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Good morning Dinks and Happy Black Friday.  If you’re out among the crowds today searching for the best deals I wish you all the best of luck.  I am at home and on my way to work.  I am more of an online shopper when it comes to mass crowds.

I love a great deal but not so much that I want to wake up in the middle of the night and wait in line to save hundreds of dollars.   Partly because I don’t like to wake up earlier than I have to and partly because I just don’t need any big ticket items right now.  However if I needed a new laptop or TV I may be telling a different story right now.

What’s the best Black Friday deal you got today?

Enjoy these posts:

Sustainable Family Finances – Bad Money Habits That Lead to Big Trouble

Stapler Confessions – What Should You Buy on Black Friday?

Enemy of Debt – 8 Tips for First-Time Investors

Make Money Your Way – Dealing With the Emotional Aspects of Debt

Club Thrifty – What to Expect from Target on Black Friday

Photo from Flickr

Credit Tips from an Expert

by Kristina on November 27, 2014 · 0 comments

Having a couple of specific savings goals can help you focus and achieve. Here are my top three tips to help you crush your upcoming financial goals.

Good morning Dinks.  Today we are busting credit myths with the one and only money maven Ellen Roseman.  You remember Ellen, right?  We gave away a copy of her book Fight Back: 81 Ways To Help You Save Money and Protect Yourself From Corporate Trickery last year.  She’s an advocate for consumer rights and she loves telling people how to avoid scams and save money.

Last week I attended a credit chat with Roseman, hosted by LowestRates.ca, and she gave us a ton of useful tips on how to avoid overspending when it comes to credit.  Yes that’s right Roseman told us the deepest darkest secrets of a world ruled by credit.  She exposed the biggest scams when it comes to credit cards and laid out our rights when it comes to credit bureaus and our credit scores.

During the credit chat Roseman explained how people can acquire credit, manage it responsibly and how to  overcome credit problems if you get into financial trouble.

4 tips to keep your credit score high and your balances low:

Always know your credit score.  I don’t know about you but I check my credit score at least once a year.  Partially because my score used to be very low because of my troubled debt past and partially because I am paranoid about identity theft.  I like to watch my credit score increase over the year and I also like to make sure all my information is being reported correctly.  Roseman says people should be proactive when it comes to their credit score and inquire regularly with the credit bureaus.  There are several places you can get your free credit score right from the comfort of your own home such as Quizzle.com.

How to choose the best credit card.  If you’ve ever searched for a credit card online you know there are a ton of “Find the right credit card” tools out there.  Credit card companies want to make sure you find the best card to suite your needs because they want to be a happy, spending, interest paying customer for many years to come.  Roseman says low interest credit cards are a good place to start.  ” They can save consumers money by reducing interest charges, despite the fact that they often carry an annual fee.”

Why are people declined for credit?  @Vanessasmoney asked “Why do some people get credit cards easily at 18, while others struggle?”  Here’s Roseman’s answer “Have stability — an address for a few years, a job for a year or two” are ways to show creditors you are responsible and stable. Two major factors that banks and other lenders look for when assessing credit applications..

Are credit balance protection services worth it?  The answer from Roseman plain and simple is no. She says credit balance protection services are definitely not worth the money.  Ellen instead recommends non-profit credit counselling for people who need help managing their debts.

If you want to get more information about credit reports and credit scores as well as tips on how to better manage your household budgets and pay down your mortgages you can watch the full credit chat here.

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Photo Credit: Robert Hensley

Good morning Dinks and Happy Thanksgiving.  Another year has passed and it’s time to look back on the past year and think about all the things we’re thankful for this year.  These are all the things I’m thankful for this year:

My family, most of the time anyways.  My family has definitely had our ups and downs and I’ve shared a lot of that here on Dinks Finance.  I complain about my family, but at the end of the day I have to be thankful that I still have a family…what’s left of it.  At the end of the day I’m thankful to have my family around because some people aren’t so lucky.  Choosing not to talk to your family is one thing, but not even having the option to call is a whole other story.

My friends all five of them.  There is a quote that says “Friends are God’s way of apologizing to us for our families”, this really hits me personally.  I don’t have the best family situation and at the end of the day my friends have always been there for me.  After my family fall out my friends have always been around to celebrate every birthday, Easter, Christmas and any other holiday so I don’t have to be alone.  Friends have a special bond because you choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.

My job, however long I have it.  I love my job in digital marketing, I really do.  I’m thankful that I was able to make a career change from financial planning to marketing at 33 years old.  I had experience in writing for the web and social media from blogging and I went back to school to get a diploma in journalism; but the truth is no one had to give me a chance because all my work history was in banking.  I’m thankful I found a job I love and when our company is sold in the next few weeks I’m hoping I still have  job.

Our new apartment. Nick and I moved October 1 and as I’ve said here many times it’s a money pit.  However I’m thankful for our new apartment because I absolutely love the space.  We are finally settling in to our new space and things are coming together, just in time for the holidays.  I love living with Nick and I’m thankful we’ve been together all these years, but this year I’m really thankful for our new apartment.

Money situation has improved over the years.  I am definitely thankful my money situation is not the same as it was five years ago.  Back then I was over my head in debt and now I’m not.  Now I live on less, but I don’t live without and I’m happy with that.  I know improving my finances by increasing my income and lowering my debt was my doing,  but I truly believe the powers at be gave me the will to strength to do it – for that I’m thankful.

I don’t have savings goals

November 24, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  It’s that time of the year again, time to start thinking about all the goals we achieved over the past year and time to start setting goals for the New Year.  So how did you do?  Did achieve your savings goal?  Did you max out your retirement accounts?  Did you pay off […]

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Weekly roundup: Snow, IRAs and small spaces

November 21, 2014

Happy Friday Dinks.  This week we had our first snow up here in Montreal and I wasn’t ready for it.  I guess it’s time to get out the ear muffs (yes I wear ear muffs) and winter coats.  I personally don’t adapt to the cold weather very well.  I’m one of those people who wear […]

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How to get your house winter ready

November 20, 2014

Here’s my personal confession for the week, my new apartment is cold.  It’s very very cold.  I mean we’re talking don’t want to get out of bed type of cold.  As you know Nick and I just moved into our apartment Oct 1 and we’re already freezing as fall gets closer to winter, I’m afraid […]

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How to Get Started with Binary Options

November 20, 2014

Binary Options has become a popular investing strategy over the last year or so. That’s because of the fast paced nature of Binary Options and the ability to earn money quickly. However, that doesn’t mean trading binary options is for everyone. Before you dive in let’s look at some basics of how it all works […]

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How do you set your budget?

November 19, 2014

I know that setting a budget means living within your means and deciding how and when we want to spend our money.  But how do you set your monthly spending budget?  Maybe you budget based on what you earn or maybe you set your budget based on how much your expenses cost. Nick and I […]

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Smart Ways to Cut Corners

November 19, 2014

Even in the best of times, saving money is advantageous. Saving money and being frugal are cousins. Many people who are wealthy have money because they live beneath their means. Saving is important across all economic boundaries. Take a look at these seven helpful tips to help your family cut corners. Get Rid of Debt […]

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