6 Tips To Make Your Christmas Shopping Easy and Affordable

Having difficulties getting your Christmas shopping done?  Getting stressed out?

This task does not have to hard nor stressful if you have a game plan complete with practical tips.

The following video provides six tips that you can use as you start or finish your Christmas shopping.

Source: Double Saving Divas

Sarah alias Double XL: Comment être financièrement responsable?

Vous avez des adolescents avec qui vous n’avez encore jamais abordé la gestion financière? Est-ce trop tard? Non, il n’est jamais trop tard pour acquérir de nouvelles connaissances ou apprendre à faire mieux.

Top Ten Tips for Efficient Holiday Shopping

As we approach the holiday season, some individuals have a hard time with shopping Holiday-Christmas-Gifts-Redfor gifts. Whether it is finding the perfect gift for someone who has everything or going into an unmanageable amount of debt, the season can cause an unnecessary amount of stress. To avoid the stress and hassles associated with buying gifts, consider having a plan containing some of these ten tips.

1. Do your research

Before buying a specific gift, consider doing some research. Your research will help you learn about the gift in question, its price and where it is available. Using the internet will allow you to search out online or offline outlets for the gift without leaving your home.

2. Make a list and check it twice

Just like Santa Claus, you should consider making a list of the individuals that you wish to buy gifts for a symbol of gratitude. Given the fact that you probably cannot afford to purchase for everyone, you may have to cross off some individuals on your list. Although price might be one criteria that you can use to eliminate names, you may have other methods that you are comfortable with.

3. Have a budget

One of the cardinal rules when holiday shopping is to have a budget. One of reasons that individuals find it difficult to deal with post-holiday bills is that they do not adhere to a budget. By having a budget, you place financial limits on yourself to avoid money management issues in future. Setting a budget can be done by either taking a percentage of the money entering your chequing account every month or assigning a dollar amount to each individual on your list.

4. Look for deals

Depending on the items that you wish to buy, you should go out of your way to look for deals in terms of price, quantity and quality. By either window shopping or searching on the web, getting the most for your money should be your main objective. In addition, do not hesitate to ask friends, family or turn to social media sites to find the best possible deals.

5. Leave your credit cards at home

Unless you have money in the bank to pay of your credit card bills in full, you should not be shopping with credit at holiday time. Using cards will dig yourself into further debt and in the long term, the purchased items will cost more thanks to interest payments.

6. Avoid points programs

Many stores at holiday time will promote their respective points programs to pull individuals away from their competitors. Even though they may seem attractive, these programs attempt to get consumers buy more in order to qualify for points. If you do not have the money to obtain the points, say “No” to any offers to the programs.

7. Consider alternatives to purchased gifts

The holiday season is the time to give gifts; however, it does not really entail spending a lot nor purchasing gifts. If you are very creative, consider making your gifts for family and friends. In addition, consider giving baked goods for those who have a sweet tooth.

8. Do not procrastinate

Procrastinating when it comes to holiday shopping is not advised. Not only do you miss out on the good deals available in late November or early December, you will not have enough time to make smart and informed choices when you are in a rush.

9. Consider gift cards

For those who are stuck in a situation where you do not know what to buy a family member or friend, consider gift cards. Gift cards will allow you to stay within a budget by buying specific dominations and reduce the amount of time spent visiting various stores.

10. Remember the spirit of the season

It is important to remember that the holiday season is meant to celebrate being together with family and friends not spending money that you do not have. Going into debt to show your love for others is not worth the associated difficulties of managing credit card bills in the months to come.

Le cauchemar d’Alex, raconté par Philippe Laprise

Cette capsule a été produite pour la campagne de promotion du site jeunesse www.tesaffaires.com. Le comédien Philippe Laprise nous raconte les mésaventures financières de son ami Alex. Mauvaise gestion des revenus et des dépenses, mauvaise utilisation du crédit, tout pour s’enfoncer dans les problèmes financiers. Telle est la mésaventure d’Alex. Com. Utilisez les calculateurs sur tesaffaires

1st Annual Monnaie Money Financial Literacy Quiz

It is quiz time. Time to see whether you were paying attention to our blog posts FLM_logo_Vert_No_Date_rgbdiscussing financial literacy matters. To take the quiz, you will need a pen or pencil, a promise that you will not cheat by peeking at the answers at the end of the question. Good luck to all.

