6 MONTHS TO A BETTER BUDGET
One of the challenges with proper budgeting is that it has to become habitual in order to be effective. You can survive without knowing how to budget if you manage to keep more money coming in rather than going out or have credit cards to cover the gap, but this won't last forever. Emergency Fund The crux of this six-month plan is the emergency fund. Ideally, everyone should have at least one or two months' wages sitting in a money market account for any unpleasant surprises. This emergency fund acts as a buffer as the rest of the budget is put in place, and should replace the use of credit cards for emergency situations. You will want to build your emergency fund as quickly as possible. The key is to build the fund at regular intervals, consistently devoting a certain percentage of each paycheck toward it and, if possible, putting in whatever you can spare on top. What's an Emergency? You should only use the emergency money for true emergencies: like when you drive to work but your muffler stays at home. Covering regular purchases like clothes and food do not count, even if you used your credit card to buy them. Downsize and Substitute Now that you have a buffer between you and more high-interest debt, it is time to start the process of downsizing. It’s odd that the natural solution to not enough money seems to be increasing income rather than decreasing spending, but this backwards approach is very familiar to debt counselors. The more space you can create between your expenses and your income, the more income you will have to pay down debt and invest. This can be a process of substitution as much as elimination. For example, if you buy coffee from a fancy coffee shop every morning, you could just as easily purchase a coffee maker with a grinder and make your own, saving more money over the long term. Focus on Rewards Another trick that will help your budget come together faster is to focus on the rewards. A mixture of long- and short-term goals will help keep you motivated. This can be as simple as saving for a small luxury, or even something bigger like buying a car with cash. Watching these goals slowly but surely become a reality can be very satisfying and provide further motivation to work harder at your budget. Find New Sources of Income Why isn't this the first step? If you simply increase your income without a budget to handle the extra cash properly, the gains tend to slip through the cracks and vanish. Once you have your budget in place and have more money coming in than going out, you can start investing to create more income. Now, it is possible that it will take you more than six months to get your budget balanced out as it all depends on your situation, including how much or what kind of debt you have. But, even if it does take you longer than six months to get your budget turned around, it is time well spent. (Source: Investopedia.com)
First quarter: The value of multi-family dwellings leads the rise
Canadian municipalities issued $24.9 billion worth of building permits in the first quarter of 2018, up 3.3% compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.
Construction intentions for residential dwellings led the national increase, rising 6.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $15.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The 18.4% increase of the multi-family component more than offset a 3.5% decline in the single-family component.
On the other hand, the value of non-residential building permits fell 2.6% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $9.0 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The drop was the result of lower activity in both the industrial and institutional components.
Tips to keep your family safe from asbestos
(NC) Most of us know that breathing asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. But although many know its often found in insulation, few realize it may also be in cement, plaster, floor and ceiling tiles, house siding and certain car parts.
Fortunately, there are no significant health risks if materials containing asbestos in your home are left undisturbed. This includes asbestos tightly bound in products that are in good condition or sealed and isolated behind walls or floorboards, or in the attic.
However, you can be exposed to hazardous asbestos fibres when your home or other building you spend time in, such as your workplace, is being renovated or demolished. Asbestos fibres can be released into the air when materials that may contain asbestos are disturbed by sanding, drilling, sawing or breaking them apart.
Some car parts may contain asbestos, and you can be exposed when changing your brakes or replacing a transmission clutch.
The Government of Canada is taking action to help protect Canadians from this harmful substance. In December 2016, it was announced that asbestos and asbestos-containing products would be banned by 2018. In January, Canada published draft regulations to prohibit the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products containing asbestos, and the manufacture of products containing asbestos, with limited exclusions.
Tips to protect yourself:
Avoid disturbing asbestos materials yourself.
Before doing any major renovations, remodelling or demolitions, reduce your risk of exposure by hiring a professional to test for asbestos.
If asbestos is found, hire a qualified asbestos removal specialist to get rid of it before beginning work.
Be sure to check with your auto parts dealer before doing any work yourself with replacement parts.