3 Long Term Financial Actions You Can Take Today

Happy Monday Everybody! We’ve started to see things slowly reopen but that doesn’t mean we are stopping with our blog posts, we’ll keep delivering this schedule of posts to you until things are a bit more normal.

Today, we wanted to share 3 things you can do today that will impact your financial situation in the future

Contribute to your TFSA

If you haven’t already contributed to your TFSA or haven’t set up a TFSA yet, this is a great time to do it! For those of us fortunate enough to be working from home, you’ve seen a reduction in your weekly expenses – transportation costs, meals out, beauty treatments, gym membership etc. – now is the perfect time to take what you’d normally spend in those areas and put that money into your TFSA.

This years contribution limit is $6000.

If you haven’t contributed yet but have been eligible for a TFSA since 2009 you have a total of $69500 you can contribute.

Contribute to your RRSP

If your TSFA is full or you have an RRSP going but not a TFSA yet (also set up at TFSA ASAP so you can save even more!), we highly recommend contributing to your RRSP if you have the capability.

Save for Taxes

If you are receiving the CERB or the CESB, this is still taxable income. Depending on your income for 2020 you will be taxed accordingly, so as you would any other year prepare to pay taxes on this money just like any other income.



5 Things To Do At Home (Not including Netflix)

We’ve been spending a lot more time at home recently, and with the situation currently increasing in seriousness and a dramatic change in everyday life once the social distancing parameters are lifted we wanted to share 10 projects to do at home (not binging Netflix) to help keep you occupied.

1.Clean out your closet

This is probably the first thing many people did as soon as the stay at home order was released, but a closet clean out is not only perfect for Spring cleaning but is also a great way to spend your time. You can go full Marie Kondo and clear out everything that doesn’t spark joy or do a small reorganize, the size of the project is up to you.

2. Bake bread

Everybody and their teenager has been baking bread, it’s super popular amongst Millennials at the moment and is actually very fun! It’s an overnight project with incredibly tasty results!

This is our favourite recipe: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/6623-crusty-white-bread

3. Tie Dye

Social Media has been flooded with tie dye everything, it’s a trending pattern for the S/S season and a major throwback to childhood. It’s so fun and easy, and you can get some beautiful patterns.

Try this method for a trendy pastel look: https://www.brepea.com/pop-art-ice-tie-dye-technique-t-shirt/

4. Take a Nap

If you can get away with it, we highly recommend you take a nap in the middle of the afternoon.

5. Start a DIY project

DIY’s are so fun and can help you relax while developing a new skill! Whether you are doing a home makeover or making macrame plant holders they will spark joy!


5 Short Term Financial Actions You Can Take Today

There is so much uncertainty in the economy and job market at the moment and whether you are still working, working with reduced hours or have stopped work due to COVID-19 there is no time like the present to go through your financial situation and see where you can reduce unnecessary expenses or take advantage of any offers your bankers/lenders are offering. We’ve compiled 5 of (in our opinion) the best short term actions you can take in regards to your finances.

  1. If your income has been impacted by COVID-19 apply for the CERB ASAP.
  2. If you are currently in any lease agreements call your lessor (landlord, car company etc.) and see if you can come up with a modified agreement to help you through the slow down while honouring your agreements.
  3. Review your subscriptions (Netflix, Prime, Apple etc) and see which ones you are using and cancel all the ones you aren’t.
  4. Create a spreadsheet of all your earnings and expenditures to stay on top of your spending
  5. Book a free consultation session with a reputable financial advisor. Many advisors in the Toronto area are having free seminars and are even offering free one hour sessions to help people begin their financial planning.

5 YouTube Yoga Classes to Help You Find Your Zen

Yoga is one of those activities that anyone at any level of physical fitness can do. There are many different types of classes you can take as well as tons of modifications you can make to the various poses to help match them to your comfort level. This week for Fitness Friday we are sharing with you are favourite online yoga classes that you can do at home!

THIS 45 Minute Vinyasa Flow

This super relaxing Yin Yoga Flow

This Power Yoga Flow

This Full Body Flow

This 30 Minute Power Vinyasa Flow

Let us know what your favourite online yoga classes are!


3 Tips for Stretching Your Grocery Budget

Plan out your meals for the week

Planning your groceries for the week will help you budget your spending as well as ensure that your fresh food gets used up before it goes bad.

Make Big Batches

Foods like chilli’s, pasta sauces and soups that can be made in large batches and frozen are great ways of stretching your meats! Fill them up with beans and hearty vegetables for the ultimate big batch meal!

