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Renovation. (Feverpitched/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Renovation.

(Feverpitched/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Carrick on money

How to arrange the no-aggravation renovation Add to ...

We hear a lot about how tight housing markets are driving up prices in some cities and how rents are rising as well. Now for the latest trickle-down effect of hot housing – surging demand for renovations.

If you read down in this story on people striking out when trying to buy a house in Toronto, you’ll find stats showing how many more people in the city are planning to spend big bucks – $50,000 – on renovations. The goal of a renovation is to get the best value for your money. For help with that, check out this briefing on planning a reno from Consumer Reports, a trusted source of unbiased information.

Got an investment property? This list of renovating tips suggests you take care of cleaning and repairs first. Here are some tips for a bathroom reno that won’t break the bank, and some insider’s tips for saving money on all types of renovations.

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How to convince your boss to let you retire gradually
Want to keep working part-time after you retire? Here are the objections your boss is likely to raise, and some counter arguments.

13 ways to waste your money
A thorough list of mostly avoidable fees and costs. I bet you’ll find at least one idea here to save money.

The illusion of wealth
Would you rather have $1-million or $5,000 a month when you’re retired? If you picked $1-million, you should read this article about the false sense of security people get from what they consider to be large sums of money. Now for another tricky question: What’s more important, the amount you save or the rate of return on your investments?

If you bank by smartphone or tablet…
This ranking shows you which banks are leaders in mobile banking services.

Their condo had hidden costs
All about a class-action lawsuit some Ottawa condo owners have launched against a developer over whether heating systems were included in their purchase price. A lesson on stuff you have to watch out for when buying a condo before it’s built.

Today’s featured financial tool
For those with investment income, here’s a primer on taxation of real estate investment trusts, or REITs, that are held in non-registered accounts. REITs are a popular investment for investors seeking income.

Ask Rob
The question: “Why not go back to basics and recommend that all 20– or 30-somethings read The Wealthy Barber, shun debt, ignore the hype, have patience, stay the course, and retire wealthy. It’s what I did. I only ever had a wage-paying job, but I saved, maxed out RRSPs, didn’t go to clubs, didn’t buy designer-branded crap, didn’t buy luxury cars, and didn’t live beyond my means and didn’t take out loans to buy stuff (other than a mortgage which I aggressively paid off). Live within your means. Don’t live for consumption. Retire wealthy and early.”

My reply: Great advice, thanks. The problem here is that we live in a society that promotes the idea of happiness through consumption. It’s hard to control spending when you see all the cool things your friends and family on doing on social media. I will continue to fight the good fight about living within your means, but I also recognize that how strong the pressure to spend is. The key is balance. Save, and then spend what’s left over.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories

How to claim home office expenses on your taxes
–Six ways to benefit your heirs, not the taxman
–Should I get a line of credit to repay my student loan?

More Carrick and money coverage
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