Friday, November 26, 2010

Typical Wedding About $26,000

A little over a year ago I posted an article called The Cost of a Wedding.  The typical cost of a wedding in 2009 was $26,000, an amount high enough to make me look it a couple of times and shake my head in disbelief.   The Globe and Mail recently posted an article about a company that makes princess dresses for little girls at a cost of $1,600.  Anecdotally. I surveyed a few young ladies who graduated last year and the typical cost of their grad dress was about $1,000 plus another $200 for alterations.  I asked them if any of them have worn it since the grad ceremony and none of them have.

As Canadians start their Christmas shopping, I would encourage them all to think of this: is what you are buying for your friend or family going to be worth the price?  Will it last or be used more than once?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Debit and Credit Card Skimming

Protect Your Cash by Protecting Your PIN

Over 84% of Canadian adults have at least 1 debit card and at 74% have at least 1 credit card.  Despite the convenience and popularity of these cards, there is a risk of fraud. It is important to protect your cards, just as you would cash or cheques. Some of the risks associated with debit/credit card fraud are the same as carrying around your account numbers, so protect your card information in your wallet, online and over the phone.

However, there is another threat to card users that is unique - it's called "skimming." Skimming occurs when thieves set up a device that captures the magnetic stripe and keypad information from ATM machines, gas pumps, restaurants, and retail stores. By doing the following, your information will be protected and you will reduce the risk of having your information stolen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good $ Information

There are many good financial advice articles floating around the web.  Here are articles from the past few weeks that I think may be worth your time:

Why women need to save more than men for retirement at - Longer life spans, health issues, less income and savings, and lower benefits are some of the hurdles.

Generation Spend at - Today's youth are looking at outspending Baby Boomers

Is retirement chained to your home? at - Canadians plan to take longer to pay off their mortgages, maybe even 35 years, but they don't expect it to affect their retirement plans.

Young, broke? You, too, can be a millionaire at - Young people should start a tax-free savings account as soon as possible

Wealth Building Tips for New College/University Graduates at

Enjoy.  If you know of some others, please let me know.  Jerry

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do Not Forget Investing

With so many articles and news programs focusing on Canadians' high personal debt load, it can be easy to forget that saving and investing are also vital parts of a budget and financial plan.  It is essential to reduce debt, especially bad debt that makes life difficult, but it is also important to reach retirement with money invested and hopefully growing.

How do you start investing when the paycheque is gone between bills and mortgage?
The best way to start is to put away a little at a time.  Use a High Interest Savings Account and put $10 or $25 into it every paycheque.  When you get a bonus, put $100 into it.  Most people don't even notice the money is gone from chequing if it's done as soon as they are paid.  Add more to the regular savings amount as the years go on.