Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Have you heard of the four gift rule?

The holidays are known to play havoc on your finances. In an effort to reign in your
spending, why not consider the "4 gift rule"?
The rule applies to kids - but you could probably adapt it to fit other people in your life as well. Simply put, limit your purchases to four gifts per child/person:
- One gift they want.
- One gift they need.
- One gift they wear.
- One gift they read.
This can be a difficult feat - especially since consumerism has become such a huge part of the season. The thing is, in the long run, a family that lives within its means and isn't overburdened with financial strains will be much happier than a family with a lot of material things.
If you have other financial strains - particularly in the area of high interest debt -- feel free to give me a call. I may be able to help.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Bank of Canada is boring.

Unsurprisingly, the Bank of Canada has announced that it will keep interest rates steady for the remainder of 2013 – with the target for the overnight rate sitting at 1%. This is, yet again, great news for variable rate mortgage holders.The prime lending rate hasn't changed for over three years.
The reasoning behind the Bank’s decision was pretty straight forward:
- Global economic growth is expanding as predicted – at a relatively modest rate. While some emerging economies have somewhat slowed down, growth in the U.S. made up for this by being stronger than expected. 
- In Canada, real GDP growth in the third quarter outperformed the Bank’s predictions by growing at a rate of 2.7%. The composition of this growth, however, was weighted more towards the housing sector and less towards exports and investments, which indicates we have a ways to go before it’s properly balanced.
While the Bank mentioned that the “downside risks to inflation seem to be greater”, it remains in the appropriate zone, hence the decision to keep rates the same. The next announcement will be on January 22, 2014.
As always, if you have any questions about this announcement, your variable rate mortgage or any mortgage product, please feel free to drop me a line.