Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pay Yourself First

In your quest to save money, the first principle should be to carve off some money before you start spending and paying your bills.

This is an important component to your approach to saving money as it then becomes a priority rather than something you try and do after you've spent your paycheck.

For many people, a quick and easy way to ensure you get your money into a savings account is to use a payroll deduction directed to the investment vehicle of your choice.

Friday, April 07, 2006

How much is enough for Retirement Savings

Well...after reading some numbers from the Employee Benefit Research Institute in the Philadelphia Inquirer, it becomes pretty clear that more people need to use the Investment Growth Calculator to better understand the amount of money they have and the rate at which it will grow but, more importantly, how long it will last in retirement.

Make sure you take the time to understand how much you need to carry you through a comfortable retirmenet and save early and save often.

GST Tax Cut In Canada but...will anybody notice?

While the Canadian Government makes a cut in the GST that will add up to an estimated $5 billion-dollar windfall when the sales tax is slashed from seven to six per cent, the
average household savings won't be life-changing. But buyers of
big-ticket items, stand to pocket
anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

But for the average consumer, will this make a difference?

With a savings
rate of negative 0.4 per cent chances are, most consumers will continue spending afterall with this tax cut, if you don't spend you don't benefit.

But will this tax cut really put more money in your pocket? Not likely. For someone to actually see $100.00 in savings they would have to spend $10,000.00.

So, while the same Party who created the GST is now making moves to repair some of the ill will caused by this regressive tax, they are doing nothing to give average Canadians a real tax break.

No Way Out?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Be it Resolved...April is Financial Literacy Month

Designating April 2005 as ‘‘Financial Literacy Month’’.
Whereas at the end of 2004, Americans carried 657,000,000
bank credit cards, 228,000,000 debit cards, and
550,000,000 retail credit cards;
Whereas based on the number of total United States households,
there are now 6.3 bank credit cards, 2.2 debit
cards, and 6.4 retail credit cards per household;
Whereas Americans consumer credit debt continues to increase,
and has reached a level of in excess of
$2,100,000,000,000 as of year end 2004, of which
$791,000,000,000 is revolving consumer credit;
Whereas a United States Public Interest Research Group and
Consumer Federation of America analysis of Federal Reserve
data indicates that the average household with debt
carries approximately $10,000 to $12,000 in total revolving
Whereas Americans owe $766,200,000,000 on home equity
loans and lines of credit, more than twice as much as in
Whereas Americans converted $41,000,000,000 in real estate
equity into spendable cash in the third quarter of 2004
Whereas the current level of personal savings as a percentage
of personal income is at one of the lowest levels in history,
2 percent, a decline from 7.5 percent in the early
Whereas through November 2004, 1,869,343 individuals filed
for bankruptcy;
Whereas a 2002 Retirement Confidence Survey found that
only 32 percent of workers surveyed have calculated how
much money they will need to save for retirement;
Whereas only 30 percent of those surveyed in a 2003 Employee
Benefit Trend Study are confident in their ability
to make the right financial decisions for themselves and
their families, and 25 percent have done no specific financial
Whereas approximately 10 percent of individual households
remain unbanked, i.e., not using mainstream, insured financial
Whereas expanding access to the mainstream financial system
provides individuals with lower cost, safer options for
managing their finances and building wealth;
Whereas a greater understanding and familiarity with financial
markets and institutions will lead to increased economic
activity and growth;
Whereas financial literacy empowers individuals to make wise
financial decisions and reduces the confusion of an increasingly
complex economy;
Whereas the Spring 2004 Student Monitor Financial Services
Survey found that 46 percent of college students have a
general purpose credit card in their own name and 37
percent carry over a credit card balance from month to
Whereas 45 percent of college students are in credit card
debt, with the average debt being $3,066;
Whereas only 26 percent of 13- to 21-year-olds reported that
their parents actively taught them how to manage money;
Whereas a 2004 study by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal
Financial Literacy found an increase in high school
seniors’ scores on an exam about credit cards, retirement
funds, insurance, and other personal finance basics for
the first time since 1997; however, 65 percent of students
still failed the exam;
Whereas a 2004 survey of States by the National Council on
Economic Education found that 49 States include economics,
and 38 States include personal finance, in their
elementary and secondary education standards, up from
48 States and 31 States, respectively, in 2002;
Whereas personal financial management skills and life-long
habits develop during childhood;
Whereas personal financial education is essential to ensure
that individuals are prepared to manage money, credit,
and debt, and become responsible workers, heads of
households, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders,
and citizens; and
Whereas Congress found it important enough to ensure coordination
of Federal financial literacy efforts and formulate
a national strategy that it established the Financial
Literacy and Education Commission in 2003 and designated
the Office of Financial Education of the Department
of the Treasury to provide support for the Commission:
Now, therefore, be it
1 Resolved, That the Senate—
2 (1) designates April 2005 as ‘‘Financial Lit3
eracy Month’’ to raise public awareness about the
4 importance of financial education in the United
5 States and the serious consequences that may be as6
sociated with a lack of understanding about personal
7 finances; and
8 (2) calls on the Federal Government, States, lo9
calities, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses,
10 and the people of the United States to observe the
11 month with appropriate programs and activities.
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