Battling The Unexpected Personal Finance Problems

Battling Personal Finance Issues We’ve all been down this road before: something unexpected happens – maybe your car breaks down, or you need some special kind of medication – your insurance isn’t covering it all, and you’ve got to pay out of pocket. You’ve already smashed the piggy bank, and checked between the cushions but you’re just coming up empty. So how are you supposed to battle the unexpected? Until you find a way to predict the future, there’s a couple ways to get some quick money.

If you’ve ever walked around your city, chances are you’ve seen a Money Mart, or something similar that offers what seems to be an insane amount of money the moment you walk through the door. This option is called a payday loan, and your eyes don’t deceive you. Money Mart’s website notes that 99% of people who apply for a payday loan are almost instantly approved, and receive their money shortly following. All you need to apply: a pay stub, bank statement and blank cheque. Almost seems too good to be true, right? That’s because it is.

Before you even consider this option, research, research and then research some more. Where they get you with their enticing calls to action are the charges and interest rates.

Let’s put this in perspective: in Ontario, a loan amount can range from $120 to $1500, and you are charged around 20% for every $100 you borrow. So if you want to borrow $300 for a car repair, you’ll end up having to pay $363 at the end of your loan term – an ambiguous amount of time that is due on your next payday and can range anywhere from one week and 42 days.

So what if life gets in the way once more? What if you are unable to pay that $363 back on time? Like any other loan, you will be charged annual interest. So what is the annual interest on a payday loan in Ontario? 547.50%. No – you didn’t read that wrong…it is actually 547.50%! What if you miss your due date by two months? That’s 91.25% interest. That $300 you needed for your car payment is now almost $700! Many people fall into massive debt when it comes to payday loans, and this is mostly due to simply not knowing the interest rates or charges that come with the loan.

Unless you are incredibly diligent with your money, or are at your wits end and have exhausted all your options, it is always a good idea to avoid a payday loan. So how else can you get some money?

Budget: Do you really need a case of soda this week? Maybe you could skip on the new shirt for now. Ask yourself “do I really need this now?” before you make a purchase – at least until you’ve remedied your situation. Check out our Personal Budget Tool

Odd Jobs: Ask around for jobs you could do in your spare time, even if it’s just shovelling driveways or carrying boxes. Money is money at this point.

Borrow from family and friends: The people closest in your life are, more often than not, willing to help you. Swallow your pride and explain the situation. They’ll most likely be willing to help, so long as you pay them back.

Sell Things you don’t need: You know that old guitar you don’t play with anymore? That pile of video games you beat already? Sell them online! Use websites like eBay, Kijiji or Craigslist to make some money. Don’t sell yourself short, but keep in mind: the more reasonable the price, the faster someone is to buy it.

How To Save Money On Gas : Money Infographic

Barrie Personal Finances : Gas

In today’s day, many are doing their best to pinch their pennies, and avoid personal bankruptcy. There are some things that take from our wallet more than others. In this blog post I want to touch on a subject that steals from most of us on a regular basis – GAS. Here are a few small and simple ways to make the most of your gasoline, and save money in the long run!

Plan Ahead

  • Look into the gas providers in your area and try to find the best rates that fall on your regular routes. This way you are not driving around town to find the best prices.
  • Plan your trips before you leave. If you have several errands or stops to make, choose to complete them in one go. Plan out the best order and route to take before even leaving the house or office.

While Driving

  • Use Cruise Control
  • Avoid using brakes to slow down. Rather let off the gas well in advance and keep your distance to the vehicles in front of you. Especially on the highway.
  • Accelerate slowly and avoid revving your engine too high and try to keep in a habit of allowing your vehicle to switch gears at a lower RPM.
  • Use air conditioning wisely. If you are on the highway, roll the windows up and use the air conditioning. This helps with air resistance, although when you are in town driving, choose to roll down the windows instead of using the air conditioning.

Avoid Evaporation

  • Keep your gas cap tightly fastened
  • Do not park your vehicle in the hot sun, rather park it in the shade

General Maintenance

  • Continue to keep up the general maintenance on your vehicle. Making sure all of the fuel efficiency factors are in good working condition.
  • Make sure your tires are always pumped up fully with air.
  • Change your air filters on a regular basis
  • Keep a clean vehicle. At all times, try to avoid any extra weight. This means cleaning out the trunk and backseats on a regular basis.

While there are many tips that can help us save money on gas, and other areas, our personal finances can really get the best of us. Don Allen & Associates deal with debt assistance in Barrie, Collingwood, Toronto and Owen Sound. They can help with budgeting and personal finances including personal bankruptcy.