Blog & News

October 19, 2012

It drives me crazy to hear the shock in people’s voices about the high levels of household debt in Canada. Where has the media been? How many times have so many warned governments and the public about rising debt levels long before the credit crunch in the United States?

My jaw fell all the way open as I listened to CBC the other day and how one of their financial experts complained about how the cheap money over the last few years has allowed people to borrow through the roof. I couldn’t believe it. Where has she been?

October 3, 2012

Douglas P. Welbanks, the former Director of Debtor Assistance and Debt Collection in British Columbia, pointed out that the 1998 prohibition of student loan debts from being discharged from bankruptcy for 10 years muddied the statistical waters. This resulted in confusion over the true nature of the student debt crisis and masked the excessive hardship student loan debtors faced.

“Prior to 1998 our provincial statistics showed that 10% - 15% of our clients had student loan debts, were insolvent and qualified for a bankruptcy. One of the problems of perception or public understanding of the student loan debt crisis has been the meaning of bankruptcy and insolvency.

October 1, 2012

Student loans are back – in the news at least. The Vanier Institute published an article on their website, September 26th about the price of going to school (you can download the article from Vanier here). They pay particular attention to how anxiety and stress over the costs of going to school significantly affect a growing number of students. In their report they cite a number of research articles that highlight the post secondary education worries:

September 28, 2012

I can’t understand why the experts are so surprised about Canadians using credit – even after all of the recent media coverage about frightening levels of household debt. It keeps coming up on programs like the Lang O’Leary Exchange.  Amanda Lang shakes her head as she asks the question – “How is it possible for people to keep on using credit when they are so heavily in debt?”

The answers swirl around the issue in a circular motion like a twister vacuuming up unwanted debris. First we hear how impulse-buying drives men to purchase technology related stuff (wants) and women buy needs (as opposed to wants). Shoppers are the undeniable culprits to winding the debt clock up, up and up…

July 27, 2012

With gas prices climbing rapidly in the last couple of years people are starting to really focus on the ways to save gas. Today we offer you 8 suggestions how you can save on fuel and still get where you need to be.

Use Internet
Before you hit the road, check the internet for places that offer gas prices. If you know you have to fill up on your next trip, go online to a website like www.gasbuddy.com or their IPhone App that shows you the gas prices in your area. You simply enter your location and get instant access to the lowest gas prices around you.

July 19, 2012

The reluctance of governments to tamper with credit card interest rates or merchant fees symbolizes the silent omnipotence of banks and financial institutions in the credit society. To even talk about it is considered blasphemous by today’s highest priests of finance and commerce. 

July 16, 2012

Here we go again folks. Freedom 55 is back on the radar screen. Funny how many of the experts now characterize this icon of financial planning as an old outdated belief that has been hit like dinosaurs by one of Darwin’s bullets.

One of the recent comments in the Vancouver Sun suggests that retirees and those who save are paying for this recession. Now, that opinion struck me as being a bit peculiar because nobody in Canada has yet admitted there is a recession. We’ve heard about the economy slowing down and blaming the debt crisis on Greece and other European countries but not a recession.