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A couple on their wedding day. (Evelyn Peyton/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A couple on their wedding day. (Evelyn Peyton/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

carrick on money

The worst reason ever to borrow money is… Add to ...

I will not keep you in suspense. It’s for a wedding. I felt this needed to be said after reading a blog post that mentioned something called a wedding loan. Lenders don’t market anything called a wedding loan, but it’s certainly possible to borrow money through a loan or credit line to pay for a wedding.

A wedding is a brief, sacred ceremony with party to follow. You don’t borrow money for that. Instead, you scale the event to the amount of money you and, if you’re fortunate, your parents have saved. Have the greatest day you can afford without incurring any debt.

Here’s a long list of tips for staging an inexpensive wedding. How cheap can you get? In this article she wrote for us, Kerry Taylor of the Squawkfox blog got the cost down to $427. Parents, here’s a financial adviser letting you off the hook for financing a big wedding for your child.

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Ten lottery winners who lost it all

Just sad.

What snowbirds need to know about travel insurance

Travel medical coverage is essential when spending time outside Canada. It’s also expensive and full of terms and conditions. Here’s a list of tips to help ensure you’re properly covered.

The biggest money mistakes couples make

Number Two is keeping separate bank accounts, and I totally agree with that. Here’s my own pitch for joint accounts.

Birth of the Internet

Banks are prominent in this retrospective on what the websites of major Canadian corporations looked like back in the Internet’s early days. A fun nostalgia trip.

These travel expenses are worth the money

Just back from summer vacation, I have to agree with a lot of these points. It was a pleasure, for example, to check our bags and not have to compete with other plane passengers to stuff our suitcases into an overhead bin. I reserve that joy for business travel.

Nice parents

How do people afford to buy into expensive housing markets? In this story about buying in Toronto, two sets of parents offered to kick in $80,000 each. I’d love to see some stats on how common parental help is.

Today’s featured financial tool

This TFSA calculator highlights the tax savings over investing or saving in a non-registered account.

Ask Rob

The question: “Me and my girlfriend are both 24 years old and wondering if buying a house is ever in the cards for us. We live … where the housing price range is $200,000 to $350,000. Our combined income after taxes is about $70,000. We both live frugal life styles with both of us completely out of debt and living with our parents. We are saving as much as we can but are worried with the current housing market that it’s going to take a long time to save enough to for a down payment. Any advice you could give us for saving and what housing price range we should be examining?”

My reply: We offer a couple of resources that may help you. The first is our Down Payment Tool, which shows how long it will take you to afford a house down payment based on your current savings habits. The second is the Real Life Ratio spreadsheet, which shows how well you’ll be able to manage home ownership as well as life’s other expenses. I ran a quick and dirty analysis using the Real Life Ratio spreadsheet and think you can afford a house in your area. Suggestion: Estimate your future mortgage payments and try to save at least that amount every month to build your down payment. Keep the money safe in a high interest saving account.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.

Featured Video

Ideas here on how to wring the most value out of your company pension.

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How can I wring the most value from my workplace pension? (The Globe and Mail)

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