Tell Your Money Where to Go

Most people avoid developing a spending plan. It’s just no fun hearing the same things over and over – “be frugal, be thrifty, save every penny you can for a rainy day.”

Unfortunately, failure to develop a spending plan usually results in our money waving goodbye every payday, and when bumps in the road occur and they will, (life being, well, life) you find yourself with very difficult financial challenges.

There’s got to be a happy medium – something between the regimented, enforced frugality that is so often presented as the solution to your life’s financial future and the carefree spending that’s going to land you in trouble. Taking control means that you take back full control and “tell your money where to go”!! No more letting it simply wave good-bye!

Save Money with a budget planEnter the Save-to-Spend concept, a system of budgeting that will have you future-proofing your money, while still allowing you to achieve the things you want, and even giving you some “mad money” for the things you didn’t know you wanted. It is really all about pre-planning by putting your short, medium and long term goals on paper. Once you have them, put down what the costs are for each of them. Then prioritize them and determine the length of time it will take you to save for each of them. A simple example is buying a new big screen television. If the cost is $1200 and you want to have it in one year, start putting $100 away each month for it. This is far different then the buy now pay later program where you forget to pay off the interest free loan and end up paying 30% interest back to the day it was delivered. This is an example of a change from that path of instant gratification to one of delayed gratification!

The concept goes one step further and includes the most important part of any plan and that is building your emergency savings account. These are just a few simple examples of a very old concept that we need to return to.

Of course, you can’t make money from nothing, so there are going to be some sacrifices. They will, however, seem unimportant as you quickly see your bank balances grow with all the individual financial goals you have set.

Just remember you need to keep happy while you work within your Save-to-Spend plan! Like dieting, if you tell yourself you can never enjoy one of the foods you love, you’ll likely cheat. If you allow yourself the occasional treat, you’ll be happier overall and are more likely to get the result you want. Save-to-Spend has been proven to be effective.

If you have questions about Save-to-Spend, budgeting, or any other topic related to debt or personal finance, contact Creditaid anytime online or by telephone at (204) 987-6890.

Creditaid Offers the Broadest Range of Services When it Comes to Helping People with Debt

We like to say that we understand debt from every angle possible. Our credit counsellors have years of experience in the financial services industry. Once we have completed a detailed review of your personal financial situation/ we can then guide you on the best solution to help you get in control of your finances and back on track. Our solutions may include simply helping you manage your budget, reviewing your mortgage situation, a debt repayment program or if it makes sense, selling your home to pay off all your creditors. The key to our services is that we will give you options, not just two but as many as possible so that you have choices on how to best move your life forward.


We not only have experienced credit counsellors we also have two registered insolvency counselors with Industry Canada under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act on staff. This accreditation can only be achieved by individuals who have the necessary industry experience, education and performed 100 hours of insolvency counseling sessions under the direction of a bankruptcy trustee. This means that our counsellors are qualified to facilitate the two mandatory counseling sessions required for anyone filing a bankruptcy or formal consumer proposal in Canada. And as such, we work closely with Winnipeg’s bankruptcy trustees. In addition to offering consumer debt counselling and budgeting solutions, we understand the bankruptcy process and can offer Creditaid’s clients invaluable advice when trying to decide upon the best course of action for dealing with their debt problem


New Couples and Money

Couples and Money Management

You’ve just moved in with your current love or maybe you’ve just got engaged. This is a happy, exciting time in your life. The two of you may have discussed how many kids you want, where to go on a honeymoon or where your dream house will be. But have you been truthful with each other with regard to your finances and credit rating? Everything listed above costs money and both of you need to be honest with each other regarding your finances in order to have those things.

I am not suggesting that you open joint bank accounts or sign over your pay check to your spouse. I know many couples that do but I also know many who retain separate banking and finances. Either arrangement is fine as long as you both are happy with it. As you begin a new, permanent relationship, it is time to set your financial goals as a couple and to be honest about your money values.

Here are things you need to discuss now.

