Category Archives: Earn

The Best Activities to Take Your Mind off Money Problems

Stress is a part of everyday life that everyone must try to deal with, but sometimes it can all get too much. Financial concerns tend to cause considerable stress and most people today are finding they have less money in their pockets. Unfortunately, the global economic downturn has plunged millions of people further into debt. While some manage to cope, others might never escape their financial problems.

People under stress can sometimes make rash decisions in the heat of the moment that are not for the best in the long term. They can also see relationships suffer as stress is a very real and tangible experience for many. There are some simple methods that can be utilised to try to clear the mind and make things come into perspective.

Put It On Paper

When we wake, it can seem as though problems come crowding in before any other thoughts and stress already starts to build. Often the thoughts running around our heads are not that important, but can seem very distracting. Our brains forget to process important thoughts or refuse to let them to the surface at all. Disciplining oneself to write on waking may seem daunting, but many find that writing a diary or their memoirs can be very therapeutic. Some even find that writing helps them to purge their minds of negativity. Seeing things written down can make them seem less daunting too.

Some people simply do not have time to write lengthy prose or diary entries first thing in the morning and that is understandable. However, simply pouring something onto paper as quickly as possible can be very relaxing, even if the writing is illegible or seems meaningless. Simply writing whatever words come into your head as quickly as possible for a set period can be helpful.

Drawing pictures to try to quantify worries and to understand where they really lie in the grand scheme of things can also work wonders. This does not necessarily mean a grandmaster worthy of hanging in a gallery, but rather charts, or maps of phrases or simplified drawings. Some find that depicting themselves in a cartoon form and attaching speech bubbles with words describing their worries can make them feel unburdened.


Exercise has long been held as a beneficial means of relieving stress. Walking is a simple way to do this because it gives muscles a good work out and encourages deeper breathing. Deep breathing exercises can be very beneficial to a stressed person, helping to make them feel calmer. Expending energy leaves less to be used for worrying.

Talk It Through

Talking almost always helps and although the proverb ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ may be trite, it is at least true in part. Allowing the experience of others to suggest solutions can give rise to good ideas that really help. Knowing that someone else knows how you are feeling and understands what your problems are can reduce the feelings of hopelessness and isolation that stress can bring.

This guest post was written by Francesca, a blogger based in the UK who enjoys sharing her tips on money management and personal finances. She writes on behalf of IVA Expert (visit website).

Finding a New Job When You`re Already in One

Some people say that it’s easier to find your next job when you’re already employed, but searching for new employment whilst you’re working for a different organisation comes with risks.

So, how can you manage your job hunting without jeopardising your current position?

Why start your job hunt whilst already employed?

There are a variety of reasons to adopt this approach. Job applicants who are already working are more desirable to employers than those who aren’t in employment. Managing the process seamlessly also helps guarantee continuity of income for you and prevents gaps appearing on your CV or resume. You can search at leisure, knowing that you’re comfortably employed and secure, rather than feeling compelled to apply for the first thing you see.

Searching sensibly

To start your job search whilst in employment, employ a healthy dose of common sense. Don’t talk about your plans to find a new job with colleagues. Keep it to yourself. Don’t use your work e-mail or telephone to progress your search, as both can be easily monitored. Use your personal mobile and personal e-mail accounts.

Use your own time and resources

Make sure you aren’t carrying out a job hunt on company time. You can use your lunch hour and any breaks to carry out personal things. Similarly, don’t send out job applications using company stamps and letterheads and don’t print off copies of your CV on the company printers. Do these things outside of work and finance them from your own pocket.

Don’t get caught out

Be careful not to have job-related conversations with recruiters within earshot of others. Schedule any interviews at lunchtime or after work, or book a day off. On days where you’ll be going out for an interview, don’t come in suspiciously dressed in unusually smart clothing. If necessary, change clothes off-site beforehand.


Most prospective employers will understand that you don’t want your boss contacted to give you a reference before you’ve formally accepted a job offer and given in your notice. So make your position clear in the interview. Most recruiters will respect you for it and appreciate that you are keen to do the right thing by your existing employer. It shows a good set of values for you to bring to your next role.

Do you actually need to move?

Searching for a job is a positive action and far better than staying dissatisfied in a new role, but before searching for a new job, check first that you’ve exhausted routes for progression at your current company.

