What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of entertainment? And yes this is a Freudian question.

Is it food? Funny how this family expense crosses the line from essential and necessary to fun.

When does food become fun? Hmmm. Don’t answer that. Especially when you see the obesity rates for Americans.

Don't get caught

Janice and Larry like to spend money. They also like the things that money can buy; their house is full of all the latest gadgets. They often buy things that are on sale; however, regardless of this, they are constantly short of money. 

Recently, this shortage was overcome when Larry acquired a Visa card. Now their passion for spending is greater than ever. Since he received his Visa card, they have bought a new television and a CD player for their daughter Melissa. They have also just bought an expensive computer so that Melissa can go on the internet and do her homework. Neither Janice nor Larry has ever used a computer, but they feel that in today’s advancing world of technology, their daughter should have one.

Shopping for a financial institution

Your financial institution is a for-profit business that handles money and sells financial products.

If you are in the market for a place to keep your money and are looking for somewhere to develop a financial relationship, I recommend that you examine several types of financial institutions and explore what they have to offer you before making that all-important decision as to who will get your business.


To me as a credit counsellor, it is clear that when it comes to holiday spending we are most often our own worst enemies. Some of us for example leave the dreaded shopping trip until the last minute and hope for a combination of adrenalin and inspiration to get us through yet another season. Or, for some it takes a little “festive eggnog” for fortification before hitting the malls. The result is very often the adrenalin rush stresses us, the inspiration steps aside for spontaneity and the eggnog gives us a “glow” that is only temporary. In this state we are bound to spend more than we planned just to get the job done.

Teaching your children money management 

I volunteer to teach money management to schoolchildren as part of my personal commitment to the youth of today. I start each class by asking, "Where does money come from?"

One grade four student answered emphatically "The machine," so I probe further. "What do you do when the machine runs out of money?"

It’s almost that time of year again! Christmas is just around the corner, and it is the time of year when many Canadians will again ask themselves “How am I going to be able to afford Christmas this year?” The truth is, the earlier that you work out your financial plan, the more relaxing and joyous holiday you will have. Much of the anxiety surrounding Christmas is financial; many of us tend to look at the gifts that we buy as a reflection of our relationship with the receiver - nothing could be further from the truth.

The old cliché “It’s the thought that counts” can be forgotten at this time of year as the retailers and credit card companies pull out all the stops to get us to spend like there is no tomorrow – or to buy now and pay later!