positive-press-daily:

 Despite tough economic times, more Canadians are donating to charities

More Canadians are showing signs of willingness to dig deeper into their wallets for charitable causes, a survey from one of Canada’s major banks suggested Wednesday.
The online poll from BMO Harris Private Banking found that 79 per cent of those surveyed had made a charitable donation at some point in the past 12 months. The figure was up sharply from 2011 levels when just 68 per cent of respondents had made contributions.
Poll respondents also indicated they were writing larger cheques than they had in recent years. The average donation amount rose to $557 in 2012 from $487 the year before.
The news initially came as a surprise to Marvi Ricker, BMO’s managing director of philanthropic services. Global economic turbulence that has kept markets in flux may seem an unlikely backdrop for a spike in charitable donations, she conceded. But while Canadians have enjoyed comparative economic stability, Ricker said the international turmoil has served as a harbinger of things to come.
“We know we have years of austerity ahead of us,” Ricker said in reference to cost-cutting measures by provincial and federal governments. “I think people are recognizing that if they want to have the quality of society that we’ve gotten used to, individuals are going to have to contribute more.”
Cathy Barr, senior vice-president of charity watchdog Imagine Canada, said that recognition would come as a relief to the country’s charitable organizations.
Charity leaders are very alarmed at the prospect of losing government funding at a time of fiscal restraint, Barr said. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced on Tuesday that a balanced budget is unlikely to materialize until 2016 or 2017, adding a projected deficit of $21.1 billion is likely to grow to $26 billion by next March.
Barr said many of the heads of Canada’s charities predict their groups will be weaker in the short term, adding a growing number have forecasted lower revenues and staffing levels in the near future.
“Charity leaders tend to be a fairly optimistic bunch. Even at the height of the recession, they were very optimistic about the future,” Barr said. “This is the first time we’ve really started to see a sign of waning confidence.”
Numbers from the BMO survey suggest salvation is most likely to come from members of the aging baby boom generation, who Ricker said are among the most highly motivated donors. Canadians now entering middle age in a position of relative financial security are feeling compelled to support the social causes that will be of most benefit to them in the years ahead, she said.
The survey results seemed to support Ricker’s conjecture. About 60 per cent of respondents said their donations were directed towards health care and medical-related causes. Anti-poverty projects were the second most popular category, garnering 45 per cent of respondents’ donations, while animal welfare initiatives came third at 30 per cent.
“I think a lot of people are beginning to realize that it is…a pleasure to be able to contribute and have an impact on things that are important to you,” Ricker said. “This is the mark of the baby boom generation; they’re not prepared to write blank cheques to organizations and let them figure it out.
The results marked a return to form for Canadians, Ricker said, noting the number of charitable contributors had been rising steadily from 1997 to 2007 before tapering off dramatically in the recession of 2008.
Barr agreed, citing Statistics Canada data that tracked charitable donations in 2010. That year 84 per cent of Canadians over 15 made charitable contributions, according to the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating. That study showed charitable donations had returned to levels established the year before the economic meltdown.
The BMO survey showed Ontarians were the most frequent and most generous donors this year, with 85 per cent of respondents contributing average donations of $778. Quebec scored last, with 72 per cent of respondents offering up contributions averaging $129, BMO said.
The online survey, administered by Polara, sampled 1,000 Canadians between Nov. 2 and 5. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

positive-press-daily:

Despite tough economic times, more Canadians are donating to charities

More Canadians are showing signs of willingness to dig deeper into their wallets for charitable causes, a survey from one of Canada’s major banks suggested Wednesday.

The online poll from BMO Harris Private Banking found that 79 per cent of those surveyed had made a charitable donation at some point in the past 12 months. The figure was up sharply from 2011 levels when just 68 per cent of respondents had made contributions.

Poll respondents also indicated they were writing larger cheques than they had in recent years. The average donation amount rose to $557 in 2012 from $487 the year before.

The news initially came as a surprise to Marvi Ricker, BMO’s managing director of philanthropic services. Global economic turbulence that has kept markets in flux may seem an unlikely backdrop for a spike in charitable donations, she conceded. But while Canadians have enjoyed comparative economic stability, Ricker said the international turmoil has served as a harbinger of things to come.

