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January's Financial Stress

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Twelfth Year

Christmas is over and the bills are arriving. It's time to figure out how you are going to handle the January financial stress. Following are some hints that will help you to get back into control again: REGULAR REPEAT EXPENSES:1. Prepare a chart with headings that include: Item; Amount; Due Date; Minimum Payment; Interest charged; Notes2. Go through your bank statements and invoices entering information about recurring expenses in the chart. These are things that you cannot change and must pay based on your contracted arrangements.3. Consider ways that you might be able to reduce these costs. For example, calling...

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Pay Up!

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Eleventh Year

This is the week that many credit card bills arrive. Perhaps you got carried away with buying during the Christmas season and your balance is higher than you even expected.Well, it's time to get back on track again: 1. Don't ignore the situation - Not opening a bill doesn't mean that the balance will go away. You need to open all the mail and face reality. 2. Make a list of your debts - On a piece of paper set up columns, each of which has a specific heading such as the company you owe, the total amount, the minimum...

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Use It or Lose It! Surviving in a Difficult Economy

Dr. Linda Hancock Budgeting Finance Other Finance The Tenth Year

It doesn't matter whether you are listening to local, provincial, national or international news - the message is the same. Falling oil prices have threatened the economies of several countries in the world and we are going to be affected by this on a personal level. But there are so many things that we can do to enhance our lives and save money whether it is good times or bad. Following are three areas to consider: Food - We live in a land of plenty but don't always make good choices when it comes to eating. It is far easier...

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Bills Are Coming In

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Tenth Year

So, you spent too much for Christmas (again!) and all the bills are making you nervous. Following are some ideas about how to get out of the financial problem that you have created: Don't ignore them! - It will not help to put unopened envelopes into a drawer or to hide them from your partner and yourself. The bills will not go away and, in fact, interest will increase what you owe. If you wait too long, you will have collection agencies begin chasing you and they are relentless! Set Up a System - When the mail arrives, shred everything...

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Work Smart - Not Hard

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Ninth Year

Sometimes people think that they need to work harder to do better. That isn't always the case. In fact, working smart is better than working hard. Let's talk about your future for an example. Most people pay Income Tax based on the amount of money that they earn and the bracket that they fall into. You can get some of that back if you overpay, have dependents, file tuition receipts for education or invest in either an RRSP or Pension Plan. These deductions can result in a refund which most people spend on luxuries or to pay down debt. There...

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Do You Know Your FICO Score?

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Eighth Year

In 1956 an engineer named Bill Fair and a mathematician named Earl Isaac founded Fair, Isaac and Company (FICO), a credit score company, in San Rafael, California. Over the years, their formula for determining risk with consumers has evolved and now is recognized as one of the most used products throughout the world particularly in the banking industry. Data about you and your financial patterns in five specific categories is gathered from banking, mortgage, credit card, retail and auto industries and then recorded in a file with your name. In Canada there are two companies who have your file - Equifax and Transunion. Approximately 35% of...

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Financial Planning Is Good for Everyone

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Eighth Year

About four years ago, my oldest grandson got a part-time job in a grocery store. He graduated from high school last year and even though he was eligible for scholarships, decided that he would continue working so moved into a full-time position in the produce department. He likes the job but is kind of an oxymoron. He doesn't have a driver's license, credit rating or independent living yet, at the same time, he has a great deal of responsibility in his job and a fairly large bank account. It's kind of like having one foot on the pier and one...

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January Bills

Dr. Linda Hancock Credit Finance Other Finance The Eighth Year

It's bad enough that the Christmas celebrations are over, and the weather is not cooperating with our plans but what makes things even more depressing is the fact that by mid-January, the credit card bills are arriving. It was easy to go over budget during the upbeat marketing frenzy of December. And the flyers promoting winter travel that are also arriving each week are tempting. But, for some, nothing seems to be financially feasible right now. Following are some tips to get back on track. Face the Facts- Open every bill as it arrives. Keep a list of the amount...

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I'm Moving Up!

