Category Archives: Save

Building a New Home in Canada? Here Are the Steps to Follow

It is every person’s dream to own a home. There are various ways through which people acquire homes. It could be through inheritance, buying an existing house, or building a new home. Whichever the mode of acquisition, there are processes involved. Most people will opt to build a house as they get to decide on the design before development takes place. On top of signing up for HST new housing rebate, here is what you need to do for a successful home building project.

1. Have a budget

Every project that requires finances needs to have a budget. If you are looking to build a home, you need a budget that does not only include how much building the house is going to cost you, but also the operational costs once the project is complete. Once you have a conclusive estimate of how much you need, you can start looking for the best available options of sources of finance. Having a budget will ensure that you have enough funds to complete the budgets, and they are appropriately managed.

2. Pick the right house plan

Remember that one of the primary reasons why people choose to build instead of buying an existing house is to have the chance to decide on the plan of the house. With that, this is a step that you cannot afford to gamble with. You can work with your contractor, or the architect and come up with a house plan that will accommodate your preferred features.

This may include the number of bedrooms, garage size, and the size of the bathroom to mention a few.

3. Decide on the type of foundation you want for your home

The foundation is one of the most critical elements of a home. Note that it is the one that will hold the entire structure. A foundation that is not done correctly will affect the safety of your home. There are different types of foundation. There is the slab, crawlspace, or basement. It is advisable that you let the professional help with this as they will be able to identify the one that will work best for your structure.

 4. Ensure that your home has the appropriate insulating system

Insulation will determine how comfortable your home will be in extreme weather conditions. There is no better time to work on the insulation than now. 

5. Interior design

After most of the mechanical work has been done, the bulk of the project is complete. One essential step is remaining: interior design. This is what will define your home. We are talking about the door handles, cabinets, appliances, and lighting fixtures. Your input here will be valuable and very instrumental in ensuring that you are satisfied with the final product.

Building a home is tedious and stressful. However, if everything is done right, it is worth it. It is crucial that you avail yourself for every step of the project to ensure that everything is in order before moving to the next step.

What not to do if you win the lottery

Many Canadians spend nights dreaming of winning the lottery only to come up short. However, there are some lucky few that are able to win a fortune or a small fortune that will turn their life around.

I also look at the lottery as a benefit for some organizations to raise money so if you look at it like a donation it is not that bad a way to spend a few extra dollars (if you have that disposable income).

Lottery winnings

A $1-2 ticket once or twice a year isn’t going to matter to your budget for the long-term.

I think that it would take strong discipline and planning to not blow all of the lottery winnings but I believe everyone has a different threshold for holding out.

I wanted to share some tips (not that I have ever won the lottery) of what not to do if you win the lottery:

  1. Do not talk to a lawyer.

According to a survey from convenience store chain Cumberland Farm, when asked who they would call first if they won the lottery, 46% said their significant others. But 10% said their first call would be to their lawyer. And that might actually be the better way to go, financial and legal experts say.

This makes sense as lottery winners are often the target of scams.

2. Tell all your friends and family.

If your province allows it try to keep this mum as long as possible as this will add undue stress to this incredible outcome.

Everyone knows that a major secret like this would travel fast these days with everyone being online and your privacy may get compromised.

There are many instances of strangers or acquantences looking for money from newly minted lottery winners.

3. Take the lump-sum payment

Many winners decide to take the lump-sum payment first without a strategy of doing the math to see which option has the best return.

According to this article on Bloomberg, you should get advice from top professionals (like a tax professional and investment professional) before making this major decision.

Ideally all the members of your team should have experience with high net-worth individuals and can provide referrals of other clients.

This teams will help you navigate your investment options and help you minimize your tax exposure.

Ultimately, a plan of action is needed before any of the winnings are spent.

4. Splurge and make some big purchases.

This is an easy trap to get into. Having access to all of this cash would be tempting (especially if you had any major wants in your life). Recently, I discovered so many exclusive items at a trade show that I never even thought most consumers would want but I was shocked to see the demand for these elusive items.

Cars and fancy trips sound wonderful but there are many major stories of lottery winners being penniless after winning the lottery.

