Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Sunday Link Love: March 27, 2011

Good riddance to the 35-year mortgage!
The 40-year mortgage was introduced. Then they got rid of it. Now they’re thankfully also getting rid of the 35-year mortgage. I know people who have taken out both 40-year and 35-year mortgages, and while it seems like it has worked out for them, I firmly believe for myself that if I cannot afford the payments on a 25-year mortgage (or at the very least, a 30-year mortgage with accelerated bi-weekly payments), then chances are I cannot afford the house I am looking at.

The same goes for a 20% down payment. I think that in order to take home ownership seriously, you should take saving for a down payment seriously. While my goal is to save 20% for a down payment, I understand that just isn’t realistic for everyone. But start thinking long term. If home ownership is something that you want for yourself in the future, it doesn’t hurt to start saving a little bit for it now. Even starting with $25/month is great (that’s what I started with). Anything saved is better than nothing, right?

Goodbye to a couple blogger friends
It seems that PF bloggers Girl with the Red Balloon and Blonde on a Budget have deleted their Twitter accounts and blogs – both within days of each other. It’s true that PF bloggers come and go, but it was tough to see these two go. Girl has been around for what seems like forever, and Blonde was a great blogger and a friend in real life. We will miss you both!

Around the blogosphere

Not quite PF-related
Okay, this blog post is about a guy named Peter Coffin (who has since protected his Twitter page). Blogger Xiaxue got sick of Peter constantly insulting her on Twitter because he thinks she’s vain. So she did a little research into his background to see if she could get some dirt on him. Turns out she hit the jackpot. Apparently she found out that Peter had been faking an 8-month long relationship with a fake Japanese model named “Kimi Kobayashi.” He stole some photos of some girl off the internet, set up a Twitter account and a YouTube account of her, and proceeded to have an online relationship with himself as Kimi for 8 months. The entire thing is documented in humiliating detail on Xiaxue’s website. I love stories when bloggers triumph over trolls and haterz.

Blast from the past
A couple of days ago, I had an really interesting conversation about emergency funds with my editor.It reminded me of the time my Emergency Fund saved my butt. Back in 2007, I finished up a 1-year contract and applied for Employment Insurance in mid-November. Even though all of my paperwork was filed properly, I didn’t receive my first payment until mid-February – and by then I had already found a full-time job! That’s nearly 3 months without a single penny of money coming my way.

Without the $3,000 I had stashed away in my Emergency Fund, I would have had to go into debt and rely on my line of credit and credit cards to get me through. Because when you get laid off from your job, how else will you pay for rent, groceries, Christmas presents, cell phone, internet, and of course travel costs to get to job interviews? And to think that, if it had happened to me the year before, in 2006, I would have been heavily in debt, with only a few hundred dollars in the bank. That thought just scares me.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. says:

    Gone is Girl With the Red Balloon – SO SAD

  2. Bryan says:

    Although I myself have a 20 year amortization, I see no reason to savior the loss of longer amortization. For some cash flow is simply the bigger issue. Besides with rates as low as 2.2% you're not paying more then inflation in interest. If one were to redirect the cash towards investments a return of 2.2% would be very easy to beat. Sometimes I kick myself for taking the larger payments, as I know I could make more money with investments, but I do like the light in tunnel aspect of the shorter period I chose.

    Really depends on ones comfort level with debt, leverage and investing. There's still room for longer amortization's, and correct me if I'm mistaken, but new rules apply only to CMHC insured mortgages.

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