DINKS April 12 Easter

Good morning Dinks, happy Friday and happy Easter.  In just two days people all over the world can once again indulge in the vices that they gave up for Lent.

This year I decided not to give up anything this year.  Instead I decided to improve upon something – so I gave up swearing.  It wasn’t a total success, it’s more of a work in progress.  But at least I’m trying to better myself.

What did you give up for Lent?

Happy Easter and enjoy these posts from our friends.

Money Talks News – 7 Steps to Make Millions With Your Bright Idea

Money Beagle – 9 Things Your Yard Needs For A Great Spring

L Bee and the Money Tree – Five Years Later – Was Choosing the Safe Option The Right Thing To Do?

Common Sense Millennial – 4 Reasons Combining Our Finances Made Sense

Enemy of Debt – 4 Ways To Make Money At Home

The Heavy Purse – Set Goals that Matter

Photo by JD Hancock

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DINKS April 12 Money Stack

Credit cards can be the frenemy of consumers.  They can be your best friend if you use them wisely but they can also be your worst enemy if you aren’t financially responsible.  Using your credit card for smart purchases every month and paying it off in full saves money on interest payments.  It also helps maintain or increase your credit score.

Take advantage of your credit card – don’t let it take advantage of you

A smart credit card purchase comes two fold.  The first feature of a smart purchase makes sure the benefit is worth the cost and the second ensures you get a reward with your purchase.  Financial responsibility starts with your budget.  Before you make a purchase on your credit card make sure the cost fits into your budget.

You will always have a happy financial life if you use your credit card wisely and only spend what you can afford to pay off in full each and every month.  Not only should you avoid overspending to save on interest charges, you should also benefit from using your credit card.  This means lots and lots of rewards such as extended purchase warranties, free upgrades and complementary insurance coverage.

4 purchases you should always make on your credit card

1. Your new TV and other electronics.  Many credit cards offer an extended manufacturer’s warranty on everything from sports gear to electronics.  A manufacturer’s warranty usually allows you to repair or exchange your item within twelve months of the purchase if it is damaged.  I recently bought a laptop and my American Express Gold Card actually doubled our manufacture’s warranty.  HP gave us a two year warranty and our American Express gave us an additional two years. You will find all the details in the fine print of your credit card agreement.

2. Your next car rental.  Before you pay a daily premium for car rental insurance call your credit card company and check if they offer car rental insurance.  Some travel credit cards offer damage and collision car rental insurance when you pay for your car rental with your credit card.  Some credit card companies also offer a discount rate on your car rental.  Car rental insurance can cost an additional $25 a day.  I love avoiding this extra cost by having car rental insurance with my credit card.

3. our airplane ticket.  Your credit card may include several travel perks such as free upgrades, access to an exclusive airport lounge and insurance coverage when you book your airplane ticket on your credit card.  You can save on the costs of having to purchase additional insurance if your credit card offers trip cancellation or delay, loss of baggage and out of country medical insurance.

4. Your night out on the town.  If you are going to treat yourself to a night out on the town you might as well be rewarded for it.  Some credit cards offer extra cash back on restaurant and entertainment purchases.  My American Express Gold Card gives us 4 x the rewards points on all purchases at restaurants.  This is definitely a good reason to eat out.

What’s the bottom line? Before you charge anything on your credit card give your provider a call to check if you have additional benefits and rewards with your purchase.

Photo by PedHappati

 

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House in Spain

Good morning Dinks.  Are you thinking of buying a home this spring? Maybe you are buying a first home with your spouse or maybe you are thinking of upgrading.  Buying a home can be overwhelming and we want to make the process as easy as possible for you.  How can we do that?  By giving you some step by step tips on how to buy your next home.

We sat down with Penelope Graham from Rate Supermarket and asked her what couples need to know about buying a home together.

 What is the first step couples should take when they want to start saving together for a home if they have never talked about joint finances?