Often a development plan can be progressed with your current manager to get you to the role and position you’d like to be in, so explain your interest and ambitions and see what’s possible before automatically moving on. There will be advantages to this, such as an accrual of benefits, an existing standing within the company and a culture that you already know. If you can’t decide which approach is best, consider speaking to an independent careers consultant to understand what’s best for you.

This guest article was written by Francesca, a UK-based writer with an interest in employment and careers. She writes on behalf of en-spiral.

Canadian Personal Finance – Happy Hour – First Edition

I thought that most personal finance blogs have their weekly roundups or weekend links.

I wanted to have the Happy Hour – popular in the US and I am bringing them to the Canadian blogosphere.

Here are 10 of my favorite posts this week:

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rang the opening bell on Wall St. Friday moments after the company’s IPO.


1. On May 18, 2012, Facebook Inc. had its Initial Public Offering ($FB), netting the company over $16 billion in a matter of minutes. That’s more than…

2. Should You Sell Your House And Avoid The Market Crash?

3. Smith Manoeuvre Portfolio – May 2012

4. DIY Recipe – Real Fruit Roll-Ups

5. Pitfalls Of Chasing The Highest Dividend Yield

6. Have you ever loaned money to a loved one?

7. New Scotia iTrade App

8. 3 Good Web Based Side Income Ideas For Smart Hustlers

9. What is Crowdfunding?

10. BBQ Buying Guide Tips and Tricks

Facts behind Canadian banking bailout

Canada’s biggest banks accepted tens of billions in government funds during the recession, according to a report released yesterday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Canada is usually singled out as having one of the best banking systems in the world.

The report says support for Canadian banks from various agencies reached $114 billion at its peak.

[quote]That works out to $3,400 for every man, woman and child in Canada, and also to seven per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2009.[/quote]

The figure is also 10 times the amount Canadian taxpayers spent on the auto industry in 2009.

“The Oxford dictionary defines bailout as ‘financial assistance to a failing business or economy to save it from collapse,” the Canadian Bankers Association noted.

“That definitely was not the case here: not one bank in Canada was in danger of going bankrupt or required the government to buy an equity stake under taxpayer-funded bailouts.”

What do you think about this story?

5 Most Expensive Athlete Homes

In my teens, I remember the show MTV Cribs, where celebrities or regular people showed off their lovely homes. Now, I may never have the wealth or be famous like any of these athletes but I can’t believe the means some of these celebs go through to show off or live like kings.

Here are some of the unusually expensive homes:

#1. Greg Norman (former PGA tour golfer and now golf course builder)

Greg Norman's house

Where: Jupiter Island, Florida

Size: 18,000 sq.ft.

Features: Eight acres of land including some ocean front property, six buildings total that can park up to 17 cars valued at $65 million.

#2. Tiger Woods: 54.5 Million


Where: Jupiter Island, Florida

Size: 10,000 sq.ft.

Features: Four bedrooms, boathouse, golf training studio, cinema, wine cellar, pool, tennis court, gym, 100-foot running track, and a four hole golf course.

Tiger Woods built this house after his divorce (can you imagine a slip and slide on that lawn).

#3. David Beckham:


Where: Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire

Size: 24 acres

Features: Seven bedrooms, gazebos, petting zoo, recording studio, indoor and outdoor pools, gym, tennis courts, billiard room, and garden.

Most people know who David Beckham is even if they do not follow football soccer.  It is appraised at $22 Million.

They currently live in Beverly Hills, California worth around $18 million.

#4. Tom Brady: assessed at $20 Million


Where: Brentwood, California

Size: 22,000 sq.ft.

Features: Eight bedrooms, nursery, spa, pool, butler’s room, wine cellar, and gym

Tom Brady is a Super-Bowl winning quarterback and has a celebrity supermodel wife. At 22,000 square feet it is approx 35 times bigger than my house! It is tough to feel sorry that his team lost the Super Bowl.

#5. Chris Bosh: assessed at $13 Million


Where: Miami, Florida

Size: 12,000 sq.ft.

Features: Seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, gym, infinity pool, elevator

Former Toronto Raptor has moved down to South Beach and is living in the lap of luxury here with a tidy 12,000 square foot house.

Which of these houses is your favorite and would you ever build a 10,000+ square foot (even if you won the lottery)?


How to find unclaimed money in Canada

Have you ever wanted to find buried treasure?

