All posts by kibbles

Using the Cash Dash

Any new expenses or incomes can be added as they occur and the entire year updates automatically and immediately.

You update it every day, subtracting money from your expense “accounts” and paying for it from your primary chequing or business account. It’s accounting 101 and I’ll show you how easy it is, minus the double-entry bookkeeping.

I developed it to help me organize the numerous lines of credit I was running in college.

It works because becoming your own accountant shows you your spending patterns. You will naturally observe and adapt to the best utility spending as a result. It’s amazing!

It’s like living in a fog bank for half your life and then being able to see the mountains on the horizon for the first time.mountains

More posts about the Cash Dash.

CURRENT PROMOTIONS

Currently, I am offering a 6-month promotional special:

From day 1 we begin with the Cash Dash and manage your progress over the course of a 6-month period. You will become an expert with the tools, and well on your way to financial stability.

This package includes:

$150.00 First month, first-time client financial planning.

5 x $150.00 Monthly services

&   $30.00 Tax Return Service (If applicable)

A $930.00 value for a promotional price of $500.00!

Change the way you look at money forever, in the best possible way.

Never wonder if you can “afford” it.

Sleep easy knowing your future.

Check out our services HERE

25 Canadian Tax Credits

These are the tax credit amounts for the 2014 tax year:

Basic Personal $11,138.00
Spouse $11,138.00
Age Amount (65+) $6,916.00
Disability $7,766.00
Caregiver $4,530.00
Infirm & Family $6,589.00
Caregiver Amount
Child Amount < 18 $2,255.00
Child Amount < 6   $2,255.00
Pension Amount $2,000.00
Medical Exp. $2,171.00 (in excess of 3% net inc)
Adoption $15,000.00
Education PT $120.00 / mo
Education FT $400.00 / mo
Textbooks PT $20/mo
Textbooks FT $65/mo
Canada Employment $1,127.00

These are all deductions that count against your taxes owed. The way it works is any of the above that are applicable are added up, then multiplied by .15 (15%) and the result is subtracted from your tax owing.

Most of these are non-refundable, meaning they can only be used in the year they are generated.

Student credits, however, are refundable, meaning they can be carried forward indefinitely.

The reason they are only multiplied by 15% is because the first tier of federal tax is levied at 15%. It keeps the playing field balanced, because if the credits were applied from the top down, meaning at the highest tax bracket possible, the higher tier tax payers would benefit the most. This way, everyone benefits the exact same from the tax credits. Anyone paying tax, that is.

More details can be obtained here: http://www.taxtips.ca/nrcredits/tax-credits-2014-base.htm

There are even more credits that can be applied to reduce your taxes:

Child Fitness
Bus Pass Receipts
Charitable Donations
Political Contributions
First-time Homebuyer’s Amount
First-time donation Super Credit

RRSP Contributions*

*RRSP Contributions require some forethought. There has to be room in your contribution limit (you can find this information online with your CRA account, OR on your latest Tax Assessment).

Also, you can contribute to RRSPs within the first 3 months of the year and apply the credits to your previous years’ tax return. RRSP contributions are credited at the highest tax bracket possible, since they are literally coming off the top of your income. It is quite possible to generate a sizeable tax return by making your contributions just before you file your taxes. Money in the bank AND in your pocket!

You can also deduct any expenses that you are required to spend in the pursuit of your income: driving expenses for drivers, home office expenses, travel expenses, etc etc.

Be sure to keep the receipts for any of these expenses! They are as good as gold come tax time.


 

Beware The Financial Industry

Creditors prey on low-income earners with high interest rates and steep late payment penalties.

Pay-day loan companies are legally allowed to charge interest rates of 546% per year.

Investment companies churn through applicants looking for “salesmen to become financial consultants.”

The credit score companies, Transunion and Equifax charge a fee to disclose your own credit score!

Financial advisors and consultants charge between $250-$500 per hour or package rates of up to $3000-$5000 per client to manage their investments for them.

The industry isn’t interested in helping anyone. They hide their fees in confusing numbers and push their “products” like used cars. The industry is designed to bleed the unwary customer dry.

We have a different philosophy:

  • we market education and life skills
  • services tailored to the individual
  • flexible and accessible
  • realistic fees
  • no sales culture

We teach the best way to manage money and live free of financial predators.


 

How to be your own Financial Advisor!

The Cash Dash is a specialized financial spreadsheet that allows the user to see the impact of any expense or income within the fields.

It’s simple. See your bottom line and entire year at a glance.

People can’t carry a 100 item table of values in their heads. We are flexible and intuitive but remembering variables and figures isn’t easy on the fly. We are vulnerable to impulsive decisions.

The Cash Dash will be your second opinion. Polished, complete and accurate – the numbers will tell you everything.

Know the freedom of control.

How to Begin Financial Stability

They say that money can’t buy you happiness. But it can buy you food, shelter, clothes and the time to find your true calling in life. In one sense, money represents the distance between you and starvation.