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Seventh Year

Well, it's nice weather and often that brings thoughts of moving - but the move might not be motivated by anything more than a desire to change locations. And the results might include costs that you really never considered. I remember when my cousin bought a beautiful new boat. He drove friends and family around and around the lake for hours. I remarked on how much the gas was costing and he wisely told me that before he made the purchase, he factored in all the operational costs so that he would be prepared without any financial stress! Good thinking!...

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Taxed Over Taxes

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Seventh Year

At the beginning of the twentieth century the United Kingdom and the United States had personal and corporate income tax laws. Canada, on the other hand, wanted to encourage immigration and therefore offered free land and a tax-free system as an incentive for people from other countries to make this their home. The costs of participating in the first World War, however, were so large that Sir Thomas White, who was Minister of Finance at the time, introduced a temporary "war" income tax to help pay the costs. But this tax was not temporary, and, in fact, it has become...

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Why Don't I Have Any Money?

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Sixth Year

I remember when I was in grade eight and my father was scared to resign from his job because he didn't want to lose the three hundred dollar a month income that he was paid. But then you have to consider that our house had only cost six thousand dollars. We were never really what I thought was "poor" but we really didn't have any extra money. Our family of four saved to have one holiday. We drove in our only vehicle from Saskatchewan to British Columbia and stayed at the house of my father's friend and visited Stanley Park....

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Facing Your Financial Reality!

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Sixth Year

The recent debt crisis in the United States and media coverage of a volatile world economic situation has brought us to a point of realizing that when it comes to money, we just have to facts the facts! You cannot spend more than you earn without facing consequences! I enjoy the television program "'Til Debt Do Us Part" - not because I like to see people who are in financial trouble but because there are specific things that can be done to get people out of financial trouble. Following are some simple steps in the formula that can lead to...

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Seven Ways to Save Money When Eating in a Restaurant

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance

Eating out can be expensive - especially if you are feeding a family. There are a few ways, however, that you can save money so that the bill isn't more than you want or can afford to pay. Do not order beverages - Often we think that we are getting a good deal with "bottomless cup" offers but, the price of drinks can add up to almost as much as a basic meal if we aren't careful. Try ordering ice water (not bottled) and notice how your restaurant bill quickly becomes more manageable. Be careful with the desserts - Like...

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I'm Not Going to File My Taxes This Year

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Sixth Year

Well with spring comes that time when governments revive up the computers and open their coffers waiting for you to send in an overview of your financial situation for the previous year. Even though it is common knowledge that income tax documentation is due in April I am surprised by the number of people do not file by the deadline. In fact, there are thousands who have ignored this practice for years and then face overwhelming consequences. If you have been thinking about skipping the whole tax filing process, there are a number of things that you should know: This...

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If I Had A Million Dollars

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Sixth Year

Many people line up to buy lottery tickets with the hope that this will be the week when their circumstances will change their life! If they only had the right numbers, they would soon own the status of millionaire. The sad news is that most individuals who gain wealth quickly tend to lose it almost as quickly. By the end of the first year, in fact, they are usually in the same financial situation they were in before they won the lottery. If you truly want to become a millionaire, you are therefore better off gaining it slowly and keeping...

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Give Until It Hurts!

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Other Finance The Fifth Year

I get very confused when it comes to money. We turn on the television and hear about high unemployment, recession and the fact that the global economy is threatening to collapse. We're told that there isn't enough money to fund programs, build schools and hospitals, or feed the poor. It seems really bleak. But then, something happens that contradicts the negative outlook. Countries send manpower and extremely expensive equipment around the world to save a handful of trapped miners. North America funds wars in far off places that most people will never visit. Political parties invest billions of dollars in...

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Debt-Free Forever

Dr. Linda Hancock Book Reviews Finance Other Book Reviews Personal Finance

One of the most interesting books that I have ever read is actually the fifteenth by author Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Ms. Vaz-Oxlade is who also the star of the popular television series "'Till Debt Do Us Part" has offered advice about personal finances for years. This book, which she claims is her "best", is a very comprehensive guide for individuals and couples who wish to improve their present and future situation and reduce the negative emotions that accompany debt. The book lays out a very practical formula for the reader to not only honestly assess and plan to improve their lives...

