Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Canadian Approach to Debt

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A paid off home has long been considered a fundamental of a good financial plan and something I hope to accomplish in my thirties. Currently 3 years into the first 5-year mortgage term with my lender, I have no plans to refinance and incur the associated financial penalties to lower my rate a few points. However, I do like to keep note of current lending rates and if you are a Canadian, you probably heard that the Bank of Canada cut it’s key overnight lending rate by 25% this week. While the jury is out on whether this was a good move for Canadians, my preoccupation with lending rates in general is purely out of curiosity as it has little bearing on my current financial plan. If the rates were to move sharply, whether up or down, my plan would be the same: to continue to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible. Before I get into why, let me back up a little. Continue reading

Another False Measure of Worth: Income

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Have you ever been asked how much money you make? Did you answer them? It is a question that often puts people on the defensive. It might be a cultural thing since most North Americans in general tend to avoid asking questions like this. Those who do ask are usually kids, or foreigners, who aren’t familiar with the nuances of Western social norms. Talking about personal finance ranks up there with politics, religion and bedroom antics as topics that are only discussed on a need-to-know basis. Typical responses to such a direct question usually end up with answers like “None of your business”, “Not enough” or “I do OK”; which politely try to deflect the question.

Why don’t we talk about our income?

These responses do beg the question: why are we so hesitant to talk frankly about topics surrounding our financial situation? Continue reading

A Measure of Worth

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The Christmas Season just finished up and it is not hard to see how materialistic our consumer society really is. I generally try to stay out of the stores since I’ve found the best way to prevent myself from overspending is to not tempt myself walking though the store aisles. I am fortunate that my wife has much more self-control while shopping than I do, so she usually handles the purchasing. While thinking about what motivates me to buy something, I came up with the following non-exhaustive list: Continue reading

Money is the Root of All Evil

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I wanted to start here since “money is the root of all evil” is a phrase I have heard many times growing up. A quick Google search reveals many who hold that opinion. Money’s evilness is blamed for everything from stealing to stock market crashes, damaged relationships, broken families, greed, loneliness, selfishness, addictions and pride. Money seems to cause people to do terrible and often self-destructive things. Continue reading