5 Ways to Save for Your Child’s Education

5 Ways to Save for Your Child’s Education

Post secondary education can be costly. A student attending college or university can expect to pay between $2,500 and $6,500 per year or more in tuition. In addition, other expenses such as books, supplies, housing, student fees, and transportation will add to that total. 

Did you know approximately 60% of students with debt rely on parents or family for financial support?

If you start saving for your child’s education early, it will take the pressure off you in the years ahead. It is important to start saving for your child's early so you can provide the opportunity for your children to finish college or university debt free.

There are many ways you can start saving for your child’s education such as the Canadian Education Savings Plan (CESG) and Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). However, there are also other ways to help you get focused and save for your child’s education in the future. 

Here are 5 ways to save for your child’s education:

1. See what you can afford to save

Seeing what you can afford to save will help you see where you’re spending your money. So you should review your bills, receipts, and bank and credit card statements to give you a realistic idea of what you can afford to save.

2. Set and review your budget regularly 

Set how much you want to save based on what you can afford to save. Then, review your budget regularly because your financial situation can change. 

3. Start early 

The best and right time to start saving for your child’s education is early. This means saving for your child’s education even if you don’t have a child yet. So rather than buying expensive birthday presents or Christmas gifts, put some money away on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis towards your child’s education. 

4. Family resources 

You should encourage godparents, grandparents, and other family members to contribute to your child’s education savings instead of buying expensive birthday presents, Christmas gifts, and other events. 

5. Engage your children 

You should engage your children by explaining what their education expenses demand so they have an understanding of the important of financial planning. Engaging your children gives them the opportunity to become more involved to save for their education as they grow older.

Tips for Decorating your First Home

Tips for Decorating your First Home

Purchasing your first home is an exciting time. There are a ton of possibilities for how you can decorate your first home and make it your own. But, it can also be a little nerve-racking deciding where you should start.

Here are 4 tips for decorating your first home:

1. Clean house at the old place 

This is the perfect time to start over. Before you make an offer on a new place, you should clean house at the old place. Get rid of approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of your old stuff such as faulty appliances, wobbly furniture, and questions accessories. This will make your current digs easier to pack up and put you ahead during move-in to your first home. 

2. Start with the bedroom

The bedroom is where you’ll spend most of your time when you’re at home. You should start with the bedroom especially if you’re on a tight budget. Purchase a new bedding and paint the bedroom walls to complement your bedding. If you’re ready to splurge, add coordinating window treatments and buy that bed you’ve always dreamed about.

3. Don’t buy everything all at once

Make sure you don’t buy everything all at once. Live and enjoy your first home for at least a couple of months before you make any significant purchases. You need to think about how you’re going to use your house and how you actually live in the house. For example, maybe spending money on renovating the bathroom isn’t as important as beefing up the kitchen and dining area. 

4. Fight the urge to match

“Everything has to match.” Retail stores would love for you to buy everything in sets, but you need to fight the urge to match. Don’t turn your home into a lifeless, generic look of a furniture showroom. In addition, don’t be boring, so make sure your own personal style shows through. Your top priority should be proportion, scale, and balance of your furniture and accessories within each room.

3 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans

3 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans

Now that you finished school you are ready to enter the workforce. This is probably exciting for you, but a daunting transition in your life.

You are probably planning on buying a car and your first home, but you also have to pay for your student loans. There are plenty of ways to pay off your student loans to alleviate your debt and live a better financial life as you are starting out.

Here are 3 ways to pay off your student loans:

1. Make extra payment 

Make extra payment is one of the best ways you can pay off student loans faster. For example, pay the minimum payment each month, but make extra payment once every three months in the year for a total of 16 payments.

2. Pay more than the minimum payment

 You should pay more than the minimum payment each month. Paying any more than the monthly minimum payment will reduce the cost of your student loans.

For example, let’s say you have a $100,000 in student loans at a 7% interest rate with a 10-year repayment term. When you pay an extra $100 per month, you can save $4,696 in interest costs and pay off your student loans 1.08 years earlier.

3. Make a lump-sum student loan payment

 If you have extra cash from a raise, bonuses, or tax refund, you should make a lump-sum student loan payment.

For example, if you have a $100,000 in student loans at a 7% interest rate with a 10-year repayment term, making a lump-sum payment of $2,000 would save you $1,703 on your student loans and pay off your student loans 4 months earlier.