Essential Secret Ways for Saving Money at Home Depot

There are various ways that you can improve your home. You might be planning to paint your home, remodel your bathroom, upgrade your appliances, or install new windows and doors – therefore you need to consider different ways of saving money during your renovations.

Home Renovation – kitchen

In this article, we will provide a few secrets to use to save money on your home renovation projects:

Get Money Back
When you are making big home purchases, you should visit places online and check whether they are offering rebates to help you to save a lot of money on upgrades and renovations. One rebate in particular to look into is the home efficiency rebate because it can help you save a lot of money on your home renovation projects and upgrades. This rebate is especially beneficial if you are upgrading your insulation, air sealing your home, replacing your water heater, furnace or boiler, or upgrading your windows or doors

Knowing Where to Find Markdowns
It is possible to find home improvement deals from various stores as long as you know where and how to spot them. At Home Depot, you will find clearance prices and item markdowns in stores. It’s smart to look actively while walking down the aisles for sales flyers and price reductions. Also, prior to shopping review flyers and online deals to be aware of upcoming sales and deals.

Don’t forget to check your price tags, to see if there is a final price markdown!

Negotiating for Better Deals & Price Matching
Have you found the same product at another online retailer for cheaper? Home Depot guarantees to beat competitor prices by 10%. You can try and talk with a sales associate to negotiate your price match, however the associate may not have the power to lower the price. You may have to ask to talk with the store manager who should be willing to negotiate a lower price with you.

Stack Your Savings
In case you need to save some of your cash for your next Home Depot run, you can purchase yourself a gift card to go towards your purchases when you are ready to spend. This will allow you to save your money on the gift card instead of spending your cash. If you visit some of the discount gift cards websites, you will generally buy the Home Depot gift card at a good discounted price.

Saving Money on Tools
There are various pieces of equipment and tools available to rent at the Home Depot. this service helps you to reduce accumulating onetime use tools, leaving you with more storage space and lower hardware bills. Tool and hardware rentals are available for services including: landscaping projects or home remodeling. Figure out if you need the hardware, tool or equipment for a one time use project or if you will need the tool or hardware for ongoing projects.

In order to make your final decision to rent or buy a tool, check the online store inventory sales against their rental rates. You can rent hardware for an hour, a day, week, month or more time.

Top Benefits from Home Energy Audit

When you have a home energy audit, it covers all the essential factors that are affecting the energy efficiency of your home. After completing an energy audit you will receive a checklist from the energy auditor, where you will be able to pinpoint improvements vital in conserving energy and also reducing the utility bills.

Green energy upgrade

For energy upgrade recommendations, they will vary from fixing small leaks and drafts to the infrastructure or upgrades like installation of high-efficiency windows, heating water with solar energy or home insulation upgrades.

It may not be essential to perform all energy upgrades depending on the amount of work you have already invested in the home. Hiring a professional energy auditor and contractor will help you ensure proper installation and prevent unnecessary energy expenses and waste. Having a home energy audit will help with these things:

  • Making your home comfortable

If you follow the recommendations of the home energy audit, then the temperatures of your home will be stable. In such a situation, there will be an increase in the indoor air quality and the energy upgrades will keep the drafts out. 

  • Finding hidden issues

With the home energy audit, you will be able to solve numerous energy efficiency issues that you didn’t know existed. In some cases, there could be minor problems like a poorly sealed window or a leaky pipe. It could be among some essential upgrades that will bring change to the strength of the property.

So, performing a professional home energy audit will be the first step of finding subtle or hidden problems that can add up to your home being less eco-friendly and less energy efficient.

  • Increasing home resale value

Energy efficient homes are more attractive especially to the new potential buyers. It will show that you have tried improving the home by making it more economical to cool and heat. And, primarily you are forward thinking in upgrading your home and ensuring it is running the most efficiently. 

  • Help in prioritizing repairs

The benefit of an audit is not only to determine what is wrong, but it is an essential tool that will help in prioritizing energy upgrades. You will, therefore, identify areas in your home where you will wisely spend your renovation money.

  • Reducing carbon footprint

Greenhouse gas emissions start in the home. If you perform an energy audit on your home, you will be able to know where you should make improvements and also help in reducing overall carbon footprint and reliance on the fossil fuels.

Reduce carbon footprint.

