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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIVE POWERFUL STEPS TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS

Interesting year we are in, 2013!  Commonly, anything with the number 13 generates fear and superstition.  Many people run away from this feared number. Buildings do not have a 13th floor as it is so feared.  Do we have a choice?  Can we ignore the year 2013 or pretend it does not exist just because it has the number 13 in the mix?  No, we can’t so we are going to include 2013 in our lives.  We are going to do something different this year.  We are actually going to embrace the number 13; we are going to embrace the entire year!  A suggestion for our theme for 2013 is NEW HOPES, NEW DREAMS AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS!

Every year we make plans and set goals, which we refer to as RESOLUTIONS.  Let us scrap that word. We are setting New Goals for a New Year with a number that will surely improve our chances.  We will begin by naming “2013” the year my life changed for the better.

My first question; what do you want to ACCUMULATE and what do you want to ELIMINATE?  Take a few minutes and write your answer down.

In the past few years were you a MISSILE WITHOUT A GUIDANCE SYSTEM?  Were you just going about your business working, paying bills, spending and reacting to life instead of life reacting to you?  It’s time to change.  Give yourself a GUIDANCE SYSTEM. Where do you want to go and when?

Now what are those five powerful steps to financial success I am talking about?  Well here they are, you might have heard some version of them previously, but not described to you in the way I am going to do so now!

1.  SPECIFICITY

Key to meeting your goals is to know your goals. Describe your goals completely and entirely until they become something you can recite like a nursery rhyme. You want to pay off your Master Card then say I want to completely pay off my Master Card.  Do not only say I want to pay off my debt.  This non-specific statement does not completely describe your goal.  The specific statement you want to make describes which debt and the amount.  Generally, when a goal is not specific it is not attained.  Ask yourself which debt, the $100.00 you owe your brother, or the $3000.00 outstanding on your Master Card?  Be Specific.

2.  KEEP SCORE

What steps are you taking to meet those goals?  In other words, keep score of your progress towards your goals.  Your statement should be as follows.  I want to pay off my Bank Master card (name the bank) and I am paying $250.00 towards the card every month.  So I Keep Score every month of the total I have paid towards my Bank Master Card debt, which shows me the headway that I have made.

3.  PUT YOUR GOAL INTO YOUR LIFESTYLE

Now that I am paying this Bank Master Card off, I should not continue to use the card.  Making payments to eliminate debt every month and simultaneously incurring more of the same debt is counter-productive.  For example, one should not make efforts to pay $250.00 a month towards a Bank Master Card debt and charge $200.00 to the card just because there is available credit.  Create habits that will enable you to bring your financial goals into your lifestyle and eliminate the habits that work against you.  Modify your behavior.

4.  PROGRAM FOR SUCCESS

Now that you know the steps you need to take in order to meet financial goals, avoid the impulses and temptations that are a hindrance to your targets.  An immediate reward can produce long-term penalties.  A drink after work every Friday is no longer one of your pastimes.  Dinner out every weekend with your friends should be scaled back. Why not cook with your friends at home and everyone contributes to the meal.  A lovely homemade Tuscan soup and some fresh buns with a bottle of wine can make a lovely winter dinner with friends at home.  Try it!  You’ll it!

5.  TIME.  WHEN DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL

This is one of the most important steps in accomplishing your goal.  A friend of mine always wanted to retire to Jamaica.  I’ve heard the following statement for the last 15 years. “I am going back home to retire.”  Now that is an incomplete plan.  My friend did not complete his statement; he should have said:  “My goal is to retire in 2001 at the age of 60 in Jamaica.” Now that is a complete goal!  We have the where, the what and most importantly, the when!  My friend is still in Canada, retired and only vacations in Jamaica.  He maintains his dream of one day living in Jamaica but his goal is still incomplete.  With no when, no timeframe, this is an incomplete and unattainable goal.

So there they are!  Your Five Powerful Steps to Financial Success!  Every three months take time to look at your progress towards meeting your financial goal.  If you are not on tract, then re-evaluate and make the necessary changes to get yourself back on tract.  It may not be easy, keep plugging away, do not abort the goal!

Happy New Year

Tessa-Marie

January 2 2013