What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

Debt Consolidation Loans: Home Equity or Unsecured Loan?

According to the Federal Reserve, Americans carry around $5,800 in credit card debt from month to month. Making the minimum monthly payment on that debt would take 30 years to pay off, and include an additional $15,000 in interest. According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, 2,078,415 bankruptcies were filed in 2005–the largest number of bankruptcy petitions in the history of the federal courts. With the new tougher bankruptcy laws, people are looking for alternative ways of managing their debts.Debt consolidation loans are a popular way for people to free up money each month by consolidating several monthly credit card payments into a single lower interest loan. But, the question is whether it’s best to consolidate those debts into a home equity loan or an unsecured debt consolidation loan.Debt Consolidation Home Equity LoansA home equity loan is a one-time lump sum of money you receive in the form of a second mortgage that is secured by the equity in your home. Equity is the difference between how much the home is worth and how much altogether you own on it.A second mortgage loan is usually a fixed interest loan with rates that runs slightly higher than those of a first mortgage loan, unless it’s a 125% Loan To Value (LTV) loan that allows homeowners to borrow beyond the value of their homes. Those rates usually run much higher that other second mortgages and origination fees can be as much as 10% of the loan balance.Home equity loans usually are repaid in a shorter time than first mortgages, with repayment periods typically being between 5 and 20 years. Like a first mortgage, you have to pay off the balance of a home equity loan when you sell your home, so it’s best to find out if there are any prepayment penalties or balloon payments on your loan in case you decide to pay the loan early or sell your house before the loan matures.Benefits and Drawbacks of Home Equity LoansThe main benefit of a debt consolidation home equity loan is that most states allow you to deduct up to 100% of the interest you pay on your taxes. Other benefits include the fact that home equity loans typically have a lower interest rate than unsecured loans, and borrowers can get relatively large amounts of money.While home equity loans have attractive benefits, there are also major drawbacks. One is that if you fail to meet the payment schedule required by the loan, the lender can foreclose on your home and you will lose it even if you go into bankruptcy. Secured loans are not dischargeable by Chapter 7 bankruptcy.Another major drawback is that exploitative lenders target homeowners, especially those with low incomes or poor credit. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are many predatory scams, including:· Equity Stripping: The loan is based on the equity in your home, not on your ability to repay it.· Credit Insurance Packing: The lender adds credit insurance to your loan, which you may not need.· Bait and Switch: The lender offers one set of loan terms when you apply, then pressures you into higher charges when you sign to complete the transaction.· Deceptive Loan Servicing: The lender doesn’t provide you with accurate or complete account statements and payoff figures. That makes it nearly impossible for you to determine how much you’ve paid and how much you owe.If you are not sure whether a home equity loan is right for your needs, you may want to consider an unsecured personal debt consolidation loan.Personal Unsecured Debt Consolidation LoanIf your credit is relatively good, and you are employed, you may be able to obtain an unsecured personal loan to pay off some or all of your high-interest credit card debts. With a personal unsecured debt consolidation loan, there is no collateral against the loan. This means that the lender is relying only on your promise to repay the loan according to the loan’s terms and conditions. While the loan amounts are not as much as those of debt consolidation home equity loans, they can amount up to $10,000. Loans up to $1,000 may not even require a credit check.When shopping for a personal unsecured debt consolidation loan, it is important to shop around for the best rates and loan terms. Unsecured debt consolidation loans have lower interest rates than credit cards, but they generally have higher interest rates than secured personal loans like home equity loans. Some loans allow you to take anywhere from one to five years to repay, which can ease financial stress.Benefits and Drawbacks of Personal Unsecured Debt Consolidation Loans
The main benefit of getting an unsecured debt consolidation loan is that if you are forced into bankruptcy, the unsecured debt may be discharged in the bankruptcy proceedings.The main drawback is that you must have good to excellent credit to get an unsecured debt consolidation loan, and the loan amounts are typically less than a home equity loan. The interest rates on unsecured debt consolidation loans are typically much higher than that of a home equity loan, and it is not unusual for a debt consolidator to obtain a commission of 10% or more on your new loan.In ConclusionThe answer to the question of whether you should get a debt consolidation home equity loan or unsecured personal loan all depends on your financial circumstances. If you have relatively good credit, are employed and only a few debts you need to consolidate, you may benefit from getting an unsecured personal loan. However, if your credit is not so good or you have a lot of debts, a home equity loan may your best answer.

Business Loans In Canada: Financing Solutions Via Alternative Finance & Traditional Funding

Business loans and finance for a business just may have gotten good again? The pursuit of credit and funding of cash flow solutions for your business often seems like an eternal challenge, even in the best of times, let alone any industry or economic crisis. Let’s dig in.

Since the 2008 financial crisis there’s been a lot of change in finance options from lenders for corporate loans. Canadian business owners and financial managers have excess from everything from peer-to-peer company loans, varied alternative finance solutions, as well of course as the traditional financing offered by Canadian chartered banks.

Those online business loans referenced above are popular and arose out of the merchant cash advance programs in the United States. Loans are based on a percentage of your annual sales, typically in the 15-20% range. The loans are certainly expensive but are viewed as easy to obtain by many small businesses, including retailers who sell on a cash or credit card basis.

Depending on your firm’s circumstances and your ability to truly understand the different choices available to firms searching for SME COMMERCIAL FINANCE options. Those small to medium sized companies ( the definition of ‘ small business ‘ certainly varies as to what is small – often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees! )

How then do we create our road map for external financing techniques and solutions? A simpler way to look at it is to categorize these different financing options under:

Debt / Loans

Asset Based Financing

Alternative Hybrid type solutions

Many top experts maintain that the alternative financing solutions currently available to your firm, in fact are on par with Canadian chartered bank financing when it comes to a full spectrum of funding. The alternative lender is typically a private commercial finance company with a niche in one of the various asset finance areas

If there is one significant trend that’s ‘ sticking ‘it’s Asset Based Finance. The ability of firms to obtain funding via assets such as accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets with no major emphasis on balance sheet structure and profits and cash flow ( those three elements drive bank financing approval in no small measure ) is the key to success in ABL ( Asset Based Lending ).

Factoring, aka ‘ Receivable Finance ‘ is the other huge driver in trade finance in Canada. In some cases, it’s the only way for firms to be able to sell and finance clients in other geographies/countries.

The rise of ‘ online finance ‘ also can’t be diminished. Whether it’s accessing ‘ crowdfunding’ or sourcing working capital term loans, the technological pace continues at what seems a feverish pace. One only has to read a business daily such as the Globe & Mail or Financial Post to understand the challenge of small business accessing business capital.

Business owners/financial mgrs often find their company at a ‘ turning point ‘ in their history – that time when financing is needed or opportunities and risks can’t be taken. While putting or getting new equity in the business is often impossible, the reality is that the majority of businesses with SME commercial finance needs aren’t, shall we say, ‘ suited’ to this type of funding and capital raising. Business loan interest rates vary with non-traditional financing but offer more flexibility and ease of access to capital.

We’re also the first to remind clients that they should not forget govt solutions in business capital. Two of the best programs are the GovernmentSmall Business Loan Canada (maximum availability = $ 1,000,000.00) as well as the SR&ED program which allows business owners to recapture R&D capital costs. Sred credits can also be financed once they are filed.

Those latter two finance alternatives are often very well suited to business start up loans. We should not forget that asset finance, often called ‘ ABL ‘ by those Bay Street guys, can even be used as a loan to buy a business.

If you’re looking to get the right balance of liquidity and risk coupled with the flexibility to grow your business seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of business finance success who can assist you with your funding needs.