“We know we have years of austerity ahead of us,” Ricker said in reference to cost-cutting measures by provincial and federal governments. “I think people are recognizing that if they want to have the quality of society that we’ve gotten used to, individuals are going to have to contribute more.”

Cathy Barr, senior vice-president of charity watchdog Imagine Canada, said that recognition would come as a relief to the country’s charitable organizations.

Charity leaders are very alarmed at the prospect of losing government funding at a time of fiscal restraint, Barr said. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced on Tuesday that a balanced budget is unlikely to materialize until 2016 or 2017, adding a projected deficit of $21.1 billion is likely to grow to $26 billion by next March.

Barr said many of the heads of Canada’s charities predict their groups will be weaker in the short term, adding a growing number have forecasted lower revenues and staffing levels in the near future.

“Charity leaders tend to be a fairly optimistic bunch. Even at the height of the recession, they were very optimistic about the future,” Barr said. “This is the first time we’ve really started to see a sign of waning confidence.”

Numbers from the BMO survey suggest salvation is most likely to come from members of the aging baby boom generation, who Ricker said are among the most highly motivated donors. Canadians now entering middle age in a position of relative financial security are feeling compelled to support the social causes that will be of most benefit to them in the years ahead, she said.

The survey results seemed to support Ricker’s conjecture. About 60 per cent of respondents said their donations were directed towards health care and medical-related causes. Anti-poverty projects were the second most popular category, garnering 45 per cent of respondents’ donations, while animal welfare initiatives came third at 30 per cent.

“I think a lot of people are beginning to realize that it is…a pleasure to be able to contribute and have an impact on things that are important to you,” Ricker said. “This is the mark of the baby boom generation; they’re not prepared to write blank cheques to organizations and let them figure it out.

The results marked a return to form for Canadians, Ricker said, noting the number of charitable contributors had been rising steadily from 1997 to 2007 before tapering off dramatically in the recession of 2008.

Barr agreed, citing Statistics Canada data that tracked charitable donations in 2010. That year 84 per cent of Canadians over 15 made charitable contributions, according to the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating. That study showed charitable donations had returned to levels established the year before the economic meltdown.

The BMO survey showed Ontarians were the most frequent and most generous donors this year, with 85 per cent of respondents contributing average donations of $778. Quebec scored last, with 72 per cent of respondents offering up contributions averaging $129, BMO said.

The online survey, administered by Polara, sampled 1,000 Canadians between Nov. 2 and 5. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

(via exclusively-positive-press)

Black Friday Shopping

I have to admit that I have never actually gone shopping on “Black Friday” and it doesn’t really appeal to me BUT I did do a bit of online shopping today for a good deal. One of the kids really wants a digital camera and I bought a point and shoot Canon for only $79.99 and that included a case and an 8 gig memory card.

Normally this camera by itself would have cost nearly $150 so I was pleased with my find.

I am sure that it will go over well on Christmas!

Hot Chocolate Sticks | 30 Pounds of Apples

189market:

Hot Chocolate Sticks
Adapted from Giver’slog

Makes 15-16 sticks

Update: It seems that some people have had trouble with the consistency of the mixture becoming too thick. I made another batch and weighed the dry ingredients and have included the measurements below. This should help to remove any issues caused by inconsistencies in measuring cup sizes or method of packing those cups.

Supplies
sticks (at least 5 inches long)
piping bag or sandwich bag with 1/2″ corner cut off
ice cube tray or deep candy mold, each cavity approximately 1 ounce

Ingredients
9 oz. milk chocolate (not chips)
7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (not chips)
1/2 c (1.5 oz) loosely packed cocoa
1 c (4.5 oz) loosely packed powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
mini marshmallows

In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, powdered sugar, and salt. Set aside

Chop chocolate into small pieces (no larger than about 3/4″ inch long) and combine in a glass bowl that is completely dry. Microwave in 30 second bursts on 50% power, stirring between each burst, ensuring that your spatula is also completely dry. Once chocolate is about 2/3 melted (there are still some chunks in the melted chocolate), stir until remaining chunks melt. This prevents the chocolate from getting too hot.

Pour melted chocolate into the mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Mixture will be very thick, similar to brownie batter. Spoon mixture into a piping bag (no coupler or tip is needed) or into a sandwich bag with the corner sliced off. Pipe the chocolate into an ice cube tray.