Q1. Which one of the following is NOT describe a credit union?
a) Members of a credit union are the owners of the financial institution
b) Credit unions offer low interest loans
c) Credit unions only offer sources of credit and low interest loans to its members
d) As compared to regular banks, they are very few credit unions that you walk into to perform regular transactions

A1. c) Credit unions offer a wide range of financial services going beyond credit and low interest loans. Some of the common services to banks include: savings and chequing accounts, online banking, mortgages and financial advice.

Q2. What are the best two ways to avoid paying additional fees when making a withdrawal from your bank account via an automated banking machine?
a) Withdraw the amount of money that you will need for fixed amount of time
b) Use your credit card instead of cash to pay for items
c) Withdraw your money from a machine that only belong to your bank
d) Ask to be exempted from the fees charged by the bank

A2. a) and c) Although all four options are viable to avoid paying additional fees, taking out the money you need for a fixed period and only from your bank’s machine are the best choices. Instead of being charged each time at your bank’s machine, withdraw money that will last you for a fair amount of time.

Q3. The major advantage of using your debit card instead of your credit card when it comes to shopping on a frequent basis:
a) You can spend unlimited amount of money without being charged interest
b) You can be exempt from user fees
c) Debit cards cannot be easily cloned and used by others
d) You can track your spending easier for budget purposes

A3. d) Each time that you select to use your debit card, your bank records when, where and how much money was spent. By accessing your record online or via your monthly statement, you see where your money is going and if you can control your spending.

Q4. Ronald has just received a gift of $1000 from his grandparents. He has an outstanding credit card debt of $200 at 19.99% and has borrowed against his line of credit at the bank where he owes $850 at 17.99%. Before depositing the sum of money, his grandmother insists that the gift should be a contribution to buying a pre-used car for him to drive to work. What is the best option for Ronald to do with his gift?
a) Honour his grandmother’s wishes and buy the car
b) Place $1000 in a high yield savings account
c) Pay off his credit card debt
d) Repay the money he borrowed from the line of credit

Q5. Upon checking your email, you notice that you have received a reoccurring message from your bank indicating that you have $250 waiting to be transferred into your chequing account. To satisfy your curiosity, you decide to open one of the emails where you find a message asking you to visit a website where you need to provide your bank account information to ensure that the money is deposited into your account. What do you do next?
a) Close and delete the email
b) Visit the website and provide the required information to complete the transfer
c) Forward the email to friends and family who use the same bank
d) Report that you are receiving the emails to your bank and the police

A5. d) A bank will never email you to inform you that money is waiting to be transferred into any account.   As a result, you should report to your bank and the police that you are a target of bank fraud.

Q6. Carol has started her career in marketing and earns $40,000 per year. Her plan is to start saving for her retirement; however, she would like to have money available in case of emergencies. Which of the following is the safest and convenient place for her savings?
a) Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)
b) Mutual Funds
c) Registered Retirement Savings Account (RRSP)
d) At home in a glass jar

A6. a) A TFSA fits the needs of Carol because it allows her money to grow over time in a relatively safe investment where money can be withdrawn at any time without incurring a penalty. Selecting a RRSP restricts her from pulling out any cash unless she wishes to pay tax on income earned on the investment in the account.

Q7. In the event that there is a financial crisis in Canada and all banks fall into bankruptcy, how much of a $250,000 savings account is insured?
a) $0
b) $60,000
c) $100,000
d) $250,000

A7. c) Regardless of how much money that you have in your savings accounts, The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, a Canadian federal Crown corporation, insures Canadians’ deposits held at Canadian banks up to $100,000 in case of a bank failure.

Q8. The primary purpose of the Bank of Canada is:
a) To insure that all bank machine are well stocked with money
b) To be last option for Canadians to obtain a loan when other banks do not extent credit and loans
c) To be only issuer of paper money in Canada
d) To offer and insure all mortgages for Canadians

A8. c) As an user of the Canadian banking system, you will never have direct contact with the Bank of Canada.   Some of the bank’s main responsibilities are: issuing paper money in Canada, setting monetary policy and being the central bank for the federal government.

L’équipe Monnaie Money et Conférence nationale sur la littératie financière

L’équipe Monnaie Money était à Vancouver la semaine dernière à la Conférence nationale sur la littératie financière.

