The secret to saving money and being happier this Christmas

Save money be happier this Christmas


As Christmas sneaks up on us, good intentions of saving money melt like snowflakes, and this “merry” time of year quickly escalates into a financial blow out. Then January rolls around and a nasty reality check arrives to hundreds of thousands of homes around the country in the form of a credit card bill.

In case you glossed over last week news, Canadians’ average consumer debt load is now up to $22,081 – that’s up 3.6% since last year! Eep! Canadians owe more than $1.7 trillion in total consumer debt – that’s not including mortgages. (If that doesn’t make you panic, read this post on why debt is a flaming emergency.)

Instead of starting off the New Year with a scary credit card statement, we want to share a secret that will save you money and make you feel happier this Christmas season: Mindfulness.



What’s the Scariest Thing About Halloween?

Halloween - scared couple hiding


Your empty wallet! 

The cash people sink on Halloween is absurd. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates Americans will spend $8.4 billion on Halloween in 2016. Seriously.

According to Global News, Canadians spend $137 on average per person ($52 on a costume, $43 on decorations and $42 on candy). So if you’re a family of four, you’re looking at over $500. I don’t know about you, but I like my money to go a lot further than plastic spiders and sugar crashes.

Here are 5 smarter ways to spend $100.



What Is ‘Net Worth’ and Why Should I Calculate Mine?


What Is Net Worth - Money Tree

Net worth is any asset owned minus any debt owed. Everything you own falls under “assets” and everything you owe falls under “liabilities”. So if you added up the value of your assets (everything you own: home, cars, savings accounts, investments, etc.) and subtracted the value of all of your liabilities (debts such as: loans, mortgage, credit card balances etc.), you would have your total net worth. The calculation is simple:



Will I Get a Tax Refund?

Will I get a tax refund?


“Will I get a tax refund?”

It’s the most common question people ask us at Signature Financial. Simply put, if you didn’t pay enough tax throughout the year, you will not get a tax refund. Instead, you’ll likely owe the government money. (more…)


Should I hire a bookkeeper for my business?

Is doing your own bookkeeping causing you stress? Hire a bookkeeper! They do this day-in, day-out and will most likely do your accounting work in half the time it takes you. They can also offer advice on implementing better and more efficient systems–saving you time and money in the long run. If you’re ready to hire a bookkeeper to take the pressure of your business, here’s what to look for.

Firstly, what does a bookkeeper actually do?

Bookkeepers take care of the finance and accounting duties of your business. They maintain financial records, manage payroll, keep track of accounts, pay bills, and so much more!

For example, our bookkeepers at Signature Financial provide full accounting and bookkeeping services such as:

  • Accounts Payable and Receivable
  • Bank Deposits
  • Payroll (Including T4 and ROE Preparation)
  • Cheque Writing
  • Bank Reconciliations
  • Month End/Year End Reports
  • Tax Return Preparation
  • Account Collections
  • Loan Proposals and Business Plans
  • Cash-Flow Statements
  • Government Remittances
  • Employee Training Services
  • Data Entry and Analysis
  • Accounting System Audits

Is it cost effective to hire a bookkeeper?

  • When working out whether or not to hire a bookkeeper, ask yourself:
  • What is my billable hourly rate?
  • How long do I spend doing my own bookkeeping?
  • Do I enjoy bookkeeping, or would outsourcing allow me to better concentrate on what I do best in my business?

If a professional bookkeeper could do the work for a fee equal to a fraction of the time it takes you, then yes, hire a bookkeeper right away.

Bookkeepers are a great option for growing businesses who do not yet have a full time financial expert on staff, or for small businesses who only need a bookkeeper once a year, or on a month-to-month basis.

What to look for when you hire a bookkeeper:

It’s important to meet with a bookkeeper to make sure they can meet your business’s needs, and that you both get along. This is your chance to also set expectations, for example: the bookkeeper’s exact duties, how often you expect to receive reports, establishing whether the bookkeeper will work remotely or come in to your office for a few hours each week etc.

A great bookkeeper will also have the following:

  • Education/training in bookkeeping and accounting
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Extensive experience with modern accounting software and banking technology*
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Initiative to solve problems and work independently (so you don’t have to micro manage)

If you’re ready to hire a bookkeeper (or you want to modernize your current accounting ‘file’ system, i.e. a shoebox) we’d love to take the pressure off. Call 1 807 623 1915 or email Whether you’re in Thunder Bay or elsewhere in Canada, we offer reliable and efficient remote accounting and bookkeeping services.

*Signature Financial bookkeepers are certified to sell, install and train you and your staff on popular software packages such as Simply Accounting and Quickbooks.