Jul 062015

Want to save money? Well, the best thing you can do for your wallet is to decide that not everything you own needs to be a name brand or even brand new for that matter.

Buying secondhand was made intensely popular by the “Thrift Shop” song, and practically every hipster in Edmonton is doing it. So, it’s about time you jumped on the money-saving bandwagon!

The beauty of being able to shop thrift stores like a boss is that you can find unique, functional pieces without spending a ton of your hard-earned cash. It also helps out the environment because the more you buy secondhand, the less that goes in the dump.

Secondhand shopping is good for environment

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, how do you shop thrift stores like a boss?

First things first, decide what you are willing to use secondhand and what you are not. For instance, you might be totally comfortable buying clothes, pots/pans, and furniture, but draw the line at using secondhand bedding or underwear.

That’s totally fine! Just make yourself a list of What To Buy New and What To Buy Used. This could apply to books, workout equipment, shoes, and much, much more.

Second, before you head to the nearest thrift store, do a little research online. Read reviews on Yelp or  Google to figure out if the place is worth your time and money.

Thrifting can be intensely time-consuming, so never shop when you are hungry or tired or grouchy, and always wear comfortable clothes, preferably an outfit that allows you to try on clothing time over top.

thrift store shopping Edmonton

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Another tip: If you find a store you really like, get to know the sales people. They’ll start to recognize you and if you are looking for something that they don’t have yet, they will be more likely to call you when it actually comes into the store.

Great places to shop thrifty in Edmonton:

The Junque Cellar

MCC Thrift Shop

Super Flea Market


Edmonton Emergency Relief Services

Value Village 

Have questions or comment? We’d love to hear from you! Simply drop us a line below or call 780.722.3000.

May 252015

Most of know exactly what credit is and how to use it, albeit maybe too much, but do you know everything there is to know about applying for said credit?

There are 5 major areas that any credit card company, lender, or even an instant loan institution will look at before processing your request.

The 5 C’s of Credit


While a lot of the time applying for credit can very much be a numbers game, certain characteristics can influence your application. Good traits such as being at the same job for a steady number of years or being with the same credit card company or banking institution for years are all good signs that they will take into account. It may not make or break your application, but discussing your good traits with the lender could help connect any dots that otherwise would have be left unanswered.

credit, credit application Edmonton

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


You need credit to get credit. While most of us know this to be true, there are many misconceptions about what good credit is and how to get it. Your credit score is basically a clue to how you’ve handled credit in the past. Do you make your payments on time? Do you miss payments? Do you apply for credit at a too-rapid pace? All of these traits are indicated by your credit score or credit report. Of course, the higher the score, the better. It’s not hard to check on your credit either. Both Equifax and Transunion will give you your report for free.

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May 182015

Remember the quote that came out a while ago, “You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce?” Well, it’s true. Same goes for you and everyone else. The trick to making it seem like you have more: getting organized.

These simple tricks for better organization lead to more daily productivity, and soon, you’ll be meeting all of your goals like a champ.

6 Ways to Increase Daily Productivity

Plan for the next day before you go to bed

Even if you’re not a compulsive list maker like some of us, this trick can aid you in many productive ways. Do you ever have trouble sleeping when you know you have a busy day ahead? Take 10 to 15 minutes each evening to plan out your upcoming day.

Identify the keys tasks you need to get done no matter what. This will allow you the pleasure of knowing exactly what to do when as soon as you wake up.

Become a morning person

How many of you don’t get out of bed until you absolutely have to? Let’s assume most of us. However, if you start counting on those wee hours of the morning as extra time to set yourself up for the day, rather than rolling around restlessly in bed, your day will immediately become more productive. We recommend working out in the AM and focusing on personal projects during this ‘bonus’ time.

Learn to delegate certain tasks

Many of us in business or otherwise have trouble letting go of the reins sometimes. We like things done our way. The key to making this effective, however, is focusing our attention on tasks that only we can truly do best. For everything else, drop the idea of perfection and let someone else tackle it. This could be letting your kids do the dishes or finally hiring that bookkeeper. Either way, you won’t be playing catch up in every area of your life if you let go a little.