Once all chocolate has been piped, pound the tray lightly on the counter to eliminate air bubbles and to flatten the tops of the cubes if they are uneven. Working one cube at a time, insert a stick and place four mini marshmallows onto the top of the cube. Once all cubes are complete, set aside until cubes are completely dry. You can also place them in the fridge if you are in a hurry.

Once all cubes are dry, remove carefully from the molds. Wrap pretty and store in the cupboard.

To Use:
Heat up 1 cup milk (approximately 1 ounce of chocolate should be used for each cup of milk, so adjust based on the weight of your cube) and stir in. Cube will take several minutes to dissolve completely.

These are going on my list to make this year for sure!

6 Easy DIY Halloween Decor Ideas

saveup:

October is here, which means Halloween is just around the corner! Haven’t put up any Halloween decorations yet? Here are some spooky yet adorable DIY Halloween decoration ideas we discovered on Pinterest to help you save money for the upcoming holiday season!

Bat Door Decor:

These spooky bat cutouts are a quick and easy way to decorate your door! All you need is some black felt and a pair of scissors. 

Yarn spiderwebs for your windows:

diy-halloween-decor-spiderwebs

Want to make these creepy spiderwebs for your windows? Just grab some black yarn, scissors, and tape, and start knotting away!

Vampire bat centerpiece:

diy-halloween-decor-bats-centerpiece\

Hosting a Halloween shindig? This bat centerpiece can be a fun project for you and your family; you can find the full instructions on Woman’s Day’s website.

Witch’s broom gift bags:

diy-halloween-decor-broomstick-candy-bags

These little broomstick gift bags are another great idea from Woman’s Day. Fill them with whatever Halloween treat you’d like!

Ghost cupcakes:

diy-halloween-decor-ghost-cupcake\

These aren’t the scariest ghosts you’ll find, but they are super cute! Create these ghost cupcakes with some white frosting, paper & a toothpick!

Jack-O-Lantern jars:

diy-halloween-decor-jack-o-lantern-jars

Don’t want to deal with the messy business of carving pumpkins? Make your own Jack-O-Lantern jars! Use tissue paper or paint to color the jars and black construction paper for the faces.

For more money-saving DIY project ideas, follow us on Pinterest

I have two of the newest MoneySense magazine issues.

Awhile back I had gotten a subscription along with a couple of other magazines that we had wanted for awhile, but I wasn’t expecting it to come in until next month.

Of course, the very next day after I had purchased it, my subscription issue came in the mail. I can’t even return the issue that I bought because the grocery store that I bought it at wasn’t printing receipts Sunday night. They were out of paper and it was close to closing time, so they weren’t changing it. I didn’t insist on it because I didn’t think that I would want to return anything.

Now I keep thinking of what I could have done with the $6.77 ($5.99 + tax)

- 3L of ice cream (on sale for 1.97/L)
- 4L of milk and a loaf of bread
- a new nail polish
- 4 medium coffees from Tim Hortons
- a breakfast special at our local diner
- a movie ticket on cheap night

Or I could have accelerated my debt payments by just that little bit more.

I don’t suppose anyone here would like a copy of the summer edition of Money Sense?

:)

yadadanika:

Story of my life.

yadadanika:

Story of my life.

(Source: humortrain, via liseezy-deactivated20130523)

Five for Friday…some truths

1. I am a (not so) secret fangirl. You can’t tell this in “real life” but on the internet I am all comic books, superheros, Merlin and Sherlock crazy. I also still ♥ Heroes.

2. I used to have credit card debt that wasn’t paid off even when I was first teaching others how best to pay their own debt. It’s not that I didn’t follow my own advice, but more that I kept “falling off the wagon” and putting things on credit again. That doesn’t happen anymore.

3. I sometimes fantasize about throwing all of my hard work away and blowing all my cash and using all my credit to go on some major vacation or buy some house that I probably couldn’t afford to upkeep.But I don’t. I live well within my means.

4. I have only been to one other province in my country which is Quebec and I have only visited Montreal. I have visited more places in Europe than Canada and I would really like to change that!

5. I really love camping but I never seem to be able to have time to do it as an adult :/

(via hope-fulll-deactivated20121231)

I don’t know this person, but I came across their post on tumblr here.

They have done a great amazing job on paying off their debt. The story below mentions that they were in debt in January of THIS YEAR. Now it is only the end of July and it is all paid.

