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.

melb

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

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 Emergency Fund

Hello long-lost friends! I am back after a couple of weeks of studying, exams, and wedding travel. And since my last two weeks have been somewhat chaotic, it seems like a good time to talk about how to keep your financial sanity during times of surprise expenses.

The issue of emergency funds among personal finance bloggers tends to be a bit divided – with some of the opinion that emergency funds are crucial and others writing that they are not necessary at all. While there are compelling arguments for both sides, I must admit that I am in the first camp – for me, an emergency fund is a must-have.

The good news about emergency funds in Canada is that Canadians have an average of $41,694 in emergency savings. That’s awesome.

The not-so-good news is that a quarter of Canadians don’t have anything set aside for emergencies at all. And of those who do, almost half have less than $5000 saved. Not awesome. (source)

Continue reading “The Emergency Fund”

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?”

How to Build a Budget

Here’s a thought for you:

Your budget is Justin Timberlake.

Your financial strategy is N*Sync.

With me?

Justin Timberlake is killing it as a solo artist, but N*Sync would probably not have had the success they did if it weren’t for him (#sorryJoey).

Likewise, your financial strategy is probably not going to reach its full potential unless you have a budget.

You need a budget. Just like you need Justin Timberlake in  your life.  Continue reading “How to Build a Budget”