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 30, 2021

Are joint credit cards ever a good idea?

Linking your credit with another person's credit always has the potential for risks and rewards.

Joint credit card accounts were once quite popular, since they allow couples to share cards, giving  stay-at-home partners with little or no income access to credit since the account is in the names of both people.

But one income families are the exception these days, with the result that some issuers are turning away from joint accounts, arguing that they no longer fit the times.

What's more, since credit issuers in the U.S. are no longer allowed to use income as a factor in rejecting a credit card application, most vendors have simply lost interest.

Shared cards might work where both parties have conservative spending habits, compatible financial goals and are truly committed to each other. But that doesn't always happen. It might be obvious to you which expenses should be put on the card and which shouldn't but one person's "obvious" may be another's "I don't see the problem!"

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September 25, 2021

Have you ever lied to your partner about money?

According to a recent study, roughly one in five couples have deceived their partners when it comes to money. Are you among them?

Eighteen per cent of Canadians admit they've kept a secret from their partner about how much money they have spent, saved or have hidden. Thirteen per cent of females admit to secret spending, for instance, compared to only six per cent of males.

In another study, close to 20 per cent of all men and women admit the reason they hide their spending habits is because the truth would worry their partner or cause friction in their relationship.

That's nice of them, except that not being upfront about money has a lot more to do with power and control than hurt feelings. 

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September 19, 2021

Unpaid child support from deadbeat parents continues to swell

Unpaid child support is a huge financial problem for custodial parents, as well as the public purse which must supply assistance to children with little or no support and try to prosecute those failing to pay.

Unpaid child and spousal support in Ontario, for instance,  now tops $2 billion, according to recent government data. That figure has grown by $500 million in the past three years alone, with some 135,000 support payment cases now in arrears.

A few years ago, Ontario's Family Responsibility Office (FRO), which enforces child-support payment collections, started a website designed to shame parents into paying up. But it's had limited success.

The FRO's Good Parents Pay website has only managed to collect something like $470,000 over the past seven years from just 62 parents, according to recent reports. But private sites like CrappyDads lay claim to better results ... although it's not clear just who is auditing their results.

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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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June 27, 2021

Couples singing the wedding blues

1038218_66480936The "Big Day" may be farther away than you think.

Financial priorities seem to be getting in the way of that special wedding day, according to a new survey by BMO Bank of Montreal.

The cost of walking down the aisle is estimated at $14,281 and upwards -- a hefty sum for couples just starting their married lives together.

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June 10, 2021

Canadians spending more on Father's Day

Goofy ties. Purple socks. Plaid sweaters.

Yep, Dad has a drawer full of them.

But with Father's Day coming up this weekend, it seems that Canadians are willing to spend a little more on Dad to help keep him stylish.

In fact, Canadians are planning on spending an average of $95 on a gift for Dad, up from $86 last year, according to a new survey by BMO Bank of Montreal.

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May 23, 2021

Building a nest egg not a top priority for many Canadians

983477_77408376It seems that stashing cash in a cache isn't a top priority for many Canadians.

Growing up, our grandparents and parents always stressed the importance of building that all-important nest egg to have a little something for a rainy day.

However, that doesn't seem to be the case today.

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May 22, 2021

Home buying looks good for most Canadians

1099196_67954355Thinking of buying a new home? You may not be alone in your thoughts.

According to the BMO Housing Confidence Report, nearly half of Canadian homeowners intend to buy a property in the next five years signalling a high level of confidence in the housing market.

Despite reports of a cooling down in market, in our eastern Ontario neighbourhood 'For Sale' signs are popping up everywhere. The houses are only staying on the market a few weeks -- if that.

It seems that everyone on our street is catching the moving bug after witnessing their next-door-neighbours packing up and heading for larger homes in desirable neighbourhoods.

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May 16, 2021

Canadians losing sleep over finances

1034045_56715244Life happens.

And with it, so do unforeseen hardships.

That's why it is always good to be proactive and have a plan.

A new report by BMO Wealth Institute reveals that while many Canadians have a financial plan in place, very few have considered what would happen if unexpected life events arose that could cause financial hardships.

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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...