Personal Finance

Better Finances for a Better You

Topic: "Financial Planning"

← Curating the web to find the most interesting and helpful information about your money.

Infographic of the week

The Top 5 Reasons People Hire a Financial Advisor

From saving for a down payment to planning for retirement, clients turn to advisors to guide them through life’s complex financial decisions. However, many of the key reasons for hiring a financial advisor stem from emotional factors and go beyond purely financial motivations.

The Top 5 Reasons People Hire a Financial Advisor Investors' motivations for working with an advisor go beyond financial reasons →

Infographic of the week

Who Expects to Get Richer in 2024, by Both Generation and Gender

The Visualcapitalist plots the percentage of high net worth individual (HNWI) respondents who expect their wealth to increase in 2024, categorized by generation and gender, from the Knight Frank Next Gen Survey, accessible in their latest wealth report.

Who Expects to Get Richer in 2024, by Both Generation and Gender Who Expects to Get Richer in 2024, by Generation and Gender →


The closure of Mint means a lot of people are exploring other personal finance management apps or PFMs. Neontra is a next-generation PFM combining all the tools of a traditional PFM with new cutting-edge financial planning tools.

What Makes Neontra One of the Best Alternatives for Mint Users Looking For a New Home →


Tired of overspending? Want to cut expenses without giving up your favorite things? Here are a variety of creative ways to save money on everything from food to getting married by Cassidy Horton

31 Creative Ways To Save Money →

Infographic of the week

Ranked: What People Value Most in a Financial Advisor

Are advisors putting their focus where it matters? You might think that positive reviews and recommendations would be a top consideration for people choosing a financial advisor. However, other qualities appear to be much more important.

Ranked: What People Value Most in a Financial Advisor The Qualities Investors Value in a Financial Advisor →


6 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

  1. Plan Your Recipes
  2. Shop With a List
  3. Buy Frozen or Canned
  4. Cut Cost With Coupons
  5. Buy Store Brands
  6. Try Growing a Garden
Eating healthy when money is tight can be challenging but these detailed tips can help →


If you’re looking to create a personal budget, start with these six steps

  1. Calculate your net income
  2. Track your spending
  3. Set realistic goals
  4. Make a plan
  5. Adjust your spending to stay on budget
  6. Review your budget regularly
Bank of America - Better Money Habits →

Serious stuff

When couples move in together for the first time, many financial questions and tasks arise, leaving room for disagreement and awkwardness.

Ana Teresa Sola on financial tips for couples moving in together for the first time →

Did you know?

Average household earnings in 2022 were $94,003, while average total expenditures for the year were $72,967, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey.

American Households' Average Monthly Expenses: $6,081 →

Word of the week

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a guaranteed life benefit paid to beneficiaries for a set amount of time (e.g. 10, 20, 30 years) When your coverage expires, you can renew it at your discretion and determine the duration. However, once you renew, your premiums (monthly or yearly expenses) can go up.

You can easily track all your life insurance policies at Neontra →

Word of the week

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance gives you lifetime coverage. If you pass away while your insurance policy is still in force, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit. Permanent life insurance policies usually build up a cash value. You will get your money back if you decide to terminate your coverage. The amount would be less than what you spent in insurance premiums.

You can easily track all your life insurance policies at Neontra →

Infographic of the week

What are people’s biggest financial stressors?

The route to financial happiness isn’t the same for everyone, though 81% of Americans agree that inflation and the rising cost of goods generate the most stress. But different trends emerge when we compare the generations.

What are people’s biggest financial stressors? Financial stress is such a challenge that many plan to retire three years later than planned →


The appeal of the DINK lifestyle – that’s double income, no kids – might seem obvious. But having more control over your life and finances comes with questions about your social safety net in retirement.

Saving Stress Test Podcast: Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw on the dual income, no kids lifestyle →

Word of the week

Cash Flow

Your personal cash flow is your income minus your expenses over a certain period of time — typically a month. To analyze your personal cash flow take your monthly income after taxes and subtract all your monthly outflows - items like rent, mortgage, credit card payments and other expenses. That number tells you if you’re living within your means.

