Saturday, January 21, 2012

Think Yourself Richer

When it comes to improving our finances we could all learn a few lessons from the world’s wealthy, says Iwona Tokc-Wilde

Financial independence can mean many things: being able to buy exactly what you want; living debt-free; being able to take a sabbatical from work. But, at its core, it means pretty much the same to all of us: complete freedom from financial worry.

So why do so few people attain it? It’s time to find out which of these psychological barriers is stopping you…

You don’t know the real value of money

A recent study shows that although 50 per cent of us have a savings account, more than a third don’t know what interest rate they’re currently earning. But it pays to pay attention to these details, says Kelley Keehn, personal finance expert and author of The Money Book For Everyone Else:

“The wealthy enjoy spending their money but they also respect it and know how to keep it – they read their credit card and bank statements, negotiate rates, ask for discounts and read their restaurant bill before paying. Billionaire Warren Buffet still drives his old Ford pick-up truck.”

Read the full article here:

From Sense Magazine in the UK

Friday, January 13, 2012

Interest Rates Hit a New All Time Low - Why You Should Care

We Canadians have been pretty spoiled with relatively low rates for some time. But as of yesterday, The Bank of Montreal announced it is lowering its rate on five-year fixed mortgages to 2.99 per cent, an all-time record low in Canada.

This recent announcement is likely to spur competition with our rival banks according to a recent Huffington Post article.

The question is, why should you care?

Read the full article here:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kelley Keehn’s Top 5 Money Resolutions for 2012 - The Marilyn Denis Show

Click on the picture to view the video.

Kelley Keehn’s Top 5 Money Resolutions for 2012 - The Marilyn Denis Show (and a few more that weren't covered in the show)

1. Just say NO - no new consumer debt. Create a detailed family "needs"
and "wants" list for the year ahead.

2. Know when to reward yourself, but set the rules up to win. PLAN your spending as much as your savings.

3. Be smart about your rewards cards and read the fine print. Are you paying more in annual fees than your rewards are worth?

4. Spend less and save more. Start a RRSP or monthly forced savings now. Or, increase your mortgage payment by $50 a month.

5. Track your spending twice a year for a month with a friend and analyze each other's spending. Reserve judgment but offer and be open to constructive feedback.

6. Start a money club. Meet quarterly and talk all things money - books, resources and more.

7. Set your family's financial goals and create visuals like goal thermometers and incentives for each family member sticking to and reaching their goals.

8. Vow to flex your financial self-esteem muscles - negotiate, ask for a discount, track deals

9. Do a complete financial audit once a year - review areas such as insurance, phone, cable, cell bills, credit card interest rates and annual fees, etc. and see where you can trim the fat

10. Get organized - know the facts and figures of YOUR financial situation (what did your RRSP portfolio return last year? when does your mortgage renew and what's your rate?)