Planning for the Holidays on a Budget

If you’re already struggling to make ends meet, which so many of us are, the upcoming holiday season will only add more financial pressure. Everyone wants to give their family the best holiday they possibly can without going further into debt. With a little planning and some creativity, you can have a wonderful holiday and not break the bank.   Create a Holiday Budget Whether you create a simple spreadsheet or put pen to paper, seeing your holiday budget in black and white is a great motivator to stick to it! Organize your gift budget by individual family members, keeping...

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How to Vote in the Federal Election

The Federal Election is quickly approaching on October 21, 2019, with some advance polls already open. Being informed is the first step in ensuring that you make an electoral decision that you feel is best for your needs and the needs of your family. Whether this is your first time voting or you just need a quick refresher, let’s look at everything you need to know in our latest blog.  Am I Registered? Most Canadians who are of legal voting age are automatically registered. If you are registered, you should have received a voter information card in the mail. It...

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Why Financial Literacy is an Imperative Life Skill

Financial Literacy (definition): 1) The ability to make responsible financial decisions. 2) The education and understanding of various financial areas including personal finance, money, borrowing, and investing.   Whether deciding if you should go out for lunch again this week, if you can afford to put your youngest child in hockey, or what strategy to take for a long-term investment, financial literacy plays an integral role in everyone’s daily life.    Yet the way we shop and spend has changed over recent years. With previous generations spending only the cash in their pockets and making due with what they had, ...

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How to Get Frugal With Your Family’s Back to School Shopping

It’s no joke … sending your kids back to school each year with everything they need can be tough on your bank account. This school year, it’s estimated that “families with children between kindergarten and 12th grade can expect to spend an average of $696.70” on back to school shopping, as per the Better Business Bureau. So how can parents afford to get all the back to school essentials their kids need, without blowing their budget? Get frugal with spending, and plan ahead. After taking stock of what items you may already have at home, consider these 7 back to...

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Simcoe County Circles: Celebrating Our Community Involvement!

Butter Tart Trot 2019

Simcoe County Circles is proud to be a supporter of many fun, exciting and important events around our communities. Being part of these events isn’t just something we do for fun. These are events that bring our communities closer together and strengthen our ties - but they’re also definitely a ton of fun! 2019 has been pretty great so far and we’re very excited to see what the rest of the year brings us. Looking back, we’d like to highlight two events that we were thrilled to support. GBDSS Wellness Fair This was a fantastic event on May 15th, hosted...

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Simcoe County Circles Guide to The Living Wage

Living Wage

The County of Simcoe recently released their 2018 Living Wage Recalculation for Simcoe County report and it has been a hot topic of discussion for many local groups and individuals. How is the Living Wage defined and calculated? Is it realistic? How were the parameters decided? Let’s take a look at this hot topic in our latest blog.   The living wage isn’t the same as the minimum wage employers are required to pay their employees. The living wage is based upon the actual cost of living in the community. As an example, while a fast food service employee will make...

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Is Basic Income the Answer?

Is Basic Income the Answer?

At Simcoe County Circles, we believe that no one should live in poverty. If given the right tools and support, economic stability can be achieved by just about anyone. Is Basic Income the answer to reducing or eliminating poverty in our communities? Let’s explore this concept in our latest blog by examining the recent Ontario Basic Income Pilot project. What is Basic Income? Basic Income is defined as “is a payment to eligible couples or individuals that ensures a minimum income level, regardless of employment status”. Basic income differs from social assistance because it is given to anyone who meets...

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How Does Food Insecurity Affect Canadians?

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a very real issue impacting the physical, mental and social health of over 4 million Canadians. Although food insecurity is strongly linked to poverty in our country, it can affect almost anyone at any time. Let’s take a deeper at this problem in our latest blog. What is Food Insecurity?   Food security is defined as “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” When income is too low or unsteady, there is not...

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What is The Cliff Effect?

What is The Cliff Effect?

Have you ever felt like each step towards economic stability takes you two steps backwards? That as quickly as you start to earn a steady paycheque, your benefits and supports begin to disappear? Do you ever feel that it would be easier just to remain in poverty? Those feelings are part of The Cliff Effect, the phenomenon that occurs when social assistance benefits are taken away quicker than you can earn to replace them. Let’s explore The Cliff Effect and how Simcoe County Circles can help you navigate these important economic and lifestyle changes.   Let’s take Linda, for example....

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What is a Circles Ally?

Simcoe County Circles is currently looking for Allies in the Midland/Penetanguishene area to join us and help make a difference in our community. What is a Circles Ally? A Circles Ally is a volunteer that would like to be a mentor to an individual or family living in poverty and assist them with their Plan of Change. We are looking for people to build intentional friendships through mutual respect who would like to support individuals with their future plans. Allies will help increase their Social Capital by sharing contacts, information and experiences. What is Involved? Simcoe County Circles meet every...

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