Balancing lifestyle costs with regular saving and investing is the toughest part of personal finance →

Word of the week

Life Insurance

Life insurance coverage can help protect you and your loved ones. Life insurance provides a tax-free cash payment to your named beneficiaries (such as your spouse or children) when the insured person dies in exchange for premiums paid by the policy holder during their lifetime.

You can now easily track all your life insurance policies at Neontra →

Infographic of the week

Retirement Planning Mistakes

According to professionals, the most common retirement planning mistakes are time-related, like outliving savings or not understanding how inflation can affect a portfolio over time. The number one mistake? According to 49% of financial planners, its underestimating the sizeable impact inflation has on the value of retirement savings.

Retirement Planning Mistakes Charted: Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes from the →


Why work with a financial advisor

Managing your investments can be difficult. You may not be comfortable investing on your own. A professional financial advisor or planner can help you.

Choosing a financial advisor →

Word of the week

Snowball Method

The snowball repayment method consists of listing all your debt balances and tackling them from smallest to largest depending if the interest rates are the same. This method prioritizes balances as you move on to the larger ones next. This helps build momentum and motivation by settling debts faster.

Explore different strategies for paying off debt faster and how you can utilize our debt payoff calculators →

Infographic of the week

Visualizing the Global Education Gap

The global education gap refers to disparities in educational access that exist between higher- and lower-income countries. It exists for various reasons, including lack of resources, political instability, and outdated technology.

Visualizing the Global Education Gap The Hinrich Foundation provides visual context to the global education gap →


This Money Checklist Will Help You Crush 2024 provide a 10-step guide to crushing your financial goals in 2024 (and beyond). For expert insights into the housing market, ways to save money on EVs and more.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2024? →


Budgeting with gift cards or prepaid cards can help you avoid accidental overspending, prepay for expenses and take advantage of store-specific perks, such as discounts and points.

How to Budget Using Gift Cards and Prepaid Cards →

Infographic of the week

Holiday Survival Guide

The winter holiday shopping season is the most expensive time of year for most households. This year, spending is expected to be even higher due to rising prices. This infographic helps you start planning to shop and save for the 2023 holiday season.

Holiday Survival Guide How to plan and save for the 2023 holiday shopping season →


5 personal finance resolutions for 2024 (that you can actually keep). If your usual resolutions are “go to the gym” or “eat healthy,” don’t forget that a mindful approach to money.

Saving Stress Test Podcast: Money management is also a ticket to improved wellness →

Did you know?

According to Sallie Mae’s How America Saves For College, families reported spending an average of $28,026 on college in the academic year 2022-23, an 11% increase from $25,313 in 2021-22.

How America Pays for College 2023 →

Word of the week

Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)

You need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form to apply for federal student aid such as federal grants, work-study funds, and loans. Completing and submitting the FAFSA form is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of aid to help you pay for college or career school.

What is the FAFSA® form and why should I fill it out? →


Trying to get your spending under control? Just like with dieting, it can help to add some structure by following a plan. There are just about as many approaches to handling your daily finances as there are to counting calories.

The WSJ Tested 5 of the Best Budgeting Methods. Here’s what they found →

Word of the week


Capital or asset pledged to a bank or other lender in the event that the borrower is unable to make all of the repayment instalments on a loan.

Collateral Definition, Types, & Examples →

Serious stuff

Demystifying your health insurance plan it can be confusing to decipher all the acronyms and lingo of health care — so how do you pick the right health care plan

Life Kit NPR break down commonly used terms and offer a strategy to help crunch the numbers →

Word of the week

60/40 Budget

Richard Jenkins, financial journalist and author of A Simpler Way to Save: the 60% Solution advocates: 60% of your income goes to fixed expenses: - Housing - Utilities - Groceries - Transportation 10% to retirement savings 10% to long-term savings 10% to short-term savings 10% “fun money” for activities, trips, or other infrequent splurges

How to Make A Budget: The 60% Solution Explained →

Serious stuff

How to talk to your parents about their money. There comes a time when it's the kid's turn to take care of mom and dad. Here's how to broach this sensitive subject with your parents.

