Simplify the Holidays by Narrowing your Christmas List

Holiday Budgeting

Does your Christmas usually look like frantic shopping sprees, high credit card bills, and wondering how you’ll get it all done?

That’s not what the holidays should be about, and it’s time to consider simplifying things so you can enjoy the season with your loved ones.

One of the easiest ways to simplify the holidays is to narrow your Christmas list. This doesn’t mean you can’t give gifts, but give fewer gifts that mean more, and don’t worry about being ‘better’ than anyone else.

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Back to School on a Budget

It’s that time again, can you hear the bells ringing? That’s right, it’s time to head back to school. This year more than most represents a return to the familiar after the last two years of uncertainty and continually changing requirements.

School brings with it the need for new in the form of supplies and clothing which can really add up and stretch your budget to the max. With the proper planning, going back to school doesn’t have to cost a fortune as retailers understand and offer some great deals to help you save. You’re probably wondering how you can possibly navigate all these sales and take advantage of savings without getting pulled into buying what you don’t need while wondering how you are going to afford it all.

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How to Manage Debt with Inflation on the Rise

Debt Management with Inflation

You’ve likely felt the effects of inflation already. Your grocery and gas bill probably felt it first. Suddenly it costs a lot more to feed the family or fill your gas tank, but these are things we need so we have to adjust elsewhere, right?

One area many people struggle is managing debt during inflation. If your wages don’t keep pace with inflation (most don’t), then keeping up with your debts may feel impossible.

Here are a few ways to help you manage debt with inflation rising.

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Distinguish Between Needs vs. Wants

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.

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2020 Tax Season Tips

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
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.

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Calculating Multiple Streams of Income

The following article originally appeared in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society Balance Wellness Magazine.

march18_balance

In today’s world, there are many of us that have what I will call multiple streams of income.  This can come from different sources, such as two or three part-time jobs versus one full-time job.  It can include a second job throughout the summer months, a side business or a combination of receiving a pension and working part-time.
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Does Consumer Obsession Lead Us to Over Spending

The desire to “keep up with the Jones’s” has become more than a social status issue for many people.

Also, it is effortless to get caught up in a holiday season.

creditaid-overspendingIt has become a catalyst for overspending that has consumers running to banks and other lenders looking for ways to finance their purchases.

This issue also has countless consumers loaded up with credit card debt so steep it may take them a lifetime to get out of it.Give your financial literacy a good double-check, and if you are not already practicing the following financial practices, now is a great time to start today:

Pay bills on time and balance your cheque book each month. You can’t know how much you can afford to spend if you don’t know how much you currently have to spend.

Stop buying on impulse. If you want something, rather than charging it on your credit card and paying interest, save for the next few month and buy it when you have the money.
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Creditaid Delivers Financial Literacy Advice to Manitoba Educators

Balance Wellness program logoAs part of our ongoing partnership with the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) to deliver financial literacy advice through their Balance Program, we were very happy to extend our reach to Manitoba educators.

In April, we were happy for the opportunity to speak to members of the Retired Teachers’ Association of Manitoba (RTAM) as they joined the Society members for a collaborative workshop about Money Matters and Mindfulness.

RTAM logo

The RTAM advocates for the needs of retired teachers to the Manitoba government, the MTS and the general public. The association members have witnessed the benefits of the Balance program, and have begun holding collaborative workshops to tap into the many benefits that the program has to offer.

Even after a lifetime of prudent money management, it is oftentimes in retirement that an individual might need access to advice and resources that they previously did not.

At Creditaid, we feel privileged for the opportunity to discuss financial wellness and financial literacy with our province’s educators and look forward to more opportunities to share in the future.

If you find yourself facing a life transition that requires a change in the way you manage your budgeting and your debt, contact the friendly staff at Creditaid for help.

Talking Financial Wellness at R.D. Parker Collegiate

Thompson-Mb-Balance-Wellness-Feb-10-2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, marked another great day of professional development, this time with the staff from R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson, Manitoba. Our Balance Wellness Team is having a lot of fun meeting some great teachers across the province.

We were welcomed with open arms by Principal Rod Fisher and his staff. Keith Macpherson, Carla D’Andreamatteo, and Creditaid’s President Brian Denysuik, are really enjoying the opportunity to deliver some great programs. Creditaid’s Financial Wellness piece generated lots of interesting conversation.

Thank you Manitoba Teachers’ Society for having Creditaid as part of the Balance Wellness Program.