It PAYS to shop around.
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6 MONTHS TO A BETTER BUDGET
One of the challenges with proper budgeting is that ithas to become habitual in order to be effective. You can survive withoutknowing how to budget if you manage to keep more money coming in rather than goingout or have credit cards to cover the gap, but this won't last forever. EmergencyFund 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 moneymarket account for any unpleasant surprises. This emergency fund acts as abuffer as the rest of the budget is put in place, and should replace the use ofcredit cards for emergency situations. You will want to build your emergencyfund 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, ifpossible, putting in whatever you can spare on top. What'san Emergency? You should only use the emergency money for trueemergencies: 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 usedyour credit card to buy them. Downsizeand Substitute Now that you have a buffer between you and morehigh-interest debt, it is time to start the process of downsizing. It’s odd that the naturalsolution to not enough money seems to be increasing income ratherthan decreasing spending, but this backwards approach is very familiar to debtcounselors. The more space you can create between your expenses and yourincome, the more income you will have to pay down debt and invest. This can bea process of substitution as much as elimination. For example, if you buycoffee from a fancy coffee shop every morning, you could just as easilypurchase a coffee maker with a grinder and make your own, saving more moneyover the long term. Focuson Rewards Another trick that will help your budget come togetherfaster is to focus on the rewards. A mixture of long- and short-term goals willhelp keep you motivated. This can be as simple as saving for a small luxury, oreven something bigger like buying a car with cash. Watching these goals slowlybut surely become a reality can be very satisfying and provide further motivationto work harder at your budget. FindNew Sources of Income Why isn't this the first step? If you simply increaseyour income without a budget to handle the extra cash properly, the gains tendto slip through the cracks and vanish. Once you have your budget in place andhave more money coming in than going out, you can start investing to createmore income. Now, it is possible that it will take you more than sixmonths 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 youlonger than six months to get your budget turned around, it is time well spent.
Building permits up in Western Canada, down east of Manitoba
Four provinces reported increases in March, led by British Columbia with an increase of 12.8% (+$180 million). Meanwhile, all provinces east of Manitoba reported declines. The largest decrease was in Ontario, down 1.4% (-$43 million) due to lower construction intentions in the residential sector.
Quebec drives movement in non-residential permits. The national value of permits for non-residential buildings rose 7.9% in March, due to higher construction intentions for both institutional (+$175 million) and commercial (+$166 million) buildings. Gains in both of these components stemmed from Quebec. A high value permit for an addition to the Centre hospitalier de lUniversit de Montral drove the increase in the institutional component.
In the industrial component, the value of permits declined 15.6% in March (-$102 million). The decrease was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Quebec, where multiple high-value permits were issued in February.
Canadian home sales edge higher in March 2019
Home sales via Canadian MLS Systems edged up 0.9% in March 2019 following a sharp drop in February, leaving activity near some of the lowest levels recorded in the last six years.
There was an even split between the number of markets where sales rose from the previous month and those where they waned. Among Canadas larger cities, activity improved in Victoria, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Oakville-Milton and Ottawa, whereas it declined in Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, London and St. Thomas, Sudbury and Quebec City.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity fell 4.6% y-o-y to the weakest level for the month since 2013. It was also almost 12% below the 10-year average for March. That said, in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, sales were more than 20% below their 10-year average for the month. By contrast, activity is running well above-average in Quebec and New Brunswick.
It will be some time before policy measures announced in the recent Federal Budget designed to help first-time homebuyers take effect, said Jason Stephen, CREAs President. In the meantime, many prospective homebuyers remain sidelined by the mortgage stress-test to varying degrees depending on where they are looking to buy. All real estate is local, and REALTORS remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future, added Stephen.