April 10: Best from the blogosphereApril 10, 2017
By Sheryl Smolkin
Last week I couldn’t resist buying bright yellow forsythia, pussy willows and stalks of purple iris from the florist at one of my favourite grocery stores. It will be a few weeks before the flowering trees in my neighbourhood burst into bloom, but when I walked the dog this morning I heard the rata-tat-tat of industrious woodpeckers and crocuses were already pushing through the damp earth on the sunny side of the street.
If it’s spring, Alan Whitton aka the Big Cajun Man says its time to revisit the idea of a spring financial cleaning. A few of his ideas include:
- Think about rebalancing if you are a Couch Potato investor.
- Clean out and shut down any superfluous bank accounts.
- Consider how many credit cards you really require and close extra accounts you don’t need.
- Is your mortgage about to be renewed? Time to go shopping for a better rate.
Minimalist blogger Cait Flanders decided to move to back to her hometown in Squamish this spring. Although her rented condo is not small, she says she is living small in her not-so-tiny home. To Flanders that means living below her means with less stuff and making do, mending and prioritizing her life. Her list also includes getting involved in and supporting her local community.
“Living small is essentially not chasing ‘more’, but learning to find the more in less,” she notes. “It’s about utilizing the space you have, shrinking your carbon footprint and being an active member in your community (whatever that looks like for you).”
Kerry K. Taylor aka Squawkfox says our accomplishments are not just a matter of luck whether they be saving enough for the down payment on a house, paying down debt or scoring the winning goal in a soccer game. She reminds readers that “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” and urges each one of us to own our successes and accept the kudos we deserve.
Why it’s NOT okay to be in debt when approaching Retirement by Douglas Hoyes was recently posted on the Financial Independence Hub. In the most recent Joe Debtor report issued two years ago by his firm Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., the company reported that seniors are the fastest growing risk group for insolvency and that’s still the case today.
Hoyes says if you have more debt than you can handle, talk to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee about filing a consumer proposal or personal bankruptcy. In most cases, you can keep your RRSP even if you go bankrupt. Also, he suggests that if you own a home, you should discuss a consumer proposal as a viable alternative to bankruptcy. Both solutions will allow you to eliminate your debt, and preserve your RRSP.
And finally, on My Own Advisor, Mark Seed explores whether Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) is right for him. He reviews the financial and social implications for his family of retiring significantly earlier than his current target date of age 50 (which is still pretty early) and concludes that he and his wife are not ready to make any radical changes.
In his early 40s now, he concludes that more time and freedom would be great but instead of rushing towards this, they are more or less inching in that direction.
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 on http://wp.me/P1YR2T-JR and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card.
Dec 9: Best from the blogosphereDecember 9, 2013
By Sheryl Smolkin
Holiday shopping is in full swing. Even if you managed to sidestep the malls in November, few have been able to avoid the lure of Black Friday which seems to have crossed the border and taken root in this country.
But folks who blow their budget in December often regret it in January. Here is what some of our favourite bloggers have to say about ways to downplay consumerism and share more economically with the ones you love.
On Squawkfox Kerry K. Taylor has posted the introductory blog of five that will fire back at what she calls “seasonal nonsense.” She has 60 comments already on what bugs people about holiday consumerism. Stay tuned for the next four installments.
The Brighter Life staff offers some smart ways to combine a little thought with your thriftiness. For example, set limits, get cooking and give the gift of time.
Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist provides links to over a dozen websites and guides with hundreds of strategies for a simpler Christmas.
And Chris Tecmire who blogs on $imple Family Finance shares 14 ways to simplify Christmas that will help manage your laundry list of things to do so you can bring back your inner child and truly enjoy this time of celebration.
But Laura Vanderkam is not planning to mess around with her family’s Christmas traditions. She says she will not be simplifying Christmas this year Because it only comes once a year and because she is naturally cheap, extreme frugality is not needed or warranted.
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.