Comparison sites have been around a long time; you’ve almost certainly used some yourself. Have you ever searched for a trip on Expedia or Kayak? I do it all the time, you can usually save a few hundred dollars on trips you’re planning. They’re also great research tools to help plan and budget your trips.
Have you ever bought anything on Amazon or eBay? Me too! You’d be foolish to buy something online and not consult these sites for price comparisons. You’d also be foolish to not check a site like Ebates to get an even further discount on your trips or products or money back.
While the above-mentioned sites work great for 90% of our purchasing. They unfortunately don’t help us with big ticket items like insurance and mortgages. Insurance typically is worth thousands of dollars and mortgages are often in the hundreds of thousands. You can save more on these than you would on almost any other purchase, besides the houses and cars themselves. Apparently, Canadians just don’t do this. According to a recent study by LowestRates.ca only 8% of respondents used a comparison site to source their most recent mortgage! WHAT?!?
Why would no one use these financial comparison sites?
Money tips for any age
Here are four money tips that you will either have success with, or you will regret not following. The choice is yours!
Never finance depreciating assets
If you’re borrowing money and the asset depreciates in value you’re paying much more than you think. Debt is not a bad thing if used correctly. If you use it to purchase properties that increase in value it can be worth it. You can borrow at 3% on a mortgage and you gain 4% each year on average on that house value, your net worth will still be increasing. If you buy stocks on a margin and they gain more than the cost to service your debt, you’re still ahead.
It’s when you buy everyday products on a credit card and don’t pay it off before you incur interest when you fall behind. With a depreciating asset you’re losing money over time on owning the asset and you’re also paying interest to own it. Look at owning a new car for an example. Buying a new car at 0.9% interest is a pretty good deal as far as finance rates go, but you’ll still pay more to lose money. Buying one at 0% is even better, the car will depreciate but you won’t be on the hook for any interest. Read more
How did I change my financial mindset?
My financial mindset has changed over the years. Growing up and always having some kind of income since I was about 10 years old definitely gave me a good work ethic. It also gave me a lot of spending money because as a kid I had no financial obligations. Because of this abundance of spending money, my financial mindset started off terrible. I had no problem buying myself comic books every week or snacks at the corner store. This all lead to probably an excessive spending habit in my later teenage years when I discovered paintball. After playing twice when I was 12 or 13 I went out and spent $400 dollars on an entry level gun and mask. After a few more times, I upgraded my mask to a thermal lense and started to spend more and more on gear. This grew over my teenage years to having 5-6 paintball guns at any given time and countless accessories. Read more
4 New Mortgage rules in Canada are coming!
The newest one actually starts today! Sorry for not giving you a better heads up, but hopefully it’s not too late to let you know about the changes that are coming/here. There are currently 4 new mortgage rules that will be coming into effect over the next few months.
Many people maybe wondering why change the mortgage structure? Well, I don’t really know either, let’s look at a few facts about our economy. Canadian household debt to disposable income has risen to 165.3%. This is just slightly less than the all time high of 165.4% in late 2015. Meanwhile housing pricing are going nuts in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Hamilton. All of those cities’ housing prices have seen double digit growth over the past year. Vancouver is seeing a 22% increase! But even with all that, mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in a long time. Just like the USA in 2008!…oh wait…I think I see the issue now.
In case anyone doesn’t remember 2008, here’s a graph of the S&P 500 for last half of the year. It was MUCH worse for a lot of smaller companies.
Where does the time go! Now we’re three quarters of the way done with 2016 and it seems like I haven’t done anything. So in true procrastination fashion, I’m jamming it all into this last half!
It seems like every year I jam all of my vacations in the last half of the year and try to rush and get my yearly goals done. I took two weekend trips this past quarter with my beauty of a girlfriend. The first one was for my sister and her fiance’s stag and doe party to farmland Ontario. The second was for our good friends and neighbor’s wedding back to my old stomping grounds of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Read more
Passive Income is the best income
Why is passive income the best income? Well first let’s break down what passive income is. Passive income is earnings derived from equity investments such as rental properties, dividends, enterprises, or limited partnerships that you are not directly involved with.
Basically you give someone money and they give you a small amount of money back for an indefinite amount of time. The time could be forever provided the equity in your investment doesn’t go to $0. Passive income can be derived from numerous sources, the majority of which are available to everyone with minimal efforts.
What are some common sources of passive income?
Passive income can come in many varieties. I’ll touch on a few of the most common ones Read more
Andddd here’s another one! The second quarter of 2016 is over and it seems like time is flying WAY faster than normal. There’s not a whole lot to talk about that happened in this quarter but there’s one major thing you may have heard of.