Well did you know that their is unclaimed money in Canada?

What is an unclaimed money?

[quote]An “unclaimed balance” is a Canadian-dollar deposit or negotiable instrument, issued or held by a federally regulated bank or trust company. It can be in the form of a deposit account, bank draft, certified cheque, deposit receipt, money order, GIC, term deposit, credit card balance, or traveller’s cheque.[/quote]

When there has been no owner activity in relation to the balance for a period of 10 years, and the owner cannot be contacted by the institution holding it, the balance is turned over to the Bank of Canada, which acts as custodian on behalf of the owner.  Balances are transferred to the Bank of Canada once a year, on December 31.

How much money is held at the Bank of Canada as unclaimed balances?

At the end of December 2010, approximately 1.3 million unclaimed balances, worth some $433 million, were on the Bank’s books. Over 94% of these were under $1,000.00, representing 32% of the total value outstanding. The oldest balance dates back to 1900.

Search online for unclaimed balances

The Bank of Canada provides a free online Unclaimed Balances Search database for unclaimed bank balances.

The BC Unclaimed Property Society was created by the Province of BC in 2003 and is administered by the Vancouver Foundation.

Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy

OSB administers unclaimed dividends owed to creditors pursuant to the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Note: Visit the Quick Links “Unclaimed Dividend Search”

Revenu Quebec

Search their register and obtain information on how to claim unclaimed property held by the province of Quebec.

Law Society of British Columbia

This website provides information on how to claim money left behind in a lawyer’s trust account.

National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (USA)

NAUPA’s website provides information on the administration of unclaimed property in the states and provides links to each state’s unclaimed property program.

Missing Money (USA)

This site is the only official, national source for unclaimed property searches sponsored by the states and NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators). There is no fee to use this site.

Living Heirs

A cooperative effort by the three independent organizations – Avotaynu, a Jewish genealogy publishing service, Risk International Services, Inc., an insurance archaeology and claim recovery firm, and, a family history Internet and publishing company – the Living Heirs Project helps heirs of Holocaust victims recover family assets unjustly confiscated by the Third Reich.

[box type=”note”] Personally, I didn’t find anything for my surname but I found a balance for a relative! [/box]

4 reasons to use ING Direct for your TFSA account

One of the main reasons why I think people should put their emergency fund in a TFSA is that they are getting a decent return that keeps up with inflation.

I have nothing but good words to say about ING Direct and came up with 4 reasons to use them.

Reason #1:No fees, no service charges and no minimum balances

This is a great reason. My wife and I use PC Financial, another great company in Canada, that has free chequing accounts for Canadians. We love not having monthly fees or maintenance fees or account setup fees or transfer fees. No Fees banking and investing are the way to go!

Reason #2: Free Bonus when creating an account

Isn’t a bonus great? ING Direct gives you a $25 bonus for each new member that you refer. It is a great perk but not the #1 reason I like ING Direct.

Also, when you open an Account with a minimum balance of $100, ING Direct will start you off with a $25 bonus if you use an Orange Key provided by Grocery Alerts!

Complete the online Enrollment Form. Don’t forget to include the Orange Key 33994459s1 into the enrollment form.

Reason #3: Tell A friend Bonus

Once you have an account, you also get an Orange Key to refer friends and family and not only do they get $25 added to their account, you will also get $25. Not a tell a friend program.

Reason #4: Great rates (not the best though)

Currently, ING Direct Canada is paying for their Tax-Free Investment Savings Account (TFSA)  a rate of 2.00%. This is a good rate but it is in no means going to make you rich! I use our families TFSA account for storing our emergency fund and for saving for certain holidays. Canadian Tire actually had a larger rate last week (3.5%) but I like ING Direct and they are easy to use.

Canadian financial services industry map

For Canadians that would like to get started in the financial services industry, you may find the Financial Services Career Map of interest.

The map is one of several resources announced Tuesday by CSI Global Education Inc., best known for the Canadian Securities Course.

In a release for social media, CSI describes the map as an interactive tool that lets users explore multiple career options and learn about the various opportunities and credentials available in the industry. If you click on the “Start Exploring” button in the link provided above, you can view a circular graphic to get a broad overview of the industry, then drill down to view specific sectors , such as Retail, Back Office, Middle Office and Institutional/Corporate.

This was courtesy of the Wealthy Boomer blog.

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.