Conclusion You should make home energy audits part of your regular home maintenance practices. Preventive maintenance is an investment that can help you save more money in the long run. Home energy audits can vary across suppliers, so it is important to do your research and seek out professional and certified energy auditors and contractors.

How To Afford Home Renovations Without Taking Out Personal Loans

Home renovations add value to your home. But they can be costly to undertake for most Canadians. Some people may rely on personal loans with sky high interest rates to make their houses look better or offer more functionality. Personal Loans are not the ideal for this because these can trap you in debt.

Home Renovations

Personal loans are often unsecured, so borrowers run the risk of being burdened with insane interest rates that makes repayment unaffordable. There are alternative options to keep home improvement loans less costly. Here are some ideas:

Try a DIY Project

Costs of home improvement and renovations projects can run high when you rely on outside contractors. One of the easiest ways to cut down costs is to undertake the product yourself.

Small DIY home improvement projects are perfect for homeowners on a budget and also hobbyists. However, keep in mind that not everything can be done DIY. Some big projects would still require professional contractors.

Avoid Branded Products to Keep Costs Low

Want to restock the new kitchen with branded tiles or repaint the doors with the “colour of the year”? Branded lifestyle products always cost more. Keep the overall costs down by using sensible products preferably local, like Pickering windows.

The advice here is to avoid luxury branded products, which only cost money without offering any practical advantages. By all means go with brands that offer more values with qualities like durability.

In the end, most people don’t know whether the new floor has fancy branded tiles or not. With most home improvement products, it’s the overall looks that matter, not the product label.

Take Out a Second Mortgage

If you are fixing a door, you can do it relatively cheaply even with hired labour. But some home renovations projects are too large to DIY or do on the cheap. For example, if you are redoing the entire kitchen, adding a deck or installing carpeting, you will need serious cash.

Not all Canadians have savings lying around to use in these situations. In that case, you can consider one borrowing option:  second mortgages. Here’s the advantage these types of loans have against persona loans: they are secured.

Personal loans are often unsecured types of loans that come with high levels of interest, like instalment loans or payday loans. Second mortgages that require a collateral (you house in this case) tend to have low interest rates in comparison.

This is not to say that second mortgages are cheaper. They can be expensive. But if you want a lot of cash, you can consider this secured loan option. But make sure that you can comfortably repay what you borrow. Remember, the loan option is only worth it if the renovation increases the overall value of your property. Don’t use a second mortgage for a thing like buying a boat, which decreases in value over time.

Use Local Vendors for Supplies

Want more natural light in the house? Then use a local Kitchener windows vendor in your area to buy what you need. Local vendors typically tend to offer cheap and affordable prices for homeowners, as opposed to high-flying services that charge fat commission fees.

You might be able to save thousands of dollars at your local vendor instead of flying in what you need from a big city. Some vendors may offer payment plans so you can repay on a monthly basis. You can also avoid unnecessary charges for the most part. Besides, the local shops know which materials are best to withstand the weather and climate in your area of residency.

As wonderful as a home renovation idea might sound, don’t undertake it if you really can’t afford it. The above may help budget homeowners. But be careful about the financial burden you put on yourself.

Six Tips to Get Out of Debt

Getting in debt today is as easy as 1-2-3. Getting out of it is another story. How can you get out of debt and avoid falling back into it?

Here are six tips to help you find your way to a debt-free life.

Budget

Of course, the first step is to budget. Why? Because your budget helps you see where your money goes and where you can save. There are different types of budgets that work in different ways, helping you control your spending, pay off your debts, and save at the same time. Some allocate a certain percentage of their income to various expenses. Others use envelopes to separate bills and expenses, and stop spending when the envelope is empty. Explore the types of budgets available and find the one that fits your lifestyle.

Save

Once your budget is established, find ways to save. Are there non-vital expenses that you can sacrifice until your debts are paid? Can you skip the coffee shop on your way to work? Can you live without cable for a while? Instead of buying brand name products, have you tried generic brands?

When you come home, put any loose change in a jar. Try the 52-week challenge; saving $1 the first week, $2 the second week and so on until you get to $52 on the 52nd week. In a year, you can save $1378!

