August 12, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

Many times when thinking about our budget, and how much we have left-over for spending on our wants, we forget about the irregular expenses or unexpected costs that pop up. That is why having a detailed budget (with an appropriately sized miscellaneous category) along with an emergency savings fund is essential to keeping us out of debt. Let’s review some of the commonly forgotten costs that can lead to financial hot water:

August 5, 2014

By Margaret H. Johsnson

Double doubles, donuts and debt make for a nice breakfast, no?

CIBC and Tim Hortons have partnered up to offer the new CIBC Tim Hortons Double Double Visa Card. This fancy new credit card has some flashy features - it is both a Visa card to use anywhere Visa is accepted and a Tim Hortons card to redeem towards coffee, donuts and more. And the novel feature is that is has buttons on the card that you push to change between the two types of cards. But wait, there’s more! If the buttons haven’t sold you already, you may be persuaded to get this card for the rewards offer: earn 1% in Tim Cash on all Visa purchases, which is immediately loaded onto the Double Double Tim Card.

Now I’m sure thousands of Canadian Tim’s lovers will be rushing out to get this card, but I suggest a bit of caution before jumping into a new credit card. Ask yourself these questions before filling out the credit application:

July 29, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

Does anyone remember the 5 year plans from the old socialist USSR? The west used to mock these 5 year plans with great glee for lacking the most important principle to a thriving economy – namely - competition. Supply and demand was the ultimate standard for comparison between communist countries and western democracies. Supply and demand only functioned well in a free market that allowed prices (and profits) to be subjected to the power of choice (by the public.) If you produced a good product and the public liked it, then this would create demand. Prices would partly be determined by how many people liked the product (demand) and how much of the product was available (supply).

July 22, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

What if you were nervous to open up your mailbox because you would be reminded of your deceased child? 

Personally, I can’t even imagine this scenario; however, a parent featured in a recent news story was going through this every day when Bell Canada was attempting to collect a debt owed by her deceased daughter. Christine West of Ontario lost her daughter, Katie, to suicide in December of 2011. Katie’s cell phone with Bell Canada had an outstanding balance of approximately $215, and for three years the company attempted to collect it, even though she had passed away and Christine had provided proof Katie’s death certificate to Bell (numerous times).

July 15, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

When people are struggling with credit card debt, lines of credit and other unsecured debt, they have a few options available to help them. One popular choice is to refinance your home (if you own it with enough equity) which means to increase your mortgage and use that extra money to pay off your credit cards and unsecured debt. That way the unsecured debt you had will now be part of your mortgage, a secured debt. The benefit to doing this is saving money on interest, thus making it more affordable to repay. Mortgages these days have very low interest rates, thanks in part to being a less risky loan for the banks because they are secured by the home. If you cannot make your payments, the bank simply repossesses your home to recover its money. In contrast, credit cards can have much higher interest rates and make repayment of the debt very difficult.

Remember, if you are experiencing financial difficulties do not wait. Call Solutions Credit Counselling at 1(877)588-9491 or fill out our Debt Consolidation Questionnaire and get your Free Credit Counselling Advice today.

For more information visit Debt Canada - your Canadian credit education centre.

If you are a woman in debt, speak with Women and Money first. We specialize in helping women with their personal and business financeMoney management advice you can count on!

We have created this website for public use. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is current and accurate. However, users of this website should verify information before making decisions. We do not provide legal advice, and the information provided on or through this website should not be seen as such. If you have a legal problem, we encourage you to contact a Lawyer in your community for assistance.