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Bipolar Financing

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Fifth Year

Bipolar Disorder is a condition that involves two opposite extreme moods that usually appear in unpredictable patterns. They are the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. Mania is the state which appears as a high and energized mood. Depression is the opposite and can be quite reach stages which are quite debilitating. Often the person who is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder has perceptions which are skewed and believe that the manic mood is actually "normal" and that "normal" is "depressed". They therefore wish to be in the high mood as much as possible - partly because it feels good...

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Three Mistakes That People Make With Their Money

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Fifth Year

I think I've heard it all when it comes to money. When people state that they are unhappy with their financial situation, I know that their problems likely fall into one or all three of the following categories. SPENDING TOO MUCH - When I grew up, we touched money - real money. If we didn't have coins in our pocket we just didn't spend. We didn't have Lines of Credit, credit cards or Overdraft Protection. Cash was all we knew. Often people buy things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't even like. They renovate...

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The Simple Life!

Dr. Linda Hancock Credit Finance Other Finance The Third Year

Sometimes life seems so complicated! I have a credit card which provides me with points that can be used for a catalogue full of rewards. After several months of using the card, I realized that I had a significant number of points and reviewed my choices with interest. Since I moved into the condo I have been trying to get rid of things and therefore didn't really need anything from the catalogue but did think it would be nice to get a big screen television for my bedroom. I consulted with my "techie" son who advised me to just purchase...

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The Economic Crisis!

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Third Year

The world has been on a huge economic roller-coaster ride over the past few weeks! News media blame mortgage meltdown in the United States but I believe that its history goes back to earlier times. When I grew up, we paid cash - and if we didn't have cash - we didn't buy anything. I remember the first time that I heard of a credit card and all the promises it offered. It didn't take long until everyone had one or two or ten! The "paperless" monetary system that resulted allowed individuals to buy things that they didn't need with...

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Getting Control Over Your Money - Spend Less

Dr. Linda Hancock Budgeting Finance Other Finance The Third Year

We are living in a society where it is very easy to have financial problems. In fact, it is tempting to be consumers on a twenty-four hour basis. Stores are open seven days a week for extended hours. Television and internet marketing allow us to make purchases without even leaving home. Debit and credit cards trick us into spending money without actually touching it - often money that we don't have. The cardinal rule for good financial health is to spend less than you earn. Those who do well over time are not always the ones who earn the most...

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Getting Control Over Your Money - Earn More

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Third Year

I often hear individuals state "I can't afford that". The person who is talking may be referring to a trip, vehicle or item of furniture. What would you do if you had an extra $2,600.00 a year? Would you travel, purchase a dream or start a savings account? Do you think that you could earn $10.00 a day more than you earn now? This would give you $50.00 a week which is $2,600.00 a year. Here are a few ideas about how you can increase your income a little each day and ultimately enjoy the benefits at the end of...

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The Psychology of Money and Personal Finance

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Second Year

The people who tend to complain about money seem to fall into three categories. There are those who don't have any, those who spend more than they earn and those who have money but are terribly afraid of losing it. Throughout history, money has been a topic of discussion and debate. Expressions such as "money doesn't buy happiness" or "money is the root of all evil" are often declared by those who do not have any. I'm definitely not trying to criticize anyone in this article or in life; however, I've met many poor people who are desperately unhappy and...

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Getting Control Over Your Money

Dr. Linda Hancock Finance Personal Finance The Second Year The Third Year

There is an old adage that states "Money makes the world go 'round" but sometimes it just keeps you at home. Problems with money can not only interfere with your credit rating but also jeopardize your relationships. We live in a very commercialized environment where everyone not only seems to want to "keep up with the Jones'" but also pass them. If you are having money problems, the first step to correcting this is to keep an accurate accounting of your income and all your expenses. Begin with a ledge and write down every single thing that you spend in...

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