Watch for Bargains and Deals

Certain grocery stores will always have bargains or deals in the form of “eat tonight” or “ready to eat”, keeping an eye out for these deals will save you some $$ on potentially pricier cuts of meat or allow you to stock up on some of your favourite shelf stables.

Let us know what your tips are!


5 No Equipment Full Body Workouts

Hey guys! It’s Friday! Which means it’s time for another fitness post! This week we are sharing with you 5 full body NO EQUIPMENT workouts. If you guys live in apartments and don’t want to be lifting heavy for fear of your downstairs neighbours, don’t have weights or just need a quick full body burn that you can do anytime/anywhere then these are the workouts for you!


5 Easy At-Home Date Night Ideas

While we might not be able to go out our favourite restaurant for date night or pop out to see the latest box office hit, it doesn’t mean that date night has go the way of the dodo bird. For wellness Wednesday this week we are bringing you 5 date night ideas (and the recipes to match if needed) to up your at home romance.

1.A Living Room Picnic

Pack a picnic complete with sparkling lemonade and finger food for your and your special someone, layout a blanket and some pillows and enjoy! If you are lucky enough to have a backyard, then take your picnic outside on a sunny day!

Try these picnic recipes out: https://xokatierosario.com/12-picnic-food-ideas-you-must-make-this-summer/

2.Homemade Pizza and Wine Night

Get down and kneady with your partner and make some homemade pizza! Open a bottle of wine, put on some good music and pretend you are at a villa in Tuscany.

Try these Pizza Recipes: https://www.happilyinspired.com/homemade-pizza-recipe/

3. Movie Date with Homemade Fancy Popcorn

Whether it’s a much loved favourite or a brand new box office hit, any movie night can be romantic and spiced up with a little homemade popcorn. While we currently can’t head out to the theatres it doesn’t mean we don’t have to skip the whole theatre experience.

Shop our mini projector: Amazon, BestBuy

Try these Popcorn Recipes: https://www.papernstitchblog.com/savory-popcorn-recipes/

4. Game Night with a side of Charcuterie

Game nights are always fun, especially with friends! FaceTime with some couple friends for a fun double date all playing the same game!

5. Video Game Tournament with Snacks

Grab the candy, chips and pop and throw it back to being a teenager with a video game tournament! Whether it’s Mario Cart or League of Legends, battle it out to see who will reign supreme (loser does the dishes).

Let us know your date night ideas!


What the Major Financial Institutions are Offering in COVID – 19 Aid

The major Canadian banks have created various programs to help Canadians through the economic uncertainty of COVID-19. While these programs may help in the short-term please do remember that there will still be interest accruing on mortgages and lines of credit.

This post is for your information so you can compare and contrast the different programs each bank is offering not to provide financial advice.

Our broker of record received a phone call from the brokerages financial advisor at CIBC (where we bank) where he kindly explained everything he could do to help us with mortgages, lines of credit etc. We were pleasantly surprised by the level of service our branch is currently offering.

*All information is taken directly from the banks websites and consolidated for ease of comparison*

Mortgages

CIBC

You can request to defer your regular mortgage payments for up to 6 months if you’re experiencing financial hardship caused by COVID-19.

TD

If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can request to defer the equivalent of up to 6 monthly payments.

By deferring payments, you are not paying the mortgage principal, and interest will be capitalized (i.e. added to the outstanding mortgage balance so your balance will increase). It’s important that you understand this impact.

Learn more about your mortgage deferral options.

You’ll first be directed to the EasyWeb login page. If you are not currently registered for EasyWeb, register online today.

If you have Credit Protection insurance, you may request to defer your premium charges, separately. See below for details.

RBC

Deferral payments for Canadians in need of immediate cash-flow, including up to six month deferral for mortgages

Scotiabank

Mortgage payment deferrals are available for customers experiencing hardship. A mortgage payment deferral means that you will not be required to make regular payments on your mortgage (principal, interest, and property taxes, if applicable) for up to 6 months.

During the time you defer your mortgage payments, interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your mortgage account balance at the end of the deferral period. This means your payments will be slightly higher after the deferral period ends. You will pay more in interest over the life of your mortgage, but a deferral will also help with short-term cash flow

BMO

If you’re a homeowner or own a rental property and have a mortgage with BMO, you may be able to defer up to six months of your mortgage principal and interest payments.

Mortgage deferral does not mean mortgage forgiveness. It means payments are not collected when due for the defined period of time that you need temporary financial relief, up to a maximum of six months.

Credit Cards

CIBC

If your financial situation has been impacted by COVID-19, you can request to defer your credit card payments for up to 3 months, and benefit from an effective lower interest rate of 10.99% during the deferral period that will be applied as a rebate on your upcoming statement(s).

