a good report to get favourable terms when we borrow money.
What is a Credit Score?
In Canada, a credit score is assigned by one of the two large credit reporting agencies – Equifax or TransUnion. The score is a number between 300 and 900 (900 being perfect) that represents the aggregate of all of the information that the bureau has on file about us. Most interactions that you have with lenders, either positive (payments made on time) or negative (late payments, collections, bankruptcy) will affect our score. Anyone who has ever accessed any form of credit has a file with the credit bureaus. Potential lenders use your credit score, with your permission, to determine whether or not you qualify for credit, and sometimes they use it to set the terms of borrowing (interest rates, etc.).
Who Can Access My Credit Report?
Any lender can provide information about your loan, payments, etc. to the credit bureaus. You give them permission to do so in the agreement you sign when you begin to access credit with them. Any potential lender with your permission (usually in the application) can access your report and score. You can (and should) access your own credit report with both bureaus. Make sure that all of the information that they have on file is accurate.
By knowing your own credit score, you can demonstrate to potential lenders that you are a responsible borrower. You may be able to negotiate more favourable terms as a result.
If you’ve got questions about credit, or have found yourself in some trouble, contact Creditaid anytime online or by telephone at (204) 987-6890 or (877) 900-2659. We can help you take those important first steps toward a debt free life.