Posts Tagged ‘finance’

Hoarding An Illness And Finance

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by

There was a piece on the news today about how here in Vancouver we have something called a hoarding task force team. As the name implies, their job is to help hoarders get their lives back together. The reasons given was that hoarding so many things can ruins one life and personal health. As well, it can pose a safety hazard such as example which was used where in one case firefighters couldn’t save a person due to all the junk they had in the house.

What this got me thinking about was how many times even myself I say a big cause of financial stress is due to people buying and saving all this junk that they don’t really need. Since this is considered an illness for many, it made me wonder if sometimes when it comes to managing money it can be something more serious on why a person simply can’t be fiscally responsible, so to speak. In that case it’s like we are approaching it wrong in terms of giving financial advice when really it is something deeper than that.

Like in this case it’s not something a regular Joe financial adviser could fix. Maybe if you are stuck buying junk all the time for example it’s better to really think deep on what the real issue is. Example, if you buy things to simply impress people then it’s probably wise to think why. Err…this is starting to sound like some therapy session. Kind of shows that managing money isn’t always about the numbers and deals you can get but rather your mindset.

Potentially Having To Do Taxes The Old Way

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 by

So it was announced recently that there has apparently been some kind of security breach with SSL in general which affects the online tax filing system here in Canada. As a result, online submission services have been closed down for an unknown amount of time. The tax deadline is soon as well which means for many this can mean having to print out the returns and snail mailing it to the appropriate offices.

Feels like such a waste of paper even though this is how people commonly did it a few decades ago. I can only imagine too that the county has less staff to process manual tax returns like this too since more people were using online services. I can only imagine how everyone who buys a tax software and doesn’t pay attention to the news will be in for a surprise when they try to transmit it online only to get a message saying it’s closed.

The official notice is that this is due to the “Heartbleed bug” that is affecting most sites that use SSL. They say they are trying to get it back up soon, but be prepared incase it doesn’t to do things the old fashion way.

If School Is Too Expensive for You Financially

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by

Today I was hearing a story about a student who attends Duke University and goes under the alias Belle Knox. Like most people it seemed like she had to find a way to pay for all that education. In this case it was $60,000 a year. Her solution was to get into the porn industry and she explained how she could make like $1200 to $1500 per scene and that it was essentially better than graduating with like a six figure debt.

Aside from all the political and moral topics that this brings up, which I won’t talk about, what intrigued me a lot is the whole financial topic this brought up in terms of getting an education. For example, one point that was brought up was if you can’t afford a school with that price tag why not go elsewhere? At the same time, is paying for an education like this no different financially than say a person buying a car or TV that is out of their price range?

That’s where the topic seems to stump many as people always say you can’t put a price on things like your education. It’s kind of awkward in many ways huh? Example, many times we nag people that when it comes to things like your credit card you should never spend more than you actually have or that buying things beyond your means is a path to living in debt. Yet in this case many people would say otherwise. Makes me wonder if financially speaking these types of things kind of mold people into thinking that financial debt is simply a way of life and that if the option is there then use it.

Then again, I would imagine one of the biggest point of going to school is that it will help you get a job to become financially independent. But if after you will simply be living to pay off that debt then it kind of makes no sense. Maybe I am a bit crazy, but as an example if you were trying to go into a field with a trade skill I am sure working for a company/person can be equally as good as an alternative to getting an education.

It reminds me of the example I have used often of one guy who literally worked at Mcdonalds for years to then become a successful store manager. In comparison, there was another guy who spent like $30,000 to learn how to be a manager. Both of them are doing well and that kind of shows you that there truly isn’t just one way to get an education, so to speak. You have to consider the financial burden for anything.

Living In A Compact House To Save Money

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by

I saw an interesting news segment today about mini houses and how they are apparently becoming more popular. As the name implies, it is literally a house that is built pretty small to simply accommodate the necessities. There were some remarks such as people were tired of paying mortgages and so instead they decided to get a house that only costs about $15,000 to make which eliminates that problem.

I always wondered if this would work in a more populated area as I would think the big cost of the real estate in general is the property itself. Like now if I was going to say build a compact house to live in I would most likely have to buy an existing house just to get the land. In many ways it sound smarter to get something based on your needs as opposed to forcing yourself to pay a market rate for things you don’t necessarily need. Will have to wait and see if these will become more popular.

How Much It Takes To Pay Off That Membership Fee

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by

Today a person brought me into Costco as they recently purchased a membership which costs about $100 a year which surprised me as for the most part the grocery bill and such is just for himself.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out the prices of various items as comparing the prices of a membership store versus a non-membership store always seems to spark a debate.  For the most part everything seemed as usual where some prices were better than say what you would find at a regular supermarket and some weren’t.

I then saw some almond milk that I have recently bought from the supermarket.  I pay about $2 for each normally and at Costco it seemed like they were selling it in packages of six for about $11.22.  So you save like 13 cents each.  The reaction I got at first was how this was an example on how you can save a lot of money.  I was then thinking, what happens though if you really break it down and factor in the membership fee?

If I was to buy nothing but almond milk for example, with a 13 cent saving and factoring in the current “debt” you have of paying the $100 that means you need to buy 769 cartons of almond milk to break even with the membership.  That really gets you thinking.  Let’s say on average you would go through two packages a week.  With 52 weeks in a year that means you would go through 104 cartons which costs $208.  With the other route it would be $194.48 which is a yearly savings of $13.52.  Of course if you add on the membership it doesn’t look very good.

So even if the item is slightly cheaper, for the most part you really have to make sure that you genuinely need to buy a lot of items to make it worthwhile in this type of example.  It seems like many people ignore that part or though.  There was one good example of when it does make sense.   I saw these replacement brush heads for the Sonicare toothbrush where most stores sell a pair for like $35.  In this Costco I was at you could buy a pack that had like eight of them for like $40.  Like with that it can make a lot of sense to get the membership as one purchase pretty much puts you on even ground right away without having to go out of your way.  Just need to add up those numbers to make the best decision.