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May 122015

Dealing with money troubles? It can be hard to talk about money, especially if you are struggling with debt. Second to that, there is a huge negative stigma attached to having to file for bankruptcy, even if it’s the best option for your current financial circumstances.

Sometimes, we feel that filing for bankruptcy means we failed. This is not the case, and in fact, the sooner you reach out to someone about your options for getting out of debt, the less time you spend suffering in silence.

To ease you into the idea, here are 8 of the most common things no one tells you about bankruptcy:

You won’t lose everything

Fact: you will lose some. However, there are exemptions by province, which could include your pension, insurance policies, and some RRSP’s. If you need certain things, like your vehicle or equipment, to continue earning a living, you can keep those too. Click here to learn more about exemptions in Alberta.

debt, creditors, Edmonton, bankruptcy

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can keep your home in certain situations

Many of those with insolvent debts get to keep their home. However, it all depends on what your home is worth, how much you owe on your mortgage, and how realistic it is that you can continue making the payments.

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Apr 222015

Do you love to spend money? Most of us do. However, understanding the difference between your needs and wants is the first step to smarter spending and more savings in your bank account.

I’m sure most of us remember the moment in middle school where we learned the difference between the essentials we need to survive: food, water, clothing, and shelter and the rest of the stuff we think we need.

So how do you determine the difference between a true need and a want?

Understanding Needs versus Wants

To put it simply: a need is something essential, and a want is something nice to have.

It is also possible for your needs and wants to shift over time. A good example is that a new laptop might start out as a want, but you might find out that you need it for school or work, now it becomes a necessity.

The confusion comes when our over-stimulated brains filled with consumer nonsense tells us we need to buy that latest gadget or new shoes or even that $5 latte. Hence, why it is called your latte factor. Your latte factor refers to any extravagance – small or large – that you love to spend your money on.

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Apr 132015

Debt is an ugly four letter word. No one wants to say it out loud, and yet, so many of us are struggling with it. However, if we are armed with the know-how to avoid debt, we won’t have to worry about hiding in the dark closet of our financial problems any longer.

5 Easy Ways to Avoid Debt

1. Always spend less than you make

Sound easy? Consider how often you need to charge purchases to your credit card because you are ‘out of money’. This is the number one indicator that you are spending more than you make. The first step to avoid serious debt is to realize what is happening and take action.

Sit back and evaluate all of your expenses from the last 3 to 6 months. Which were planned versus unplanned? Necessary versus unnecessary? Cut out as much as you can from the unnecessary column, even if it means a lifestyle change, like having to work out at home instead of at the gym.

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Apr 072015

It’s funny how so many of our problems in life stem from denial, or blissful ignorance, as I like to call it. Debt is one of them.

Similarly to becoming unhealthy physically, our bank accounts become unhealthy when we ignore our goals and simply spend away. Debt only becomes worse the longer you ignore it.

Our solution? Don’t let these 5 common financial mistakes hold you back.

Neglecting to Prepare for the Unexpected

Nothing hurts quite as bad as thinking you are in the clear and all of a sudden – your car breaks down. You have no emergency savings, so guess what? That $500, $1000, $1500 or more has to go on your credit card. It could be weeks or months until you can pay that debt off again, and chances are you might be adding to it.

Don’t let a lack of emergency savings push you over the edge financially. Strive to have 3 to 6 months worth of income stored up somewhere just in case the sky starts to fall.

Staying Stuck in Your Old Ways

Many of us learned how to save, spend, and manage our money from our parents. No offence to our lovely parents, but sometimes this isn’t always the best way. If your parents ever experienced penny-pinching, debt, or even wealth you may not have the right tools to fix your particular circumstance yourself.

This is especially true if what you are currently doing is not working, or worse, you’re not doing anything to fix your financial situation. Don’t let routine or habit or sheer stubbornness keep you from seeking help and getting the right tools to get out of debt.

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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.

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