Author Archives: Riann grant

It’s Friday morning (or what ever day you get paid), you wake up excited because you know today is PAYDAY. You’ve been working hard all week and you are ready to have some money in your pocket ! Fast forward to three days later, your rent is due and you check your account and the amount there is significantly less than you thought it would be. Where has your money gone ? It’s probably sitting in the accounts of fast food restaurants, clothing stores, gas stations, etc. It is easy to spend money especially on the things we want, but having a good budget allows you to plan your spending, this way you are spending efficiently and will always have money for the things you need. It will also allow you to spend within your means keeping you out of debt, or allow you to pay off your debt. Here…

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If your credit history is not where you want it to be, I can guarantee that you’re not alone. Many of us weren’t taught the importance of maintaining good credit, and as a result many have fallen victim to the temptation of the short lived satisfaction over spending brings because they are unaware of how detrimental the consequence is. However, fear not ! If you may’ve made a mistake of two with your credit, or you would simply just like a higher score, you are able to increase it. High credit scores allow for higher approval probability and lower interest rates, and well who doesn’t like low interest rates. Just keep in mind that improving your credit scores takes time, this is not a project that can be down over night. There are several steps you can take to increase your score such as paying down debt, or getting a…

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Have you ever heard the quote , “it takes 20 years to build a reputation but only 5 minutes to ruin it ?” Well the same goes for your credit. It is extremely easy to lose points from your credit score, but it takes a while, to build it back. But knowing how credit scoring works can help tremendously when manuevring the process to rehabilitate your numbers faster. Listed are two effective strategies to help you do just that. DISPUTE OLD, SMALL COLLECTION ACCOUNTS There may be mistakes in the credit or loan amounts, or errors in a payment you made on time that may display as late. There could also be negative information listed for longer than it’s maximum amount of years. PAY YOUR CREDIT CARDS TWICE EACH MONTH Paying the balance on your credit every month seems like a good idea however it could actually be hurting your…

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Many Canadians think that increasing their income will solve all of their financial problems, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. The use of Credit and Credit Scores are over looked aspects in financial life but in reality Credit is one the pillars of financial security.  In our payment driven society, getting credit is extremely easy, and spending it is even easier, and as a result spending unnecessarily is the financial anchor holding many back from financial freedom.   The problem is when spending is based on payment amounts, people often feel they can afford things they can’t.  The solution is simple – live within or below your means. Credit however, is not all bad.  It can actually be very good when used correctly.  If you have high Credit scores , you pay less interest rates which means more money in your pocket.  So I’m going to break down two…

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We’re heading into that whirlwind time of year when high school seniors receive their college acceptance letters and the decision-making begins. It’s such a dangerous time for parents. Your instinct is to encourage your kid to follow her dreams, and enroll at her favorite school. Please, please, please, slow down, and listen up.  The most loving long-term decision you can make is to steer your family toward a college that makes financial sense for everyone. And parents, that means being very, very careful about borrowing a penny to pay for college. I want you to stand in your truth and carefully consider if you can afford to take out PLUS loans.   PLUS loans are federal loans available to parents of college students. There is no limit on PLUS loans; parents can borrow up to the cost of college minus any other aid the student receives. Please carefully read any financial…

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It’s finally Spring…and that means the start of the busiest season for home buying. If you are considering buying your first home—or love someone who is ready to own – I want you to be smart about your down payment. A 20% down payment is still considered the gold standard. If you can bring that much cash to the deal –and you have a solid financial picture – lenders are going to be eager to offer you a great deal. But that’s not realistic for many of you, especially first-time buyers. The average home down payment is around 7% these days. In fact, many people are putting down just 3% or 3.5% as there are national mortgage programs specifically designed for such low down payments. I am not a fan of low down payments. At a bare minimum I want you to make a down payment of at least 10%.…

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I know many of you are dedicated Costco and Sam’s Club shoppers. You are all about getting deals and saving money. Are you just as focused saving money on your investments? The good news is that it has never been a better time to save money on your investments. The common annual fee charged on all mutual funds and exchange traded funds keeps falling. Morningstar reports that the average asset-weighted annual charge – called the expense ratio – is now around half of what it was in 2000. The average 0.48% expense ratio in 2018 saved investors an estimated $5.5 billion, compared to the average cost a year earlier. That’s all fantastic news, but only if you are cashing in on the funds and ETFs that are on sale. It is easy to find the annual expense ratio for a fund or ETF. You can check your brokerage website or…

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4 WAYS TO HELP A NEW COLLEGE GRADUATE Earning a college degree is a fantastic accomplishment. Congratulations to all the recent grads. If you have a recent college grad in your life, I hope you will stay focused on continuing to help them. Especially right now. Moving from college to adulting is fun, exciting, and oftentimes a period when so many young adults make costly financial mistakes. The sad truth is that it’s rare for any college grads to have been taught how to be money smart. That’s where you need to step in –once again –and help them learn the habits that will build financial security. Here’s what to focus on: Start student loan repayment. The single worst mistake a young adult can make is to fall behind on student loan payments. That will increase their borrowing costs, ruin their credit and can’t even be forgiven in bankruptcy. Technically,…

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More than 50% of Americans gave themselves a personal finance grade of A or B in a recent survey. I sure hope you are making the grade, but in the same Equifax survey there were some disturbing facts. Emergency Fund: Just half of respondents say they have at least three months of living costs. That means an even smaller percentage have the eight months of living costs I insist is the only way to be safe, and not sorry. How to raise your grade: If you don’t already, sign up for automatic savings at your bank. Have a set amount transferred from your checking account to your savings account. If you already do this, add $25 to the monthly transfer. Push yourself to do this. I am confident you have what it takes to trim your spending so you can afford to save more. Then in three months, increase it…

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