Fave 5: Financial Success

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when you need to unstick your head from the sand and take a cold, honest look at your financial situation. It’s tax time.


The great David Chilton (author of the famous Wealthy
Barber
series)
wrote:
The great truth about saving is
that while everybody says you should do it, nobody really wants you to, except
you
.”



This is truer
than ever. 20-somethings in particular are still finding their place in the
job market, getting their first apartments, or investing in that
killer work wardrobe.
But looking ahead financially is getting more and more critical as the years pass, and as always,
we’ve got your back. 
Here are five easy ways to make the most of your financial
situation – it’s not as scary as you think.



1. Do your own
taxes. Doing your own taxes, especially before you have many investments, is
fairly easy. It saves you money, gives you a good idea of how the tax
system works and gives you an idea of the type of deductions that are
available, valuable knowledge as you actually start to save money and make investments (which is what you’re working towards, right? Right?). Our friends over at 
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada have some great tax savings tips here


There are quite a few free tax programs
that you can download, but we like
Studio
Tax
, as it takes you
through a step-by-step process. Hang
onto those old transit passes and throw a little more money into your RRSP and
you may actually get something back this year.


  

2. Get your personal finances in order. There are a
few cool websites for budgeting
out there, including mint.com, where you can sync your financial accounts
(securely) and track your spending habits. It will even recommend ways to save
based on your personal profile, and you can’t beat that. You can also check out
Yodlee and Buxfer.  


3. Make your money work for you.  Does your company match RRSP contributions?
Do you have the best tax-free savings account around? Is your cell phone plan
the best one out there? These are some questions that are easy to look into.
Contact HR, ask your bank for the best rate they’ve got, or just start
Googling.  Look out for yourself in 2013. No one will take care of you like you will.


4. Stop spending on a daily basis. Once a habit is
created, it’s tough to break. But there’s absolutely no reason not to bring a
lunch to work, now that adorable lunch bag purses are on the market. You can
brew your own coffee at home or in your office instead of buying one every day.
In his
new
book
, Dragon Kevin O’Leary refers to the funds spent on these daily
expenditures as ‘Ghost Money’
and
explains that it is a complete waste. The subject has brought up some
controversy, but the basic logic applies: do the math. How much do you actually
spend on coffee per year?

5. Follow
the golden rules of finance: spend less than you earn. Pay your bills on
time.
When you don’t understand something,
walk away. And when you do spend your
hard-earned money, spend it on things you love!

City Living: The Pros and Cons of dating a PR pro

Today on the fourth floor, we’re talking about dating a girl in PR. We’re not going to lie, dating a PR girl can be
tough at times – we’re independent, opinionated and will often correct your
grammar on text.  But, there are some significant pros when it comes to dating us – like our loyalty and passion, outgoing personality and ability to talk to anyone in a room.

Inspired by
recent posts on NYCPRgirls, we thought we’d give you a more comprehensive breakdown of
the pros and cons of dating a girl in PR. Voila! 

CON
We’re often overanalyzing
situations.
PRO
But we can find
the positive in most situations.
CON
When we’re at work, we probably can’t text, or sext, or have idle banter via social media. What can we say? We’re busy!
PRO
We aren’t (or can’t be) stage 5 clingers. We just don’t have the time. 😉

CON
We’re busy at night too. 
Our job
requires us to be out anywhere from 2-5 nights a week to a barrage of events,
cocktail parties, launches, etc.

PRO
If you like
events, and you don’t mind fending for yourself throughout the night, then you’re in store to
check out some fun parties! Double PRO – we won’t always join you in a cocktail,
especially when working, but you’re very welcome to take advantage of the open bar. (…and gift bags and yummy treats…). 
CON
We will most definitely
correct your spelling or grammar while texting.



PRO
Think of how
much better your texting skills will become!
CON
You will be
judged by your online profile or lack thereof. LinkedIn counts. Update that
shiz.  Twitter followers (when applicable) are also taken into consideration. Facebook is too, in that if you’re updating it every 5 minutes, clearly you have too much time on your hands and we’re not able to handle that.

PRO
We are experts
at doing a two-minute background check on pretty much anyone.


PRO
When we’re
well dressed, we’re really well dressed. It’s part of our job (and one of the parts we enjoy most).

CON
When we have
a rare night off, our outfits can be….let’s say ‘very relaxed.’ Or when we’ve been working late 5 nights in a row. Deal.
  
PRO
We will
always have a suggestion about the trendiest, newest restaurant to try.
CON
We will judge
you if you pick somewhere horrid. Choose wisely, friend.



There are likely many more that we can think of – maybe even enough to inspire a follow up post.





Media, Darling: Linda Lewis

Since 2006, Linda Lewis has been at the helm of Canada’s magazine dedicated to celebrating women over 40. More dares to portray women in midlife with candour and confidence. Launched in Canada in March 2007, More has been nominated 17 times at the National Magazine Awards. 

After receiving a master’s degree in magazine journalism, Lewis began her career as a freelance writer for publications such as Toronto Life, Saturday Night, Chatelaine and Canadian Business. She went on to work as executive editor of enRoute magazine and, in 1998, was appointed editor-in-chief of Today’s Parent.

An active volunteer, Lewis is a board member of the National Magazine Awards Foundation and co-founder of the Cervical Cancer Research Fund at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Last, but certainly not least, Lewis is the mother of two teenagers.

Twitter: @More_ca

How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
Clear, concise and occasionally clever writing helps (the fewer exclamation marks the better). But first — read, read and read More some more. The more you understand our magazine, the more you’ll be able to see what makes sense for our audience (smart, accomplished women in their 40s and 50s), and hone the pitch appropriately.

What do you find useful when dealing with public relations professionals?

A sense of humour (just kidding!).

What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?

Imagine a butcher pitching his wares to a vegetarian restaurant. That happens in this business all the time when PR peeps don’t customize their sale. Latest example? Yesterday, I got a pitch for a cowl-necked nursing sweater. Yes, women over 40 do have babies, but I don’t see More as the target market for that product. We also get pitched on items that aren’t even available in Canada!

My pet peeve

PR peeps who act like they’re in the secret service. I get the need to protect celebs, wear headsets, etc., but it can be over the top in Toronto.

Any other thoughts you’d like to add?

My 16-year-old daughter is contemplating going into PR. I have taken her to a few events so she has seen the business in action. Let me know if she’s crazy.   🙂