Life Kit NPR: Yes, end-of-life planning is a tough subject. How to talk to your parents about it →


How to succeed at budgeting - A guide to 4 budget planning methods:

  1. 60% solution – keep essential expenses around 60 per cent to avoid overspending.
  2. Zero-sum budgeting – subtract expenses from your pay, and you should end up with zero.
  3. Reverse budgeting – put the focus on savings (you pay yourself first).
  4. The 50/30/20 rule – probably one of the most popular budget methods.
The secret to successful budget planning is finding the right method that works for you →

Serious Stuff

5 Easy Ways to Take Control of Your Personal Finances by Kiara Taylor of Ascend

  1. Budget, budget, budget
  2. Create an emergency fund
  3. Be honest with yourself
  4. Ask for help
  5. Track your progress
Don’t let your finances stress you out to the point of inaction, take back control by following these steps →

Infographic of the week

Charted: Retirement Age by Country

The retirement landscape can look completely different depending on what country you’re in. And charting the retirement age by country reveals a lot of differences in the the makeup of a labor force, both for economic and cultural reasons.

Charted: Retirement Age by Country Exploring retirement age trends around the globe →

Serious stuff

Should I still be investing in this uncertain stock market? Uncertainty is a normal – even necessary – part of investing, but it becomes a problem when people spend so much time worrying that they miss out on market returns.

Four tips for nervous investors from Benjamin Felix →


7 Budgeting Tips to Help You Save More Money from American Express

  1. Know Your Income and Expenses
  2. Tracking Expenses Is Worth the Effort
  3. Pay Yourself First
  4. Look for Small Expenditures that Add Up
  5. For Bigger Expenses, Think Big Picture
  6. Track How You’re Doing, and Adjust
  7. Accentuate the Positive
Learn more from American Express about planning for a better financial life →


How to Invest in Bonds

Bonds are a way for an organization to raise money. Let's say your town asks you for a certain investment of money. In exchange, your town promises to pay you back that investment, plus interest, over a specified period of time.

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Bonds →


Many millennials and Gen Z’s have done everything “right” - they’ve graduated, found good jobs, are paying off their debt and saving money. So why is it so hard to live the middle class lifestyle their parents and older peers had at their age?

Saving Podcast: Stress Test by columnist Rob Carrick - Is the middle class dead for millennials and Gen Z? →

Word of the week

The 30% Rule

How much should you pay in rent? As a general rule, housing should be no more than 30% of your total monthly income, including utilities. The 30% rule is based on how much you can reasonably spend and have money left over for everyday expenses like food, clothes and transportation.

Neontra auto-categorizes your expenses so you can quickly see how your budget is tracking →

Neontra on TikTok

We believe financial planning should be simple, engaging and understandable for everyone. View Neontra on TikTok where we help simplify the complex world of personal finance.

Join 339k viewers of this Neontra TikTok →

Serious Stuff


The 50/30/20 rule is a suggested budgeting guideline that advises allocating:

  • 50% of your income to necessities (like rent, groceries, and utilities)
  • 30% to discretionary spending (like hobbies, entertainment, and travel)
  • 20% to savings
Khan Academy on Budgeting and the 50/30/20 rule →


6 money moves to make in your 20s from CNBC: 1) Create a budget and stick to it 2) Build a good credit score 3) Set up an emergency fund 4) Start saving for retirement 5) Pay off debt 6) Develop good money habits

Making smart money decisions in your 20s has long-term benefits →


Financial advisors agree: These are the 3 best investing tips for beginners

1. Audit your finances before you even start to invest 2. Utilize retirement accounts as much as you can 3. Know you don’t have to be an expert

If you’re just getting into investing, consider these 3 tips. →


The Bank of Parents - Exploring a touchy subject for every family: borrowing money from your parents.

Saving Half Banked Podcast: Hosts Cadeem, Bethan and Lauren on the Bank of Parents →

Serious Stuff

Teaching your kids about finances is incredibly important.

