A Quick and Dirty Overview of Bonds

No, no. Not James Bond silly. C’mon now….

I’m talking about the financial term bond, and why you should have these types of investments in your registered and/or non-registered accounts.

WHAT IS A BOND and how do they work?

  • When you buy a bond, you are basically turning yourself into a bank. You loan your hard earned cash to the government, a city/province, or a company for a set period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. The interest rate that goes along with a bond is often referred to as the bond’s yield. Continue reading

Credit Cards: The Good, and The Not-So-Good

Do you remember signing up for your first credit card? I do. It was at Queen’s University during frosh week. I was walking around campus, checking out all of the little booths they had set up for newbie students, and I got sucked in. And all I got was a crappy oversized t-shirt and a $10,000 credit card limit. WHAT KIND OF 19-YEAR-OLD NEEDS A $10,000 CREDIT CARD LIMIT?

Luckily, I was educated by my parents about how credit cards worked and didn’t take advantage of this $10,000 limit. I knew that this money was not “free”. Some other friends’ in her life did not understand how they worked and got caught up in a bit of credit card debt.

So for all of you readers who may have never thought about that little piece of plastic that sits up front and centre in your wallet, this post is for you.

Continue reading

What’s the deal with Index Funds?

Have you heard of these things? Hmm’ing and haw’ing over what they are? Well, hmm and haw no more! I’ll give you the scoop on Index Funds, and explain why these types of mutual funds may be some of the better fund picks for your portfolio if you’re a newbie investor.

INDEX FUNDS EXPLAINED

Remember those days in high school when you had that massive 400 page Chemistry text book and you needed to find information on some crazy chemical like uranium? Where did you flip to?

Probably to the very back of the book – where the INDEX was. In book terms, the index is where ALL of the book’s content lies. It’s all-encompassing.

Continue reading

Budgeting is the Key to Creating Your Own Pot of Gold

HAVE YOU STARTED YET?

It’s been just over two months since I launched The Budget Babes and the first article was all about budgeting. Are you on track? Leprechauns are prancing around these days with pots of gold, but they’re probably sticking to a budget. It’s all about living within your means, and training yourself to think about your needs vs wants. It’s not difficult to do, but sometimes we need to change the way we think.

I wanted to share a few of my favourite budgeting apps with you in case you’re finally ready to grab the bull by the horns and take control of your finances.

Continue reading

Fun with Mutual Funds

Have you ever walked into a financial institution with some money to invest? Sat down in one of those comfy chairs with a financial advisor, and then discussed what type of risk you want to take with your investments? If you have, chances are your advisor ended up investing your money into mutual funds. You probably sat in that comfy chair, nodded in agreement, and tried to understand what returns you’d be making. You may have even left wondering what the heck a mutual fund is….

It’s ok. I got you.

What are mutual funds?

THANK GOODNESS YOU ASKED. I created a handy infographic to teach you the basics of how they work. But basically…….

Continue reading

You’re Never Too Young To Open An RRSP

A Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) is a registered account that allows you to save and invest in your future.

Tell me More…

Did you know that you can open an RRSP once you are of legal working age and have filed one income tax return? That’s 14 years old folks!! If the Canadian Government is allowing youngsters to develop good saving and investing habits early, where are so few doing it? Well, The Budget Babes believe it’s because of the lack of personal finance education in the school curriculum and at home. It’s not to say that students aren’t being taught valuable things, but how is there no education on money? It’s something we use EVERY DAY!! Think of how much better you would be with your personal finances if you started learning at a young age. You would likely have more savings because you’d understand how to budget properly and would have more confidence in making investment decisions.

Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Financial Advisors

Where do you go from here?

Did you go and open up a TFSA like I told you to? Good for you! The next step is to figure out if you want a financial advisor to look after your investments, or if you want to learn how to take control of your finances and do it yourself (I’ve been managing my own investments since the age of 18). Hopefully, this article will give you the confidence to choose what’s best for you.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN SHOPPING FOR AN ADVISOR:

  • The industry is not very regulated, so you need to ask the right questions. Find out what their qualifications are, what fees they make off of your investments, and what kind of service (tax/retirement/estate planning etc) they can provide as your short or long-term goals are met. Continue reading

It’s time to talk about the TFSA

A what?

A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA); this type of account has The Budget Babes feeling like she’s on top of the world.

I’m not ACTUALLY on top of the World here – But I Felt Like It!

The Benefits:

  • Any income that you make from investments within this account is tax-free (hence the name). This means that you don’t have to claim any income you’ve made from your investments on your tax return at the end of the year. I’m talking about “free” money here people.
  • You can contribute from the age of 18 to infinity and beyond. As of January 1, 2017 you can contribute up to $52,000. Check out our TFSA infographic for additional information.
  • You don’t need to have a job to open an account. If grandma gives you $50 as a gift, go and put that $50 into a TFSA and invest it. Just watch that baby grow!

Continue reading