Money is your “score” in the game of life. If it ever falls to zero, you will surely know the pain of financial consequence.

It’s absolutely critical to get ahead. Beyond the need for food, shelter and transportation, your next most immediate need is a safety net!

This is your first step to financial freedom. Using the Cash Dash will help you monitor your progress at all times.

Make every sacrifice to get 6 months of living expenses in the bank and keep it topped up. Do not borrow against it, either. You must stay at least 6 months on plus side to truly be able to “afford” a new luxury.

When your savings goals are being met and your investment potential is growing on schedule, then you can enjoy the surplus.

 

What is Money?

Money is freedom, control and options. It determines the quality of life. Health and happiness may very well depend on it.

Once upon a time, cash was backed by gold in a treasury. Before that, we just used gold itself. Pieces of eight were used as currency because of the intrinsic value and rarity of the metal and the ability to break the coins into smaller “pieces.”

Today, money is nearly an abstraction. We use credit cards to make purchases while our paycheques are direct deposited into bank accounts. With the exception of laundry day, we can live a cash-free existence.

Canada’s currency is fiat, meaning it only has the value the government assigns to it. Those plastic bills have no intrinsic value, except that we, as a society, agree to recognize them as legal tender.

Money solves the problem of asymmetrical trade. Not everyone wants to trade chickens for toilet paper, or rockets for beer helmets, hence the need for intermediary currency.

The dollar represents time, energy and knowledge. We sell ours for legal tender we can then trade in the grand marketplace of society for whatever our hearts’ desire.

Money is the essence of your life’s productivity. There will always be more choices than money and only a finite amount of time to live, so you must manage it wisely!


 

Why Budgeting is Easier than Dieting

In all honesty, budgeting isn’t as bad as dieting. I’ve done both on several occasions and not surprisingly, at the same time. Dieting is much, much worse.

Dieting makes you weak and dizzy and all you can think about is food.

Budgeting makes you bored and lonely and all you can think about is the future.

The problem with dieting is that all that effort not eating can be reversed in a weekend of moderate taco consumption. Technically, the same is true of budgeting, but once you have scraped a few thousand dollars into a bank account, it becomes more natural to want to protect that money.

There is a critical difference between these two very similar disciplines :  losing 10-15 pounds can make you feel better and look better, but having $5000.00 in the bank will give you real world options.

Keeping your emergency fund topped up should be your 1st priority, but after that, you have choices. I would recommend creating a list of priorities. Maybe now would be a good time to find a new job? Or move into a new apartment?

Maybe you should just keep saving for a while. At least when you have savings, your next decision won’t be all-or-nothing. That feeling of “living on the edge” won’t keep you awake at night.

And you won’t be forced into situations that make you miserable, like bad roommates or crappy jobs. As long as you have the emergency fund in place, you’re doing OK.

If you manage to build it even further, it may be time to start some basic investing.

 

What is “Good Credit?”

Good credit is any form of credit that has no annual fee and less than 20% interest per annum.

Better credit is any form of credit has no annual fee and is below 10% interest.

The best credit you can get from a AAA lender is 1 or 2 percent above prime and is usually a secured line of credit, meaning that they have access to or control of a matching asset.

Some credit cards offer cash-back rewards or points systems like Air Miles. They can be an excellent tool for gaining additional value, if used appropriately. IE: never carry a monthly balance! Always pay your credit card off before the end of the grace period.

My cash back card generates about $150 in rewards every year. To put that in perspective, that’s the same amount of money I would have received from my 1.40% savings account if I had about $12,000 invested for a whole year.

Some credit cards offer promotional rates. For 1% or 2% of the balance up front, you can borrow from your credit card at interest rates as low as 0% for a limited time (usually 6-10 months). As far as credit goes, that’s a great deal. Just don’t get caught with a balance when time runs out!

Monitor Your Wealth with the Cash Dash

The Cash Dash is a Financial Dashboard.

It’s a spreadsheet designed to show your monthly expenses and financial progress for an entire year at a glance. It is a powerful tool for tracking personal finance.

Designed using modern accounting principles, then optimized for personal use, the Cash Dash provides a financial history and future forecast with minimal upkeep.

The Cash Dash uses a table of expenses linked to variable accounts to generate an accurate floating balance after any expense or income update. It has a monthly payment tracking table and eye-friendly colors.

Use it to predict a year in advance. Know exactly how far cash and credit will last, or conversely, how long until reaching the next savings goal.

The Cash Dash allows the user to focus on attaining goals. Observable day-to-day, month-by-month progress is critical for motivating success. The Cash Dash is a fully customizable balance sheet that doubles as a journal and heads up display.

Work easier. Worry less. Capture greater value from your money. Be in control of finance and future alike.

Never be caught blind-sided by your finances again.

Check out our services here.