Like I said, I don’t know this person, but if I did I would give them a huge hug and tell them how proud I am of them.

Now, if only they could come with me to visit all of my clients and tell them how great it is to pay things off :)

——————————————

arborescent:

What the hell is this, you ask?

It’s screen shots of the $0.00 balances on 8/9 of my credit cards, excluding a Jared Jewelers card that I accidentally applied for in 2008 (the guy said he had to meet a quota every day and I thought there would be a negative chance me being approved for it) and promptly shredded when I received it and literally never used it or saw it again.

IT IS FRIDAY, JULY 27TH, 2012 - AND I AM OUT OF CREDIT CARD DEBT.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER FIVE WHOLE YEARS.

That is the huge news I warned you all I would be sharing earlier.

The story starts in 2007. I worked at Pei Wei Asian Diner and I didn’t really make enough money. I can’t for the life of me imagine what I had to pay for since I had literally no bills, but anyway, I was having trouble making ends meet. My mom had been an American Express cardmember since the 80s. She owned her own business and even had a platinum card. She’d always been happy with Amex, so I asked her to put me on her account. Give me a separate card and I promised I’d pay it back at the end of every month. It would help me build credit, help tide me over on gas money (why was I driving a mile to work anyway?) until the end of the month, everyone wins.

My mom reluctantly agreed, not being 100% sure that at 17 years old I was ready to have a credit card.

I spent way too much money with it every month. Clothes, food, gas, anything. I would rack up close to $600 a month and then spend every cent of my paychecks paying it back. Working overtime, taking shifts. I was already sort of hooked.

I never paid late though. Not once. I was never short the money either.

In the summer of 2008, it just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I wanted more things than I could afford and I didn’t want to have to pay them back every month. Wow, that’s a great attitude to have going into credit cards.

I applied for a Chase Visa card, and I got it. My limit was $1,500. It was maxed out I think 2 months after I got it, and I paid the minimum payment on it for over a year.

Near the end of 2009, I decided enough was enough. My APR on the Chase card was 29.99% from ONE missed payment, and my balance was $2,500 (they’d raised my limit multiple times over the last year) so I was making a $70 payment every month to only be charged the exact same in interest. I could never get out of the hole like that.

I applied for a Discover card for a balance transfer. Denied.

I applied for a new American Express card for a balance transfer. Denied.

I applied for a Bank of America card for a balance transfer. Denied.

Just kidding. Through some glitch in a system somewhere, it turned out I actually was approved for all 3 of the cards. And I got them all mailed to me at the same time. For someone who had sort of a problem with shopping and spending, having 3 card all with $3,000+ limits mailed to me at once was a horrible idea.

I spent the next 2 years maxing those out and periodically paying off a card or 2 while still having multiple ones open, including a Gap store card and an Avenue card.

On average, I was making 6 credit card payments a month. Agonizing over making sure I didn’t forget any. Watching my bank account like a hawk constantly to make sure the payments came out. Spending 90% of my paychecks on my cards and having no money left over for fun while the debt just kept going up and up and up.

When I got my first nanny job I made $4 more an hour than I did at my secretary job. Over the course of time, I finally started making enough to pay off some of the cards. 

Then I decided to move to Colorado, and the debt went up again and I took out a personal loan. I still have payments to make on the loan, but it is fixed interest and the payment is affordable and not crippling, and I expected to pay it in installments. I will be done with that January 1 of 2013.

In January when I got fired, I found out that my previous employers weren’t taking taxes out of my check like I thought they were. I owed $2,500 in back taxes.

In January of this year I was close to $11,000 in debt.

It was crippling and awful.

But it’s finally (almost over).

I am done with credit cards for good.

Unless something serious happens that I can’t afford to pay for like a huge repair on my car, I am never using them again. Nothing good comes of it.

I will no longer live outside of my means and purchase things I cannot afford.

This is a new chapter in my life, and I feel so free.

I am so excited.

It is inevitable that, when you get a mortgage, you will be asked to buy mortgage life insurance along with it. Sometimes it is presented as if you haven’t got a choice and you have to take it but that simply isn’t the case (that is called tied selling and is illegal here in Canada). You can choose not to take the mortgage life insurance that your mortgage holder is offering. But should you?

continue reading 

(Source: youtube.com)