4 simple holiday budget tips for this festive season!

Holiday budget tips

The holidays are here! Which probably means one of two things. You’re either going to plot how to steal Christmas while hiding in your cave because your heart is two sizes too small or you’re going to go broke from spending all your Christmas cheer(and by cheer I mean money…cheer=money in case you didn’t get the memo).

holiday budget

This is what you look like when you’re plotting to steal Christmas. For some reason plotting that makes you hairy and green.

So how can I help you with these issues? I can’t, I’m not a doctor. I have no idea why your heart is like that and you should probably have it looked at immediately. That sounds serious.  Also I can’t keep you from spending your money. That’s something you’re going to have to limit yourself. But here are a few tips on budgeting for the holidays. Read more

What does it cost to drive a kilometer?

What does it cost to drive a kilometer-

Driving can be very expensive. Everyone knows how much they pay for their vehicles and they know how much they pay for gas and insurance and everything else, but does anyone actually add it all up and see how much does it cost to drive a kilometer in their particular mode of transportation?

For me personally, I drive a 2009 Toyota Rav4. I bought the Rav4 used in 2013 after the 14 year old Grand Am that I inherited had everything break in it. Seriously, the AC broke on my drive from Halifax to Calgary in June of 2011 and the heater broke in January 2013. Needless to say, spending several thousand dollars to get them fixed on a car worth maybe $2000 once everything was fixed wasn’t really a great financial decision.

I bought the vehicle because I thought it was the right thing to do. I do need a vehicle occasionally to get certain places that public transit doesn’t reach. Sometimes it’s nice to do a small road trip to the mountains or wherever I want to go.

The cost of the having the vehicle doesn’t bother me, I personally think it was a great deal. I bought it used in 2013 with 69,231 kilometers (43,018 miles) on the odometer, fully loaded, leather seats, spare winter tires and rims, all of the options. It would have cost me just under $22,000 if I have paid for it outright in cash. Everything comparable was several thousand more and the Rav4 had won best in its class for several years running by consumer reports and many Car and Driver comparisons.

Lately I’ve been wondering how “good” a deal I really got for myself or is it just expensive personal travel? I took a look into my old files from when I bought it to find out what it’s currently costing me (and my girlfriend) to drive each kilometer.

So here’s the break down:
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How do you save money?

How do you save money

No really, how do you save money? I’m asking you personally.

Do you have a plan to save money?

Or are you like most of my family and friends and just throw the bulk of it in a “high” interest e-savings account and contribute an arbitrary amount of your income to a high fee RRSP through your banks’ advisor because you didn’t plan first?

I’ve been there! I still am for parts of it but I’m working to fix that and you should too.
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Are you happy about your contribution increase to TFSAs?

contribution increase to TFSAs

If you haven’t heard already, the new 2015 budget was released last Tuesday April 21st, 2015 and it has a HUGE contribution increase to TFSAs (or Tax Free Savings Accounts, for those not aware of them).  We’re talking a 82% increase to our 2015 contribution room. This brings the 2015 contribution room to 10,000 dollars, which is effective immediately!
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