On May 3rd, my second home of Fort McMurray, Alberta was evacuated. Over the next few weeks 15% of the town was burned to the ground and the majority of the city had major smoke damage. I happened to be extremely lucky and wasn’t in town, was scheduled to fly back the morning of May 4th. Which is now starting to become a trend for me, avoiding major disasters by a day. In 2013 my other hometown of Calgary, Alberta had a major flood that caused billions in damages throughout the province only weeks before their biggest tourist attraction, The Calgary Stampede. Luckily, I wasn’t there for that either, flew out of town for 2 weeks the day before it happened and the evacuation order was lifted just before I got back. I’m like a disaster dodger and I really hope that trend doesn’t stop! Read more
There’s tons of websites and guides out there to help you get rich fast. Well here’s another list for you to read, but it has nothing to do with getting rich quick, or even getting rich at all. Here’s 7 ways to NOT become a millionaire as if we NEED more help with that!
- Don’t take advantage of your employer matched GRRSP contributions – This is an instant return on your investment, but you probably don’t want to do it because it’s a hassle or the management fees from the designated broker might be a little higher than your own Canadian Couch Potato Portfolio and you can do better without their money weighing you down. Turning down a 100% return to save 1% is a sure fire step to ensure you do not become a millionaire.
- Don’t negotiate a salary – Employers are ALREADY offering you more then your last job AND they said that’s as high as they’ll go, so you don’t want to make them angry by asking for more. In my day to day work I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and sending job offers to people and they almost never negotiate their salary. This is fantastic from my point of view because I just got an employee on sale for that project.
- Stay in one job miserable job – After all you should be thankful you have one right? Some say that if you stay in your jobs for more than 2 years you can make about 50% less than those who don’t. So that’s a pretty quick way how to not become a millionaire just by staying put.
- Don’t teach yourself about personal finance – They don’t teach us anything in school for a good reason, right? Public school boards totally have our best interests in mind when it comes to teaching us life skills. I constantly use Pythagorean’s theorem and dissect small animals at my job.
You’ll probably want to write down these books to make sure you never accidentally read them: The millionaire teacher, The Wealthy Barber Returns and well really just anything about money, don’t bother with it. School taught you enough, after all you came out of high school knowing how to file your taxes right?
- Keep up with the Joneses – They’re financing everything and so should you! After all it gives everyone the impression you’re doing so much better in life then they are and that’s how you want to live right? Leverage every purchase you make so the majority of your income is going to interest payments and while you’re at it make sure a few of those purchases are on credit cards. The quickest way to never be a millionaire is to always carry a balance from those designer goods on your credit cards so you rack up that 18-21% interest. If you’re paying enough interest each month that’s an excellent way to not become a millionaire!
- Invest in highly volatile stocks and trade with your gut – There’s people that study the markets and world trends for a full time job and they can’t predict how the markets will go, so trading with your gut is the best way to not become a millionaire, right? Just buy and sell as you see fit, you don’t need any training but if you’re going to take some training make sure it’s those from one of those get rich quick guys you might see paying models to promote on Instagram and on some YouTube channels. They’re definitely a scam, so they can certainly help you to not become a millionaire.
- Don’t learn from your mistakes and accept responsibility – Once filed for bankruptcy? It probably was just bad timing in the markets and will never happen again! Definitely repeat those same steps to ensure you’ll never become a millionaire.
3 ways I discovered how to reduce my taxes
I remember a few years ago I read this article online that I now cannot find. It was basically an explanation on how the rich pay much less in taxes as a percentage of their income. I didn’t think too much about trying to reduce my taxes at the time because I had recently graduated university, and was starting my new career in another province. I had too much to worry about before I could worry about trying to reduce my taxes…like getting enough income to start paying taxes. I thought that would be the best place to start! But I think it really stuck with me subconsciously because over the next few years I started to think of multiple “hustles” to help reduce my taxes as I felt this could be another avenue for retaining more money.
So a year has gone by since my first Q1 update and basically since I started this blog. So I’ll be looking back at the entire year to see how I did with my goals. First a quick recap of the year.
I started this blog in the last few days of March in 2015. I started it with the intention of just getting a creative outlet in my life that I can share some thoughts and stuff on my trips and inspire people to start planning their financial futures a little better and earlier then most start to plan. That idea turned into more of a focus on personal finance since my personal life took a big turn and I wasn’t in a good place to talk about it, even typing this now is difficult.