Like many Canadian teens, I grew up not learning about basic household budgeting, so when I went to university for the first time I was a little lost. I made mistakes. I got into debt. I spent more than I had. Then I realized how hard it was to pay off debt on an entry-level salary, and I got smart about my finances.
Budgeting isn't a dirty word, yet for many people the process of creating and living on a budget is seen as confusing, restrictive and scary. Creating a budget is actually a very straightforward process. Budgets aren't difficult but they require organization and discipline in order to be successful.
Canadians are stuck with $158-billion in new Harper debt -- without much to show for it. There are 160,000 more jobless Canadians today than before Stephen Harper took power. Job quality is at a 25-year low. Household debt is near a record high. Canada's trade deficit this year has topped $13-billion. The Liberal legacy was a decade of balanced budgets, average annual economic growth over three per cent, consistent trade surpluses every month of every year, 3.4-million net new jobs, lower debt, lower taxes, record high Transfer Payments to the provinces. That's what Mr. Harper inherited in 2006. But Mr. Harper blew it.
The post-secondary years are the ideal time to lock in great habits and fill any gaps in your children's financial education. Regardless of whether there are savings set aside or loans to be taken, managing the dollars matters. It's our young people who gain the most from good advice as they take on increased responsibility.
The National Strategy for Financial Literacy - Count me in, Canada is an ambitious playbook for country that brings together a wide range of stakeholders, identifies priorities and targets deliverables. It's time to act. Canadians who acquire financial knowledge today will be positioned for a better future.
A new report came out this week that reiterates what we've heard from other sources a few times now: Canadians aren't saving nearly enough for retirement. The Deputy Chief Economist of the CIBC warns that without pension reform now, younger workers today will see a steep decline in living standards as they retire. The Conservative government has recently announced it would like to have a dialogue with Canadians about a potential expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). While this, in itself, is a purely political action -- since it commits the government to nothing -- it is worth looking at what the possible outcomes might be.
Do you have a list of savings goals you're currently working towards? A running list of things you actually need to buy? Or were your answers impulsive - full of wants that would satisfy you in this moment rather than needs that could help you for awhile? The question sounds innocent enough. But the question is everything that's wrong with the money mindsets being instilled in us.
On July 1, 2015 the long awaited legislation regulating debt settlement services in Ontario comes into force. There are three main features of this new legislation that will impact Ontario consumers, with a ripple effect across the country. The biggest potential benefit to consumers will be the moratorium on up-front fees charged for no real service provided.
Debt has been in the news a lot lately. The major news outlets in Canada are paying attention to our record-high household debt levels and are doing some fantastic reporting about the effects of oil prices, housing, health, divorce, and all the other factors that can damage a family's bottom line. Yet amid this rabble of expert voices and real Canadian tales of debt crisis, there was one lone dissenter.
It's almost summer and the time when most people spend a fortune. It's so easy for us to spend out of control trying to make up for the crappy winter. But as your spending starts to heat up why not put a freeze on it by getting rid of your cards? You and your money will be nice and cool before winter comes.
Consumers who file insolvency are in severe financial distress, but surprisingly this does not mean they are behind on their payments. According to Equifax Canada, about 70 per cent of consumer accounts are paid as agreed at the time the individual files for bankruptcy, and this is definitely consistent with what we see every day. More debtors are turning to subprime debt as a way of balancing payments. While any one payday loan, high cost instalment loan or low credit car loan will not necessarily lead to bankruptcy, it does begin a slippery slope and these loans are a primary indicator of an increasing percentage of insolvencies.
I've heard the joke -- what's the difference between a large pizza and a history degree? One can feed a family of four. For the purposes of the pun, history can be replaced with any liberal arts major; however, history often gets an especially bad reputation for being particularly unemployable and well, pointless.
In 2015, personal finance is still a taboo topic. We might live in a liberal country, but Canadians are not very open-minded when it comes to talking about our pocketbook. In fact, many of us downright lie. I think one thing is clear: The more openly we discuss our finances, the more opportunity we have to gain financial literacy and take control of our financial outlook.
Many Canadians are well aware that a disability could occur at any time. Ninety-six per cent of us believe it, according to a recent RBC survey. The same survey showed that more than three-quarters of us also believe that missing three months of work, due to disability, would put us in serious financial jeopardy. Here are some steps you can take to prepare yourself for a possible disability.