by Larry MacDonald for Money Sense Magazine
Q: My fiancée Michelle and I are building a custom home together. We have a $1.5 million budget in mind but we’d like to go higher if we can afford to. Or should we actually be spending less? We need to make a decision and we’re not sure what to do. — Darren, Toronto
A: There is no doubt that you guys are in a unique position. Darren, you’re earning the entry level minimum this year, but hope your agent can negotiate a big contract next spring. Your career could last 10 years, but an injury or a bad season could easily cut things short. And it’s hard to say what your potential income-earning ability might be thereafter.
We often hear about the need to provide for our families, and protect their financial security through the use of various insurance products. We’re always preparing for what happens when we die, or become ill. It’s important to plan for the inevitable, or the unfortunate, but let’s take a step back for a moment. Read more
Canada’s aging population is going to have a significant impact on our health care needs and costs. According to The Sun Life Canadian Health Index, 90% of Canadians anticipate a financial impact if they were to experience a major or chronic illness. Yet only 58% are financially prepared to cover the cost of a serious illness. Are you prepared?
Are you out of your debt comfort zone? Does it seem as though you’re paying too much to bill collectors and not enough for savings and the things you enjoy in life? If so, it’s a good idea to figure out just how much debt you have and compare that to how much you earn. This will give you clear understanding of your financial health.
Debt load is a term that is used to describe a consumer’s amount of debt. It is often used to understand if you are carrying a “safe” amount of debt. Creditors look at a debt/income ratio, comparing your income with your debts to analyze whether you have an appropriate amount of debt. The debt/income ratio is figured monthly and reveals either how good — or bad — your financial situation is.
Debt load is the sum total of all the money you owe:
- Student Loans
- Credit Cards
- Even loans from friends and family.