The Wealthy Barber at Credit Education Week

The keynote speaker at the Credit Education Week Professional Day was Mr. David Chilton, Author, The Wealthy Barber.

Mr. Chilton took the stage and talked about one of the biggest challenge consumers face today –  everyone is cheering for you to keep on spending!  He provided numerous insights for us to consider and take action.

We want to share these with you:

  • Always pay yourself first, this is the most important thing you can do.
  • Keep in mind that banks never say, oh we are lending too much and should cut back.  Banks make money lending so why would they stop!
  • Consumers need to restrain themselves from borrowing.
  • A personal line of credit is like getting hooked on drugs.  Canadians treat a line of credit like a second income and forget that they need to pay it back.
  • There are simply too many people carrying too much debt.
  • People have maxed out their borrowing at current interest rates, when rates rise there is going to be lot of problems.
  • When taking on debt for appreciating assets make sure it can and will be retired before you are.
  • When borrowing make sure that your calculations are on after tax dollars, and that the payments will not impact your savings plan and the ability to have fun!

How to Spend Wisely During the Holidays

Christmas is just around the corner and holiday spending may get in the way of your budget.  It is important not to get carried away with gifts and décor.  It may be helpful to create a holiday budget to keep you on track.

Start by setting an amount you are willing to spend this holiday season for items such as gifts and decorations. Remember, once you have your budget set – stay with it.

Holiday Budget Tips:

  • Try changing it up this year, instead of having a huge party, try having a small dinner with close friends and family. This will help you scale down on spending a lot on entertainment and decorations.
  • Also, on a future note, shop for gifts year round and avoid the holiday rush all throughout the winter months. In addition, search for the deals. Look through your weekly flyers for gifts and compare prices between stores.

Remember,  try not to get caught up in the holiday excitement and spend like crazy.  Always check back to your holiday budget and make sure you are sticking with it.

On the Path to Successful Budgeting

So you figured out your income and expenses and have started to budget around it, now comes the next step, keeping track of your money and how to maintain a budget month to month.

There are a few things you can do to keep track of the flow of your money and make certain that you are sticking to your budget. Set goals for yourself. This will allow you too feel the satisfaction of accomplishment. If you set a goal to save money for something important like a vacation or a new car, you will be able to save more effectively and carefully. Another tip is to set appointments. You can do this two or three times a month so you can review your budget and make sure you are on the right path. This can be created into family time, get everyone in your household involved as previously mentioned. Begin to pay attention to the areas where spending is most important so you know where your priorities are in your budget and where money is really needed.

You have reviewed your expenses, created a budget journal, and now learned how to keep track of your funds. You are on your way to having a successful budget and a better understanding of where your money goes.

Money Saving Tips

If things are tight at home, we can adjust our lives so we can save more for what is important in life.

Here are a few money saving tips:
– Pack a lunch to work instead of buying one.
– Take the bus instead of driving.
– Shop for clothes out of season.
– And of course before making a purchase ask yourself – “Do I need it?” “Do I need it now?”

Consider getting everyone in your family involved. They’ll feel included in the overall household choices.  Having children involved helps educate them about money which enables them to make good financial choices for their future.
By reducing your expenses, it will mean more money at the end of the month and improved personal finances.

Adjust your Spending Plan

After we figure out where our money goes, where we are overspending, and how much money is coming in, it is time to adjust our budget accordingly. We have recognized the importance of our finance and now it is time to figure out where our money is needed most.

Finding practical ways to reduce our spending is one of the most important steps in the budgeting process. Having a budget journal will help us be organized and keep track of our income and expenses. We can categorize our expenses and split them between personal and household expenses. Household expenses may include mortgage, utilities, insurance, car payments, groceries, and so on. Personal expenses may include entertainment, dining out, gifts, etc. We can also consider investing a small percentage of our pay cheques in savings for a rainy day or for the future.

Tomorrow we’ll explore a few thrifty saving ideas!

Creating a Budget Plan

Creating a monthly spending plan is our first step to recognize where we are with our expenses.

Next, we need to gather all our information such as bank statements, bills, and receipts and accurately look at where our money is going. In addition to this, we also need to know how much money is coming in from our jobs.

Keeping a budget may be difficult in the beginning, but continuously working through it makes it easier. Budgeting shouldn’t restrict our everyday lives, but just redirect some of our money in areas where we need it most.

Managing Our Monthly Spending

For some of us, we live paycheque to paycheque and sometimes don’t understand where our money goes. Having a budget is the best way to manage our monthly spending. It helps keep track of expenses and squeeze the most out of our income. Budgeting is an important component of our lives and it helps us in the long run as well plan for our future.

Headlines continuously remind us of the financial struggles in our economy, therefore it is important to keep in mind any financial concerns we have, and deal with it before it gets us too far down the drain. It is important to take time to sit down and understand where we are with our expenses as well as the state of our finances.

Over the next few days we will be providing some tips on how to create and manage a monthly spending plan to organize your finances.

What would you do with a Million Dollars?

A new study reveals that 8 out of 10 Canadians said that if they won $1 million in the lottery they would pay off their debts.

The survey from the Canadian Payroll Association was released on Monday.  It showed some troubling signs for Canadians.  The most significant reveals is that the majority of working Canadians today are cash-strapped.  Living in a fragile state of paycheque to paycheque that greatly impacts their personal finances and the ability to put money away for retirement.

Read more here: Globe and Mail

Now may be an ideal opportunity to evaluate and take control of your finances by paying attention to the details:

  • Track and record all of your expenses
  • Review your expenses and make decisions to change your habits.
  • Set and commit to a goal – plan of action.
  • Seek expert advice when needed.

Creditaid on CBC Radio One

On Thursday, July 15, Alex Freedman from ‘Up To Speed’, CBC Radio One’s afternoon program, interviewed Creditaid’s President, Brian Denysuik to discuss the state of personal finances in Manitoba. Listeners heard how consumer debt is a problem for many individuals and how it is driven by the desire and need of instant gratification. Brian provided some tips on how people can gain control over their finances.

Also, one of the main topics discussed was “The Building Futures Project” – a joint initiative between the Manitoba Department of Education and Canadian Foundation for Economic Education. This project integrates a basic economic and financial education into the compulsory core K–12 curriculum in Manitoba. The goal is to effectively prepare Manitoba youths for their financial future. Target implementation date is September 2011 for the early and middle school years and 2012 for senior years.

Thank you to CBC Winnipeg, ‘Up to Speed’, Alex Freedman for having us on!