Feb 042015

Did you know that roughly 1 in 4 working adults feel completely stressed out? More significantly – the majority of those who feel stressed on a daily basis are worrying about their finances.

At Parley Consulting, we see the damaging results of this constant worry every day. However, we also understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help, whether you have consumer debt, bad credit, or you’re considering filing for bankruptcy.

ask for help

Bringing that stress and worry with you to work presents a problem to employers. Your employees aren’t feeling as productive as usual, sometimes they find it hard to even show up some days. Rather than playing the blame game, we encourage all employers to consider new, worthy efforts to promote and implement a financial wellness program into their workplace.

Chances are your employee could be suffering from the following symptoms:

  • Losing sleep over financial worries
  • Failing to pay bills on time
  • Inability to save for emergencies
  • Decreased productivity and quality of work
  • Lack of workplace morale

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Jan 272015

My new resolution is to literally fail at something every 90 days. Sound weird? Well, according to an article by Fast Company, the majority of us set New Year’s resolutions, fail to maintain them, and then neglect to start over until next year. This mindset is definitely holding me back and could be holding you back.

Since reading this article, which you can read for yourself here, I have decided to ditch my year-long resolutions for 90-day resolutions. Simply put, I will plan to fail every 90 days. The beauty, I’ve discovered, is that the faster you fail, the faster you can pick yourself up and reset in the next quarter. So rather than failing, denying my failure, and hence forth, ignoring my resolutions until next January I will commit to only 90 days. And then RESET.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

More interesting points to consider:

  • A 90-day quarter isn’t very long – It breaks up seemingly impossible goals into mangle pieces.
  • It also isn’t too short – Rather than making bi-weekly goals, a 90-day quarter allows you to feel out your resolutions, possibly fail, and simultaneously prepare to reboot next quarter.
  • It’s less overwhelming – You can break up your million and one goals into doable sections.
  • Find time for yourself – Struggling to find that work/life balance? Incorporate personal goals into each quarter and you won’t feel like you’ve been neglecting yourself all year long.
  • Don’t fear failure – Life and business is messy, but the successful folks are the ones who keep trying through it all.

We recommend…

7 Powerful Things Successful People Do At The End Of Each Day

Stacking Habits: How to Finally Stick to Your Morning Routine

Say ‘No’ to These 5 Things for an Immediate Life Improvement

We want to know…

It’s almost February – are you still on track to meet your goals? How do you stay motivated? We’d love to hear from you! Simply share your comment or question with us below.

Jan 152015

Meet David*, a 40-something-married-with-kids dentist who has owned and operated his own practice for the last decade or so. He was very successful in his career until a mistake left him without a license and the ability to practice. Without that, he was lost and drowning in a pile of corporate debt. This is his story.

The Situation

After losing his ability to practice dentistry, he wasn’t the only one who lost his earning potential. His wife happened to work in his office as well. With huge debts hanging over your head and no way out, you simply just get farther and farther behind. So David thought that filing for bankruptcy would clear up his corporate debt.

However, the majority of his debt was owed to CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) and it was nearly impossible for him to get out from under it. David was already owing before he hit his turnaround point, but by then, things had gotten even more complicated.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Numbers

With $400, 000 in corporate debt, getting out of it would be a monumental task for anyone. Not to mention the loss of both partner’s earning potential. Before they came to us, David and his wife and already filed for bankruptcy without hiring a consulting company, so the trustee put together a program that would require him to pay 25% of his future earnings. This posed a serious problem because not only did this amount exceed his past earnings, he had zero earning potential without a license. Already, this case was set up to fail.

He had already given the creditors over $100, 000, but at this point, it meant nothing. He was in no man’s land. No trustee would take his case. The one bright side was that he got his license back and began to work again. However, without a clear debt picture and an annulled proposal, David was looking at a whole lot of debt, a failed bankruptcy, a failed debt proposal, and still no foreseeable solution.

To only increase the financial tension, it happened that David and his wife had invested $75,000 in a rent-to-own home, but could not afford to purchase the home before the selling price was increased by the investor. They were running out of time and options, making it very likely they would lose the money they invested.

The Results

At this point, David was looking at a second bankruptcy to clear up all of his past and present debts. If they file a second bankruptcy, they will have to pay $60,000, then hire a lawyer and offer their creditors $100,000 over the next four years.

