Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fashion Savings

We all want to look good at the work place or in any public setting and with that comes wearing the latest trends, but fashion is such a fleeting word. It starts its one year cycle on the fashion runways or even a music video, onto the magazines, internet or television and finally in the market place
 where it gets saturated with all the cheap knockoffs. For us the savvy consumer the best way to maximize our hard earned dollars is to have the classic wardrobe, of say jeans and T-shirts on casual day and for business ladies a black skirt, white blouse and for the men the usual black dress pants and a blazer. Then we accessorize to our individual style to complete our fashion statement and at a fraction of the cost, especially when these items are no longer in vogue and then lost money. Here are some basics rules to follow;  A) spend good money on classic items that never go out of style like diamond studs or a watch for the guys  B) check out the clearance areas or thrift stores for great deals C) visit blogs for ideas to fit your style  D) do not over accessorize as less is better to highlight yourself   E) learn colors with what matches each other and never all one shade  F) have items that enhances your features and signature style.  There you have it, look great and feel good as i have a saying; i do not mind spending money......i just hate wasting money lol

Saturday, April 12, 2014

On-Line Security

Most of the world we live in today involves on-line commerce, bank transactions or logging into some kind of secure site, so lets be smart about it and do all we can to protect ourselves from the hackers and scammers by followings a few simples rules;  A) Log into your accounts everyday to check up and make sure of no unauthorized transactions  B) Use different passwords for all your financial accounts  C) Increase the security of your passwords by combining upper and lower case letters, numbers or keyboard symbols ( #,@, *, ^, +)   D) Never allow e-commerce sites to store your credit card info and if buying something just input each time  E) You should change your banking passwords approx. every  6 months    So as you see it isn't a lot to do to assure ourselves some added security as unfortunately with the times we live in today ( to borrow a phrase I was used to hearing on the fitness circuit but applies to life in general)...... the cheaters are always ahead of the testers!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Some Red Flags During Retirement

Congratulations!!!!  you have navigated your way into retirement which in these times is no easy feat.  Not to be a naysayer, but here are a few things to watch out for that might derail all those dreams for what should be your "Golden Years"  A) You might have adult children come back to the nest to save money  (even ask for funds to pay down their out of control bills) or maybe you have elderly parents that will need care....all which puts a strain on your finances.  B) Some retirees lose their health insurance or prescription drug plans which then comes out of pocket, or maybe you downsize and move outside the city then need medical care with a specialist which is an added travel expense.  C) Remember life does get in the way (lol), so do not forget that things do need to be repaired from your automobile to the furnace which all cost big dollars.  D) Maybe you have grown apart and will divorce which without saying is a big strain on the pocketbook.  E) Finally with all your extra time, it will be easy for you to spend more than you bring in on expensive hobbies or plan for that.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Retail Condos

This might be an exciting opportunity for all you entrepreneurial types out there with the trend of Retail Condos.  Basically as a lot of the old shopping malls or large stores close down with there 1970's concept of mammoth square footage, owners of these relics of yesteryear are dividing them into Retail Condos (from 60-550 sq ft.) and for sale to prospective business owners, but just like residential condos location is key to allow your store to thrive. So look for anchor box stores/retailers with familiar names in your complex that drives customers to your area then you can "feed" from the foot traffic that's generated. Also again like your own home, a condominium corporation is set up with you the owner paying into a fund to cover maintenance for the reinvented space and common areas, so without saying if the age of the mall is growing "grey hair" have an expert check out the big ticket items as the roof, foundation, AC/ Heating systems etc. Now on the upside to own one of these units, retail condo owners are allowed to lease their space to another retailer or sell the unit (if in time) the location pays off. To finish up, like any your homework but in my humble opinion sounds like a win/win!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pay Down your Mortgage Quicker with these KeyTips.

