Savvy Family Tip: New Year’s Edition

Do you over- spend at Christmas? Are you guilty of buying ‘just one more’ gift for that special someone? If you’re dreading your January credit card bill, today’s post with Sunlife Financial’s Dan Olson might help you avoid money stress for Christmas 2015. 

New Year’s Saving Resolution 

As the pounding headache caused by excessive merriment over the Christmas Season fades, too many of us are faced by the pounding headache caused by the dreaded JANUARY BILL. Is it time to make a change? 

Let’s start with those credit card bills.  This is the tough part. Did you make good purchase decisions? Could you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with 10%, 20%, or 30% less? What would you have to do differently? Do you want to?

An English tradition is the Christmas food hamper: a monthly subscription starting in January results in a delivery in mid-December of a hamper brimming with treats for Christmas. Why not create your own Christmas subscription? 

Open a separate account, or sub-account at your bank & transfer 1/10 of the amount you desire to spend on Christmas 2015 each month starting in February. Then spend the total, but only the total on next year’s festivities. Hint: If that 1/10th amount is too high for you to meet your February obligations, you really can’t afford your ‘dream’ Christmas & it’s time to change your definition of what a dream Christmas really means. After all you’re not wanting to go into credit card debt for a few months after Christmas just so you’re able to have a “blowout Christmas season”, it would be better to sort your finances out so you can balance other expenses while still having great seasonal holidays.

Dan Olson is a Sun Life Financial Advisor. An experienced Dad with three children, now young adults. With everyone back under one roof, his home is feeling really, really small.
If you have some questions for Dan, or would like some help with your family’s savings, here’s how you can contact him: 

604 308 9502
Image Source: Camille Styles
January posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

$avvy Family Tip: Adult Gift Challenge

Today’s $avvy Family is a cute suggestion to make Christmas gifts memorable vs. material. What’s the most memorable gift you’ve received?

Christmas is a wonderful season. An opportunity to get together with friends and family, share memories and cookies, and exchange gifts. Last year how many of the packages contained gift cards? Were the gifts personal and thoughtful, or rushed and obligatory? Were they more last minute gifts rather than the fancy new watch you wanted from https://www.watchshopping.com/? Is anyone creating financial stress on your family, to provide gifts to your relatives? 
One of the most wonderful Christmas traditions I’ve heard about is the Adult Family Gift Challenge. It’s based on the Secret Santa idea, where everyone draws one name to obtain a gift for another. The challenge is that the gift must be obtained with minimal spending and must be thoughtful. The way in which I go about this is to think about whether the gift will be useful in everyday life. If the answer, is yes, go ahead! For example, I was recommended by a friend of mine to looking at a grader for teachers when it comes to the workload of tests and assignements they have to go through. As a friend of mine is a teacher, this is what I aim to do. I know for sure this will help them a lot.

Special recognition is granted each year for the best gift at the lowest price. It’s amazing what’s available for free! You might think it’s a tough challenge, or that the gifts will all be from the dollar store. That’s not necessarily the case. Think about all the free or nearly free stuff that’s available throughout the year. Promotional items offered by companies. The free list on Craigslist. Garage and estate sales. You can find a gift that’s much more valuable and special if you’re a little creative instead of grabbing a gift card in the grocery store checkout. 

Mix in creative wrapping and presentation, the gift exchange becomes memorable. 
My favourite was when an uncle presented a newly licensed niece with a package that looked like a massive roll of Lifesavers- it was 30 inches in diameter! 
When she ripped open the package she discovered 4 snow tires he’d found at a garage sale. Real lifesavers! 

Is your family ready to stop spending and get creative to make Christmas memorable again? 

Dan Olson is a Sun Life Financial Advisor. An experienced Dad with three children, now young adults. With everyone under one roof for the Summer, his home is feeling really, really small.
If you have some questions for Dan, or would like some help with your family’s savings, here’s how you can contact him: 

604 308 9502
Image Source: Comfy Ho.Me
December posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Savvy Family Tip #5: Take a Tip from Your Grandma

Today’s Savvy Family tip reminds us that simpler is often better…

Tip # 5 – The modern version of your Great-Grandmother’s strategy.