The unfortunate part of being in debt with the CRA is it nearly impossible to get out of it. He considered filing a second proposal to please the CRA, which would cost him $125,000 and a lawyer, which he can’t afford. While it may seem counterintuitive to file a second proposal alongside a second bankruptcy, but it would mean that he could get out of the bankruptcy and begin earning money again. In contrast, staying with the bankruptcy would cost keep costing him. If he does not hire a lawyer, the CRA will not agree to discharge the bankruptcy and will end up costing David an extra $100,00.

Sometimes a fork in the road makes it harder to keep moving forward. In this case, David is still in his second bankruptcy.

Corporate Debt versus Consumer Debt Solutions

Corporate restructuring has to do with debts that a company (either limited or incorporated) has and usually requires an inventory and appraisal of all assets, along with a performance history and report of income/expenses to find areas of fiscal bleeding before negotiations would begin. This can take significantly longer than a consumer restructure.

Negotiations are different as well because it’s not just about proving that there isn’t excess cash flow, it’s about determining which companies would want their asset back (secured loan) and which companies deem the asset invaluable and would want a pay out, and of course, what the return of that asset would look like for a company and their bottom line. We have to look at who and what they are paying for and determine if there is any savings or new ways to make money there. Then there is the ultimate question as to whether or not the business itself should go bankrupt and start again.

Consumer restructuring has very few assets to consider (house, car, boat, trailer) and most of those don’t affect the person’s ability to make money. We look at a more simple overview of their income and what they can spend. 90% of consumer negotiations are focused on unsecured assets, where as corporate restructuring is the opposite, so negotiations are easier on the consumer side and therefore take less time. Sometimes consumer restructuring will have a sole proprietor business involved. When that happens, we determine the assets (if any in the company) and disclose the sale of the assets from the sole proprietor to the limited or incorporated company that (if it make sense to the client’s situations) for them to be able to continue making a living.

Image courtesy of Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When should I use Corporate Debt Restructuring services?

Like the case above, corporate debt arises when a business can no longer meet its financial obligations. This can be caused by a loss of earning potential, like David, or simply overextending your business without income or revenue to help you bounce back.

If you are at risk of closing your business or going bankrupt, it can be useful to discuss your options with a corporate debt consultant. These restructuring services allow a business to protect themselves from their creditors, re-negotiate their terms on their corporate debt, and essentially keep afloat.

If you answer yes to any number of these symptoms, it could be time to consider corporate restructuring services:

  • You consistently default on lending terms and conditions
  • You rely on personal credit or investments to survive
  • You don’t take a salary, or have trouble paying your employees
  • Your net profit has been significantly reduced
  • You have increased operational expenses

Don’t leave corporate debt to the last minute. Get help today. Call Parley Consulting to discuss your options with experts you can trust. 780.722.3000

*Names are changed to protect the privacy of our clients.

Jan 122015

After scouring the internet for good Monday morning articles, I stumbled upon one written by Lucas Reilly on Mental Floss entitled, “Why Do I Always Wake Up 5 Minutes Before My Alarm Goes off?” In short, the answer is that your body hates your alarm.

I can relate. No matter what ringtone or happy tune or radio station I set my alarm to, I want to throw my phone across the room, regardless of the time. It could be 5 am, 7 am, or an afternoon nap at 1:30 pm, and no matter what, I always feel jarred to wakefulness and irritated.

Apparently, there is a lot of science behind this, as Lucas explains in his article:

“Your sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a protein called PER. The protein level rises and falls each day, peaking in the evening and plummeting at night. When PER levels are low, your blood pressure drops, heart rate slows, and thinking becomes foggier. You get sleepy.

If you follow a diligent sleep routine—waking up the same time every day—your body learns to increase your PER levels in time for your alarm. About an hour before you’re supposed to wake up, PER levels rise (along with your body temperature and blood pressure). To prepare for the stress of waking, your body releases a cocktail of stress hormones, like cortisol. Gradually, your sleep becomes lighter and lighter.

And that’s why you wake up before your alarm. Your body hates your alarm clock. It’s jarring. It’s stressful. And it ruins all that hard work. It defeats the purpose of gradually waking up. So, to avoid being interrupted, your body does something amazing: It starts increasing PER and stress hormones earlier in the night. Your body gets a head start so the waking process isn’t cut short. It’s so precise that your eyelids open minutes—maybe even seconds—before the alarm goes off.”

It is so interesting and exciting to think that by simply adhering to a regular sleep schedule and setting an intention for when to wake, my body will take care of things, and I can put my alarm to rest…for good.

You can read the original article here, and I highly recommend it! Let’s resolve to give our bodies a break and try out our body’s natural alarm clock.

