Author: Daniel Anaya

Low fees and good interest rate savings accounts to invest in for 2018

hh 850x460 - Low fees and good interest rate savings accounts to invest in for 2018

Savings and investments

A sure way to a rewarding future is to have good savings or investments account.  There are a lot of different financial institutes out there with a confusing number of different plans.

The trick to finding the best one is to ensure it is one that works for you and as you are the one trusting your money to that institute you have every right to ask questions. Make sure you are happy with the interest rates; fees and you are getting the best service possible.  Also shop around just because you have been with an institute for however many years does not necessarily mean they are the best place to keep your savings in.  As the competition is quite high these days you are bound to find a plan that may have a lot more to offer you.

Top savings accounts on offer for 2018

Tangerine – RSP Account

Monthly Fee = $0
Interest Rate = 2.40%
Interest is paid monthly.
Online Banking = Yes
Transactions Fees = According to transaction type (see site for details)

EQ Bank – Savings Plus Account

Monthly Fee = $0
Interest Rate = 2.30%
Interest is paid monthly.
Online Banking = Yes
Transactions Fees = According to transaction type (see site for details)

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National Bank – The Strategist Savings Account®

Monthly Fee = $0
Interest Rate = 0.250%
Interest is paid monthly.
Online Banking = Yes
Transactions Fees = According to transaction type (see site for details)

BMO – Premium Rate Savings Account

Monthly Fee = $14.59
Interest Rate = 0.050%
Interest is paid monthly.
Online Banking = Yes
Transactions Fees = According to transaction type (see site for details)

CIBC – Premium Growth Account

Monthly Fee = $0
Interest Rate = 0.05%
Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.
Online Banking = Yes
Transactions Fees = According to transaction type (see site for details)

Budgeting tips that will help you stick to and maintain your monthly budget

gg 850x460 - Budgeting tips that will help you stick to and maintain your monthly budget

Monthly budgets

A lot of people tend to go month to month on the fly spending until their wallets are empty. That may work for some people or for people with oodles of cash that do not really need to keep track of their cash. Although even people with a lot of money should keep track of it.
A good easy to follow and maintain a budget is the key to ensuring that not only do you cover all your monthly expenses, but you could just end up having some over to save or to splurge. It is also good to see how you are spending and where you could possibly improve your personal finances.

Monthly budgeting tips

Define a clear goal

The main goal of a budget is to help a person have some control over their spending. The goal is not to track our every spent penny it is to help us spend those pennies correctly and more effectively. We do this, so we can get to spend our cash on what is most important to us.

A person can keep track of every single penny they have spent and still come up horribly short at the end of each month simply because they have not defined a clear financial goal.

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Starting your budget

The best way to start an effective budget is to first track how you are spending your money. Keep track of what you have been spending for a week or two try doing this from a month end, so you monitor what bills you are paying.  The end of the month or payday week is the most crucial week as this is the time a person tends to do most of their spending.  So, start your budget tracking from there.

Categorize your budget

There are a lot of places where your spending does not change, or you have a set amount that you pay each and every month.  Such as rent, mortgage, car installments, insurances, etc. Expenses that do not change each month you can put into a category such as fixed monthly expenses for example.Another spending that tends to go up or down during the month put into another two or three categories and try to bring the spending of these under control or put a monetary cap on them.

Spending on these would be things like entertainment, eating out, clothes, gadgets, etc. if it is not a necessity try to cut down on the spending on these items and do so only when you have enough put away that they will not impact on your monthly necessities.

Prioritize savings

A lot of people spend and then save what is left over. This rarely works as there is usually not that much left over to save and it is easy to put it off again until the next month and spend that bit.
So rather put your savings first then spend the rest that way you know you have a set amount put away each month and what you have left over you can spend.  It is also a better way of getting those gadgets, clothes and have a splurge on eating out.

How to deal with credit cards – a definitive guide

credit2 850x460 - How to deal with credit cards – a definitive guide

Credit cards can work for you

There a lot of people out there that have fallen into the credit card trap and ended up deep in debt.It has probably taken what seems like a lifetime to pay off that debt too with interest that just keeps piling up. Yes, they can make your life miserable if not used correctly but they can also give your finance portfolio a boost if used wisely.

How to deal with credit cards

How do credit cards work?

