The Mogo Blog

The Average Canadian Family’s Debt is $100K

As reported by the Globe and Mail, the debt load of the average Canadian family has hit $100,000. This is a crazy statistic – as rising housing, debt and mortgage costs are pricing Canadians out of the market, and stacking debt up against them. The Vanier Institute of the Family report also reports the debt-to-income ratio in Canadian home is currently sitting at a record high: 150%. That debt-to-income ratio number means for every $100 earned (after tax), families owe $150. The majority of families with that debt load are there because of housing costs – many of which are planned; however, the number of families 3-4 months behind in mortgage payments has risen nearly 50% to 17,400 since the current recession began. As costs of housing continue to go up, that debt-average is also going to increase. While the numbers may seem insane, it’s important to remember that, that level of debt doesn’t always mean financial ruin (some families are there, and paying that debt down with a plan). *20 Years Ago ** The average Canadian family debt was $56,800 and that debt-to-income ratio was 93%. These numbers seemed extreme then, but have only grown now. What

Boxing Day Blowouts – Keep Your Wallet in Check

December is the season to give gifts and share time with your loved ones, but lets be honest – after Christmas there are a ton of deals to be had and you can get what you really wanted. Boxing Day sales have become a highlight of the shopping calendar – and it’s your job to make sure that while you’re out there getting deals, you’re not actually setting yourself back more than you wanted to. Set the Budget Did you get a department store gift card, a bit of cash from your aunt, or some store credit from returning that nice sweater from Grandma? Before you hit the insanity of Boxing Day sales, know how much you want to shell out for your own personal gifts. Sure, there are things we’d all like to pick ourselves up, but if it doesn’t fall within the budget you shouldn’t really get it. We’ve said it before – but if it’s not a sale on something you’d actually need/want you aren’t really saving money. You’re just spending it. Do Your Research If you’re after a TV, gaming system, clothes or anything, be sure

Get Ready For Winter To Save Some Cash

We’re desperately holding onto the last few sunny days of the season, before winter creeps in and reminds us why we’ve got so many toques in Canada. Since we’re not living in a tropical country, and the warmest part of it gets more moisture than a 6 Flags waterpark, it’s time to get ready for the season. Get smart about saving for winter and avoid spending more than you have to. Here Comes Winter! I was reading this article online, saying that the la Nina weather pattern is coming to during the winter months – and it’s really going to drink our milkshake. Get ready for ‘colder ocean surface temperatures’ that will produce cooler air, more snow and more inclement weather (think two years ago). Winter Savings Tips •       Get your outerwear now, before the cold season starts. Get on the last of the winter sales for stuff you’ll need to buy anyways •       Make sure your house is ‘winter-ready’.  Be sure your doors and windows have tight seals. If you rent, get your landlord to check this out. This will save on heating bills and make for more comfortable living. •       Invest in a pair of winter

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

October is here and that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. As sure as the leaves are turning and our country is getting closer to winter (first frost!? Are you kidding?), we’ll soon be heading back to family dinners and too many mashed potatoes. We already told you how to save some cash on holiday cooking for Thanksgiving, now it’s time to dial in the other half of Thanks-savings: travel. Seeing your family and friends in other cities is important during the holidays, but travel can really rack up bills. We all know that holidays are usually anything but cheap. Play the Host As we mentioned, Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t need to be expensive, so you can definitely save some cash by hosting the event at your place. This is a great way to show Mom & Pop how grown up you are and spice up the holiday routine that you’re used to. Change the Date, Not the Holiday Airlines know when holiday season and peak flight times are, so they adjust their prices accordingly. If you want to fly out after work on Friday, and come back early Tuesday morning, you’re going to have

Long Weekend Getaway Savings Tips (Part 1)!

There are few things in life as happy and satisfying as taking a well-earned vacation. Long weekend vacations are one of the best ways to maximize fun and minimize expenses. Use these five tips to make your long weekend vacation stress free and affordable. 1. Use a single vacation day for uber long weekends – Did you notice Canada falls on a Thursday this year? If you used just 1 vacation day you end up with 4 days off in a row, which is a good chunk of R&R! Watch the calendar and look for ways you can use the least vacation days for the biggest reward. 2. Plan as far ahead as possible – Hotel rooms and flights are usually at their cheapest when you book them well in advance. Especially if you plan to vacation during an off season. 3. If you didn’t plan, be flexible and take advantage of last minute deals – If you’re coming up on a vacation and haven’t booked anything yet, you can still get massive discounts by researching prices online. In fact, if you aren’t going to book in advance, the next best time to book accommodations and flights