  1. What is your net worth? This is a list of your current assets and liabilities. An asset is an item that you could sell and receive money for.  For most of us this means real estate, cash in our bank accounts, RRSP’s and vehicles. Liabilities are your debts.  Ideally your assets should be higher than your liabilities. If so, you have a positive net worth. As you get older your net worth should increase.  How do each of your net worth statements compare? Are you both in agreement concerning your net worth goals? This is important because your net worth can determine when you will be able to buy that dream home, afford to have children or when you can retire.Do you have a negative net worth because of a student loan? Young people often do.  Student loan debt is considered acceptable if the amount of the debt is in relation to the type of education received. For example, many new doctors and dentists graduate with student loan debt in the $150,000 range. Given the fact that they have the potential for a very high income, this level of debt is reasonable and can be paid off in less than 10 years.
  2. Go online and order a copy of your credit bureau if you have not done so recently. Share it with your partner.  Are your scores and credit patterns similar? Or does one of you buy most things using credit, carry balances each month and pay hundreds of dollars in interest charges? Does the other hate debt (and interest charges) and pay off all their credit cards each month?  If you each have very different credit habits and attitudes toward debt, there could be a real problem in the future. If one spouse has a poor credit history, it could prevent the other from reaching financial goals as a couple, like buying a house.  Spouse A, with the minimal debt and excellent credit history could help Spouse B increase their credit score by co-signing a consolidation loan so that high interest credit cards can be paid off and cancelled. If every loan payment is made on time, Spouse B’s credit score will improve. This in turn will benefit both spouses by way of a lower interest rate if they make a joint purchase like a house or car.
  3. How are you going to manage your day to day expenses? Some couples close their individual accounts and open a joint bank account. All their money gets deposited and withdrawn by either person from this bank account. It sounds like the most convenient way to handle expenses but it can cause big problems. Who is depositing the money and who is withdrawing the money? And for what reason? This strategy works the best for couples who both manage their money well. So before you decide how you are going to handle your banking, it would be wise to write up a monthly budget then decide who will be responsible for paying for what. Some couples maintain separate banking for their entire relationship. Each is responsible for paying some of the joint bills. For example, the wife pays for the groceries and the husband pays the rent. Some couples use a hybrid of both methods in which each maintain a separate bank account and pay their own individual expenses but both deposit a set amount to a joint bank account and joint expenses are paid from it. But how much should each contribute to the joint bank account? Some couples each deposit the same amount of money, for example, $2000 per month. Other couples each contribute a percentage of their income. Once you have come to an agreement, talk about what will happen if you have kids. What will happen if one spouse’s income is reduced because of maternity leave?
  4. What are your long term goals?This is important to establish early in a relationship because you may discover you have radically different financial goals. If one of you is happy to rent forever and basically spend every dime on travelling or entertainment, but the other spouse wants to save up for a house and early retirement – the relationship is doomed to fail. We all hear that ‘opposites attract’. This may be true for a short period of time. For long term happiness and peace in the household your goals and dreams need to be aligned. You need to be honest with yourself and each other as to what is important to you and where you see yourself financially in 10 or 20 years. If your goals differ, determine if you are both willing to compromise. Staying in a committed relationship is hard work and can be stressful. Having money problems adds even more stress.

Laurie Boudreau is a credit counsellor with Creditaid. Contact her now for help with managing your money and your debt.

New Year, New Start – Budget Bootcamp

New Year resolutions are hard to keep – in fact; did you know most are abandoned within the first two weeks of the year? The same is also true of first-time budgets; which is why we at Creditaid are offering a FREE 5-Day Back to Basics Budget Bootcamp.

Bootcamps are known to be hard work. In order to become a champ, you will have to challenge yourself and push yourself beyond your limits. Once you do though, you will see and feel the results of your hard work – which is why we like the concept of a Budget Bootcamp so much!

Over the span of one week, we will help you create a budget that will work for you and your lifestyle and provide you with all the tools and advice you need to get you on the right track and keep you there. The process is not complicated; you just need to put in the effort.

We understand that budgeting isn’t easy, so we will show you how to work with the money that you have while remaining realistic. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts, just sensible, effective ways to manage your money. The course lasts five days, and by signing up you will receive an email on each of those days which will take you through simple steps to set up and maintain your daily, weekly and monthly budgets.

The sign up process is easy; there is just one form to fill in and then we’ll send you the first part of the series. We do not ask for any personal information other than your name and email address so that we can send you your 5-Day Back to Basics Budget Bootcamp emails. Once you have received part one, you can begin to get your spending under control. This is your opportunity to have a new year with a new start so sign up now!

Visit Us Today

The New Year is fast approaching – and it’s a great opportunity to take some time to think about what you would like to accomplish in 2014. If getting your finances back on track is on your list for the year, take this opportunity to drop by and see one of our counsellors.

We are available today and tomorrow –

Monday December 30th  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday December 31st 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Helping Canadians Get Out of Debt

How well do you know the credit counselling agents that you deal with? Are you looking for a more personal experience with a high level of discretion? At Creditaid, we offer you a different kind of experience. Personal finances can get very complicated. Budgets and bills are not just numbers on a piece of paper – they have real life

How well do you know the credit counselling agents that you deal with? Are you looking for a more personal experience with a high level of discretion? At Creditaid, we offer you a different kind of experience. Personal finances can get very complicated. Budgets and bills are not just numbers on a piece of paper – they have real lifeimplications.