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Personal finance matters as they pertain to saving money, living within your means and using CalendarBudget to solve your personal finance problems and to manage your money online.

My favorite debt commercial

My favorite debt commercial

From Lendingtree.com --> http://youtube.com/watch?v=hn5EP9StlVA

This is the mantra I expect most people with really large houses and new vehicles would be singing if the truth were told.

Consumer culture is killing us. I refer everyone to a previous post on Living within your means.

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Pressure sales - No Way!

Pressure sales - No Way!

Scenario: We were recently married (and naive), and invited to a "seminar" about vacation packages. We would get a voucher at the end of the seminar for $250 to use at a vacation resort. Sounds great! We can sit through a seminar, no problem. It will be the easiest $250 ever!

Reality: The seminar is a pressure sales situation. The "seminar" part of it lasts only 30 minutes, then they are 1 on 1 with us trying to convince us how great their product is and get us to buy into it. We resist. They start to become a little rude, and lay down guilt trips. Why did we come if we weren't interested? How did our names get on the list? Why are we wasting this salesman's time if we're not going to buy?

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Celebrating the little things

Celebrating the little things

Having watched the DVD "The Secret" with my wife, and agreeing on most of the points made therein, we now often joke about their example of  "getting a check in the mail". For example, if we had budgetted $150 for our electricity bill and the bill comes in at only $130, to us, this is a $20 check in the mail.

We've found that we can celebrate these little things by using the plans from our budget. Of course we are looking for ways to continuously save money and become more efficient, but these little celebrations really help!

These mini celebrations help keep our attitudes positive and our minds on the goal of becoming financially independent. Now, paying our bills is less of a burden, because we're excited to see if a bill is actually a "check in the mail".

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Loan Consolidation and Debt Elimination

Loan Consolidation and Debt Elimination

If you have several debts such as Credit Card, Mortgage, Line of Credit and Personal Loan, chances are these each have a different interest rate. If possible, you can "pay off" the higher interest debts by adding more debt to the lower interest ones.

For example, if you have $5,000 debt on you credit card at 16% interest, and have a line of credit @ 7% interest with $9,000 (but has room for $20,000) it would be in your best interest to pay off the credit card debt by adding $5,000 to your line of credit.

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Paying off mortgage in retirement?

Paying off mortgage in retirement?

Interesting article from Financial Times on a trend away from buying a house early in life due to increasing cost of housing.

Interesting article from Financial Times on a trend away from buying a house early in life due to increasing cost of housing.

This highlights the need for proper personal financial management, education and budgeting early in life. If you don't have these basic skills coming out of college/university, it can be a real challenge.

This education is typically free, so you have to get it. Talk to any financial planner, the internet is filled with links about it. This blog outlines some points, but is in nowise complete. My personal favorite is Personal Finance for Dummies :) A great intro and straight to the point.

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Provident Living

Provident Living

A new financial preparedness website with sections on budgeting, financial management, emergency preparedness, food storage, and more.

This is a great site with lots of tools to help you stay prepared. It has sections on budgeting, financial management, emergency preparedness, food storage, etc. I haven't been through the whole site, but it seems to contain tons of great info!

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A common "cents" break from the government

A common "cents" break from the government

There is a new Children's Fitness Tax Credit from the Canadian government.

My wife has been wondering about this new Children's Fittness Tax Credit from the Canadian government. She just didn't understand how it actually applied to me. After some study of a couple pages on the internet she realized it's not as good as she was hoping it to be... but it's still good.

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Grocery savings of over $500

Grocery savings of over $500

My wife recently found a great sale on cereal at a local grocery store... It turns out that she saved our family just under $600.

The store was Price Choppers. It was for 3 boxes of Post cereal for $5. It worked out to be almost 3 for the price of 1.

She purchased 180 boxes ($300 worth!) and was very strangely looked at for purchasing such a large amount (even had to get store manager approval for such a large purchase). 

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The Next Millionaires

The Next Millionaires

In our personal finances, we typically have a relatively fixed set of resources (our income, assets, etc), but the technology we use to manage these resources can make all the difference.

I recently read the book The Next Millionaires by Paul Pilzer. Its a great book on the new economics that will shape our generation and challenges many old economic principles. One of the great gems I found was an equation that Paul discovered.

W = P * T

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I Need My Big Screen TV!

I Need My Big Screen TV!

I heard it said the other day that all guys need a big screen TV. Of course it was said as a joke, but it highlights the mindset many people have. We confuse our wants with our needs and end up being unable to prioritize our spending properly.

Our needs consist of food and shelter and true needs associated with those. Perhaps there are a few others depending on where you live, your religion, etc... but we should not be getting to the point where we need the big screen TV.

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All debt is bad right?

All debt is bad right?

We all have to borrow money to get ahead in life... there's no escaping it. Its important when borrowing money (taking on debt) that you understand the difference between "good debt" and "bad debt"

Until we are independently wealthy, we all have to borrow money to get ahead in life... there's no escaping it. Its important when borrowing money (taking on debt) that you understand the difference between "good debt" and "bad debt" and try to avoid bad debt.

Bad debt is borrowing money for something that depreciates (becomes less valuable) over time. Most purchases fall into this category. Think about the following: automobile, television, computer. Each of these things are instantly worth less when you buy them and with time they are always worth less and less. You should plan to not buy these items on borrowed money. If you purchase bad debt items with borrowed money, you always lose. Here's how:

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Living Within Your Means

Living Within Your Means

Budgeting can be rephrased as "living within your means". When you plan to spend less than you earn, you plan for success.

Budgeting can be rephrased as "living within your means". When you plan to spend less than you earn, you plan for success. The phrase "live within your means" is one shouted by prophets and the financially prudent; a clarion call that oft falls on deaf ears. Looking at a typical budget, you see income at the top, followed by expenses and your net income at the bottom. If your net income is either negative (in the red) or below a comfortable threshold you have only 2 options:

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Instant Gratification Society

Instant Gratification Society

We live in an Instant Gratification society!
Every day, our minds are bombarded with messages that not only can we instantly get what we want, but that we deserve to instantly get it.

Instant cereal.
Instant message.
Instant pain relief.
Instant credit.

We live in an Instant Gratification society!

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