We want to know…

Thoughts on today’s Monday Motivation? We love to hear from our readers! Simply drop us a line below and we’ll get back to you.

Jan 092015
2015 New Years Resolution

Low Carb White Russian from AboutHealth.com

Weight loss and debt repayment are top resolutions when it comes to the New Year. We want you to stay on track with both! This week’s Friday Freebie from AboutHealth outlines 11 cocktails for your 2015 New Years Resolution that will keep you on track with any weight loss goals you might have without compromising your social life.

I know didn’t think it was possible either! But AboutHealth has told outlines how to make sugar free Margaritas, Mojitos, and Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, Tropical Punch, Whiskey-Sours, and Lynchburg Lemonade.

And told us how to make low carb Cosmopolitans, White Russians, Bloody Mary’s, Tom Collins or Vodka Collins. All ingredients and measurements are included in the Cocktails for your 2015 New Years Resolution.

When you try out these recipes comment below this weeks’ Friday Freebie and let us know how delicious they all are! I know I will be trying out my favorite few!

Don’t forget to share your techniques of how you stick to your 2015 New Years resolutions.


Jan 052015

January is a wonderful time of year when everything feels like a fresh start. We start making new goals and move forward with resolutions that will hopefully lead us to a better life. This month, we are resolving to break our bad habits.

Making these subtle shifts can lead you to big improvements in both your personal and business life. So here’s to breaking these 5 habits in 2015.

Emotional eating

I’m sure that many of you have seen that Weight Watchers commercial by now. You know, the ‘if you’re happy and you know it, have a snack’, or the ‘if you’re sad and you know it, have a snack’ commercial. This ad particularly spoke to me because I’ve always thought of emotional eating as a sort of Oscar-worthy, teary-eyed binge session. Not the case. We have all been a victim of emotional eating in some way, whether we are bored, anxious, sad, happy – whatever. This year, I’d like to change that to becoming more mindful about what and when I eat. No more running to the snack cupboard when I’m bored, or reaching for a tub of ice cream after a bad day.

Passing up exercise

We’ve all had days, or weeks, or months when we have the best intentions of exercising and then we get that urgent email or phone call and all of a sudden our workout goes out the window. Even though we all know the benefits of regular exercise when it comes to wellness, performance and happiness, it doesn’t stop us from neglecting the gym or our yoga mat. In 2015, I will stop letting my workout slip to the bottom of my priority list and spend one hour exercising each work day – no matter what.

Mindless spending

Christmas is a hard time for almost everyone financially and getting back on track in January can be even harder. This year I resolve to quit letting money stress get the best of me and watch my spending. If you’re anything like me, the more stressed you are about your financial situation, the more likely it is that you will make poor spending decisions. So in 2015, I’m saying goodbye to mindlessly spending my money.

Relationship slacking

Unfortunately, whenever we get really busy, we tend to neglect our relationships and take our loved ones for granted. Whether you feel like you haven’t spent enough time with family, friends or your partner lately, take some time to unplug and reconnect with them. More than that, commit to giving them some of your time each week all year long. You’d be surprised how rewarding it is to give the gift of presence this month.

Unnecessary complaining

I just read something the other day that went something like, “Avoid complaining at all costs for 30 days, and watch how your life changes.” It really made me think about how my world (our world) would change if we just stopped complaining and focused on the positive. It will be hard, but throughout 2015, I am going to quit complaining, both out loud and in my head.

What habits are you going to break this year? We love to hear from our readers! Simply drop us a line below.

Dec 172014

What would you do if you had to leave a bad situation and start over? What if you had six children to bring with you? Many of us wouldn’t know where to start.

However, Miracle* made sure she didn’t let fear of the unknown prevent her from taking care of herself and her children, nor did she let her situation break her spirit. Miracle took her children away from an abusive, domestic relationship and moved from the United States to Canada. This is her turnaround story.

The Situation

Once Miracle left her abusive husband and moved to Edmonton with her six children, she began to accumulate debt. The normal way. Kids have needs that can’t wait for a paycheque, especially for one parent’s paycheque with no child support coming in. Miracle made sure her children got what they needed, but that meant carrying high-interest credit card debt. Miracle is the type of person who did not want to receive handouts, so she didn’t look into any social assistance programs that could help bridge the gap.

It wasn’t until she became injured and unable to continue working at the daunting pace that she had been, that things started to pile up. Her mortgage payments fell behind. Her bills fell behind. Even though she was injured, Miracle did not want to receive disability. She feared the stereotype of a single mother with six children receiving ‘free’ money. That was when she was referred to Parley Consulting.

