You are previewing How to Eat an Elephant: Achieving Financial Success One Bite at a Time.
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How to Eat an Elephant: Achieving Financial Success One Bite at a Time

Book Description

Take control of your personal finances—one bite at a time

Getting your financial house in order is a big job. At first, you might even feel like you've bitten off more than you can chew. But don't give up! In How to Eat an Elephant, you'll gain vital understanding of important personal finance basics in just one day a month. Rather than tackle the beast in one bite, you'll master it a little bit at a time. Supported by online resources, tools, and reports, you'll complete fundamental tasks and gain fundamental understanding in an orderly and effective way.

With practical, easy-to-understand guidance, this book will show you how to reduce your debt and save on interest; improve your understanding of personal finance basics and gain new confidence; reduce stress and anxiety about your money; and use powerful online tools to organize all your financial information.

  • Offers a structured, non-intimidating approach to personal finance that can be mastered in four hours a month

  • Covers vital topics like budgeting, life insurance, investment products, retirement planning, wills and powers of attorney, and much more

  • Written by Frank Wiginton, one of Canada's best-known personal finance speakers and gurus

If it's time to take charge of your financial life, look no further. How to Eat an Elephant offers real solutions that will save you time, money, and headaches.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. How to Use this Guide
  7. Introduction: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
  8. Part One: Understanding Your Finances
    1. Chapter 1: Setting and Achieving Goals
      1. Write It Down
      2. Define It
      3. Setting Your Goals and Yourself Up for Success!
      4. What Is the Financial Cost to Accomplish Your Goals?
      5. Identify What You Need to Succeed
      6. Review Your List Regularly
      7. Share Your Goals with Others
      8. Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 2: Where Are You Now?
      1. Net Worth Statement
      2. How Do You Figure Out What Assets You Have?
      3. How Do You Figure Out What Debts You Have?
      4. Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 3: How to Save a Lot of Money!
      1. What Is a Budget?
      2. Why Is a Budget Important?
      3. What about Pocket Money?
      4. Where Have I Spent My Money?
      5. How Do You Get Started?
      6. There Must Be Some Mistake!
      7. Money Is Finite!
      8. Needs vs. Wants
      9. Breaking the Spending Habit
      10. Put Yourself on a Cash Diet!
      11. The 10% Rule for Financial Success
      12. Additional Tips for Reducing Expenses
      13. How I Saved $1,154 After-Tax Dollars with Two Phone Calls
      14. Chapter Summary
    4. Chapter 4: Income and Debt Management
      1. Debt Destruction
      2. Debt Consolidation
      3. Debt Pyramiding
      4. Breaking the Cycle
      5. Credit Counselling
      6. Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act Options
      7. Debt Service Ratios
      8. Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
      9. Mortgages
      10. What to Consider When Getting a Mortgage
      11. Payment Options
      12. Chapter Summary
  9. Part Two: Protecting Your Finances
    1. Chapter 5: Benefits
      1. Group Benefits
      2. How Can You Get the Most from Your Benefits?
      3. Traditional vs. Flex-Benefit vs. Healthcare Spending Accounts
      4. Self-Employed/No Work Benefits Options
      5. Taxable Benefits
      6. Non-Taxable Benefits
      7. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
      8. Leave of Absence
      9. Travel Medical Insurance Coverage
      10. Group or Work Life Insurance
      11. Group Pensions and Retirement Programs
      12. Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 6: Risk and Living Insurance
      1. Managing the Risk
      2. Living Insurance: Insurance that Pays Out to Help You Live!
      3. Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 7: Life Insurance
      1. How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
      2. Life Insurance
      3. Temporary Insurance
      4. Insurable Interest
      5. Different Ways to Set Up a Life Insurance Policy
      6. Insurance Riders or Add-Ons
      7. Buy Term Insurance and Invest the Difference?
      8. Affordability
      9. Additional Uses for Life Insurance
      10. Life Insurance as an Asset Class
      11. Chapter Summary
  10. Part Three: Growing Your Finances
    1. Chapter 8: Retirement and Estate Planning
      1. Retirement Savings Options
      2. Company Pension Plans
      3. Savings
      4. The Forgotten Sources of Retirement Income
      5. Retirement Savings Options You May Not Have Heard Of
      6. Will I Outlive My Money?
      7. Sources of Income in Retirement
      8. How Is It That I Could Earn So Little and End Up with Enough Money for Retirement?
      9. Estate Planning
      10. Probate
      11. Summary
    2. Chapter 9: Investing
      1. Investment Products
      2. Alternative Hybrid Investments
      3. Understanding Investment Risk
      4. The “Stop Losing Big” Principle
      5. Asset Allocation
      6. Diversification
      7. When to Buy and When to Sell
      8. Where to Invest Your Money Based on the Value ofAssets to Be Invested
      9. Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 10: Tax Planning
      1. How Much Income Tax Do We Pay?
      2. Understanding the Difference between Average Tax Rate and Marginal Tax Rate
      3. Tax Deduction vs. Tax Credit: Which Is Better?
      4. Refundable Tax Credits vs. Non-Refundable Tax Credits
      5. Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)
      6. The Home Buyers' Plan and Lifelong Learning Plan
      7. Income-Splitting
      8. Investment Income
      9. Investing in Tax Shelters
      10. Creating Tax-Deductible Interest
      11. Charitable Donations
      12. Retirement Tax Planning
      13. Chapter Summary
  11. Part Four: Ensuring Financial Success
    1. Chapter 11: Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Personal Care Directives
      1. Professional Lawyers vs. Will Kits
      2. The Value of Naming a Contingent Individual
      3. Wills
      4. If You Are Married
      5. Common Disaster Clause
      6. Choosing an Executor/Personal Representative/Trustee
      7. Choosing a Guardian
      8. Distributing Your Estate
      9. Naming Beneficiary Designations
      10. Trusts for Minor Children
      11. Powers of Attorney
      12. Personal Care Directives
      13. Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 12: Finding the Right Advisors
      1. Types of Financial Advisors
      2. Designations
      3. Choosing an Advisor
      4. Build Your Advisor Team
      5. Frank's Recommendation
      6. Chapter Summary
  12. Conclusion
  13. About the Employee Financial Education Division
  14. Index
  15. About the Author