Lesley Scorgie

Mi casa, your comission?

Congratulations! You’ve decided to sell your home; one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life. Based on referrals, you interview three realtors and learn that each will charge a hefty commission to market and sell your home.Feeling irritated by the commission rates? You’re not alone....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 5:30 AM

Protect Your Identity

I was speaking at a conference last week and the subject of insurance protection for identity theft came up in the Q & A portion of my talk. I’m not a huge fan of this type of insurance because I believe there are far more effective ways to protect your identity than paying $15 per month to...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 5:30 AM

Well done, Canada!

Pat yourself on that back!The BMO holiday spending survey results were released last week and 76 per cent of Canadians reported they spent less than they had planned over the holidays. On average, Canadian households shelled out $1,029 on food, drinks, gifts and entertainment; $300 less than what...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 5:30 AM

An epic $10K fall

Last September I was hiking in St. John’s, NL. While gawking at the ocean, I neglected to watch where my feet were headed and fell flat on my face. My fall resulted in whiplash, a concussion, a displaced jaw, scrapes and bruises. Since then, I’ve been seeking treatment from a slew of doctors,...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 6:30 PM

Net Worth — A Big Frugal Idea

I love setting financial goals for the new year. But over the years I’ve learned to pare back to just one or two that I can really focus on, rather than 10 smaller ones.Take 60 seconds and think about what you’d like to change about your financial health in 2012. The most popular areas are debt...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 8:00 AM

’Tis the season for resourcefulness

Being resourceful throughout the holidays saves you money and reduces waste.For example, going all out on wrapping paper and bows kills trees and costs a few dollars per present. Why not reuse gift bags you’ve accumulated throughout the year?Or, if you’ve prepared baked goods, give them out in...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 6:30 PM

Give a little bit of yourself this year

Do you want to do something really memorable for your friends and family this holiday season? Don’t buy or receive a single gift.Make a difference in your community by donating to charities on behalf of your friends and family.One of the best holiday giving tools in Canada is Canadahelps.org. This...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 6:30 PM

Spoiling Your Holiday Honey

Picture this: It’s Christmas morning and you swap presents with your honey bunny. Surprise!You get a $600 iPad and a terrible sinking feeling in your stomach because you only bought a $50 sweater.Whether or not you could have spent more, you feel guilty.Have you talked to your Holiday Honey about...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 6:30 PM

Holiday budgeting

Does holiday spending make you sweat? Don’t fret — take 10 minutes and prepare a holiday budget.Take five minutes to write down who you need to buy for and approximately how much you’d like to spend per person. Add it up.If you’re like the majority of Canadian households, your shopping list amounts...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 6:30 PM

Dating a money dummy

Someday, your financial situation will impact the future of your life partner. So, let’s face it; no one wants to date a financial dope.Bad financial habits such as debt and poor spending patterns reflect a person’s values and indicate whether they care about their financial future. Irresponsible...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 11:04 AM

Frugal is the new sexy

A rotten economy makes extravagant dating nearly impossible.Forget full-priced tickets to Arcade Fire or a romantic helicopter ride.I double dare you to use a coupon on your next date.According to CouponCabin’s October 2011 survey, nearly 20 per cent of adults have used a coupon on their first date...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 6:30 PM

What’s the bottom line on mortgage brokers?

There are over 400 types of mortgage products on the market and it’s hard to know whether you’re selecting the right one. That’s why Canadians are using independent mortgage brokers at an alarming rate because mortgage brokers can save you time and money!An independent mortgage broker isn’t tied to...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:30 PM

Down re: payments?

Saving for a down payment in a chequing account or hiding cash in a safety deposit box are counterproductive; they earn little to no interest and are too easy to dip into. The best approach is to start saving well in advance using savings vehicles that earn interest, but don’t put your funds at...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 6:30 PM

Feeling House Poor?

Are your home expenses gobbling up all your money?Home poverty happens when there’s decreased household income, typically from unforeseen unemployment or reduced salary. Other times, people overbuy, thinking that an extra $30,000 wouldn’t make much difference or perhaps a person signed up for an...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 6:30 PM

Avoid the home poverty trap

When I was 21 I bought my first house. I’d worked hard over four years to squirrel away enough money for a small down payment. Before too long, however, I ran right into an extremely common trap: home poverty. Basically, all I could afford was my house! It took eight months for my monthly cash flow...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 6:30 PM

Save for school

Look way past your family’s immediate back-to-school costs of books, calculators and clothing. According to TD Bank, a small child today will be faced with approximately $80,000 in post-secondary education expenses.Parents naturally want what’s best for their kids, but the sheer price tag of...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 6:30 PM

Cash-smart kids

Parents —don’t let your kids grow up financially illiterate! From coast-to-coast, Canadian students receive limited financial literacy training through grade school. Basic financial life-lessons, like budgeting and investing, are left up to parents.Even if you feel like your money skills aren’t...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 6:30 PM

Bootstrapping for tuition

Last week I encouraged students to get a job to help put a dent in hefty tuition bills. Many readers agreed. Others thought the column failed to address the larger social issue; that education in Canada has become obscenely expensive. I agree that the costs are extreme.Students graduate with great...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 6:30 PM

Education is worth every penny

School is expensive. I get it! I paid my way through a four-year undergraduate degree and an MBA by working throughout both programs. Was it worth the sleepless nights and $100,000 investment? Yes.My education has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I’m passionate about my...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 7:30 PM

Lessons in cheap

Feeling stressed about back-to-school shopping? You’re not alone! According to a July 2011 survey conducted by VISA, Canadian households are frazzled by the crowds and are feeling gouged at the till.The average family plans to spend $400 dollars this year on back-to-school paraphernalia. Of that,...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 7:30 PM