« Collaborer pour améliorer la littératie financière »

Quelques sujets abordés lors de la conférence :

  • Façons de faire progresser la question des indicateurs de littératie financièreFinlitConference
  • Résultats préliminaires de la deuxième Enquête canadienne sur les capacités financières
  • Exemples de collaboration réussie
  • Pratiques exemplaires en matière d’évaluation de programmes
  • Lancement d’une ressource nationale pour la littératie financière
  • Études de cas relatives à l’évolution du comportement financier

Ce fut une excellente occasion de réseauter avec d’autres organisations dans le secteur de la littératie financière.

Des discussions de groupes ont été organisées par le Comité directeur national pour faire des recommandations sur la littératie financière. Nous avons vraiment apprécié la présentation des jeunes de l’Enactus Collège Saint-Lawrence, Manage Your Money, ainsi que les différents sujets sur le comportement financier qui ont été apporté sur le raisonnement derrière certaines décisions avec l’argent.

Bravo à l’ Agence de la consommation en matière financière du Canada et à tous les individus et organismes concernés.

La littératie financière au Canada est certainement dans la bonne direction.

Monnaie Money At The National Conference on Financial Literacy

The Monnaie Money team was out west in Vancouver last week for the National Conference on Financial Literacy. The theme of the conference was “Strengthening Financial Literacy Through Collaboration”.

Conference topics included:

1) Exploring ways to move the dial on financial literacy indicatorsFinlitConference
2) Preliminary results from “The 2nd Canadian Financial Capability Survey
3) Examples of successful collaboration
4) Best practices in program evaluation
5) The launch of The National Financial Literacy Resource
6) Case studies in changing financial behaviour

It was a great opportunity to network with other organizations in the financial literacy industry.  Focus groups were held to make recommendations to the National Financial Literacy Steering Committee.

We really enjoyed the presentation from the youth the Enactus St. Lawrence College, “Manage Your Money Project”. In addition, we were interested in the various topics on financial behaviour which focused on why we make certain decisions when it comes to money. Bravo to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and to all the individual and agencies involved.

Financial Literacy in Canada is definitely heading in the right direction.

8 Things That Financial Literacy Can Do For You

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada  Several organizations across the FLM_logo_Vert_No_Date_rgbcountry are holding various events to promote the importance of financial literacy skills.   From contests to workshops, learning the basic money management skills and being aware of threats to one’s wallet in terms of fraud schemes and scams are essential.   Becoming a better money manager is an investment that you can reap the benefits in the short and long term if you are willing to acquire the necessary skills and remaining informed.

Below are 8 results that can be seen when one selects to become financial literate.

1. Know where your money is coming and going

By creating a monthly budget, you can track your cash flow. From your pay cheque or pension benefits to groceries expenses, your budget will tell you the level of surplus or debt that you must manage. This financial literacy skill will assist you in making decisions such as how much you should put aside in a savings account or reducing expenses to avoid going into further debt.

2. Control your spending

Using a credit card to go shopping can be dangerous. Credit cards can prompt you to spend money that may not have in the bank. By being aware of your access to credit and interest rates, you can control your spending knowing the short and long term consequences of going into debt. Instead of using a credit card, you may select to use your debit card or cash to shop.

3. Prepare for your financial future

Do you have plans to buy a house? Would you like to retire comfortably? The financial literacy skill of long term saving is essential. Knowing how much to save per month and types of investment tools that are available to you is a responsibility that must be taken seriously and requires discipline. For young individuals, financial literacy will instruct you to start saving and investing early to benefit from compound interest over a long period time. Middle-age individuals will have the ability to shelter their money from taxes and retired individuals should be able to reduce debt levels and better manage funds given increasing household expenses.

4. Manage your debt

One of the major needs for financial literacy is dealing with debt. From avoiding the use of debt (i.e., credit cards, personal loans, etc.) to understanding interest payments, being able to deal with debt can make life easier from a personal finance point of view.

5. Increase your awareness of potential fraud

Fraud prevention is an aspect of financial literacy. In order to protect yourself from financial fraud, it is wise to be aware of the common and prevailing approaches that fraudsters gain access to your personal and banking information. March is Fraud Prevention Month, when the Competition Bureau of Canada executes their campaign to share tips to avoid fraud of all kinds.

6. Have your money work for you

Want to have your money work for you? If so, then it is time to become more informed on the different types of investment avenues for your needs. By understanding the different options and respective their benefits and pitfalls, you can decide where to put your money to watch it grow over time.

