It's really easy as we ring in the new year to set out resolutions. What do we usually do - we think them and then we forget them. We might attempt to achieve them in the first month or two, but reality hits and live moves on and the resolution dissolves.

The article from GreedyRates.ca gives us Five Resolutions to Make 2020 our Richest Year. Problem is, you know as well as I do, that we most likely stick to the resolutions.  

So let's make two simple agreements with ourselves:

Improve your financial literacy & consolidate debt - Let's agree that you will give me a call if you have a mortgage or debt and would like to review what we can do to manage it and what all terms mean.

Start actively saving - Review your monthly expenses especially automatic billings on your credit cards or pre-authorized withdrawals from your bank account. Consider if you really need these? If you eliminate an expense, consider making an automatic transfer from your chequing account to a savings account. If you didn't mind paying, then you won't mind saving it!  

There are many ways to consolidate debt and to save money. So rather than set an unrealistic resolution, set a realistic approach and make 2020 your richest year yet!

~ Lisa

As you know, your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans are all based on the Prime Rate and here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate.  
 
At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday December 4, 2019, the Bank of Canada maintained their overnight rate which in essence means no change to your interest rate.  
 
It is good news that there is no increase; however, we are into the busiest and probably most expensive shopping season of the year. How are you taking care of your finances this Holiday Season? Black Friday and Cyber Monday have just finished off and maybe your wallet is feeling a little light, or you are just getting started on your holiday purchases and are struggling to stay within a budget.

Suggestions for a Financially Stress Free Holiday Season
Your financial wellness has a huge impact on your health especially when stress levels are a little higher than usual this time of year.  Let's make sure you have the tools you need to stay healthy and celebrate the holiday season in style while not breaking the bank! 

  • Set a budget! Set a budget! Set a budget! The number one tool to spend successfully at this time of year is to set a budget and stick to it. 
  • Consider taking that budget and donating a percentage of it to those less fortunate. Sometimes at this time of year we get so caught up in the consumerism of the season we forget the importance of giving back to others. If your total budget is $500 take maybe take $50 or 10% and give it back to a worthy cause. Getting your kids involved in this value can be great as well! 
  • Spend intentionally. Making your lists for everyone you want to buy gifts for and allocating your budget is a great way to make sure you aren't overspending. It is easy to wander around the mall (or Amazon) and all of a sudden, you've blown your budget!
  • Take time to plan your 2020 goals! A great thing about this time of year is not only reflecting on your goals but planning for next year. If you have plans for 2020, NOW is the time to write them down and make a plan to achieve them. Maybe that is buying a home, consolidating debt, growing your savings, whatever it is figure out your plan and how you are going to stay accountable to yourself. 

 
Don't forget if you have specific goals for 2020 or know someone who is hoping to get on the property ladder or save for retirement, we are happy to have a pro bono consultation with them.


Canadian Economy Update​ & Your Mortgage Rates
All things considered, the Bank will continue to monitor the extent of the adverse impact of trade conflicts against the sources of resilience in the Canadian economy such as housing and consumer spending.  Increases in the banks rate are definitely not on the short-term horizon for sure but instead a hint to possible downward adjustments if needed. Fixed rates have increased just a small amount since the last announcement and are around 2.69% to 3.09% for a five-year fixed term.
 
Based on the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low BUT fixed term rates have stayed flat, I’d recommend that we chat – it might be worth switching to a fixed term if your current variable rate mortgage is higher than a fixed term.  Call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. I’ll be in touch again for the next announcement on January 22, 2020.


Supporting You and Those Around You
I wonder if I can ask a favour; this time of year can be really tough for many that are not as financially fortunate as us. No matter their situation; whether it is mountains of debt that they can’t get a handle on, low income or even unemployed, I can help. If you hear a colleague, friend or family member talk about going through a financially tough time would you mind letting them know I might be able to help.  I can assist homeowners by helping them access their equity to get them back on their financial feet and relieve some stress.  My expertise will help with budgeting, credit counselling or debt consolidation. If you would be so kind as to pass along my contact information on to anyone who might need a helping hand – I’ll provide a pro bono consultation to provide some great options on how I can help!
 

Here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate. 

At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday October 30, 2019, the Bank of Canada maintained their overnight rate which in essence means no change to your interest rate. 

After the most recent election you will want to pay note to the changes that the Liberals proposed during the election.

  • The First Time Home Buyer's Incentive is here to stay. We should expect maybe some changes and adjustments to the program, but it is here to stay which is great news for those looking to have the lowest possible mortgage payment.
  • They also promised to create a national tax on vacant residential properties owned by non-Canadians who don’t live in Canada. What is unclear right now is the definition of 'vacancy' that this government will use. A dwelling that is never occupied, or a furnished second home that is vacant more than 6-months. Only time will tell us what this campaign promise means. 
  • They also promised to crack down on fraud and financial crimes in the real estate sector. What does this likely mean for you? As we are already seeing with lenders and banks, more paperwork from clients is required and a larger due diligence to insure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Don't worry that's what I am here for! 

 
Now of course, with the fact that we are now in a minority government, we will have to wait and see what passes through the House of Commons. I will always do my best to keep you informed of any changes that will affect your current mortgage products. 
 
All things considered, the Bank will continue to monitor the extent to which the global outlook as well as pay close attention to the expected slowdown in the Canadian economy and the impact that has on consumer spending and housing activity.  Increases in the banks rate are definitely not on the short-term horizon for sure but instead a hint to possible downward adjustments if needed.
Fixed rates have dipped just slightly since the last announcement and are around 2.79% to 3.09% for a five-year fixed term.
 
Based on the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low BUT fixed term rates have increased slightly, I’d recommend that we chat – it might be worth switching to a fixed term if your current variable rate mortgage is higher than a fixed term.  Call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. 

As we heard a lot of in the election, Canadians are suffering with billions of dollars of consumer debt  If you hear a friend or family member talk about going through a financially tough time – maybe I can help with some budgeting, credit counselling and debt consolidation options for them!
 
I’ll be in touch again for the next announcement on December 4, 2019.

Lisa Upshaw


 

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