TD

If you are directly impacted by COVID-19 and qualify, TD will credit you 50% of the interest charged for 3 months. You will receive this in the form of an interest credit on your statements. To learn more visit our FAQ page.

RBC

Deferral payments for Canadians in need of immediate cash-flow, including up to six month deferral for credit cards

Scotiabank

A credit card monthly minimum payment deferral means that you will not be required to make the minimum payment required on your credit card account during your deferral period (for up to 3 months).

BMO

Offers up to a 6-month payment deferral on loans, cards, and lines of credit with no fee (your payment will be deferred but interest will continue to accrue) and no changes to the terms of your BMO account.

Loans and Lines of Credit

CIBC

 You can request to defer your regular payments on loans and lines of credit for up to 2 months to help manage financial challenges caused by COVID-19.

TD

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you can request to defer the principal payments on the Fixed Rate Advantage Option on your Line of Credit, for up to 4 months. You’ll still have to pay the interest amount, one business day prior to your regular payment date. It is also important to understand that by deferring payments it will take longer to pay down the principal of your Fixed Rate Advantage Option.

RBC

Deferral payments for Canadians in need of immediate cash-flow, including up to six month deferral for lines of credit

Scotiabank

A line of credit monthly minimum payment deferral means that you will not be required to make the minimum payment required on your line of credit account during your deferral period (for up to 3 months). 

BMO

Offers up to a 6-month payment deferral on loans, cards, and lines of credit with no fee (your payment will be deferred but interest will continue to accrue) and no changes to the terms of your BMO account.


At Home Fitness Equipment – Fitness Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!

Last week for Fitness Friday we shared with you 2 at home ab challenges to try out, we’ve been trying out the Alexis Ren Ab Workout Everyday and our abs have never been more sore. This week we wanted share a few of our picks for at home fitness equipment that can fit anywhere from a condo to a palatial country estate (by that we do just mean small and easy equipment).

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands are really versatile if you are in a pinch, you can do arm workouts and leg/glute workouts with them if you need to.

Try This Full Body Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5fU-M_LVP4

Try This Abs + Glute Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3tvrLY1Qsw

Try This 30 Min Glute Workout: youtube.com/watch?v=y-nbg7vNkcY

Our Favourite Resistance Bands: Amazon

Sets like this with a wide range of resistances are our favourite, because you can work your strength up as well as mix and match the bands for a custom weight.

Our Favourite Hip Bands: Amazon

Hip Bands are the best if you are doing a lot of abduction based movement (moving your legs a part, side steps etc.) They are cloth covered so they are much more clip resistant and the thickness gives more support in the exercise.

Our Favourite Ankle Bands: P.Volve

While these are a luxury addition, they are amazing for adding additional weight and challenge to pilates moves. We like to use these for moves such as donkey kicks and fire hydrants which would normally cause regular resistance bands to roll up or cut into the back of our knees.

Yoga Mat

A yoga mat is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment because in addition to using it to do yoga (as the name suggests) it’s great for pilates, floor work or using it as a non slip base for things like lunges, split squats, mountain climbers etc.

Our Luxe Yoga Mat Pick: Lululemon

Lululemon makes some amazing yoga mats, which if you are interested in yoga (in particular hot yoga) they are amazing because they are quite sticky so you don’t slide around as much.

Our Favourite Yoga Mat: Indigo

These are nice and soft, if you are looking for an all rounder mat that you can use for your daily workouts and yoga this is the mat.

Ankle Weights

Ankle/Wrist Weights are the best for added an extra challenge to bodyweight exercises. Anything from arm circles to leg raises can have their difficulty increased with a light weight.

Try this Glute Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h_ltvVfLns

Try this No Equipment Workout with Added Weight for a Challenge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bggX6ocjojk

Aesthetic Ankle Weights: Bala Bangle

These are so cute but are really light, only 1lb. If you are a beginner or looking for a light ankle weight these will be perfect.

The Exact Ones We Own: Nike

We got these bad boys because they are 5lbs which is exactly what we wanted for leg raises and jump squats. They are really well made and super durable.

Sliders

Sliders are super versatile and add a serious amount of challenge to your workout. Whether you are doing ab pikes or sliding lunges you will feel the burn.

Try this Full Body Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4z2OZLGKuY

Try this Core Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEtIkmME0Wo

Try this Glute Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2fHb5YcNH0

Cute and Affordable Sliders: Bala Bangles

The Fast Delivery Version: Amazon

What are your go-to home workout equipment items?