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May 29: Winners' Circle

June 1: Awards Gala

Matthew McClearn, "The Crunch Years", MoneySense

Imagine tracking every cent earned and spent over the course of 12 years, turning your financial life into a series of line charts and bar graphs. That’s exactly what MoneySense Magazine's Matthew McClearn did, unravelling the mid-life financial crunch and the Canadian tax system that clobbers young families during the most expensive years of their lives. Carefully tracking your spending also reveals, McClearn points out, that being Canadian is expensive. Making aggressive mortgage payments can, for instance, help families save. McClearn plotted his mortgage into graphs, and remarked that watching those graphs trend downwards provided motivation to continue making aggressive payments.


Here’s something, though, that you won’t need to graph: a free download of McClearn’s MoneySense article, where you can learn more about online money management tools and how they can be used to beat the crunch years.


Visit MoneySense's website to read more award-winning articles that can help you manage your finance efficiently. 

But, it was the personal accounting software that he credits, mostly, for paying off his mortgage early. He encourages readers to take advantage of the (often free) personal accounting software, tax tools for families, and budgeting tools for families that are available online. Such tools include Intuit’s Quicken, Quicken Cash Manager, and the simply-designed, easy to use personal finance app Mint.


Educators seem to agree with McClearn; this tracking of income expenses has recently been integrated into the Ontario Curriculum. High school kids will now learn financial literacy, better equipping them to make smart financial decisions. 


Visit the NMA archive section to download this article and other great award-winning stories!