Most credit cards come with a spending limit of which you can spend too. It is just like a cash loan where the money is put into an account for you to spend. Only with a credit card, the amount is allocated to your card.
Each time you use your credit card to pay for something you are spending a bit of that loan amount. If you pay the balance in full each month most institutes will not charge you interest or will charge low interest.  If you only pay a portion of the balance you will get charged monthly interest on the amount used.

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Tips for using a credit card

Read the fine print

A lot of times we just sign off the agreement and terms documents when applying for a credit card.
That can get people in a lot of hot water down the road as there are things in that agreement that you need to be aware of and fully understand.  There is no shame in asking what it all means or getting someone to read it over for you to ensure you do understand it.
You are entering into a binding legal agreement and as such you need to go in with your eyes open.

Find out the interest rates

Always make sure you know what the interest rates on the amounts are.  This way you know how to better budget for the installments at the end of the month. You can also check that you are being charged correctly.

Check your statements

Most of us look at the bottom line or what we owe for the month on our statements. What we should be doing is going over it thoroughly. Make sure we know the payment due dates, that every transaction on there we are aware of and that we are being charged fairly and correctly.

Pay your card on time

It is very important to pay your credit card on or before the cards due date. If you can try to pay it in full or as much as you can. Even if it is a few dollars above the monthly requirement.

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Use it wisely

Don’t use your credit cards as an extension of your monthly income. This only leads to financial troubles down the line. Try to use it for emergencies and those large purchases that you have fully budgeted for.If you are going to use it for grocery shopping ensure that at the end of each month you put that shopping money back into your credit card.  Remember it is a short-term loan, not extra money.

Offers

Don’t get sucked in on all the special offers that the financial institution has for you. Offers like insurance covers, skip a month of payments, etc.
Ultimately these offers are going to end up costing you.

Pros and cons of real money credit cards

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Credit cards

Like everything in life, there are the people who love credit cards and then there are those that dislike them. Each of these people has very valid reasons for their choice of credit cards can be both a blessing and a curse at the same time.

Pros of using a credit card

Bigger shopping selection

With a credit card, you have more shopping options as you can shop online. As you know shopping online not only opens up your local shopping area but the world.
You have instant access to downloads for books, music and various media. You can shop from the comfort of your home and have your goods delivered to your doorstep avoiding all the hustle and bustle.

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Instalment plans

A lot of credit cards with various installment plans whereby you can pay the shop the full amount for your good and then pay off your credit card purchase in affordable monthly installments.

They are faster to use

A credit card is a lot easier to use all you have to do is a swipe and your purchase is paid for. This cuts down the time-consuming writing of a cheque, searching for the cash and or the high fees you pay for withdrawing the cash.

Build a good credit history

You can use your credit card to boost your credit history which if you manage correctly can be used to give you a better rating. Good ratings make it easier for the bigger purchases such as houses and cars.

Fraud and or theft protection

Unlike cash, if your credit card is stolen you can stop all payments on the card. Most come with this protection cover so any purchases that may have gone through after it was stolen are sorted out.
You can stop payment on transactions that you feel are not correct and it cuts down on the need to carry around cash.

Rainy day cover

They come in handy for emergencies and most cards have reward point systems whereby you get points for purchases. These add up and can help with the purchase of various thing such as air tickets, petrol, etc.

Cons of using a credit card

Risk of getting into debt

A credit card can be very tempting in that if not kept in check you could potentially spend more than you can afford.  There are numerous studies that show people are more willing to spend on items with a credit card. Items that they would not normally buy if they did not have one.

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Impacts your future income

Every time you make a purchase with your credit card you are basically borrowing money from your bank. So, the following month that repayment will have to come out of your salary, this includes the fees for that loan.

Credit card terms and fees

A lot of times people take a credit card no fully understanding the terms and conditions. This can lead to the user getting into hot water or a huge shock when one starts to realize that their card is costing them more than they bargained for.
Some credit cards come with great offers, but they also have the darker huge fees and strict terms that go with all the deals.

Have the potential to negatively impact a person’s credit scores

Just like a well-managed credit card can give your credit score a boost so can they give it a black mark.
If you misuse your card or have payment problems it will negatively impact credit scores.  Keep in mind that misuse also leads to high-interest rates.