April 20th, 2016 is Talk with our Kids About Money

Be sure to circle April 20th, 2016 on your calendar.  It is  Talk with our Kids About Money Day.

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This day is set aside to focus on  encouraging and supporting parents, guardians, and teachers to start or continue such talks with youth. Canada’s Task Force on Financial Literacy noted that improving financial literacy was a shared responsibility, that it would be a lifelong process, and that it was important for financial education to be provided in our public schools.

Visit the Talk with our Kids About Money website here.

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7 Signs That It Is Time to Talk to Financial Planner

Seeking professional help is always good thing.   Whether it is seeing a doctor for an financial-planningannual check-up or a dreaded visit to the dentist, we entrust professionals to monitor and manage various aspects of our lives for our own benefit.

Working with a financial planner is no different.   Although it does not rank as important as having access to a doctor, a financial planner can offer individuals various benefits in terms of money management through various periods of one’s life.

One of myths that some individuals have about working with financial planner is that you have to be wealthy. Not true. Deciding to work a planner is a process in which individuals should sit down and consider it if they experience the following seven signs.

1 – Having long term goals for your money

Whether it be having a house when you are 55 years old or being well off before you retire, long term financial goals are attainable especially with the assistance of a planner. With a clear idea of what you can do in terms of saving and investing money, a financial planner can provide you with right approach and tools to enable to reach your goals.

2 – Steady flow of incoming cash

If you are fortunately to be working full-time and relatively debt-free, you probably want to make your incoming cash work for you. If that is the case, you may want to see what a financial planner can do for you.   Knowing that you have a steady amount of money to invest on a monthly basis, a planner can recommend the appropriate strategy to help your money grow.

3 – Extra cash in accounts

Have you opened many savings and chequing accounts over years and want to do something with the cash? Why not consolidate the money and put it in the hands of a financial planner.   The planner will not only make the extra month grow but you have the peace of mind that the money is in one place.

4 – Not happy with your returns on savings account

Although there is nothing wrong with trying to managing your savings on your own, you may have a limited amount of knowledge and time to make your money thrive.   See small returns at the end of the month should prompt you to start looking for professional help. By either placing your savings in a high interest account or tax free savings account, the planner is in the best position to invest the money based on your needs and how comfortable you are with risk in terms of investing for the years to come.

5 – Planning for retirement

Want to retire comfortably without being concerned about paying for monthly expenses?   You may want to work with a financial planner to establish a retirement plan.   Taking into account that both government pension plans may not be sustainable going into the future, having access to a planner may allow you to have registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and or a tax free savings plan (TFSA) that are carefully built might be the best alternative for you.

6 – Understanding personal financial tools

Do you know what income splitting is? Are blue chip mutual funds the best for your portfolio? There are quite a few personal financial tools that are thrown around at tax filing time that may sound interesting and beneficially to you, however; there are not explained clearly. Sitting down with a financial planner will permit you to have a t personal financial tools that are thrown around at tax filing time that may sound interesting and beneficially to you, however; there are not explained clearly. Sitting down with a financial planner will permit you to have a tutorial on all the tools that have been discussed in the news and used by others in your age group and or financial situation.

 7 – Preparing for your family future

Having a family is costly process and money needs to be managed properly.   From paying the rent to paying for college or university, a parent must plan how money will be saved and invested in order for the expenses to be covered in the future. By working with a financial planner, you will an individual that will put your money away in the right places knowing that it is for your family future at the right time,

In the next column, I will discuss some of the questions that you should ask when you first meet with a financial planner.

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.

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

7 Tips To Becoming A Better Money Manager For School

As a student, the amount of money that you invest in your education is well worth it; il_570xN.512087816_piq4however, it can be very expensive.    The reality is that the price of a good education will slowly increase in the upcoming years.  As a result, you will be faced with a choice to take on further debt to finance your studies or become a better money manager for school.

Here are 7 practical tips that you can use to manage your finances while in school.

1. Know Your Costs

In order for you to become a better manager of money, you have to know your costs.  Similar to an owner of a store, being aware of where your money is going is essential.   Besides tuition and other fees, it is a good idea to identify the costs which comes along with attending school.  These include books and other learning materials, club memberships, etc.  The key advantage of knowing these related school costs is that you can find cheaper alternatives or be able to share the expenses with friends.   For example, you can purchase used textbooks, share the costs of copying notes, etc.

2. Prepare Your Budget

With the knowledge that you have regarding your costs, you have to prepare your budget.   Not only will your budget consider tuition, books and other fees you have to account for food, rent and personal items (assuming that you are not still at home).

3. Earn More Money

At the end of your budgeting task, you will see how much money that you have to either save for the future or use for pocket.   If you do have money, consider yourself fortunate.  If you have a deficit, (when your income cannot cover your costs), then you might have to earn money.    This might entail searching a job (if you do not have one yet), getting a second job, or working more hours.    Remember, the goal at this point is not to become rich but to cover additional costs going forward in your academic career.

4. Find Savings

Managing money, whether you are first year student or a graduate, should lead you to sitting down and trying to find ways to save money for the short and long term.   One thing that you can look at to save money is what you purchase in terms of food and beverages.  For instance, instead of buying a lunch at the cafeteria or coffee at the nearby coffee shop, bring your food and drink from home.   Buying food products in bulk and preparing them at home will assist in keeping more money in your pocket on a weekly and monthly basis.

