Are You Middle Class?

It seems that people are always talking about the middle class. Politicians target them for votes. Advertisers target them to buy products. We grew up watching them on TV (I’m looking at you, Tanners). And it might make sense, because when you hear people describe their economic situation, most people do tend to say that they are “middle class”. The thing is, in reality, they’re probably wrong.

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But then… what are they? Are they richer or poorer? Who is the mysterious middle class? Turns out, most of us are basically living one big financial identity crisis.

Complicating things is the fact that we don’t always agree on what “middle class” actually means. This is because there are actually a lot of different ways to measure what the middle class looks like. Our helpful friends at MoneySense pulled the stats, so that you can see some different ways to slice the data to find out where you sit in relation to your fellow Canadians, and whether or not you truly are the middle class Canuck you say you are. Continue reading “Are You Middle Class?”

Bank Fees are Holding Your Money Hostage

Do you know how much money you’re paying in bank fees?

I’ve had bank accounts with the same bank since I was 10 years old (thanks Grandma!) and for most of my life, they’ve been good to me. The people at my regular branches are always wonderful, and the accounts I had did what I needed them to do… until I entered the real world.

When I was in university, I went in to set up an RRSP (that time I should have also opened a TFSA) and as the rep was typing away, he casually asked me when I was done school. I thought he was just making conversation, but dude must have made a note somewhere because the month I graduated, my account changed from a no-fee student account to a $14.95/month chequing account. Continue reading “Bank Fees are Holding Your Money Hostage”

5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Meet Your Savings Goals

There are a lot of personal finance resources out there that take the approach of trying to scare you into saving by telling you how bad things will be otherwise. Those resources aren’t wrong; having a good financial strategy is crucial, and if you don’t properly prepare yourself financially, you won’t be able to achieve your big savings goals in the future.

I have a few “hard truth” blog posts bookmarked and I go back to them when I need that kick to get myself back into gear. Sometimes though, you need a push from the other direction – one that makes you picture yourself in the car of your dreams (that you paid for in cash) or on your baller vacation (that you paid for with your investment account dedicated to travel). I love those posts that make you go, f*@% yeah, I’ma save some money today.

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So, on this #MotivationMonday, here are 5 ways to keep yourself motivated and keep yourself happy while you work to meet that savings goal: Continue reading “5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Meet Your Savings Goals”

April Debt Update

Another month, another update! Writing this down, seeing it on paper and actually owning my debt repayment has been really helpful to me from a kind of psychological perspective, if only for the reason that I am so tired of paying off debt that I am conditioning myself never to get into this situation again. It’s hard seeing hundreds or thousands of dollars a month going into that black hole of debt rather than contributing to savings.

If you’re in a debt situation, I encourage you to write it out too – not necessarily publicly online, but just in a journal or a Word document on your computer. Not only does it help to see the numbers go down, but you’ll be motivated to stay out of that red zone in the future. Continue reading “April Debt Update”

Do You Know Where Your Dollars Go?

Ever since I’ve been aggressively paying down debt (which is really just a few months longer than I’ve been recording it all here), I’ve been kind of blown away by how much money actually comes into my account.

I don’t mean that I earn a crazy amount; I don’t make any more money now than I did when I got myself into debt, and that’s a decent-but-mostly-average salary. What I mean is, I used to always feel like I had no money. But now that I’m actually monitoring what comes in and out, I’m miraculously “finding” more money in my accounts. Continue reading “Do You Know Where Your Dollars Go?”