If happiness has a price – it’s $75,000

It turns out, money can buy happiness, and it only costs $75,000. Research by Nobel laureat Daniel Kahneman provided insights into the relationship between how much you make and your happiness. The study analyzed results from 450,000 Americans found that the tipping point for happiness lies at $75,000. They found people who earned less than $75,000 per year were more likely to feel stressed and sad. However, at $75,000, money didn’t seem to buy more happiness. Kahneman suspects this is because $75,000 may be the threshold beyond which making more money does not provide what matters most to people – such as spending time with friends and family.Continue reading

Which is smarter? Saving or paying off your debts?

It’s not uncommon for people to have student debt even after years’ of graduation. The cost of a University degree is getting steeper. Tuition have tripled from 1990 to 2017, and students in Ontario are paying the most. Average fees are expected to climb to $7,437 in 2016-2017.

It’s not a surprise many still carry the burden of student debt. But when it comes to deciding
between paying off debt or saving, people seem to struggle with the decision. You will hear many people tell you that investing in an RRSP or a TFSA would be a good idea. But that is only partially true. It is only when the interest rate on your student debt is lower than the investment return you are getting on your investments would investing make more sense.Continue reading

Should I buy or should I rent? Is owning a condo a good idea?

With the price of a house becoming increasingly unaffordable, more and more young people are shifting their focus to owning a condo instead as their starter home. But is it really a good choice? Many young people buy a condo knowing they will most likely stay for about 5 years, before they begin to outgrow it, when they find a partner or start a family and will want a bigger place. In these cases, renting will be a better choice. Selling a condo and buying a house will cost you a lot of money – between real estate fees and land transfer taxes, transactions costs will be about 9% of the average price of the condo you are selling and the house you are buying. Continue reading

The Story of a F*** Off Fund – A blog that went completely viral

Here’s a blog post that went completely viral, about how women can empower themselves to create their own financial independence with an emergency fund. It’s a story about a girl who gets her first internship, gets a credit card, a fabulous black leather skirt and heels to go with it, only to have her student loans and lifestyle catch up with her.

This doesn’t sound unfamiliar at all.Continue reading

Are you relying on winning the lottery to fund your retirement?

We don’t usually think of retirement in our late 20’s or 30’s, and many of us won’t even begin to think about until we’re in our 50’s.

We can’t plan for what we don’t think about. And this alarming statistic says it all. Bank of Montreal did a study and ask the question – “how many of you are relying on winning the lottery?” And the numbers are scary.

Maybe it’s time to think about saving for the future.

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How Much Home Can We Afford?

Many of us buy a home based on the down payment we have saved, but that’s only half the picture of home ownership. Banks and financial institutions will offer you the “maximum” mortgage they can give you , based on your income. But often, it will not be appropriate for you and you run the risk of being house rich and cash poor – whereby all of your monthly income goes into the new property and cannot save an extra single $1.

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Drinking Away Our Savings

“Two young women are huddled around an ATM in a corner of a Toronto nightclub. After the machine flicks out a few bills, they turn and take three quick steps to the bar where liquor bottles are arranged in rows like singers in a choir.

They order two vodka sevens. Sixteen dollars, the bartender says. To their left, a man orders 10 “Porn Star” shooters. The bartender spills inky liquid into a line of stubby shot glasses. The guy counts out $90 and toasts with his friends.”

Melissa Leong – Financial Post

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Rules of Money

I wanted to write about the mistakes I made with money when I was younger. Being a financial planner, I feel foolish writing about my own money mistakes but then I realized it we’re not born naturally good with money, including myself, that is: until I started learning. How would we know what to do with our money unless we learn about it? And most people don’t have the interest. Learning about money is not fun, it’s definitely not as fun as spending it. But I want to write this post so you can recognize your own financial mistakes and try hard to correct them before they negatively affect your life and future.Continue reading

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