Author Archives: Shepell-fgi Financial Services

Brown Bag Budgeting: the financial benefits of having a lunch plan


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Colleagues eating lunch togetherDropping $260 at lunch recently got me thinking about how much I save when I pack my lunch instead. And yes, I was eating alone but please don’t judge me. You might be spending even more on lunch than I did if you really think about it. The problem is that most of us don’t think about it at all.

So, how did I manage to find a lunch that cost that much? Actually, it found me. I was working downtown for the day and headed down to the underground mall to grab a bite. I saw some amazing …

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3 donation mistakes that will cost you


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child making donationThis might seem like an odd title. After all, don’t ALL donations cost you? Here though we are talking about donations that cost you, well, a little more than you bargained for.

1. Clicking without recording the donation

This is simple but so easy to do! You’re reading about a cause on the web that touches you; the donate button is conveniently placed at your fingertips and you click away. That’s a wonderful initiative but what did it cost you if you failed to record it and claim it on your taxes?

In Canada, the charitable tax credit …

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The ‘Unbonus’: two financial downsides to a work bonus


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The work bonus has been around a long time, over a century in fact, so could it be outdated for today’s average employee? Bonuses were meant to improve productivity and enhance compensation, but do they really? It may be time for employers to unshackle their employees, or for employees to ask to be ‘unbonused’ because: missing a bonus can cause serious financial hardship for the average Canadian, and the resulting stress seriously undermines the financial literacy many companies offer their employees through benefit plans and employee assistance programs.

Missing a bonus can cause financial stress

Most people manage regular fixed costs okay but get thrown off by unpredictable …

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Facebook financial advice: hot money tips warrant the cold shoulder


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A couple looking at their money jarYears ago, we used to pick up hot stock tips while hanging around the water cooler. Now we get tips on Facebook and from other social media, but other than that, not much has changed; it’s still probably the worst way you could possibly get financial advice.

Let’s first consider why off- or online non-professional sources of financial advice are potentially bad for you, how they are almost comical in their logic, and when could the advice actually be dangerous. Once we put out the fire on hot tips, we’ll share some cool ideas that can lead to genuine financial prosperity.

Consider the source of the free stock advice

Getting …

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Surviving a mid-life financial crisis


Surviving a mid-life financial crisisWe joke about people having “a mid-life crisis” when a middle-aged woman cuts her hair off for a drastically new look or a man spends $60K on a new Porsche, but what if she cut her hair off before it fell out from chemo treatments, or he spent the money recovering from a heart attack?

Either of those would be a real mid-life crisis, and they’re no laughing matter.

In financial terms, it doesn’t have to be a critical illness to be a major set-back to retirement plans.  A disability or even extended unemployment can throw plans into total disarray, but most of us don’t give these things much thought until they happen to us, or someone close to us.…

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