July 2, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

Last week, Vancity (one of the top credit unions in BC) introduced a new product called the Vancity Fair and Fast Loan.

Here’s the good news: it’s a lot cheaper than payday loans. As reported by Kevin Griffin in the Vancouver Sun, “If a credit union member borrows $300 for minimum term of two months and pays it off in two weeks, it would cost $2.20, a 19 per cent annual percentage rate.” Whereas a payday loan from the Cash Store for $300 (with a 14 day term) would cost $69, which is 23% interest on the principal and equates to an annual interest rate of 599.64%.

And here’s the bad news:

June 23, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

Have you ever considered building your own home?  How about a ‘tiny’ home?

Recently I watched a documentary called TINY: A Story About Living Small (http://tiny-themovie.com/).  The film chronicles Christopher Smith and his partner Merete Mueller as Christopher fulfills his dream of designing and building his own home without professional help – a 124 square foot tiny home on wheels!  Government regulations don’t allow homes to be under a certain square footage, hence the home being on wheels. Christopher purchases a plot of land where he and the home can live after its completion. Tiny homes are an interesting concept and they are gaining popularity and media coverage.

June 16, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

We find comfort in the belief that more money would solve all of our problems (or at least most of them). It gives us something to work for (more money), hope for (winning the lottery!), and dream about (what would I do with all of my money?). When it comes to having more money, the possibilities seem endless – you could finally travel, spend more time with your children, buy that fancy car that you deserve, or purchase that lakeside cottage you’ve always wanted. You could go on shopping sprees, jet set to exotic destinations, spoil your family and friends with lavish gifts. All of your debt would be paid off and you could finally quit your soul sucking job.

Contrary to popular belief, more money doesn’t guarantee more happiness. Obviously too little can make us miserable; however, research has shown that once you reach a certain earning point (between $50,000 to $75,000 are the figures that I have read here), you are not more happy than an individual with a salary in the six figures or more. It seems confusing, right? We are constantly inundated with advertisements and other media and insists that we would be happier with more – more of everything! So how is it possible that more money wouldn’t make us happier?

June 9, 2014

By Margaret H. Johsnon

Stephanie Williams and Cel Rince, a young couple living in Vancouver, have enjoyed recent internet fame due to the interest in their early retirement plan and their tips for living a frugal (but high quality) lifestyle.  What’s unique about this couple is that they live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada in an affluent area, and yet they still manage to make ends meet and more.

Recently Stephanie and Cel updated their blog, www.incomingassets.com, with a detailed three-month budget, which you can find below. Let’s see a rundown of their lifestyle to see how they make this happen!

June 2, 2014

By Margaret H. Johnson

Insurance is a hot topic once again. Hot for all of the wrong reasons. Many people have heard about a number of claims under travel insurance policies that have recently been denied by Canadian banks. I say many people because I couldn’t find the story quickly on the internet.  It didn’t seem to get a lot of coverage in the local newspapers either. It’s a good thing I watch the news on television.

One case involves the CIBC where a 69 year old senior bought travel insurance and paid an extra $100 premium to make sure her insurance would cover her high blood pressure – and after getting sick abroad and then filing her claim, the bank denied her claim.

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.

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