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finances

With little or no family income to support the "mandatory" back-to-school shopping spree that has come to be expected, what's a parent to do?
At last count, there were 266,620 enrolled across the country, according to Statistics Canada.
Keep track of your expenses for two weeks and see how it lines up to your budget. It can be eye-opening to see where you're spending your money! Little things like bringing your lunch instead of buying it and brewing your own coffee at home instead of stopping on the way to work can add up. Walking or riding your bike to work can help you save on gas and parking while getting fit.
I don't want a four per cent raise. I want better learning conditions for our students and better working conditions for us. Most of all, I want to work on regaining the trust of the public again. Ontario has the greatest sub sovereign debt in the world. I don't want to leave that legacy for my own children or for my students.
Taking a proactive, calm and collected approach to your finances has many benefits. But sometimes it's easier said than done. What are some strategies to reduce the impact of financial stress?
While the federal government is trying to rein in some of the borrowing that's taking place by making it more difficult to borrow, every one of us should take heed -- interest rates will rise. I believe the most important thing individuals should be doing is locking in their mortgages (ideally for five years).
Is it better to sell or should your renovate? The answers here. From the AOL Partner Studio
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With the average price of a detached home out of most first-time buyers' reach, those with less than $1 million to spend have a few options. A lot of people are becoming creative with their buying power and choosing to utilize more unusual or unconventional options to solve the issue of affordability.
When disaster strikes, the costs -- both emotionally and financially -- can be significant. While it's impossible to predict when and where the next emergency scenario or disaster may strike, the principles of preparedness remain the same.
When you make a will, you decide who is going to get your money in the event of your death. The hope is that you not only set up the next generation for financial success, but you also pass along positive financial values they can carry throughout their lifetime.
Currently job losses have been concentrated in the energy sector, but more job losses are expected across industries that depend on investment and activities in the energy sector. This rising unemployment coupled with a correction in the housing market is putting a further strain on indebted households.
If you're both feeling the love, keep one account and pay everything from that account.
All the tips on budgeting are based on people who get paid on a regular schedule, but if you're an actor, musician, etc., you'll get a chunk of change all at one time and then often have a dry spell. It's so easy to blow through the money that you get paid and then have nothing left for the few months that you're waiting for that next gig.
The birds and the bees may not be the only difficult conversation you'll be having with your kids, discussing money and finances with your children can be just as challenging. Given the lack of mandated financial literacy courses in Canada, parents can fill the void by teaching financial concepts to their children early on.
The first major financial deadline of 2016 is February 29. This is the last day you can make a contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and claim the contribution on your 2015 tax return. You still have the first 60 days to make contributions but with the leap year, the deadline is midnight at the end of the month.
To err is human. Mistakes can be a valuable learning opportunity, and sometimes, the bigger the mistake, the bigger your lesson will be. Lucky for us, there are plenty of people out there who made huge personal finance mistakes in 2015, and we have the benefit of being able to sit back and learn from them.
With the first day of school well behind us, and students settling into new routines, now is a great time to take up some learning outside the classroom. Many school curricula don't include financial literacy, so demonstrating the value of money in real world situations has extra importance.
Regardless of what type of investment products you're using, you should always know what it's costing you to have your money managed. If nothing is done to reduce the fees institutions are charging for investment management services most Canadians are going to be poorer then they think.
Whenever you feel stressed or anxious about your financial goals, take those breaths and just accept where you are. In finally accepting my own financial situation for what it is in this exact moment, I also aim to remove all the guilt from mistakes I made in the past and just move forward from where I am right now. I hope some of you can do the same.
While I know I'm on the right track with my finances, I'd be lying if I said staying out of debt has been easy. In fact, it's been a bigger challenge than I ever could've imagined. But that's just one of the lessons I've learned since making my final payment. Here's what a year of being debt-free has taught me.