Pay Your Debts

Now that you’ve established a plan to save, start paying off your debts. You need to make more than the minimum payment to pay them off faster. Use the money you save to make those extra payments.

Start by paying off the debt with the highest interest rate, this way you can save the most money. You may also opt to pay the smallest debt first and work your way to the largest. It’s also encouraging to eliminate one source of debt from your list.

Debt consolidation loans are also a great solution to eradicating debt, paying off all your debts and leaving you with one loan, one smaller payment, and lower interest rates.

Reward Yourself

If you find paying your debts too oppressive, you won’t keep it up. Set yourself small financial goals and reward yourself when you reach them. It doesn’t have to be an expensive reward, perhaps a cappuccino, a book, a movie, whatever works for you. Some even get into the habit of saving the same amount they used to reward themselves. If you buy a $10 book, for example, you put $10 in your savings account. It’s another way to save and still enjoy life.

Don’t Fall Back into Debt

Once a credit card is paid off, cancel it or lower your limit. If you keep a small credit card active, don’t spend until you’ve reached its limit. Only use it if you have the means to pay it right away, or in case of an emergency.

If an emergency arises, and you aren’t prepared, you may need a payday loan to pay off a sudden expense. This type of loan is not recommended, however, paying back a payday loan is possible if the payment is included in your budget.

Build Your Credit

Work on building a good credit score. Continue paying off your debts, and pay all your bills on time. Using a small credit card responsibly is an excellent way to show that you can manage your finances. A good credit score allows you to get loans at low interest rates from your bank. It opens doors to possibilities you can’t even imagine.

Start Today

Keep these tips in mind, it’s easier than you think. Don’t put it off, start today! Before you know it, you’ll be debt free and living a full life.

8 Bank-Breaking Medical Emergencies

Medical facilities have become more expensive in the past few years because of the constant improvement in techniques and technology. You might have seen your medical bill and wondered why it cost so much to have that small procedure done.

Healthcare insurance is an absolute must if you want to be prepared for all kinds of medical emergencies. Even a quick trip to the ER will cost you a fair amount of money.

There are some medical emergencies that require procedures which are exorbitantly expensive. Some of them include:

  1. The need for a heart transplant:

Treatment for most cardiovascular diseases can cost a bomb, but a heart transplant is among the most expensive procedures that are available today. They are extremely complicated, and the availability of hearts for transplant is an issue. The waiting list runs fairly long. If a heart condition goes awry, then a transplant is the only cure.

  1. The need for a bone marrow transplant:

One of the most popular treatment procedures for certain kinds of cancers, a bone marrow transplant can prove to be costly. The procedure can be performed with a donor’s marrow or the patient’s bone marrow. There are risks and complications associated with this procedure, and it requires an extensive recovery period.

  1. Kidney failure:

If a kidney completely stops working, a patient will need a kidney transplant in order to lead a regular life. A kidney transplant can prove to be very expensive because it requires a lot of preparation and involves high risk. Moreover, patients will need a long recovery period during which the bills continue to surge.

  1. Coronary artery bypass graft:

Patients suffering from coronary heart diseases might require a CABG which can be an expensive procedure. Heart disease is one o the most common causes of death in the United States which has made open heart surgery a rather frequent procedure. It is usually an urgent medical procedure that often leads to complication. Patients need intensive care till they recover fully.

  1. Liver failure:

The only way to combat liver surgery is to have a liver transplant performed. It is a costly process because liver transplant is a high-risk surgery. Moreover, the eligibility criteria tend to be rigid, and there are administrative and record expenses to be borne. Along the cost of the surgery and the aftercare, you are left with a hefty bill.

  1. Deterioration of chronic lung diseases:

If all other remedies have failed, patients suffering from chronic lung diseases like emphysema and cystic fibrosis have to resort to lung transplant. The cost is very high because of the risks that accompany the procedure.

  1. Failure of the small intestine:

The small intestine is responsible for absorbing nutrition, and its failure can be life-threatening. An intestinal transplant can save the day, but it is one of the costliest surgical procedures out there.

  1. The need for tracheostomy:

Since it is an emergency room procedure, a tracheotomy can cost quite a lot. It allows a patient to breathe and requires extensive aftercare.

Make sure that you keep your emergency funds ready.