Here are 11 Financial Words all parents should teach their kids, according to Forbes:

  1. Saving(s): Age 4+
  2. Budget: Age 8
  3. Loan: Age 8
  4. Debt: Age 8
  5. Interest: Age 8-10
  6. Credit/Credit Card: Age 8-10
  7. Taxes: Age 10-12
  8. Investment – Age 10-12
  9. Stock – Age 12+
  10. 401(K)/RRSPs: 14+
  11. Credit Score: Age 15+
Forbes on the 11 Financial words all parents should teach their children →

Infographic of the week

How Long Does it Take to Double Your Money?

At first glance, a 7% return on your investment may not seem that impressive. Yet what if you heard that your money could double in roughly 10 years?

How Long Does it Take to Double Your Money? Why it Pays to Know the Math →

Word of the week

Credit Utilization Ratio

A comparison of your available credit to how much you have actually utilized. A good credit score can be attributed to a low utilization ratio. The ideal target is to use 30% or less of your available credit.

You can view your personal ratio with our Health Check →

Infographic of the week

The Monthly Cost of Buying vs. Renting a House in America

With home prices and mortgage rates both rising, the U.S. is now witnessing the biggest numerical gap in the monthly cost between owning a home and renting in over 50 years. Americans, however, have seen similar scenarios occur since the early 1980s.

The Monthly Cost of Buying vs. Renting a House in America See the difference of buying vs. renting a single-family residence in the U.S. since 1970, adjusted for inflation. →


What is envelope budgeting?

On a piece of paper, make a list of your expenditure categories. Include typical necessities like food, clothing, personal care products, pet care, and family outings.

  • Set aside a specific sum of money for each area
  • Each category's name should be written on its own envelope
  • Use only the money in each envelope for the corresponding category
  • Bring your groceries envelope to the grocery store and your entertainment envelope to the movie theatre
  • Once the category envelope is empty stop spending
Learn more details on how envelope budgeting method may work for you →

Did you know?

While today’s Canadian currency is very recognizable and strong, it’s only been in place since 1870. Prior to that, a variety of currencies were in use throughout 'Canada', including the British Pound, the American Dollar, and even the Spanish Peso.

Track your all your $CAD, $USD, £GBP, €EUR and ¥YEN in one place with Neontra →


What to consider before you start a budget: - Think about your financial goals - Identify your short-term and long-term goals - Make saving for those goals part of your budget

Take these simple steps before you make your budget →

Word of the week

Net Worth

Your net worth is simply the difference between your assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe).

See your net worth and take the pulse of your overall financial health →

Did you know?

The average price for electricity in Canada is around 17.4¢/kWh. If your apartment or house is averagely consuming around 1000kWh, your electric bill will be roughly $174. The average cost of utilities in Canada is $304.75 per month.

Learn how your spending compares to national averages with our NEOs →


While you would be forgiven for being nose-deep in your books, it’s time to take a minute to reflect on how you’re managing your money. Do you have a budget? Or are you spending on the go?

21 money-saving tips and tricks for students →


Without emergency savings in place, an unexpected car repair or job loss could force you into debt and derail your goals.

Saving Do you have 3 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund? See your scorecard today →

Infographic of the week

How Gen Z Feels About Its Financial Future

Gen Z is an optimistic and driven generation. Many young people in this generational cohort are turning to entrepreneurship and side hustles as a way to supplement their income and build a brighter future.

How Gen Z Feels About Its Financial Future Gen Zers have a more positive outlook on their financial well-being than their millennial or Gen X peers →

Infographic of the week

Mapped: How Global Housing Prices Have Changed Since 2010

Houses fulfill a rare mix of necessity, utility, sentimentality, and for many, also act as a primary investment to build wealth. And it’s that last angle, combined with increasing demand in many countries, that is driving housing prices skyward.

Mapped: How Global Housing Prices Have Changed Since 2010 See how Canada measures up →

Word of the week


Inflation is a persistent rise in the average level of prices over time.

Price check: Inflation in Canada →

Did you know?

According to Canada's Food Price Report for 2023, a family of four will spend $16,288.41 on food this year ($1,357.37 a month) —that's up $1,065.60 from 2022.

Learn about how to start monitoring your food spending with Neontra →


How the magic of a three-pay cheque month can give you a financial head start

There are lots of ways to play that extra payment →

← Curating the web to find the most interesting and helpful information about your money.