The Canadian Banks Are Not Working For You


From a shareholders perspective, the Canadian banks have been one of the safest and strongest performers in recent history. They were able to glide through the global economic downturn with relative ease, and continue to deliver exceptional returns each year. From a customer perspective, the Canadian banks are pushing their borrowers deeper and deeper into debt. Canadians are now carrying record high consumer debt, often paying 20% interest rates on their credit card balance, while the big five banks’ profits have ballooned, eclipsing over $30 billion in 2014. Think there’s a relation between the continuing household debt with the Banks…

Are You Guilty of Misplaced Frugality?


Let's start things off with a story about a former boss of mine, a small business owner who was just trying to make ends meet. He knew I was a fellow cheapskate, so he'd tell me all about the things he'd do to save a buck. He would add water to the liquid hand soap in the bathroom. He bought desks and chairs from businesses that went under. He insisted on a scrap paper pile that people could use for notes, rather than throwing it out. We each had a long-distance code; those who made too many calls on the company…

How We Paid Off $110,000 of Mortgage Debt Over 14 Months


We took on risk on a very large mortgage debt load, and subsequent financial gamble in the summer of 2013. We were looking to move to a rural property. Our desire to live in an urban centre (Peterborough, Ontario), over time, transitioned to a desire to live in the "country" with all that "country life" has to offer. So, in June of 2013 we purchased our dream home. Our property sits on just over an acre of land on a lot that is partially treed and provides plenty of space for our kids to play outside, to raise a garden and to relax…

Condo Living: How to survive and thrive in small spaces


Wouldn't it be nice to finally de-clutter and downsize everything you own to the bare minimum? I've had this goal for as long as I can remember. Vehicles? All I need is a truck or an SUV and a bike. Gadgets? Just give me a reliable laptop for work/entertainment and a tablet for communication/reading. Clothes? Just a handful of the best ones I own that are of good quality, so I can use them as long as possible. But it’s harder than it looks folks, especially if you have a large house filled to the brim with stuff. If you…

Kids and Money: The Allowance Debate


In the United States, April is Financial Literacy Month. Whether or not you live in the States, it's a good time to review your own financial practices -- and consider the type of financial education your children receive. When it comes to kids and money, there is no replacement for the allowance debate. As you consider how to approach allowance with your children, here are some things to think about. There's no right or wrong answer; instead, think about what philosophy you best agree with, and what works best for your family. Give Your Children Money to Manage Most of…

6 Conveniences We Forget to Be Grateful For


Gratitude is good for you.  It makes you healthier, happier and yes, even wealthier.  But there are some things most of us take for granted, unless they are taken from us. Here are six conveniences we forget we have, because they are so much a part of our lives.  Hot and cold running water, with indoor porcelain. Indoor plumbing didn't take hold in America, even in the White House, until the 1830's.  Prior to 1885, no US city had a large scale sewage system. Not until the 1930's did rural American homes (for the most part) have access to indoor…