Canadian Financial Blogs

Financial Blogs In Canada

First Published: June 7, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

It is time to present a list of Canadian Financial Blogs for my readers. There are many (probably too many) blogs out there these days—not all of them worth mentioning. In search of blogs that can be mentioned here, I have set some standard criteria to follow. Each blog needs to go through these filters, thus providing you with only quality writing and a pleasant reading experience.

Here are the filters for the ADJ litmus test:

·   The blog must have its own domain name. Free hosted blogs are simply not professional and lose credibility. You can’t simply expect to be taken seriously if you are on a free hosted site.

·   The blog must be three months old.

·   The blog must not have too much time lags between posts.

·   The blog must present original, vibrant, timely and timeless content.

·   I am featuring only English language and family-friendly blogs.

·   Blogs with low Google PageRank may not be approved but will be given special consideration to be listed.

This post is going to be updated from time to time to add dynamic, promising new blogs. If you come across a blog that you would like me to add, send me an email via my contact page or write a comment underneath this post.

I will be using sites’ own descriptions to describe these sites. For example, A Dawn Journal would appear as: A Dawn Journal – A blog on Personal Finance, Investing, Entrepreneurship, and More. Sites will be listed in alphabetical order – this puts A Dawn Journal on the top spot. Let’s begin our list.

Canadian Financial Blogs – The List

A Dawn Journal A blog on Personal Finance, Investing, Entrepreneurship, and More.

Canadian Capitalist – A personal finance blog to help Canadians navigate their way through the alphabet soup of financial acronyms: RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, mutual funds and ETFs

Canadian Personal Finance Blog – Personal Finances and Consumer Concerns, essays, stories, examples and how to articles with a distinctly Canadian Point of View

Canada Personal Finance Website – A personal finance website written in simple and understandable terms from a Canadian perspective.

Four Pillars – Investing and personal finance

The Dividend Guy – One Guy’s Journey to Passive Income Through Dividend Investing

The Financial Blogger – Got Money?

Thicken My Wallet – Everything to do with thickening your wallet

Million Dollar Journey – The Making of a Millionaire – A Canadian Personal Finance Blog. Daily topics include The Smith Manoeuvre, RRSP, Canadian discount brokerages, Questrade, early retirement and book reviews

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative – A mainly Canadian economics blog

Where Does All My Money GoWhere Does All My Money Go

NB – I will be adding more sites slowly

Toronto Stock Exchange Has Launched A New Portal Called TMX Money

TSX Launches TMX

First Published: June 15, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has launched its new financial portal “TMX Money.” Visitors will be able to access a series of new features and investment research tools to make informed investment decisions.

Some of these tools are:

– Stock screener
– Financial calculators
– Stock Market glossary
– Customizable ticker
– Business news
– Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) portal
– And much more

I like ETF portal the most. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are growing in popularity and opening up new investment opportunities and possibilities. I encourage you to check out TMX Money’s ETF section as it provides helpful ETF information. Visit TMX Money for more information.

Personal Finance and Kids

Kids Need to be Taught About Money

First Published: June 23, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

The Alberta Finance Minister has said that both parents and the government need to take a firm hand in teaching kids how to be financially responsible now and in the future. With the current global financial situation having some bad news for everyone, even among the growing number of positive signs, it is now viewed as absolutely essential that sound financial planning is given the emphasis it requires at all levels, rather than leaving children to find out about the intricacies of the subject first-hand when they leave college and start looking for work. The minister, Iris Evans, said that her own children – all of whom are now grown up – have succeeded in life because she made sure to teach them about money.

Although not everyone would agree with the entirety of the Minister’s speech – which made great play of the importance of each family having at least one stay-at-home parent – the message of teaching children about money and how to handle it is one that will surely recur as we work to get out of the troubled financial climate of the present. At least some of the problems that the world is currently dealing with have something to do with irresponsible consumer borrowing and spending, and if good habits are locked in at an early stage then there is all the more chance that financial crises like the present one will be rarer and shallower in future. What the government may do remains to be seen, but there are plenty of things that a parent can do to instill the right habits in their offspring.

Savings accounts are something that will often be encouraged for the very youngest kids, but when they get to around the early teens the interest seems to drop off quite considerably. Finding a way to encourage your teenage child to save and pay close attention to the value of money is not difficult. All that one needs to do in the present climate to make one’s children pay heed to the importance of sensible financial practices is watch the news with them. As banks, businesses and other organizations battle the ill-effects of financial laxity, there has never been a better opportunity to pass on a message of caution.

It may be increasingly difficult in this day and age to avoid debt in one’s everyday life – particularly if one intends to make a go of a business career at any point – but a bit of financial wisdom can give the children of today the thought processes to deal with the future in a mature and secure way. Don’t teach them to be afraid of debt, but to understand good and bad debt. Don’t let your children see loans as free money, nor see savings as being boring or cheap. Good financial sense starts at an early age, and with a bit of forward thinking can lead to a very satisfactory future. Instilling these messages will mean less likelihood of a repeat of what we are currently dealing with.

