What Do You Want to Do With Your Money?

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everybody had a fabulous holiday and that your credit card bills are not the least bit scary this month.

Before I get into today’s post, let’s have a bit of a fireside chat, because it’s been a while and I’ve missed the blog community!

I’ve been on a bit of an unplanned hiatus because I caught the flu then bronchitis and I’ve basically looked and felt like this for the last month:

Since this is a personal finance blog, and not WebMD, I’m mentioning this because being under the weather for such a big chunk of time (relative to my usual 2 days of a cold per year) changed the way my finances looked for the month of December and made me so grateful for my “things I didn’t budget for” line. Continue reading “What Do You Want to Do With Your Money?”

US Retirement Plans and their Canadian Counterparts

In the last month or so, we’ve all heard of the many Americans who’ve pledged to move to Canada. And why not? I mean, we’re the country that brought the world Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds.

 

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So for those American readers who are contemplating the move up north, or for Canadians who want to understand our southern neighbours a bit better, here’s a short guide to how our Canadian individual retirement plans match up with American plans. Continue reading “US Retirement Plans and their Canadian Counterparts”

Everything You Need to Know About Credit Scores

Serious question: do you know, generally, what your credit score is? Have you checked your credit report yet this year?

If your answer is no, here’s a tip: Make it a New Year’s Resolution to check your credit report once a year.

That’s it, just once a year – so easy!

As easy as it is though, Canadians on the whole are not that great about understanding their credit.

A recent survey, commissioned by Mogo, found that while 72% of Canadians recognized that lenders and banks look at credit scores during the loan application process, most Canadians don’t know what else their score is used for:

  • 81% of Canadians don’t realize that an employer may check their credit score when being considered for a job position
  • A full two thirds of Canadians don’t know that insurance agencies or cell phone companies might look at credit scores during the application process (67% and 66%, respectively)
  • 61% of Canadians don’t know that landlords often look at credit scores as part of a rental application

Don’t be a statistic, guys, you’re better than those people.

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Here’s the skinny on credit reports and credit scores: Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Credit Scores”

My Number One Money-Saving Tip

Today I’m sharing the number 1, single biggest thing I did to improve my money-management and build my savings. Seriously. This isn’t click-bait either – this is legit the one thing that keeps me on track and that I regularly kick myself for not doing sooner.

What is this miracle trick?

Automating my savings.

That’s it.

I call it a trick because it literally does feel like I’m tricking myself into saving.

It’s an awesome feeling to get to the end of the month and be like, “I saved that much? And I still have that much left over?” Continue reading “My Number One Money-Saving Tip”

That Time I Got Interviewed on Family Money Plan

I am legit freaking out right now because Andrew over at the awesome blog, Family Money Plan, recently interviewed me for his killer interview series, “Behind the Screen” and IT WENT LIVE. I have been a big fan of this series (and Andrew’s blog in general) since the beginning, so it is crazy to me that he let me be a part of it. Thanks, Andrew!!

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Check out this insane line of up of incredible bloggers that Andrew has interviewed:

I apologize now for totally derailing your day because I know you’ll be spending it bingeing through these interviews and Andrew’s always-fantastic blog posts, but you will not be disappointed. Whatever else you had to do today can wait, I promise.

And while you’re there, be sure to check out the interview Andrew did with me!

(All photos and graphics courtesy of Andrew)

My Top 15 Frugal Wins

You’ve heard of the Latte Factor, right? (If you haven’t, go read Desirae’s post from last week, it’s awesome).

Basically, the Latte Factor is the concept that spending money every day on small things (like lattes) adds up to big amounts of money spent over time. It’s controversial though, because people have different ideas about whether spending those small amounts every day is bad money management or worthwhile spending.

Reading about the latte factor got me thinking though… not about the small amounts of money I spend in a day, but about all the small amounts of money I save. Continue reading “My Top 15 Frugal Wins”

10 Tips for Selling Online

So I watch a lot of crime shows, and because of that, I’m convinced that stranger danger is real. And because of that, selling things online was a terrifying concept to me. I mean, you don’t know these people. Remember the Craigslist killer?

BUT THEN.

Then I had an old chest freezer from my student days that I wanted to get rid of. It still worked, but it was taking up valuable space and it would have cost me money to trash it, so my love of money overcame my love of caution and I put it up online.

It was such. a. rush. Continue reading “10 Tips for Selling Online”

The Mentality of “You Got This”

I have this mantra, whenever things go wrong in my life.

It’s nothing fancy – I just say to myself over and over, “you got this”.

(In my head, just btw. My coworkers don’t need to hear that every time my computer shuts down or every time a client freaks out).

It always seems to work for me, whether it’s just the kind of meditative process of thinking one thing over and over, or if there really is some kind of magical property to that phrase that makes things turn out for the best.

You might have your own phrase or your own strategy to deal with things when they get crappy, but no matter what you’re dealing with and how you’re dealing with it, you are going to be okay.

It’s so easy to panic and get stressed out about money. Seriously. People don’t talk about it, but everybody has money worries. They’re not always the same worries, of course, but everyone you meet has some kind of money anxiety at some point.

Mine is rooted in the scarcity mentality. I fight this daily.

Continue reading “The Mentality of “You Got This””

Money Lessons for a Younger Me

My office window overlooks one edge of the university campus in my city, which means that in the month of September, I have a front row seat to all of the students returning to campus and new students arriving.

(It also means it takes me 45 minutes to get out of my building because OMG all these students have cars for some reason and seem to enjoy sitting in traffic outside my office when they should be getting off my lawn).

Every year, when I see the students come back, I think of my own university experience and the things I know now that would have helped me then. Continue reading “Money Lessons for a Younger Me”