Tag Archives: Real Simple

What the pros can tell us about managing money better

We all want to be great managers of our money. And the road to great money management must be paved with good intentions. But the “shiny objects” of life distract us from running a tight fiscal ship, so we mostly see a lot more money going out than staying in. Debts mount and the piggy bank remains defiantly empty.

So what are the experts doing that we aren’t? Save with SPP scoured the web to try and find out.

From the Real Simple blog, money management tips include paying bills on time – even tiny bills – and using cheaper, lower-fee online banks.

Time magazine stresses the importance of patience and discipline. “Don’t make major money-related decisions in a hurry or at a time of great emotional stress, such as when the stock markets tank or soon after a loved one has died,” Time advises. Take time to breathe, the magazine suggests.

At the Titan’s Lair blogspot a key bit of advice is “knowing where your money goes.” With a budget, you know where every dollar is going, and that knowledge gives you the power to make savings, the blog advises. Budgeting, the blog adds, helps you stay out of debt and the related pitfalls of high fees and compound interest. As well, it will leave room for retirement saving. “Saving now and managing your money correctly will definitely benefit you in the long run,” the blog advises.

Noted financial guru Suze Orman, quoted on the Mint.com blog, says a key tactic is to “take a hard look” at finances, and to avoid making excuses for what’s not going right. It is important, she notes, to separate what people want from what they need. That will “cut the fat” out of their financial problems, the article states.

So to recap all this advice – don’t let unpaid bills pile up. Pay attention to fees. Take your time with major money decisions. Be aware of where every nickel of your money is going, and cut the fat where you can. Be realistic and separate needs from wants.

Following this more self-disciplined approach will help you tackle any debt you may be carrying, and will free up money for retirement savings. And as we all know, a great way to build those savings is by signing up for the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. Your money will grow, the fees are low, the track record is impressive, and there are many ways to turn your savings into a lifetime income stream.

Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. After a 35-year career as a reporter, editor and pension communicator, Martin is enjoying life as a freelance writer. He’s a mediocre golfer, hopeful darts player and beginner line dancer who enjoys classic rock and sports, especially football. He and his wife Laura live with their Sheltie, Duncan, and their cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22

Jul 27: Best from the blogosphere

By Sheryl Smolkin

Barbecuing is the obvious alternative when you don’t want to cook inside and heat up the house on a hot and muggy summer day. But feeding a crowd can get expensive if you entertain frequently or if there always seems to be a gang of hungry teenagers foraging for food in your fridge. This week we feature blog posts that have useful tips for cheap and cheerful summer barbecues.

First and foremost you need a grill. Barbecue Bible’s Steven Raichlen offers 8 questions to ask yourself before buying a grill or smoker. How much can you afford? Charcoal, gas, wood-burning or other? How many people will you be cooking for? What foods do you enjoy grilling or smoking? Is portability important? These questions and others will influence your purchasing decision.

Real Simple has 10 Money-Saving Ideas for a Summer Barbecue. Some examples are:

  • Skip the porterhouse steak in favour of a great flank steak.
  • It’s super easy to make do-it-yourself rubs and sauces.
  • Maintain your grill properly so it will last as long as possible.

In 7 Tips for Hosting a Low-Budget BBQ Readers Digest says don’t stress about impressing your guests with an elaborate menu. Instead of trying difficult recipes, serve simple dishes that you know they will like. Plus, if the kids at your barbecue are picky eaters, your uncomplicated menu is bound to please them.

Tiphero says the way to have a cheap and successful barbecue is to make the most of the meat you purchase by serving skewers. It breaks up the meat with some veggies to make for a nice, filling snack on a stick. Skewers are a great presentation and work wonderfully for portion control.

And finally, Stockpilingmoms gives 7 tips to a fun and cheap BBQ. What about a hot dog or bratwurst bar? Grab hot dogs, bratwurst or sausages for less than a steak, chicken or burger would cost.  Pick out regular, wheat, onion and poppy seed buns.  Offer different fresh or grilled veggies, relish, chili, and all your favorite condiments for a fun spin on a typical barbecue.  Let everyone build their own dog mixing and matching classic flavors to create a new favorite.

Do you follow blogs with terrific ideas for saving money that haven’t been mentioned in our weekly “Best from the blogosphere?” Share the information with us on http://wp.me/P1YR2T-JR and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card.