We Sold Our First Property
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
5M ago
Not only did we sell a property for the first time ever (we’ve bought several), but the property we sold was the first one we ever bought. And our first home together as newlyweds, the home we paid off in less than 5 years, and our daughter’s first home. And while I’d like to say that it was emotionally difficult to sell, once we decided and were going through the process, I was just happy when everything was over. Why Sell? After our daughter was born, our home became less functional. There was no grass in our backyard for kids to play on and no downstairs spare bedroom for our inlaws to stay ..read more
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Our RESP Strategy
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
6M ago
One of the things I pride myself on is being a lifelong learner.  This applies to work and pleasure and especially to how I manage our finances.  When it comes to investing for our kids in their RESP our strategy has also evolved over time as we learn more. This post is not about everything you need to know about RESPs, if you have questions, chances are I answered them in this post – RESPs in Canada – All Your Questions Answered. But knowing the information is different from applying it, and application is higher-order thinking according to Bloom’s taxonomy of learning. So, here is ..read more
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All-in-One Investing Solutions – Keep Investing Simple
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
8M ago
When I first learned about investing in the stock market, it seemed confusing. But after years of learning, I’m here to tell you that investing doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. Investing in an all-in-one fund, as in one exchange-traded fund, can help you achieve your financial goals without leaving you frustrated and overwhelmed. This post is exactly what I wish someone had told me when I started investing on my own. I’m confident it would have completely changed the trajectory of my investing journey and saved me thousands of dollars and hours of my time. So, if you want to s ..read more
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What Does Potty Training Have to Do with Your Money?
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
11M ago
My brain has always worked in analogies and making connections between things.  This has always helped me learn things in school because it makes things relatable. Recently when potty training my youngest, I couldn’t help but connect the whole process to someone’s money journey. So, yes, potty training is related to your money, but it’s not what you may think.  In this case, it has nothing to do with the cost savings of diapers. Prior Experience Potty training with my oldest seemed to take years. And the more I know now, the more I can say it’s because of me and not her. If you had a ..read more
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Qtrade vs Questrade – Which Online Brokerage is Better?
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
1y ago
If you’re anything like me, you may have heard of Qtrade Direct Investing and Questrade and thought they were the same. Everyone abbreviates everything. Makes sense right?  If you were like me with this assumption, we were both wrong.  Questrade and Qtrade are not the same company. And although both are online discount brokerages, they are actually very different. To explain the differences, I’ve done a deep dive into both brokerages and will break it down for you.  Keep reading all the way until the end to get my opinion of which online brokerage is better – Qtrade or Questrade ..read more
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Ecoline Windows Review – Save Money on Heating
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
1y ago
When we bought our first home, we knew little about homeownership. But after our home inspection, we quickly learned that, eventually, we would want to replace some of our older windows. Enter Ecoline Windows When we finally saved up enough to replace our windows, we decided to go with Ecoline Windows and have been satisfied with the decision ever since.   If you’re looking to save money on your heating costs (and who isn’t?), find out how Ecoline Windows can help and how you can get an interest-free loan from the Canadian government to help cover the cost. Why New Windows? People ge ..read more
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Our 2023 Real Estate Investing Strategy
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
1y ago
It’s no secret that there is a lot of volatility in the Canadian real estate market.  Interest rates increased an astronomical amount over the past year, immigration is also increasing, and house values seem to be on the decline. So, what is a real estate investor to do? First, I want to clarify that I’m a real estate investor, not a speculator.  A large portion of our portfolio is invested in real estate (in different forms). We buy single-family homes and plan to hold them for the long term.   And I believe that long-term buy-and-hold real estate investing should be borin ..read more
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We Bought a Home Gym – 3 Money Lessons
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
1y ago
After months (maybe years) of talking about it, we finally opened our wallets and bought a home gym. Now, while this might seem like the least financially savvy thing to do, it was the right thing for us.  And like they say, personal finance is personal. But I’m not telling you that we bought a home gym to brag, but rather share some money lessons from the process.  These lessons can be applied to any spending situation, big or small. When it comes to spending money on something here are 3 money lessons to remember: Aligning your spending with your values looks different for everyon ..read more
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How Do You Compare to the Typical Canadian?
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
1y ago
When it comes to Canadian stereotypes, there are plenty.  The stereotypical Canadian wears an outfit made fully of denim and finishes most sentences with eh. Oh, and they probably know Bob or Cindy from Toronto. But what about the typical Canadian? With all of the information available on the internet, I thought it would be fun to compile all of the statistics to get a picture of the typical Canadian and their financial situation.  Married or Single? Kids or no kids? Male, female or intersex? And because I’m a money nerd, homeowner or renter? Car owner or public transit?  These ..read more
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A Letter to My Son – From Mom
Handful of Thoughts
by Maria
1y ago
When my daughter was born I told her the same 7 affirmations everyday (and still do today).  Then when my son came along I continued to tell him the same phrases.  As I wrote these affirmations as a letter to my daughter, now that my son is 1, I figured it was time to write a letter to my son too. Even though they each hear the same 7 affirmations, the message behind each one is different for my daughter than it is for my son.  They will both have different experiences, related to money and otherwise, because of the world they are growing up in. A Letter to My Son –  From M ..read more
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