All posts by Steve @ Canadian Personal Finance

How To Earn Extra Money with a Residential House Cleaning Service

Most families would love extra money in their pocket.

Here is a business anyone can start that with very little money up-front. With a bucket of cleaning supplies and some rags you have an instant business.

You do not need much more than a vacuum, dust pan and broom. You can even rent equipment like a carpet or blind cleaner to save money.

How much can I make cleaning houses?

I would recommend charging between $20-$25 per hour at the minimum. It depends on where you live but I find this rate guarantees you some customers. You can always raise your prices if you find you are too busy.

How to advertise?

With the Internet, it is easy to start to a business and start marketing. Create a small Facebook ad that targets your geographical area to your clientele (busy people that don’t want to or have time to clean).

Use flyers to advertise on some community bulletin boards.

Create a low-cost website that shows your services and what you offer.


Why you should include your spouse in making the budget?

Budgeting with your spouse can be stressful. It is a challenge to balancing the needs of your spouse with your own.

Several reasons why you should do this:

1. You figure out what is important to the other person.

If one of you wants to save for a house and the other is saving for a car, you have different priorities and when you make a budget.

Do you want to save up for a house? Do you want to go on vacation? 

2.You both can see what the bottom line is. 

In some relationships, the other spouse may plead ignorance or not know where the money goes. Working together on the budget, each person looks at the combined income, expenses, credit card balance, debt, etc.

This is useful and important for trust in the relationship.

I am pleased working with my wife on developing our budget because circumstances change.

My tip is to make sure to give the other person a few compromises.

Anyone else have ideas on why this is important?

Is Netflix (NFLX) stock headed for the bottom?

One of the main reasons I don’t like to invest in technology companies or technology services anymore is that the next ‘big thing’ can come along and convince the consumer to switch brands.

An example is Netflix (NFLX).

Their Unique Selling Proposition is that they are an easy way to view a huge library of videos and you can watch on a variety of devices and you do not need to buy cable anymore at an affordable price.

What I see happening is that the telcos and cable companies are creating a better experience for video-on-demand and people are starting to see that the Netflix catalog consists of a variety of B-movies and lack in current new releases.

Companies like Google with YouTube, and Hulu, and the existing cable companies are planning to take back this market that Netflix captured the last few years.

Here is their current stock price over the last year:

If you notice how the stock had a resistance point at over the $300/share point and is slowly moving down.

How do you see this company moving forward?


I currently do not own any Netflix stock.

Do young Canadians know interest rates are at historical lows?

The results of this survey, shows that: More than 1 in 3 Canadian homeowners aged 30-39 are unaware interest rates are near historic lows.

In reading this quote by the President of Manulife (ticker symbol MFC), many young Canadians are not on top of their finances.

[quote]“It’s concerning that many younger homeowners believe today’s interest rates are normal when, in fact, they are at near historic lows,” said Doug Conick, President and CEO of Manulife Bank of Canada. “These younger homeowners may be taking on more debt than they will be able to afford if interest rates rise. While there is no expectation we’ll see rates like those of the 1980s, a rise of even a few percentage points could have a significant financial impact on this younger generation of Canadians.” [/quote]

When I received my first mortgage (five years ago), interest rates were a major obstacle in choosing my first condo. Real estate is expensive in Victoria with a single income.

I bought not what a mortgage broker or online calculator told me but what my budget and bank account told me.

Sometimes you need to take the advise of your banker/mortgage broker but also budget or do a what-if scenario with them.

[box type=”tick”]Ask them this question, “What if the interest rates go up 2-3%? What will my payments be?”[/box]

If that number is affordable, stick with the variable rate mortgage over the fixed rate mortgage.