KOHO Review: Spend Less, Save More, Budget Better


Koho is a Canadian spending and saving app that gives you insights into your spending behavior while helping you meet your financial goals. This review is NOT a sponsored blog post, but I do have a special affiliate code with Koho. If you use the code BRIDGET10 when you sign-up and activate your card, you’ll get a free $10 (and I’ll also get $10). Set up a direct load from your paycheque to your Koho card, and you’ll get an additional $40! Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive your own code to invite friends & family and also receive the same bonuses when they sign up. A half-dozen subscribers asked me about Koho, and I figured the only way to give an honest answer was to try it out myself. At first, I didn’t get it. I really thought it was more or less a pre-paid Visa attached to an ordinary […]

Should You Rent or Buy?


I do the math on buy vs. rent for myself every year when my lease is up and I make the decision to sign on, move, or jump into home ownership. So far it’s never tipped in the favor of owning, even as real estate prices have fallen or stayed flat in my city five years running. However, making the case for renting instead of buying rarely is met with a positive response. Last Thursday I sent a tweet that I didn’t think would go viral, otherwise, I would have double-checked my spelling and made sure the numbers for property taxes & utilities were in the right place (they should be switched): "Renting is a waste of money" – person who buys $500,000 house with 10% down at 3.39% and over 25 years will pay: – $14,000 CMHC insurance– $300,000+ interest on their mortgage– $100,000+ property taxes – $150,000+ home […]

DIY Discount Brokerage Investing vs Robo Advisors


You had good intentions when you were making that New Year’s Resolutions list. When you wrote down “figure out money and investment stuff”, you thought that it might take a couple of nights of upgrading your Google-Fu, but eventually, you’d wrap your head around how to handle your own money. It can’t be that hard – or they’d teach it in school, right? Unfortunately, it’s at this point in the process that most Canadians fall off of the “I’m going to control my investments” bandwagon. Perhaps you read a few blog posts about bonds, stocks, and ETFs?  Maybe they linked to comparisons of strategies such as dividend investing, value investing, or the interestingly-named couch potato investing?  You had good intentions to come back to this and take action, but after reading 47 blog posts and two recommended personal finance books, you feel good about the learning, but possibly worried that […]

The gift you really wanted, on your budget


If you’ve ever bought or sold second-hand clothing, electronics, furniture, video games, toys, or anything else, you’ve participated in the second-hand economy. And you’re not alone! 82% of Canadians traded at least one good through the second-hand economy in 2016. When most people think of the second-hand economy, they think they can utilize it to drum up extra cash to use towards a financial goal, usually with the added benefit of de-cluttering their home at the same time. It’s also a great way to save money on an item you would like to own, but is out of your budget at its regular retail price. But there is one way use the second-hand economy in order to get the brand-new items you want, especially, right after the holidays: gift cards. Whether you want to do a little discount shopping for yourself, or you want extra cash on hand, Kijiji is […]

5 Ways To Make The Most of Your TFSA


The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is the best long-term wealth-building vehicle available to Canadians, but most people don’t see it that way. The Tax-Free Savings Account is one of the only places you can earn completely tax-free income on your investments. Any interest, dividends, or capital gains within your TFSA will never be taxed — not now, not in future years, not if you contribute a certain amount, not if you make a withdrawal, n e v e r. This is unlike other investment vehicles like the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), where you don’t pay taxes on the years you contribute but will pay taxes when you make a withdrawal. Furthermore, you never lose your TFSA contribution room. If you take money out, you can put it back in the following year, making this also one of the most flexible investment tools available. For a more in-depth comparison of […]