When your great-grandfather arrived home on Friday evening his pocket contained the family pay packet. The weekly ritual in most successful households was the division of the money to pay for the family needs, rent, groceries, heat, light, telephone. Money was also tucked away for larger purchases, shoes, clothing.

Mason jars and envelopes were the management tools of the day.
When the grocery jar was empty there were no more groceries purchased until after payday. If there wasn’t enough money in the clothing envelope you had to wait, sometimes for a few weeks. If only they had sites like palmaviolets.co.uk like we do to help them make ends meet.

Our great-grandparents managed real scarcity.

In comparison almost all of us have two pieces of plastic, one that gives us access to every dollar we have, the other allows us to arrange a loan to purchase just about anything from a cup of coffee to a vacation. This situation creates its own problems. It is too easy to spend what we don’t have for items that we really may not need.

We need to create artificial scarcity to assist us to manage our spending.

The envelope method is often suggested as a tool to help us spend less. The challenge is that we’re not used to or comfortable walking around with cash. It seems too 20th century.

An alternative method is the account specific debit card. One family member fills the cars with fuel and goes grocery shopping every Sunday. Sunday evening they transfer a set amount of money from their general account to their debit card accounts. This is their “allowance” for the week. When the debit account is empty, spending stops until next Sunday.

What tools do you use to manage your spending?

Dan Olson is a Sun Life Financial Advisor. An experienced Dad with three children, now young adults. With everyone under one roof for the Summer, his home is feeling really, really small.
If you have some questions for Dan, or would like some help with your family’s savings, here’s how you can contact him:
604 308 9502
www.sunlife.com/dan.olson

Image source: Lily Shop

October posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Savvy Family Tip #4: Plan for Holiday Spending Now

For some of us holiday shopping inspires excitement, for others it is a source of stress in anticipation of the credit card bills that follow. Today’s Savvy Family Tip from Dan Olson of Sunlife Financial can help make budgeting for holiday spending stress- free and simple.

Savvy Family Tip # 4 – Plan for Holiday Spending Now

Would you like to eliminate your post-Christmas credit card shock? 

In the middle of gift wrapping have you ever realized that you’ve been really generous? The joys of the Christmas season often cause a January hangover when the credit card bills arrive. 

My wife, Laura, and I discovered a way to reduce the January pain: 

Starting in the summer we put $100 – $200 each month into the Magic Christmas Envelope. From that envelope the gifts and goodies are purchased. Because the funds aren’t unlimited, it’s easier to make better decisions. 

Investing the time to find the perfect gift will make the giving joyful. 

Dan Olson is a Sun Life Financial Advisor. An experienced Dad with three children, now young adults. With everyone under one roof for the Summer, his home is feeling really, really small.
If you have some questions for Dan, or would like some help with your family’s savings, here’s how you can contact him: 
604 308 9502

Image Source: Etsy

September posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique 

$avvy Family: Tip #1

I’m excited to bring TPB readers a series of $ Tips from Dan Olson, a Financial Advisor with Sunlife Financial. I hope these weekly tidbits inspire your family to find everyday ways to be savvy with money- every little bit counts!
Tip # 1: Bring your lunch to work.
A secret to financial
success is bring your lunch to work…..
            Purchasing lunch on a regular basis adds up to pile of
money each year.
            Saving $4 per workday is $960 a year!
            The bonus is a home-made lunch is more likely to be a
healthy lunch.
Planning
and preparing a lunch everyday spills over into the rest of your life.
            It’s this planning and action that make the difference.
Dan Olson is a Sun Life Financial Advisor. An experienced Dad with three children, now young adults. With everyone under one roof for the Summer, his home is feeling really, really small.
If you have some questions for Dan, or would like some help with your family’s savings, here’s how you can contact him: 

604 308 9502
Image Source: All of The Above

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