Family business

October 01, 2021

How much would you spend to have a child?

How much would you spend for the chance to have a child?

Fertility treatments are an often expensive gamble but one that a growing number of would-be parents are willing to take -- in some cases, spending as much on family building as most people drop on a cruise or a car.

A single course of in vitro fertilization costs $4,500 to $8,000, plus $2,000 to $7,000 for required medication, the Financial Post reports. Donor sperm costs $3,000 to $4,500 for six inseminations.

A portion of the fees may be covered by medical insurance at work or provincial health care plans but, for the most part, you're on your own.

One Toronto couple recently spent $13,500 for one cycle of IVF, including drug costs; but the treatment  wasn't successful and they decided not to repeat it. Happily, after shelling out for six intrauterine insemination treatments at a total cost of $2,400, they're now pregnant.

Many others, of course, aren't so fortunate. For them, the struggle to have children can lead to strained relationships, depression, anxiety and very real financial hardship.

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September 11, 2021

Which would you rather be in a relationship with ... a saver or a spender?

Most people would rather be in a romantic relationship with someone who prefers to save money rather than partner with a big spender, according to a recent ING study.

What’s interesting is that the results of this poll mirrors other studies on the topic.

For instance, researchers found that online daters are more likely to describe themselves as a saver on their dating profile than they are in a private questionnaire.

This suggests people are aware that savers come across as attractive partners and are willing to highlight spendthrift ways – even if it stretches the truth, the study suggests: "Savers are naturally viewed as possessing greater general self-control, which increases their romantic and physical attractiveness."

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July 09, 2021

Teach kids about money this summer

Forget summer camps.

Teach your kids about saving money this summer and ignite their entrepreneurial spirit.

Starting a first job or a new job can be an exciting experience for your children.

Earning their own money and learning how to start a savings account or save-up for something they really want all adds up to growing up and being responsible with finances.

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June 20, 2021

Do you really care if you die in debt?

Do you care if you die in debt? According to a recent Sun Life report, roughly 27% of Canadians couldn't care less -- which is bad news if you're one of their creditors and likely worse if you're one of their beneficiaries.

Borrowers face three types of creditors, explains Sun Life's Kevin Press: "Preferred creditors (Canada Revenue Agency is an example); secured creditors (like the bank that’s holding your mortgage loan); and general or unsecured creditors (everybody else)."

Preferred creditors get paid first, followed by secured creditors and then unsecured creditors, he explains. If there aren’t enough assets to pay everyone off, then somebody gets left holding the bag -- and that's certainly not going to be the government.

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March 19, 2022

Canadian franchises have the right stuff

What do franchises like Pizza Nova, M&M Meat Shops, Cora and Coffee Culture have in common?

They all have the ingredients to be financially successful.

In Canada, one out of every five dollars spent ends up in the cash register of a franchise operation.

That's more than $100 billion each year, proving savvy marketing, solid fiscal planning and some calculated risks are helping franchises prosper north of the 49th parallel.

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March 12, 2022

Women want to run businesses they love

When you're doing something you love, it seldom seems like work.

So it comes as no surprise that the majority of Canadian women polled in a recent survey say the main reason they want to start their own business is for the opportunity to do something they love.

BMO Bank of Montreal conducted a survey in recognition of International Women's Day that revealed that 36 per cent of women are interested in starting up their own businesses within the next decade.

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February 04, 2022

Mystery shopping scam still alive and spreading

With so many Canadians looking for work, it's not surprising scam artists are targeting people desperate to earn money through part-time work, such as mystery shopping.

The pitch starts out sounding legitimate, particularly to someone who's already struggling and may not be thinking that straight.

You answer an email or Kijiji post looking for part-time work. The scammer tells you that they're looking for mystery shoppers who can shop on their own time and earn a fee at the same time.

To get the ball rolling, the company will send you a cheque for as much as $4,000 to buy the items you need to purchase to appropriately rate the retail outlet, most likely a bank or payday loan service. 

The con artist's excuse for sending so much money is that they want you to take your fee out of the cheque. They then want you to wire the balance back to them so they can monitor things from their end.

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November 09, 2021

Many Cdns. rely on lotto winnings, inheritance for financial plans

You know, throughout the recession and this long, snarled recovery period much of the world’s still in, Canadians have kind of floated above the fray, our global reputation preceding us.

132665_lottery_winnerAfter all, tight banking regulations ensured our economic freefall wasn’t quite as severe as that of others, and, hey, look, they even took one of our top finance minds to be the world’s bank regulator.

Perhaps consumers, too, began to walk with a swagger. With recent news that Canadian household debt growth is at a ten year low, is there any doubting our fiscal responsibility?

Wellllll … hold on a tick. At the risk of a wrist injury from patting ourselves on the back, here’s a sobering stat (or two) sure to crash Canada’s cash conservatism to the ground.

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October 01, 2021

Does your spouse give you an allowance each month?

In Japan, where husbands regularly hand over their entire salary to their wives, roughly three quarters of family finances are controlled by women who give their mates an allowance, BBC News reports.

Change47-year-old Taisaku Kubo, for instance, has been getting 50,000 yen a month (roughly $535) from his wife Yuriko for the past 15 years.

He's tried to negotiate a raise from time to time, but his wife isn't very sympasthtic: "She draws a pie chart of our household budget to explain why I can't get more pocket money," says Taisaku, whose stipend accounts for about 9% of the family's monthly budget.

And he's actually not doing that badly. According to Shinsei Bank which has been researching the trend for years, the average salaryman's monthly pocket money was 39,600 yen last year, down sharply from about 80,000 yen 20 years ago when Japan's economy was booming.

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June 20, 2021

Most men see themselves starting their own business: Report

The majority of Canadians (76 per cent) would rather run their own business than work for someone else, according to recent Bank of Montreal research. And that number jumps to 82 per cent when you look at men only, BMO notes.

 In these days of economic uncertainty, starting your own business no longer seems all that much riskier than a 9-5 office job.

What's holding them back? No money. 52 per cent of those surveyed say access to capital is the most significant barrier to starting out on their own.

Despite this, about 1.7 million Canadian men consider themselves self-employed, according to Statistics Canada.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...