SOWINNG FINANCIAL SEEDS

 

Sowinng Financial Seeds

I would like to dig a little deeper into my last blog SETTING UP THOSE SPECIAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. There was a flood of questions about setting up multiple saving accounts.

In gardening a seed represents growth, development, and strength. If you don’t tend to that seed and give it attention which it needs, the seed won’t grow. It doesn’t matter how small the seed is, only that you tend to it, water it and encourage it to grow.

When I was setting up my multiple savings accounts, I was planting many tiny seeds and I knew that I needed to invest in them in order to see them grow.

In this blog I will address 2 of the top questions from my previous blog.

  1. Why would I only save between $3.75 & $11.75?
  2. What can that small amount of saving do for me?

In order for me to answer those questions, I have to first give you a background on those five savings accounts.

When I opened those accounts in 1970, we had very little money to spare and our income in those days was not bountiful by any stretch of the imagination. Cost of living was also significantly less expensive than it is now.

After paying our bills, all we had left to save was $18.75 bi-weekly. I had to divide that into the five categories, which I convinced my husband was perfect for our future financial needs. Now my husband was not in favour of five accounts, he too thought that only saving $18.75 was meager and useless. He had no idea how to tame me, so he shrugged his shoulders and left me to my own financial devise.

And so I tended to my financial garden.

Here’s how the funds were divided:

  1. Buying a home   = $3.75
  2. Vacation               = $3.75
  3. Emergency           = $3.75
  4. Starting a family = $3.75
  5. Buying a Car       = $3.75

Total                                         $18.75

The next step was making sure that each raise we received was placed into those accounts. Seven years & several raises and job changes later, we were eventually able to save $82.00 bi-weekly.

At that time, our home buying account had $7,000.00 in it. We purchased our home with $5,000.00 down, paid our legal fees and shopped for used appliances on Queen Street with the rest. We bought a stove with a solid white door but no glass, a fridge, and a washing machine but no dryer. We hung our clothes out to dry in the basement. We bought nails and twine at Honest Ed’s, and used a brick as our hammer to set up our dryer line.

Honest Ed’s was our shop of choice – we were there every two weeks. We also frequently shopped at Knob Hill Farms, Bargain Harold’s and Bi-Way because back then they had the best deals. We kept saving and being cautious with our money.

All that I have financially today comes from that $3.75. Without it I could not be here in my present financial situation.

My small bi-weekly savings didn’t seem like much, but I was sowinng my financial seeds. My small savings were lettuce seeds.

As an avid gardener I can tell you lettuce seeds are tiny, but from that miniscule seed grows this huge head of lettuce.

I’m reaping what I sowed and I am helping thousands of people start their successful financial journey.

We’re all inherently gardeners in some form or another, but ask yourself, are you sowing your financial seeds?

Give it a try: make note of where you are today, date the page in your notebook and write the exact amount of savings you have today. The next step is setting up automatic transfers into a savings account. Calculate whatever amount you’re able to put away bi-weekly for one year. At the end of the year, compare your savings to what you had at the start. I can guarantee a big a-ha moment and a huge smile on your face.

To answer your question “what can a small amount of saving do for me? It can eventually give you financial freedom. Such a simple concept, with monumental results.

Let me know if you are going to take on the challenge. I will be here for you every step of the way.

Send me an email if you want to talk further about growing your financial lettuce.

tessamarieshillingford46@gmail.com

Thanks

Tessa-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 2016 Hello Plan 2017

Goodbye 2016 Hello Plan 2017

It’s best to set a plan instead of a goal. You can control a plan, but you are always chasing goals trying to catch up with them. Your plans walk with you all the way.

Yes it’s the end of 2016. Are you one of the people who are saying, “I have no idea where the year went?”   Guess what, it went. Never to return. All the plans and hopes you had and all the things you wanted to accomplish left with 2016.   How many things you planned for 2016 that became a reality?

It’s time to create a plan for 2017. I am not talking about a New Years resolution. Remember it is a New Year for one day. With this in mind the resolutions you created that you kept for the first 24 hours of the New Year, is mission accomplished. The 2nd of January is not called the New Year it is January 2nd. The New Year left 24 hours ago.

Now let’s look at the plans you might consider making throughout 2017. You will have to take some time to work on those plans. During that time, you should not spend time looking at how you let those plans slip through your fingers in the lost plan section of 2016. Do not go there, nothing to gain looking back.

If New Years resolutions have not worked for you in the past make a short list. Three items should be tops, making a list with five items is stretching yourself. Setting you up for failure.   Check your record of success in the past before making a long list. How have you done? Remember your previous behavior is indicative of your future behavior. Take this into consideration when making your list.

The best way to target your plans for 2017 is to make a short list of the things that really matter to you. Vague or plans with no thought will treat you the same they will not materialize.   Plans that will work for you must be specific, describe it in as much detail as you can. Measure your progress towards the plan?   What have you done or what are you presently doing to ensure this plan becomes a reality. Is it a pipe dream or is it something you can attain with the resources at your disposal. Have you chosen a plan that is realistic?  Can you attain at this time of your life? Most important of all, when do you want to attain this plan. Give it a date in 2017 a real date, like August 20th 2017.

Now you have your list, place it somewhere where you will read it everyday. You noticed, I said read it everyday, not see it everyday. Reading and seeing are two completely different activities.   You should pause and read your list. Then ask yourself what did you do yesterday toward reaching this plan. What can you do today toward this plan? Ask that question everyday and note your progress and success.

If you follow the above plan you will have a very successful 2017.

It’s no point crying over spilled milk. The best and only choice is to look at the spilled milk, skip over it and walk in 2017. Do not look back.

Tessa-Marie

Find what works for you.