The first step is to get on the same page in regards to ownership goals. Make a checklist and ask yourself the following questions:

- When do you want to buy your home?

- How much will you each contribute to the down payment and how long will it take you to save?

- Will you contribute your savings to a joint account, or will your respective savings be kept in separately?

It’s important to set a timeline and a plan you will achieve together. It’s equally important to be transparent with the status of your home savings with your spouse.  Keep in mind that your mortgage rate and qualification will be based on both of your credit scores.  It’s best to share any skeletons in your financial closet as soon as possible.

Other than the down payment, what are other expenses couples should plan for?

There are so many additional costs associated with buying a home, some mandatory and others advisable.

For example, if you’re not married it may be a good idea to prepare an agreement that states what will happen to the assets if the relationship doesn’t last. It may not be romantic, but it is important that you have a plan for dividing your equity should you have to sell your home.  This can protect you from huge financial ruin later on.

Other buying costs to be aware of include:

- lawyer fees

- appraisal fees

- land survey

- home inspection (bring in your own even if the seller is also having an inspection conducted)

- mortgage default insurance (if you’re paying less than 20 per cent down)

- property and home insurance

Click here to learn more about these different home buying costs.

How can couples find the best interest rate for their mortgage?

If there was ever a time to comparison shop, this is it!  One major fault of consumers today is they are loyal to their home banks, some of you may have been with the same lender since you were kids.  However, not looking around for the best interest rate can be costly.

Comparing rates offered by other lenders or credit unions can really save you a bundle – we’re talking thousands of dollars – over the course of your mortgage.  It’s also smart to find a mortgage product with flexible prepayment privileges, which will allow you to pay your mortgage off sooner, and save tons on your interest payments over time. Try a rate comparison site, or seek out the help of a mortgage broker.

These are just a few tips to get you started on the homebuyer process.  Stay tuned because next week Graham will be back with more tips for couples who want to buy a home.

RSM bio: Penelope Graham is the Editor of Money Wise, RateSupermarket.ca’s learning resource and blog. RateSupermarket.ca is Canada’s comprehensive financial rates comparison site, offering consumers transparent access to the best mortgage rates, credit cards, GICs, insurance and more. 

Photo by tahnyakristina

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Don’t pay full price for anything

April 14, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  As you know I am headed off to New York City in a few days and I can’t wait.  Yesterday I was talking with one of my co-workers and she asked me “How can you afford to travel so much?”  The answer is simple.  I always look for the best deal. I […]

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Meeting in the Middle — Saving Holiday Costs With Cruises

April 14, 2014

If you’re just married, or even if you’re just a couple who are head over heels in love, and are looking for a holiday where you can visit lots of different destinations all in one go, cruises are hard to beat. Working hard to pay the bills is tough, and sooner or later you’ll need […]

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Updated Job Opportunities – Turning the Tides on Employment

April 14, 2014

There are times when you apply for a job that is simply out of your league. This happens to every job seeker at some point in their lives as they aspire to land a job that requires more education or experience than a person truly has. When a person is in this situation, they will […]

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Weekly Recap: Tax Savings, Passions and TV

April 11, 2014

Good morning Dinks and Happy Friday.  Well it’s the middle of April and it’s still not warm outside.  Is anyone else getting really restless as you wait for the warm weather to arrive?  It seems like spring is taking forever to come this year. As you read this my mother and two of my friends […]

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My Money Meltdown

April 10, 2014

  After yesterday I just want to put my head in the sand.  Have you ever had a bad money day?  Just one of those days when nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, goes right.  Well yesterday I had one of those days and today I just can’t seem to let it go.  So what […]

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How ECNs Have Revolutionised Trading

April 9, 2014

Technology is now at the forefront of every single little thing that we do. Hollywood would have you believe that the concept of trading stocks and shares is still limited to those with supreme amounts of wealth; especially those who have a vast amount of free time, or those who have a stockbroker as an […]

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