How To Protect Your Marriage In Economic Downturn

Money, Finances, Economic Crisis, And Relationship

First Published Date : March 5, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

Money is one of the major causes of friction in a relationship. Most probably, money issues are second only to infidelity as a cause of divorce. In a relationship or a marriage, couples are bonding together from very different backgrounds. Two different persons with different incomes, different debts, and different ways of managing personal finances are joining together to share and form common values and perspectives. These issues, specially money issues can be a real problem.

An unstable, or even a healthy relationship, can go thru a rocky ride during economic downturn. The reason is very simple. Money and finances get over-heated and threatened during post economic downturn. These issues always exist; however, during good times we tend to ignore these because there is always food on the table and somehow we manage to get by. But things change during economic downturn. When jobs are hard to find, the cost of living is on the rise, suddenly things don’t look rosy anymore. Our emotions and spirits change and our relationships reach on the verge of a breakdown.

What you can do to protect your marriage/relationship in a downturn? Try taking the following steps. These steps are not just good during an economic downturn. You should apply these anytime to make your relation journey a smooth one.

·   Talk – Communicate with your partner regarding money issues and any other issues on a regular basis. Take the current economic crisis as an opportunity to get together and start communicating. Talk about your fears, goals, issues, and so on. Divide financial tasks and work together to make changes on your financial plans.

·   Track Your Expenses – Tracking expenses gives you a visualization of where your money is exactly going. You need to know this to cut unnecessary expenses and increase your savings. You can do all sorts of calculations and thinking in your mind to figure out where your money is going – but the real picture may not be the same as your mind tries to depict. Spending just a few dollars here and there daily can add up to a large amount at month’s end and tracking expenses will show you how powerful it can be to cut once-daily visit to your coffee shop. Tracking expenses will gradually help you make better decisions.

·   Set Goals – Set long and short term goals. Write down these goals in a notebook and setup monthly or quarterly meetings with your partner to review your goals. Goals could include buying a house in three years, kids’ education fund, retirement etc.

·   Budget – I don’t believe budget works; however, follow these two simple rules and avoid the hassle of budgeting: spend less than what you earn and spend within your means, and track your spending.

·   Change Your Outlook – Change your outlook from my money, your money to our money. Once you are married – your incomes, debts, money, finances, everything become OURS. That’s the purpose of marriage or staying in a relationship.

·   Maintain Joint Accounts – Always maintain joint checking and savings accounts. This forces you to work together and it’s easier to manage one account than many accounts. Joint accounts provide the extra boost to become financially successful as couples. It reminds you that you two are one now, and your financial success depends on how you can plan and act jointly.

·   Maintain Two Separate Credit Cards – You need to do this to have better credit scores. Better credit scores will help you to get lower interest rates on your loan to buy large item purchases such as house, car etc.

·   Don’t Hide Anything – Never hide anything from your partner. If you have bought an expensive item impulsively, discuss it with your partner. It is better to tell him something you did without his knowledge now, rather than him finding out years later.

10 Tips to Save Money at Restaurants

How To Save Money At Restaurants

First Published: ADawnJournal.com January 15, 2009

We all love to eat out at restaurants. Have you ever noticed that if you follow a few simple steps, you will be able to cut down your restaurant bill in considerable amount, e.g., 20% to 30%. Below, you will find ten tips which will save you some money at restaurants. You may not be able to use all of these; however, I don’t see why can’t you use at least one tip.

1. Beverages Are a Rip off Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, juices etc at restaurants. These items have a high markup and you will be saving a lot just by drinking plain water. 

2. Eat Out With Friends and Family Always try to visit restaurants with a few people. The more number of people you have, the better. It’s simple Economies of scale. Your meal will cost more if you are alone and you will be wasting foods because items are so plentiful. Example: if you have five people, you don’t need to order five main dishes. Order three main courses and two appetizers or salad. 

3. Coupons Save You Money Use coupons. Find coupons in the newspaper, in the mail, on restaurant’s website, sometimes on the takeout menu. Also, if you join their emailing list, restaurants send out promotional coupons via email once in a while.

4. Look for Deals Always beware of special day deals, e.g., “kids eat free night”, “parents eat free night”, “birthday deal night”. Restaurants often offer deals on one slower night of the week such as Monday night, Tuesday night etc. By eating on these nights you will be able to save a lot. 

5. Lunch is Better Than Dinner Lunch will always cost you less than dinner. Lunch menus are often similar to dinner menus but you will be paying a lot less just for eating at a different time of the day.

6. Leftovers Should Not Stay Behind Do not leave your leftovers behind. Pack them up and they will save you money at home on the next day.

7. Avoid Appetizers Appetizers  or deserts are unnessery, wasteful, and usually cost a lot (another high markup item). By the time I finish eating main course at a restaurant, I find it hard to eat anything else. 

8. Special of the Day Before start browsing the menu, ask if they have any special of the day. Special of the day always provides better deal than items on the menu. 

9. Combo Makes Sense When ordering, pick combo or tiered meals instead of picking individual items. Combo means always cost less than if those same items were picked individually.

10. Plan Ahead and Stay Within Your Limit Plan ahead. Decide how much you want to spend and check a few restaurant websites to see where you can get a better deal. Also, plan how many times in a month you want to dine out. Do not cross your monthly set limit to visit restaurant and do not go over your decided amount to spend.