 

Finding your spot in a financial world can be very difficult sometimes. It becomes even more challenging when a very good friend in different circumstances encourages you to follow their plan.

In life, there are several things that work for one person but would not apply to another. When it comes to finances, it is even more glaring. Too often we decide to make decisions on things that work for our friends or family. After years of trying what was fool proof for them we find out it just cannot work for our family. It is absolutely imperative we realize that the plans that were set for their family five years or more ago may not apply to us five years later.

When listening to what works for someone else take a moment to look at the make up of their family very carefully, before considering implementing their plan in your life.

Here are some things to help you make those decisions:

  1. Do you have the same or similar income?
  2. How many members of the family are contributing financially?
  3. How many people make-up their family?
  4. What is their total debt?
  5. Is it the same amount as yours?
  6. How long ago did this plan work for them?

There are numerous other factors to consider, but these are just a few of the important ones when considering a financial plan.

The very best advice is to listen then take small sections of their plan and see whether it will fit with yours. If you are not sure seek the help of a financial advisor. Your financial institution is able to help. If the person is not prepared to help you learn to manage your family finances, keep looking until you find someone who will at least point you in the right direction.

The Internet is loaded with all kinds of information. Search until you understand what is being discussed.   Do not get discourage. Attend all sorts of financial seminars and take notes. Ask questions. Watch shows where financial advice is being given

Most important of all, do not give up.

Tessa-Marie

What is a Tax Free Savings Account?

Recently I have noticed a trend that many Canadian and especially new Canadians are not taking the advantage of owning a Tax Free Saving Account.

With this in mind I have decided to write about a TFSA .

Who Can Open a Tax Free Savings Account?

Any individual who is 18 years of age or older and who has a valid social insurance number is eligible to open a TFSA.

What is a Tax Free Savings Account?

A Tax Free Savings Account is a special account where an individual is able to save money over their lifetime without any tax implications.

The Tax Free savings account started in 2009. The government of Canada created the account to encourage Canadians to save money and no matter what the growth of that account no interest will ever be paid.

This account started in 2009. The limit from 2009 to 2012 is $5000.00

From 2013 – 2014 it increased to $5500.

Then in 2015 the government increased it to $10,000.

The amount was decreased by the new governmentin2016 back to $5500.00

If an individual has not made any contributions and was 18 years or older in 2009 they may make the contributions from 2009 to 2016. You do not lose the contribution if it was not done in the prior years.

The money contributed to a Tax Free Savings account is NOT tax deductible.   The contributed amount cannot be deducted from your taxable income.

Any amount contributed or any investment income made is non-taxable.

You may have more than one TFSA but the amount between the account may not exceed your annual contributions.

Withdrawals

Depending on the type of investment held in your TFSA, you can generally withdraw any amount from the TFSA at any time. Withdrawing any amount from the TFSA does not reduce the total amount of contributions you have already made for the year.

Replacing withdrawals

If you decided to replace, or re-contribute all or a portion of your withdrawals into your TFSA in the same year, you can only do this if you have available TFSA contribution room. If you re-contribute but do not have contribution room you will have over-contributed to your TFSA in the year. You will be subject to a tax equal of l% of the highest excess TFSA amount in the month, for each month that the excess amount remains in your account. Before doing a re-contribution talk with your financial institution about your re-contribution.

After following all the rules a TFSA is a wonderful savings vehicle to assist you in meeting your future financial goals.

Tessa-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Prepared

Be Prepared

While visiting a department store recently, I noticed how busy they were for the coming holiday season. This observation started me wondering how many consumers are as prepared for the coming season in the same way as the stores.

In every department of the store you observed the clerks, they were busy getting the decorations ready for the holidays. I immediately thought, oh dear the children are not even back to school for a month, and are still wearing summer clothes but here comes the toys. Some parents are still in the process of attempting to purchase, pants for legs that grew two or three inches this summer or feet that went from size 6 to 7:50 and now the holiday merchandise is staring in their faces.

The stores are not concerned about how ready we are their job is to get us to spend money and then spend some more. This is business, and those businesses know the early bird gets the worm. The company is getting a head start by showing us what is available for the holidays. Three months away.  That action tells me they have had a plan in place and they are now putting their plan in action. They are forward thinking. This is the date they set months ago to launch their holiday business plan. Therefore it must begin, nothing will stand in their way. I am certain there is a cost factor of how much to spend on salaries to get the merchandise in place for the season. They will not exceed that amount. The expected profit margin has been calculated and repeated several times to the staff and its imbedded in their memory. They are ready for the holidays. Are you? Do you have a plan? If not there is time for you to prepare.

All the couples and singles I work with on their spending plan are ready. They all have special accounts to take care of the expenses they plan to incur during the holiday season. Their money is available and easily accessible. No credit cards.  The key word here is, PLAN.   They have a plan. They are prepared and ready as soon as they choose to begin their holiday shopping. They have a limit and they will stick to it.

Here are a few suggestions those of you who do not have someone like me to be your financial navigator.

  • Take a page from business. Run your finances like a business.
  • Start early and stay focus on your plan.
  • Take advantage of those warm days; sit quietly for a few minutes and think about the people you would like to give gifts this holiday season
  • Write a list of their names and across from their names write the amount you wish to spend for each person.
  • Then think of what this person would like. Write that down next to their names.
  • Now spend some time on line checking your favorite websites searching for those items.
  • Check the cost, does it match your planned price? If not reevaluate that could mean you may have to change the item.
  • Most importantly keep this list with at all times. You might be able to purchase what you have chosen for your family and friends at a discount price. Items are always on sale. You can pounce on it only if you are prepared.

Try those simple steps; you will be surprise to see the difference it will make in your stress level, your mental health, and your financial health this holiday season.

 

Happy shopping.

Tessa-Marie