Archive for September, 2012

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Buy a Car Based on the Monthly Payment Cost

Owak / Kulla / Corbis

“It’s dangerous to think about a big purchase, like a house or a car, in monthly terms,” says Jim Wang, a blogger at Bargaineering.com. “It doesn’t illustrate how much of your total wealth has to be surrendered in order to own that house or car.”

“It’s also easier to swallow $200 a month instead of a five-figure number, so salespeople are trained to go after the monthly number,” he says. Whenever a salesperson is giving you financial advice, he says, step back and evaluate whose best interest they have at heart, yours or theirs. Always do the math on what the purchase will cost you in the long run.

“I’d say focusing on the monthly price of anything, and ignoring all else, is terrible advice,” Wang says. “While it’s important to look at that number for the purposes of budgeting, you always want to know how much you’d be paying in total.”

MORE: Drivers Upgrading to New Cars at Slowest Pace in Years

Read more: http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/23/terrible-financial-advice-top-10-tips-you-shouldnt-follow/#ixzz27bESknpt

A lot of people think that paying any amount owed on a debt acts as a good-faith effort and that creditors are obligated to work with you if you pay a nominal sum of, say, $5. This isn’t true. There’s no such thing as getting an A for effort when it comes to delinquent debt.

“The rationalization behind this theory is that some payment is better than no payment,” says Kimberly Cole, an education outreach coordinator at Novadebt. If you’ve worked out an agreement with a creditor to pay $5 a month, you’re in the clear, but there’s no automatic agreement that kicks in if you just send in whatever you want, she warns. “My clients are often shocked when I advise them that the collection activity will continue without an arrangement.”

Cole says borrowers who get in over their heads need to reach out to the creditor and work out a payment plan both parties agree to — and get it in writing.

Read more: http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/23/terrible-financial-advice-top-10-tips-you-shouldnt-follow/#ixzz27VPpRUOn

Learn how this strategy can help a cause and save tax for your heirs

Philip Porado, Jul 9, 2012

Most people don’t know how they can use annuities and insurance to boost their charitable giving.

“People are saying, ‘Don’t buy annuities now because interest rates are low,’ ” says John Jordan, CFP, an insurance and estate planning specialist. The other common argument is that life insurance is expensive, but Jordan asks, “Expensive compared to what?”

Insurance may be pricey at the front end, but it hedges against a person’s longevity and inflation by obtaining a policy for a larger sum than you would be able to amass in cash.

via Gift Insurance to Charity | Canadian Capital.

Neil Macdonald: Why a U.S.-style housing nightmare could hit Canada – World – CBC News.

An expatriate always thinks about going home. The longer the time abroad, the stranger the prospect of re-entry feels.

But if you’re a Canadian living abroad these days, the idea of returning home has become downright frightening. Stories are now routinely surfacing in the Canadian media suggesting collective madness when it comes to affordable living.

Our biggest real estate markets — Toronto and Vancouver — seem to have decided they’re really London and Manhattan. Several of our smaller cities are wildly optimistic, too, with year after year after year of six-, seven-, even 10-per-cent increases in property values.

Friends and colleagues who own homes in Canada are the very pictures of smug. They seem convinced the markets in which they happily reside will keep rising forever. Or at the very least, never drop.

And any discussion of the subject usually involves condescending lectures about how Americans, who are only beginning to recover from a six-year nightmare of foreclosures, could have used a dose of Canadian common sense and prudence.

CONDO CITYToronto’s booming condo market a high-rise panorama

Well, I watched America’s nightmare unfold, and it appears pretty evident to me that a sequel of some sort is coming to Canada.

So I ran that thesis past Robert Shiller, of Yale University, probably the foremost authority on real estate in America. He co-founded the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and predicted the American collapse in 2005, a year before it happened.

“I worry,” he told me, “that what is happening in Canada is kind of a slow-motion version of what happened in the U.S.”

 

Continue reading the remainder of the article… Neil Macdonald: Why a U.S.-style housing nightmare could hit Canada – World – CBC News.

Gas Cubby FREE – Fuel Economy & Service Log

Gas Cubby by AppCubbyI discovered this app and I have been entering my fuel ever since. Very cool to see the cost per mile, see the gas mileage for each fill-up, and even interesting to see the graph of gas prices over time. This does everything my old mileage book did and more.

 

Features:

Tracks gas mileage and vehicle maintenance

Charts: MPG, stats, gas price, gas expenses, service expenses

Online Sync

Customizable service reminders

Supports multiple vehicles

Store vehicle data: VIN, License Plate, etc.

Excel compatible email reports (CSV attachment)

International Units: MPG (US), MPG (Canada), MPG (UK), MPG (Imperial), L/100km, gal/100mi (US), gal/100mi (Imperial), km/L, km/gal (US), km/gal (Imperial), and mi/L

 

via App Cubby • Hand Crafted iPhone Apps – Gas Cubby • Sensible Car Care.