Congratulations you are getting a mortgage ( which for most will  be your biggest purchase of your life) so why not save some money/interest that is paid back to the lender and not be intimidated either by all the mortgage choices or interest rate information that will be sent your way and understand what your options are, read on.  Now first we are all wired differently when it comes to financial stress and to use the analogy of a car; how many of you would fret if your on a half of tank of gas with the next fill-up station miles away, or like myself because you know the mileage and your confident you have enough fuel your not worried. Much is the same in picking the right mortgage term ( length of the mortgage contract),  personally the longest term  i will do is a 4 year fixed which is always lower in interest than the most popular 5 year fixed (which most lenders push the hardest) and will save you big money over your typically 20 year contract. Now my favorite is the 1 year fixed which comes with rock bottom interest rates ( if your willing to roll the dice that the rates stay down) but if they are heading north, bonus!!! can lock in a secure rate a few months before your renewal date, also double bonus; with both of these options have the discipline and take what is saved in your monthly payment and apply it directly to the mortgage per month again saving you huge amounts. So to finish up on my picks; needless to say you have to pay attention to the business news and also have the plan in place to pay down your mortgage with the savings that you incur from the smaller amount owing to the lender due to the lower interests rates charge.  Now to the "other" side lol;  the terms i avoid are the 5 year variable, 3, 7 and 10 year fixed but maybe because of your debt levels are high  you might not qualify for my favorites so do not have those options for now, or again your tolerance
for the unknown rate hikes is such so you like the comfort of the long term security ( if that's the case, take the 10year fixed as it is usually just a few tenths of a % point from the 7 year and sleep at nights) but  all of this comes at a price with higher interests rates and of course more money out of your pocket.  In closing, you know yourself best and your comfort zone so pick what options are better for you and enjoy your new abode stress free.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ways to Save More and Reduce Debt

We as Canadians are riding a wave of self destruction if we don't get our debt under control. As a society we have "grown" comfortable with the fact of owing back and forget that there is a cost of borrowing.....its call interest. Today we are at historical low rates but like any cycle it has to increase so now is the time to reel in those IOU'S. Here is a list how to save more and get out of debt faster  A) Set up an automatic transfer of money into a high interest savings account every time you get paid...out of sight, out of mind as they say.  B) Ask your lender if you can increase your mortgage payments by 10% and save huge amounts of interest owing to them. C) Increase your regular contributions to your RRSP ( Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or TFSA  (Tax-Free Savings Account) by the same amount your take home pay goes up each year.  D) Pay off any Credit Cards or Lines of Credit within 20 months and save on its high interest charges. E) How is it possible you might ask with the above list?  Track your monthly household expenses and cut down your biggest non-essential payouts......remember our previous blog on wants and needs people and lets start controlling our own destiny.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tips for Home Buyers

So we are going down the real estate highway which by the way is the biggest purchase most of you will ever make in your lives, so here are a few tips to make it has painless as possible. A) Get a pre-approved mortgage before hiring a realtor, that way your not wasting yours and the agents time looking for a home above your means B) Get your finances in order, first examine your credit report ( scores range from 220-800 of course the higher the better and easier to qualify for a mortgage) and be prepared for the down payment on the mortgage to your lender of choice (5-10%) and also closing costs which is an additional 5% + of the amount paid for your abode ( legal fees, deed transfer tax, fuel adjustment, moving costs, power hookup, tax adjustment, fire/homeowners insurance, maybe water quality/septic field testing and so on....lets not forget about appliances and curtains etc   C)  Do your homework on what you want in a home;
features from how many bedrooms/bathrooms, size of yard, age of home, etc. D) Don't become "Mortgage Poor" and take on too much as you don't want to be living on the edge each month and have nothing left to enjoy life. E) Know your move in date, also when your lease ends or if you can sublet till your home is ready.  F) Get a professional house inspection and if possible a warranty from the builder/seller to cover any defects for the first few years. G) Be realistic as you may never find your perfect home. Good Luck!