4 Ways to Improve your Credit Score in Canada

Financing options are quite wonderful indeed, with the advent of credit loaning, it has enabled people to be able to afford something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. However, it’s doesn’t take much to garner a bad reputation amongst loaners, i.e. have a bad credit score, just because of an unforeseen circumstance such as a shock medical bill. And it’s much trickier to recover from a troubled credit score. Still, there are ways to claw back your credibility, and here are some practical methods.

Of course, before you can actually improve your credit score, you need to know what your contemporary credit standing is. The three digit score is all you need. While you can opt for the traditional method of mailing which requires some patience, with a small fee you can receive an online report immediately. Refer to the online portals of the largest Canadian credit bureaus such as TransUnion and Equifax for further info. If you need a bit of exposition to make heads or tails of what the report entails, the Canada Government site has a nifty article that covers just that.

 

  1. Take responsibility

 

The important thing to realise is that you need to be responsible for your credit score. Keep existing debts running and slowly pay them off demonstrates your accountability as a credit user, and it will slowly improve your score. Even just making timely bill payments help. Ensure that you stick with the credit account for a long period too, as it’s reassuring to loaners when you have a long history of responsible credit usage to refer to.

 

  1. Be practical

 

If you’re still afraid that you might forget about the payment, even after proper budgeting, set up automatic payments. Punctuality is a virtue anywhere, including in paying debts. It’ll also help if you actually use your credit more often, as counterintuitive as it feels, as you’ll actually have more opportunity to improve your credit score.

 

  1. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

 

Crucially, if you don’t have any present financial dedication, consider getting a car loan that’s within your monthly expenditures. As long as you stick with reputable dealerships that liaise with major lenders that can potentially aid you in regaining credit score. Revolving credit with prompt payments that gets reported to the credit bureau can really boost your credit score. If you can’t quite afford new cars, try to look for used cars a few years older, as long as it fits into your monthly allocation, it will raise your credit score.

 

  1. Track your spending

 

Perhaps most critically is to actually manage your credit spending. Understand credit isn’t actually there for you to buy all the things you want, rather it’s just a convenient alternative to purchase items you really need. In fact, you should try to avoid brimming your credit limit, sticking to around 30% is a good idea. If you can bear the higher expense, request to raise it to keep your overall credit utilisation low.

 

Credit loans are incredibly handy, as long as the consumer using it actually knows what it’s for. Staying rational plays a major role here, since being able to use more money than you actually have is a tempting prospect. If you still have any lingering doubts, please let us your comments below.

8 Tips For College Students On Earning Money

Being a college student is hard for many reasons. For one, you have to study a lot and maintain good grades all year long while still having some fun with your college experience.

 

But then there is also the tight budget that you have to deal with. Many students are living with minimum amounts of money and they can’t afford to spend a lot of time working.

 

This is why you need to find a simple job that you can do while studying that can also give you a decent income. Here are some options.

 

1.Food delivery

Delivering food is a good job that can also bring you a decent income while not taking away much of your time. You can also study while delivering if you record your notes in audio and listen to it while driving or walking. It’s a good job for all of those students who like to be active and spend some time outdoors.

 

  1. Online tutoring

As a student, you have a lot of knowledge in a lot of subjects. You can monetize this knowledge by signing up for a service like Academized or UKWritings and teaching students all over the world. In some cases, you can even teach English which is simple enough if you are a native English language speaker. This way, you’ll earn at least $10 an hour without leaving your room.

 

  1. Web design

If you are a skilled web designer or if you are studying to become one, this is a perfect job for you. You can find these jobs anywhere online and they pay a lot so you’ll be able to earn enough money for you and help your parents out as well. For instance, you could create sites like Simple Grad, My Writing Way, StateOfWriting, Via Writing and so on.

 

  1. Rideshare driving

This is one of the simpler jobs that you can do as it only requires you to know how to drive and have a car. Apps like Uber and Lyft are always looking for drivers and you can sign up for both in order to earn even more money. The pay is decent and you can also study while waiting for passengers to arrive. In some cases, you’ll even be able to listen to audio recordings of your lessons.

 

  1. Online reviewing

This is a job most people aren’t familiar with but it is quite simple and it gives you a decent income. You are only supposed to use assigned websites and services to an extent, without spending any money and then write reviews on those sites. Sites like Top Canadian Writers and Revieweal always have job openings.