5. Make Sacrifices

With a limited amount of money as a student, you will have to make some sacrifices especially when it comes to your social life.   Instead of going out with your friends on a regular basis, you may want to restrain yourself given your budget and find other options to be with friends and entertained.   Sacrifices  will have be made in terms of new clothing  despite of hot new fashion trends that other students are wearing.

6. Know How To Use Credit

If you have a credit card, know how to use it wisely as a student.   Credit cards are forms of instant loans that will be have to be paid back quickly to avoid interest charges.  One golden rule is that you should not use your credit card unless there is or will be enough funds in your bank account when payment is due.  In addition, avoid using credit to pay for everyday items as it will become a habit that you may not be able to control.

7. Know Your Student Loan Conditions

Not only does a student loan bring funding for your education but it brings the responsibility of knowing the conditions of the loan agreement.   Being aware of the terms and conditions may afford you to pay off the loan at a lower interest or obtain additional funding in the future.

Financing your studies is similar to running a business.   Sound management of money is needed to meet goals and avoid difficulties that may arise in the future.

8 Money Management Tips For The Gift Giving Season

According to the 2012 Bank of Montreal report, “Holiday Spending Outlook”, Canadians giftswas expected to spend an average of $1,610 last holiday season – up from $1,397 in 2011.  To be specific, an average of $674 was allocated to gift purchases in Canada.  On the provincial front, it was forecasted that $359 was going to be spent by Quebecers.  Unfortunately for some individuals, spending even half of $359 is beyond their means which usually leads to going into debt when they cannot afford gifts.

For those who wish to avoid the consequences of overspending on gifts, here are 8 practical money management tips to follow on an annual basis.

1.    Make  Lists

Although you would like to be generous and give everyone you know gifts at holiday time, you have to be realistic.  Consider making two lists of individuals that you should buy a gift for and who you hope to give to.   Understand that there is a big difference between the two lists.  Individuals that you should buy for are family members and friends who are close to you and individuals that you hope to give to are people that have done something special for you during the year. When planning what to buy for family members and close friends, do not be shy to ask them what they need instead of guessing what they would like for a gift.

2.    Prepare A Budget

With the two distinct lists that you have created, you can allocate an amount of money that you feel comfortable spending.   The amount of money will be your budget for the gift giving season.  There are a variety of ways to set your budget which includes: assigning a dollar amount for each person on your lists, taking a percentage of the money that you have coming in a month or using any savings that you have specifically for shopping.    It is essential that if you have a budget, stick to it.

3.    Save Your Money

Whether it is one month or one week before the holidays, it is never too late to save your money to buy gifts.  Saving your money could entail anything from not buying your daily cup of coffee to avoiding purchasing an item of clothing for yourself.   The money saved will go a long way to pay for bills that associated with holiday gifts.

4.    Use Cash

With your budget in hand, be sure to go to the bank to withdraw cash.  By using cash, it will prevent you for overspending and impulse buying.  Leaving your debit or credit card at home will assist you in staying with your budget and having your list of individuals expand automatically.

5.    Start Shopping Early

It is always wise to start your shopping early.    By shopping early, you can take advantage of sales that are available in the fall months and it allows you to comparison shop for the best deals amongst the different retail stores.

6.    Research Before You Spend

Shopping early affords you the ability to conduct research on items that you wish to buy.  Not only do you have the power to comparison shop, you can use the web to search for reviews on what you are planning to buy.  This can be handy when purchasing anything from books to electronics.

7.    Shop Alone

To avoid overspending at holiday time, consider going shopping alone.   Although it may be anti-social, shopping alone will prevent you from going to stores that you are not planning to shop in and spent your money.  With your list and cash in hand, you can map out the stores that you need to enter to buy your gifts.

8.    Use Gift Cards

Although some individuals may consider gift cards impersonal and demonstrates a lack of thought, the cards are great for adhering to budgets.   Gift cards are available at different prices that could fit in anyone’s budget.  It is up to you to select the best store to buy the gift card from based on what the person likes and their interests.

The holiday season is intended to appreciate family and friends which can be demonstrated by giving gifts that should be dependent on not overspending and going into an unmanageable amount of debt.

Concours de Rédaction Élèves du 5 ième Secondaire

Pour la semaine canadienne d’information sur le crédit, un concours de rédaction a été lancé pour encourager les jeunes à prendre conscience de leur gestion financière. Les élèves du 5ième secondaire sont invites a écrire une rédaction de 1000 mots, texte original relatant la décision la plus stupide que vous ayez prise en matière de gestion financière et les leçons que vous en avez retiré.

  • Un (1) Grand Prix : le Participant sélectionné ayant obtenu la plus haute notation parmi les Rédactions éligibles sera éligible au grand prix de 5 000 $ gracieuseté de la filiale canadienne de la Banque Capital One;
  • Trois (3) Deuxième prix : Les Participants sélectionnés ayant obtenu les 2ième, 3ième et 4ième notations les plus élevées parmi le Rédactions éligibles seront chacun éligible à l’obtention d’un prix de 3 000 $, gracieuseté des commanditaires Platine et Or;
  • Huit (8) Troisième prix : Les Participants sélectionnés ayant obtenu les meilleures huit prochaines meilleures notations seront chacun éligibles à l’obtention d’un prix de 2500 $ gracieuseté des commanditaires Argent.
  • (13) prix la quatrième place – Les participants sélectionnés qui ont soumis les treize prochaines meilleures notations seront chacun éligibles à l’obtention d’un prix de  1000 $, gracieuseté des commanditaires Bronze et sponsors Ami.

Visitez le site: http://www.cewc.ca/French/french-student-essay-contest-rules

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