7. How to best use credit

We all have access to credit in different forms such as credit cards, personal loans and mortgages which entails incurring debt. To avoid the difficulties that are linked to going to debt via using credit, it is best to have the skills to know the best situations to use credit and sound strategies to pay back money with the least amount of interest.

8. Understand how banks work

The majority of your money is probably is in a bank; however, do you know how your bank manages your deposits? What type of products and services that you can benefit from to help to your money to grow? By becoming more financial literate, you will be able to compare difference banks in terms of what they offer and decide to move your money to another financial institution to meet your financial goals.

Acquiring the basic financial literacy skills to avoid common money management problems is an ongoing process. Although you can gather as much information as you can from different sources and organizations, it is your responsibility to apply the practical tips to improve your financial situation for the future.

Keep informed on what is shared on Twitter regarding financial literacy, click on the hashtags, “finlit” and “financialliteracy

How To Protect To Yourself From A Scam

Have you ever received a text regarding a chance of winning a cruise? Although we all wish that it would be a dream come true, it could be the beginning of a nightmare. According to the verified mobile phone community, Truecaller, approximately US$8.6 billion were solicited from Americans via phone scams in 2013. Although you may say to yourself “How could people fall for text fraud?”, the truth is that some individuals are not aware of how current fraud artists operate using a variety of methods and communication tools.

Whether it be phone, mail, text, email or debit / credit card fraud, the best way to protect scamsyourself from being a victim is to identify the scam and be able to do not fall for the bait.

Below lists the different types of scams and what you should look out for when you are approached by fraudsters.

Identity Scams

Identity scams begin by fraudsters obtaining personal information via the internet or telephone, or via fax or regular mail. As a result, be particularly wary of unsolicited e-mails, texts, telephone calls or mail attempting to extract personal or financial information from you. When using a debit or credit card, it is safer to swipe your cards yourself than it is to allow a cashier to do it for you. In circumstances that you are asked to hand over the card, be sure that you never lose sight of it.

Debit Card Fraud

If you select to use a debit card for the majority of your purchases, then you are a target of debit card fraud. Signs of how fraudsters may execute their scam on you are: asking you if they can swipe the card on your behalf, having independent bank machines in usual and dark places, watching you punching in your personal identification number (PIN) into the payment terminal. If you have a lost or someone has stolen you card, be sure to report it to your bank.

Credit Card Fraud

Whether it is buying a shirt at a small clothing boutique or a CD from a music group’s website with a credit card, you may be susceptible a scam by having your information stolen. To prevent this unfortunate circumstance from happening, be sure to: look for small charges to your card, avoid buying items on websites that are not secured. (Please Note: Secure websites have their addresses start with ‘https//:’ once you have selected to log onto the site). If you choose to use the credit card only in stores, be aware of i) individuals that will ask you to reconfirm the number and ii) the return of your card. Some fraudsters will attempt to swap your card with a dummy card once they have the information to use the card elsewhere.

E-mail Fraud / Phishing

If you have an email account and subscribe to electronic newsletters, chances are that your address will be obtained by e-mail fraudsters or “phisers”. Phisers attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an e-mail. The e-mail will have an urgent request for personal or financial information. It is important to remember that financial institutions and credit card companies normally will not use e-mail to ask for or confirm existing client’s information.

Mass Marketing

Mass marketing scams can be seen in various forms, however; individuals are more prone to be victims of charity, prize pitch and telemarketing fraud.

Although there are various worthy charities to donate to, be aware of individuals that claim to represent a charity and is not able to provide verifiable identification and will pressure you into donating money. Legitimate fund-raisers will not push you to give on the spot.

Prize pitch scams are highly effective since everyone enjoys winning a prize, however, it comes with a catch. If you need to provide personal information to claim the prize, think twice. It may be too good to be true.

Telemarketing scams are the most efficient frauds to execute. To identify whether the offer that is being made is legitimate, ask the individual on the other end of phone to provide all the information that is available on the company, especially contact information for two managers. If the individual is unable to reply to request, end the conversation and clearly indicate that you do not wish to be contacted again.

Being a victim of a scam is very unpleasant. Not only do scams leave you with less money in your bank account, they will strip you of your dignity.

The best way to prevent the two from happening is to inform yourself of all the proven and successful scams that are executed on and off the internet.