 

  1. Resume writing

Many people nowadays want a good resume but they don’t want to go through the trouble of writing one. This is where you can earn a lot of money if you are a skilled resume writer and you want to help others. Sign up for sites like Assignment Writing Service and you’ll be able to earn money while writing resumes for other people.

 

  1. Editing and proofreading

Editing and proofreading is another tedious job that people don’t like to do by themselves. Sites like Essayroo and Big Assignments can hire you to edit and proofread other people’s documents or books. This is a fun job because you’ll get to learn a lot of new things while using basic grammar, spelling and style rules and applying them to the documents and books you are supposed to edit.

  1. Academic writing

This is a job for all of those students who like to write and are good at crafting papers. These gigs are fairly easy to find and you won’t have to leave your room to do them. You can work for sites like Boomessays or Paper Fellows which offer a decent income in exchange for your writing.

 

Conclusion

While earning money as a student isn’t easy, it doesn’t have to be complicated either. With internet and a of the possibilities nowadays, you can earn money and still have time to study. Look up some of these jobs and see if they work for you.

What to Consider When Applying for an Auto Title Loan

Financial troubles can come upon us quite unexpectedly some time. Often, we need to find a quick solution to repay some debts urgently. Getting a car title loan may be the right answer in such times. If you are not familiar with this type of loans, below you will find all the important details that you need.

Who qualifies for an auto title loan

Basically, anyone who has the title of the vehicle on their name can get an auto title loan. The process is not complicated and is quite quick. You can put an end to your financial troubles in about 30 minutes. There are just a few requirements that you need to meet:

  • To be 18 years of age
  • To be resident of the state in which the auto title loan company operates
  • To have a valid ID
  • To have an auto title on your name, which is free of other liens against it

Some companies may require a paid utility bill as a proof of your residence. You will also have to present some other documents related to the vehicle such as the car registration or insurance. The good news is that you can use different vehicles as a collateral – RV, motorcycle, truck, trailer and even a boat.

The biggest benefit of auto title loans is that the person who needs the money is not subjected to a credit history check or even if one is run on them it is simply for information. In other words, you can get the loan even if you have bad credit. The auto is the only collateral that you need and what is best is that you don’t surrender it to the lending company but you keep it to drive it. Thus, your normal routine is not affected.

 

How to apply for an auto title loan

If you meet the above-given requirements, it means that you can apply for an auto title loan. The process is quite simple and won’t take you too long. Once you have chosen the company that you want to proceed with, you simply need to visit their website and complete the online application form. Once you submit it, it takes usually less than an hour to get back the approval or other response. It is absolutely hassle-free and you can do it from any location with internet connection.

For those who are not comfortable submitting the information online or simply have no access to a computer, some companies offer personal service. There are counters located in bigger shops, which you can visit and get the same level of high service and expediency.

 

Good and bad reasons to take an auto title loan

Despite that the auto title loan can be a good solution to your financial problems, you need to consider well if you actually need to take a loan at all before proceeding any further. There are good and bad reasons to take an auto title loan and here are a few examples of each category:

  • Good reasons to take an auto title loan

As the auto title loan is one of the quickest options to get necessary money, it is very suitable to use it in emergencies. That can be unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses or overdue utility or rent payments. Auto title loans can also help in case of prolonged mortgage payments or to cover car repairs, so that your daily routine can continue uninterrupted.

  • Bad reasons to take an auto title loan

Getting an auto title loan is a serious decision so do not go for it if you are going to use the money on items that you actually don’t need. If you want to buy the latest smartphone model but you are short of cash, the auto title loan is not the right solution. The same goes for any other luxury item that you don’t need urgently. You’d better start putting some money aside and buy that gadget when you can truly afford it. The same applies for going to an expensive vacation or buying a big present to someone. In some cases less is more, so don’t risk your car for getting something that you don’t really need.

These are the basics that can guide you when you decide whether to apply for an auto title loan. Keep in mind that it is a quick and efficient solution to your unexpected financial trouble as long as you are disciplined and repay it on time. Make sure to get familiar with all the requirements included in your contract and ask about anything that you find unclear.