The Numbers

Miracle had $20,000 in debt to clear up and ended up paying $6,000 with a consumer proposal. There is a ‘sweet spot’ for being in debt, the minimum being $10,000 for a proposal, and she did not have enough debt for a bankruptcy trustee to even bother with her case. In this instance, Miracle could have used the equity in her home to relieve her debt, but it would have meant selling her home. That was something she absolutely did not want, as it would probably mean that her children would need to go to foster homes. Unfortunately, being in her own home meant she couldn’t receive government assistance either. With no home, it would be impossible to raise six children. However, Miracle wanted more than anything to get out from under her debt, control costs with a budget, and move forward. In the end, Miracle decided that a consumer proposal was the right move for her.

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Dec 152014

With less than 10 days left until Christmas, that means you probably have presents to wrap (maybe to buy, if you’re a last minute shopper), cards to send, turkeys to defrost, and people to see. It can be easy to fill up all of your days and nights with holiday chores galore, but overextending yourself, especially at the end of the year, can wreak havoc on your life and cause burnout or exhaustion.

Holiday burnout can be a huge downer during a season that’s meant for relaxation, renewal and reconnecting. Carve out some time for yourself amongst all of the family gatherings, holiday shopping, and dinner parties with friends.

How to Avoid Holiday Burnout in 5 Easy Ways

Identify your stressors

A lot of times our biggest stresses and worries literally come from fear of the unexpected, rather than the actual present moment. To keep your holiday anxiety at bay, write it all out. Make 3 separate lists: one for work, one for the holidays, and a personal list. Then write out every single task that is nagging at you. Chances are it won’t even be as bad as you think, and having everything in one place will feel less chaotic then trying to remember it all.

Complete and cross off 3 or 4 simple tasks from each list right away. That could be making that doctor’s appointment for the new year, buying your new day planner, or a trip to the post office. Completing those tasks right away will give you a sense of accomplishment and make your lists seems less daunting.

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Dec 102014

If you’re anything like me, most of your holiday shopping is really just one big unexpected expense. You have a bit of a list in mind, but then you find the perfect item for that special someone and just have to get it for them. However, that extra $50 here, and $100 there, can add up big time.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Everything will be fine. It’s only once a year, I will just make an extra credit card payment in January to recover.” That’s all fine and dandy until *gasp* something unforeseen happens, like you have to replace your winter tires or your laptop goes berserk. All of a sudden, you have to shell out for yet another big expense that you didn’t see coming. Either you are forced to dip into your savings, slap down your credit card once again, or now you’re falling behind on your regular expenses.

Image courtesy of nongpimmy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nongpimmy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We really don’t want anyone to fall into this trap, so we’ve prepared 5 Tips for Preparing and Planning for Unexpected Expenses.

Identify possible expenses

We know this is an article about ‘unexpected’ expenses, and while we don’t think that you have a crystal ball at home, it can help to try to think into the future and consider possible expenses that could blindside you.

Some areas to consider are:

  • Medical, dental, and vision expenses
  • Home expenses: property taxes, unforeseen damage, etc
  • Vehicle expenses: collisions, winterization, etc

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Dec 082014

December is here in full swing and that means Christmas parties, get-togethers, and impromptu wine nights to celebrate the wonderful holiday season. However, it also the time of year when our wallets start to feel particularly empty. Don’t let feeling broke stop you from enjoying time with your family, friends or coworkers.

Here are our Top 5 Tips for Holiday Entertaining on a Budget

Be specific about timing

Typically when we invite people over, we tend to set a start date but no end date. Setting a specific time, such as Wine & Cheese from 2 pm to 5 pm, will keep your guests from staying too long. Or in most cases, encourage them to stop by because they won’t feel pressured to stay the whole night. Also, planning your get-together for the afternoon rather than an evening can help if you have a tight budget. Guests eat and drink less in the afternoon than later on in the evening.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Go meatless

Keep up the ‘Meatless Monday’ trend and whip up some meat-free appetizers. Not only will you please your vegetarian pals, you will save a ton of money by utilizing fresh veggies rather than meat. We do suggest focusing on the preparation of said veggies. A unique and thoughtful presentation will set you apart from everyone else who just bought a tray with carrot sticks and broccoli. Think: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Quinoa Bowls, Salad Wraps, or the ever-famous Pinterest creation, Miniature Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese. Check out these other 20 Mouthwatering Miniature Food Ideas for more inspiration.

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