Categories
Debt Management

A painless way to cut back on expenses

With the current economic uncertainty, many people are looking for ways to reduce expenses. A relatively painless way to reduce your monthly expenses is to have a second look at the way you’re managing your debt. Over time, most of us take out a variety of loans for different purposes. These can include things like credit card debt, car loans, home renovation loans and, of course, the mortgage. And if you have more than one loan, you’re most likely paying a different interest rate on each loan. One of the easiest ways to reduce your monthly interest costs is to consolidate your debt at the lowest rate. Typically, your lowest-rate debt will be a loan that is secured by an asset, such as your home. If you have sufficient equity built up in your home, consider switching to a product that allows you to access your equity, such as a home-equity line-of-credit. Then, use this line of credit to repay your higher-interest loans. In this way, you’ll be bringing all of your debts together into a single account, at a single rate. Some line-of-credit products even allow you to track debts separately within the account so you can continue to keep track of interest costs and repayment separately. Not only will debt-consolidation save you interest but it will make it easier for you to keep track of what you owe and how you’re progressing in paying it down. Reducing your monthly expenses is one way to deal with economic uncertainty – and it doesn’t have to be painful. By borrowing smarter you can reduce your interest costs and increase your cash flow each month. If you’d like to learn how to reduce your monthly interest costs, give me a call and I can discuss some options with you.]]>

Categories
Financial Planning

Tax Rules for Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyers Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net[/caption] If you’re one of the many Canadians who dream of home ownership, and you’re working hard to make this goal a reality, you should know that the Canada Revenue Agency has two programs that can help you get there faster. There is the First Time Home Buyers’ Plan. Because the required down payment on a house purchase can be a stumbling block, the government will actually let you borrow the money to put down on your dream home – from yourself. Under the rules of this program, you are allowed to take money out of your RRSP to help buy your home – up to $25,000. This money will remain sheltered from tax, so long as you pay it back within 15 years. This is a great way to put your retirement savings to work for you today, without the considerable tax consequences of withdrawing it outright. The only downside is that you won’t be earning interest on your investment, but that might be outweighed by the interest cost saved by using your own money instead of a loan. Another helping hand for new homeowners from the CRA is the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit on your tax return. It’s a non-refundable tax credit that can put money in your pocket by reducing the amount of tax you owe for the year in which you buy your house. Both of these programs are for first-time buyers only, and are designed to help you get yourself into the real estate market. If you have questions about these programs (or any other areas of estate planning or financial management), contact YourStyle Financial Inc. We take the financial stability or our clients very seriously, and can help you get your financial house in order, so you can get into the house you want. We’re more than an investment company – we tailor financial plans individually, to fit each one of our clients. If you’re thinking about jumping into the real estate market, we can help make sure you do it with both eyes open.]]>

Categories
Financial Planning

Manulife's Are you ready? – The Call

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