Jeffrey Schwartz
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Jeffrey Schwartz is the Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada and President of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto (CAGT). Consolidated Credit is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance through web-based budget and debt analysis tools, financial literacy community outreach programs and in-person or telephone counselling. CAGT is a non-profit association with a mission to provide a dynamic forum in which members can share information and expertise.

Entries by Jeffrey Schwartz

How To Maintain Your Budget While On Vacation

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2016 | 5:09 PM

It is the official vacation season in Canada. Many Canadians from coast to coast are getting ready to head down south to enjoy some play time in the hot sand and fun time in the water.

Although the fluctuating loonie may be annoying, you better believe there...

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6 Practical Ways To Save Money This Summer

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2016 | 11:53 AM

Summer is here. It is the time of year when many Canadians let their guards down and sometimes spend more money than planned on a variety of expenses from impromptu road trips to hosting various summer parties.

In the midst of all of your spending, you may have been...

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Teach Your Children Financial Lessons While They're Young

(1) Comments | Posted June 16, 2016 | 3:17 PM

Children are the future. They watch and learn from everything their parents do from proper etiquette to healthy eating habits. It is never too early to teach your children the importance of money. Teaching your child about the concept of money will help them as they grow and...

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How To Give Your Budget A March Break

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2016 | 11:51 AM

March Break is just around the corner, and if you're like many Canadians, you're probably wondering how you're going to afford to pay for it.

Chances are, your credit cards are still smoldering from the holiday season (the average Canadian planned to spend $1,600 on Christmas cheer)....

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The Biggest Personal Finance Fails Of 2015

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 1:42 PM

To err is human.

Mistakes can be a valuable learning opportunity, and sometimes, the bigger the mistake, the bigger your lesson will be. Lucky for us, there are plenty of people out there who made huge personal finance mistakes in 2015, and we have the benefit of being able to...

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Albertans Need To Set Their Personal Budgets To Survival Mode

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 3:14 PM

Credit bureaus use the term "delinquent" to describe bills that are 90 days passed due. I've never been a fan of that term. It seems too playful, like it's describing a child who is being naughty and deserves some time in the corner. It implies that the delinquent account is...

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Canada Needs A Seismic Shift In Financial Literacy

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 2:26 PM

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's (FCAC) Count Me In strategy is about to take centre stage in November during Financial Literacy Month.

Jane Rooney, federal Financial Literacy Leader, said in June that the strategy is "a call to action for every Canadian to make financial literacy a matter of...

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How to Recession-Proof Your Finances

(2) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 12:28 PM

Well, it's official, or at least technically official: we're in a recession.

Tuesday morning, Statistics Canada released its latest GDP numbers showing that the Canadian economy shrank for a second consecutive quarter, meaning Canada has slipped into a recession for the first half of 2015.

What this means...

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5 Ways to Ensure a High Credit Score

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 8:34 AM

It's a three-digit number that can make you or break you -- it can affect your ability to buy a home, rent an apartment, buy a car, and in some cases prevent you from getting a job. But despite its value, many of us are blissfully unaware of our

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Newlyweds Need to Talk About Finances Beyond the Wedding

(2) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 5:52 PM

Struggling to come up with a wedding gift idea? Forget the toasters -- Mr. and Mrs. Newlywed would probably get more use out of a bit of financial advice.

Canadians are into the height of wedding season, and while brides and grooms may have carefully budgeted for the wedding ceremony,...

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Let's Become the True North Strong and Debt-Free

(7) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 8:53 AM

Canadians have many reasons to celebrate as their nation turns 148 years old tomorrow. They can even feel a bit of pride in an area that normally provides a healthy dose of shame in the headlines: personal finance.

Yes, household debt levels are as high as the CN Tower and...

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How to Resist the Summer Splurge

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 5:18 PM

The first official day of summer is Sunday, but mentally, we've been there for a long time. It was a tough winter and as soon as water began dripping from the icicles, Canadians rejoiced.

We donned sweaters and got a jump start on patio season. We flocked to waterfronts for...

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Be Good to Debt and Debt May Be Good to You

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 12:33 PM

Debt has been in the news a lot lately. The major news outlets in Canada are paying attention to our record-high household debt levels and are doing some fantastic reporting about the effects of oil prices, housing, health, divorce, and all the other factors that can damage a family's bottom...

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How to Manage Divorce, Distress and Debt

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 6:10 PM

Kevin had a good thing going. In Edmonton, he and his wife were earning a combined six-figure income. They had recently sold their house and had taken a few trips with their kids. They began renting a home, while they figured out where to go next as they closed one...

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The Good, Bad and the Ugly of Plastic

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 1:25 PM

I'm not so sure that cash is king anymore.

With debit and credit machines now ubiquitous in shops and stores across Canada, I see fewer and fewer people reaching into their pockets to fish out a good old-fashioned handful of change. Waiters regularly come to tables armed with wireless payment...

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Can't Afford a House? There's a Bright Side to Renting

(12) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 12:43 PM

Brace yourself -- home buying season is kicking off.

Get ready for the real estate lawn signs, the open houses, and the gossip over how much your neighbour's house sold for.

There's a prevailing sense of home-buying mania in Canada, especially in Canada's real-estate crown-jewels of Vancouver and...

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Why Canada Shouldn't Start Feeling Financially Bulletproof

(3) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 5:50 PM

Amid the usual torrent of news stories about record-high household debt, recently I read that the $1.85 trillion dollars that we collectively owe pales in comparison to our rising collective net wealth of $10.2 trillion. Interest rates are low, the stock market is bullish, and strong real estate...

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The Financial Truth Shall Set You Free

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 5:53 PM

In 2015, personal finance is still a taboo topic. We might live in a liberal country, but Canadians are not very open-minded when it comes to talking about our pocketbook. In fact, many of us downright lie.

A recent poll by Ipsos Reid shows only about half (49...

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What Canadians Really Think About Valentine's Day

(3) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 4:53 PM


Valentine's Day can be a divisive holiday. While many consumers look forward to spending on their Christmas gifts and events, by comparison Valentine's can have the ring of a cash grab - much like Boss Appreciation Day, which is, apparently, also...

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Disability and Debt: When One Happens to Canadians, the Other Follows

(29) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 11:39 AM

Phil Stewart-Burgoyne was earning great money in a highly specialized job: Driving a stand-up order-picker. He had a nice house and a strong credit rating -- life was good.

But he couldn't sleep. He heard loud music in his head, even though none was playing. In 2007, he asked his...

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