No matter what income level, more people get into financial trouble because of too much debt than any other reason. 'Too much' means different things to different people. Very few people go through life without making a purchase on credit. However, trying to 'keep up with the Joneses' rushes too many of us into lifestyles we simply can't afford. Buy some things you need on credit, like a home or a car, but save up the cash to buy the things you want.
Now may be the perfect time to teach your children about financial independence. There are plenty of real-life examples in the media of how not' to manage your finances. To really teach children money management skills, they must learn to handle money personally and to make consequential decisions on how to manage it.
The neighbors have a shiny new sport utility vehicle to tow their travel trailer. They take a two week tropical vacation every winter. Their family room is equipped with the latest large screen TV and surround sound stereo system. Many people believe this is a sign of wealth. In fact, this is usually a sign of consumption.
More often than not, the above lifestyle is funded with huge amounts of debt.
As the sovereign debt crisis makes its way around the world, creating havoc in its wake, we can be thankful that Canada has weathered the storm in fairly good shape. The media has given us a play-by-play on the action and many people are concerned with the outcome. While we can't solve the sovereign debt crisis individually, we can focus on our own financial situation. Here are 5 keys for achieving sanity in your personal finances:
With so many doom & gloom news headlines, it is refreshing to know Canadians can still get very low fixed rate mortgages. A recent Financial Post article (March 9, 2012) explains that with big banks competing strongly for new mortgage business, now is a great time for Canadians to refinance their mortgages to improve personal cash flow.
A recent TD Canada Trust survey found that 10% of Canadians are considering the purchase of a condominium for their adult children. This is up from 5% just a year earlier and certainly reflects drastically increasing housing costs over the past decade.
These days, having a career presents many new rewards and far more challenges than it ever used to. What we used to take for granted, including our work location, has changed dramatically as companies continue to grow and even go global.
This can be great for a business and its bottom line, but really tough on the employees within it. Because we never know exactly what the future holds, you may find yourself facing a job transfer at some point along your career path.
For the book The Millionaire Next Door, researchers asked the question, 'Do you know how much your family spends each year for food, clothing and shelter?' Almost two thirds (62.4 percent) of the millionaires said 'yes.' Only about 35% of non-millionaires said they did, even though they are high-income earners.
The millionaires also budgeted very carefully for savings and most save 20% or more of their gross income. Few save less than 15%. 'Why save so much,' you ask? Quite simply, for emergencies, opportunities and to provide future income.
Jack and Diane want to improve their financial situation and feel that making financial New Years resolutions and implementing them is a good start. To help identify their priorities, they made the following list:
Set Objectives - Goal setting is the foundation of achieving financial success. If they write down their goals, it will help Jack and Diane clarify them and establish their personal and financial priorities.