Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Rebuilding After Bankruptcy



I am in the middle of my very first bankruptcy and have learned many things from the mistakes I had made. I never had credit cards or anything but I did have loans and payments that just never got made due to terrible circumstances that changed many things in my life. I am now recovering from my poor decisions and had wonderful words of wisdom brought to me by my counselor. He taught me how to rebuild from my bankruptcy and begin climbing up the ladder to being a responsible credit holder. And now I get to share this information with you.

The Secured Credit Card

Once you are getting close to the end of your bankruptcy you can look into getting a "secured credit card" which is a card where you put down a deposit and the credit card company keeps it as collateral in case you decide to stop making payments. The deposit is usually around 300 and they will give you a credit limit of around the same amount varying by card of course. 

The trick to rebuilding with this method is you must use your card every month, whether it is something small like a pizza or bigger and you must pay it off in full on time every month for the next 12 months. Do not stop using the card every month because it brings your credit score back down when you stop using it. After making your payments on time every month for 12 months the credit card company will give you your deposit back to do as you wish and now you have proved to be an excellent creditor. You may be able to get a larger spending limit but be careful because that's how you get sucked into problems again.

The Borrowed RRSP

Another way I was shown is to wait until you are discharged from your bankruptcy, when you receive your discharge certificate take it in with you to the bank and see if you can borrow $1000 to buy an RRSP. The bank may or may not allow this and if they do that is wonderful. The payments on a loan for an RRSP are very low ranging between 2-5% over a twelve month period making your payments very low. As you make your payments each month be sure to make them on time and you can even pay more then your minimum to pay it off faster if you can. 

By the end of the year when you file your taxes you will get an income tax credit of $330 which you can add into your RRSP account. Now this account will begin to gain interest and if you finished paying off the original loan amount you can borrow another $1000 or even $2000 from the bank to put more towards your RRSP. This will create a snowball affect creating this RRSP amount to grow by leaps and bounds over the years. You can choose to keep the money for retirement, use it for your or your child's education, or even a first time home purchase. The amazing things you can do with compounding interest is endless.

Those are two ways you can begin building your credit after a bankruptcy or even now if you have fair credit but nothing to fantastic. Make your payments on time and show you can be a responsible credit holder and soon you will be back in good terms with the credit world. 

Beware that when you begin gaining a good credit record all kinds of creditors begin coming out of the wood work offering credit cards and even those pesky furniture stores can offer what seems like a great deal at the time (no payments for 18 months) but don't get lured into owing money to more places. You can live life simply by loving who you are, what you have, and what you can do. Be proud of what you have achieved and know that you don't need shiny, fancy new things to be amazing.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Swapoween Reveal!



This is my second year taking part of the Swapoween and I have to say I am one lucky girl to have gotten such an amazing swap partner. My partner this year was Cindy Smith and she is amazing, a bit of a rule bender (in a good way) with an amazing blog: http://cindysloveofbooks.com/

So why do I call this wonderful woman a rule bender? Well the budget for the swaps is between 20-30 dollars before shipping and Cindy went so far off budget I was shocked! Check this out!

















The "beware" sign was the very first item in the package as well, I cannot believe how above and beyond Cindy went with this swap! Someone is getting a very nice Christmas greeting from me this year! Cindy thank you for spreading the love and making our Swapoween so special!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How to Save Money While Meeting Goals!


My latest goals are quite a challenge. They involve a lot of discipline, money, and budgeting. My goals are very realistic and possible but they are going to be very challenging due to the fact that I am on an extremely tight budget with very little wiggle room for temptation or emergencies. When I thought about it that way it scared me into thinking I need to save money while reaching my goals just in case something should come up while I am climbing the stairs to my goal. The last thing I want to do is dip into my goal money in an emergency. Here is how I am saving while reaching my goal:

1. Split extra earnings between goals and savings. Here is what I mean, when I do jobs on Odesk or make money writing posts or additional babysitting above my regular shifts I put half of the money into my goal jar and half the money into my savings jar. 

2. Use my creativity to create gifts, as well as fun surprises for my kids. When I think of all the birthdays and special occasions coming up it makes me think of all the money that can be wasted. Not only that but when you have kids you like to take them places and get them things to make them happy. While on a budget you need to be creative and make things for people for the holidays or offer them services free of charge. When you want to do something special for your kids and your on a budget you need to think of all the free things you can do like hiking, biking, crafts, playing outside, cooking together, creating gifts together, and much more. You do not need to spend money to have fun and make people feel special.

3. Cook seasonal and make double batches to throw in the freezer. When you cook seasonally you can get the best sale prices and be sure to keep the grocery bill low. Our thanksgiving just passed so turkeys, stuffing, and more seasonal items are all on sale right now so stocking up on those things are absolutely essential right now. Creating extra meals and stashing them in the freezer is an excellent way to have healthy food on the fly and keep you fro ordering take out.

4. Remind yourself why your goal is important. My goal is getting my license and buying a van that seats 7 passengers. I need around $3500 to get this done and the reasons I am doing this are infinite. I babysit 3-4 other kids almost everyday and we walk everywhere, driving us would save so much time. I want my son in scouts and I can't take him to meetings if I don't drive because it is quite a distance from my house and I have extra kids etc. I want to be able to take my kids places, like road trips, camping, site seeing, etc. I do what I can now but it is nothing compared to what it could be. Reminding yourself why your goal is important keeps you from throwing in the towel and spending your money on other things.

5. Get rid of things that are not necessary or helping you to reach your goal. I went through my house in the past week and realized how much extra crap I was holding onto. I got rid of bags of stuff and made some extra money in the process. If you have tons of clothes, toys, electronics, etc. that nobody uses or needs sell it and add the money to your goal and savings. 

6. This is one of the most important steps of all, treat yourself when you reach any milestone. It does not need to be a huge treat or a big milestone but you need to remember to keep yourself happy while achieving your goal otherwise it is nothing more then a chore or a pain in the neck that drags on forever.  When I reach another 100 dollars in my goal jar I buy myself a small treat like a chocolate bar, a new nail polish, maybe an ice cream, anything small that I know I can afford to make myself feel good about my goal and how far I have come.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Top 5 Halloween Children's Books

There is nothing better then reading some seasonal stories just before bedtime, my kids absolutely love getting into the Halloween spirit with some great books. These are our top 5 picks for Halloween children's books!

1. I Like Pumpkins


2.The Haunted House That Jack Built


3.Clifford's Halloween


4.The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat


5.The Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk


These are our top 5 picks for the month of October, alongside our usual stories of course. What are some of your favorite Halloween stories?

Friday, 10 October 2014

My Favorite Halloween Crafts

Halloween is approaching and crafting is always good for the family. Here are some of my favorite crafts and activities I enjoy doing as the wicked fun holiday approaches!