Things You Should Know About Writing a Will

Things You Should Know About Writing a Will

Creating a will with the help of a financial advisor is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. Therefore, creating a will is a must. A will protects your assets in order to be passed down to your heirs without any unnecessary hassles.

You should be actively planning for your will so you can stay in control over who gets what of your property. This will give you a peace of mind knowing that your assets will end up in the right hands.
There are 6 things you should know about writing a will:

1. What happens if I die without a will?

A person who dies without a will is said to have died intestate. This means that the person’s assets are distributed based on the laws of intestacy. The laws of intestacy are based on legal relationships and not how much certain relatives may have meant to the person or what emotional attachment certain relatives may have to specific assets of the deceased.

2. Do I need an attorney to prepare my will?

You don’t need an attorney to prepare your will. You’re able to create your own will, but it must meet legal requirements in order to be valid. However, an experienced attorney can provide useful advice, especially if you’re an individual with large assets.

3. Who should act as a witness to a will?

Any person who is an adult and is not included in your will as an executor or beneficiary can act as a witness to your will. This will prevent the potential of any conflict or interest in the event of a dispute. In addition, your witness may have to appear in court if there is a question about the validity of the will. Therefore, you should choose a witness that is likely to remain in your life.

4. Who should I name as my executor?

An executor is responsible for making are your last wishes are carried out. You can choose your spouse, children, or close friend to be an executor. You can also choose an attorney or someone with legal and financial expertise as your executor. Furthermore, you should discuss the responsibility with the person you’ve named as your executor before you complete the will form. Your executor can choose to decline the responsibility if he or she hasn’t yet undertaken the required duties so you should choose more than one executor. 

6. How often does a will need to be updated?

You will need to update your will in many different circumstances such if a change in relationship occurs, a beneficiary dies before you, any major assets are purchased or sold, or you moved to a different prove, state, or country. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the only version of your will that matters is the most current valid one at the time of your death. It’s recommended that you review your will once per year to be sure that no changes are necessary.

Financial Tips for Planning the Wedding of Your Dreams

Financial Tips for Planning the Wedding of Your Dreams

Getting married is one of the most exciting changes in your life. It is the ultimate celebration to cherish with your partner for the rest of your lives. However, weddings can be very expensive as the average wedding costs in Canada is approximately $30,000. But, you do not have to break the bank to create a stylish, special, and memorable occasion.

Here are the financial tips for planning the wedding of your dreams:

1. Stationery 

Stationery is one of the first things in your wedding list. These include invitations, save-the-date cards, and thank you notes, which can quickly add up. In order to help your budget, you should shop around for the best prices and keep your design simple and minimalist for the cheapest price. You can also print your own stationery at home for additional savings or even consider going digital with your stationery to be eco-friendly.

2. Wedding Transportation

Many people opt for a limo at their wedding, which can get very, very pricey. Instead of renting a limo for your wedding transportation, ask a friend or family member if they have a nice vehicle or a classic car you can use instead for your wedding day.

3. Dresses, Decorations & Flowers

You can easily overspend on your wedding dress, but you do not have to overspend. You can look into a boutique for your dress shopping in order to save some money. For decorations, choosing to have a wedding in December will save you a lot since most churches and venues are already decorated for Christmas and winter holidays. And for flowers, you can choose to use flowers that are in-season instead of using pricey flowers like peonies. Choose to stick to one or two type of flowers and a lot of greenery to fill in your arrangements.
Did you know you can save money at your venue by changing the time of day and duration of stay that you book? Booking a venue for your wedding in the off-season will make a dent in costs. Looking into a Friday afternoon or evening, or even Saturday around brunch will help you keep costs down. You can also consider booking a 3 hour event instead of a 5 hour event if you are looking to save more.

5. Catering & Cake

One of the most expensive parts of any wedding meal are drinks. Therefore, try asking your venue if you can provide your own drinks. For the menu, you can be less expensive by choosing chicken over steaks and giving your guest a choice of 2 entrees instead of 3 or 4. For your cake, you can purchase a smaller cake with one or two tiers rather than 3 or 4 to give you substantial savings.

6. Consult a Financial Advisor

When it comes to your dream wedding, you might be asking “what is the most-cost effective way to pay for our dream wedding?” Consulting a financial advisor will provide advice on how to efficiently handle the cost of your dream wedding.