When famed author Louisa May Alcott said, “Keep good company, read good books, love good things and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can,” she likely had no idea that 150 years later, her words would still ring true. But she nailed the importance of self-care way before me-time became a familiar mantra. 

Self-care, in its simplest form, is making sure that you are doing the things you need to do to stay physically and mentally healthy. When you take care of yourself, you give your mind a rest and allow it to flourish.  This helps to bring clarity to your priorities and focus when it comes to your finances. Get in touch with what will make you happy, then put a plan in place to make it happen. 

Gain Financial Clarity with These 5 Activities:

The Write Stuff: Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual. When you get up, reach for a notebook and pen instead of your cell phone and write down where you would like to see yourself in 6 months, one year, and two years.  Once this picture is clear, you can organize your spending and savings to bring these ideas to fruition.  Committing a goal to paper gives it momentum, and before you know it, you’re on your way to achieving your dreams.

Engage in Reading Therapy: Take some time to learn and grow.  Also known as bibliotherapy, reading therapy is a growing psychological practice. Studies have shown that losing yourself in a good book makes you feel happier, promotes higher levels of self-esteem, and offers a greater ability to cope with challenges – financial or otherwise. 

Get Organized: Working in your home to clear clutter is a meditative task...especially if you play your favourite tunes and truly lose yourself in the process.  Getting organized will allow you to see what you need, what you already have, and what you no longer want to hold on to. Purging is great for your mental health and your wallet as it eliminates the desire to fill your home with items that you do not use.  Taking inventory in this way will give you a new perspective on which items are useful – and, more importantly, which are not!    

Set Life Goals: In a no-pressure way, jot down a list of things you want to accomplish, learn, try, and do. Just the act of creating this list will force you to stretch your mind and explore life’s possibilities. And from the list, you’ll be able to pluck out a few things (like an online cooking class or a small business tax tips course or saving for a special occasion) to get your finances working for you.

Social (distance) Visits:  Understand what is important by engaging with those you love.  When financial stress is weighing on, you take it down to the basics.  A good laugh with a friend will boost your mood and renew your energy.  We can all use a little (or a lot) of that!

Now, go, and celebrate all the beautiful things about you!!

At Gail Sylvester Mortgages, we are more than just mortgages. We look at your lifestyle, your financial goals, and your current situation to help you build a solid plan to reach the milestones you have set for yourself.  We are always here to help – contact us today to get started.  

Over the past couple of months there has been a lot of speculation about the Real Estate market in the Halton/GTA region, all leading the question - is it the right time to list and buy a home?

The answer is YES!

June and July have seen an active real estate market. Many homes that are $1 Million and under are seeing multiple offers and are selling over asking.  The pandemic has not stopped the market activity, so if you are thinking about buying or selling, this is the time to do it.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate:

Low-interest rates

In March, The Bank of Canada dropped the key lending rates three times, and the mortgage rates have remained low, allowing Buyers to leverage their purchasing power. Low-interest rates are certainly making the market more accessible for Buyers and favorable for Sellers. With variable rates as low as 2% for a 5-year mortgage (subject to change), there is no better time to lock-in. 

Importance of Pre-Approvals

Before you start your search, it is advisable to get a mortgage pre-approval. At Gail Sylvester Mortgages, we will review your options and ensure you have the best rate and budget to meet your needs.  With multiple offer situations happening frequently, having a pre-approval gives you the confidence you need to beat out your competition.

Thinking about Refinancing?

Along with buying and selling, refinancing is a great way to use your home equity to help with costs. If you have equity in your home, refinancing to a favorable rate and assessing your capital could be the solution that works best for your current financial situation.  It is always a great idea to review your finances quarterly to see if there is a better way to get your money working for you.  If you need help reviewing your current options, our door is always open. 

Are you thinking about making a change?  Gail Sylvester Mortgages is here to help you feel confident about your financial decisions.  Check our Facebook page for updates on upcoming webinars on a variety of topics here.  Missed one?  No problem - catch up on past episodes on my YouTube channel.  At Gail Sylvester Mortgages, we are passionate about mortgages and about helping our clients achieve their financial goals.  We are more than just mortgages, and we are always here to help.

Thinking about creating a budget can invoke a lot of negative feelings.  Budgets bring up memories of saving up for those fantastic shoes as a teen, or university days scraping money together to go to a concert.  In short, the word budget is rarely associated with anything fun – until now! 

Shift Your Mindset, Shift Your Outcome

When you set a goal you perceive as a struggle, you will always be pushing against and ultimately avoiding that goal.  You will not be motivated to participate, which basically means the result is not that meaningful to you.  You will be half-committed at best and possibly not see it through to the end.  Switch your mindset to understand that your budget is a way for you to control your finances instead of your finances controlling you.  Once you know and understand what you are budgeting for, you can choose to accept and even be proud of your commitment to be financially responsible.   Seeing the full picture may motivate you to earn extra money or stop spending on items that no longer serve you to reinvest in a better option. 

Understanding Your Financial Priorities

Making your money work for you starts by recognizing what you are making and what you are spending.  Only by understanding what comes in and what goes out can you make a plan that works with your income.  Making your dreams come true is not about what you make; it’s how you use it. Identifying your priorities allows you to pinpoint where you spend your money and where you need to cut back. Following a budget isn’t about sacrifice; it is all about financing the things that make you happy and using your money efficiently to ensure you get the most joy out of your life! 

Positive Energy for Positive Results

We’ve all heard the expression, “where focus goes, energy flows.”   Financial matters are no different. You want to invite positive financial energy into your life by getting excited about the opportunities your money affords you.  If you love to travel, a budget will ensure you get to do so. If you love the latest makeup trends, having a budget will allow you to shop for the latest styles. If you love concerts, budgeting will allow you to attend your favorite shows easily. Budgeting isn’t about lack; it’s about abundance. You want to invite in the abundance of joy so you can keep your cup filled with happiness.

Need help with your budget?  At Gail Sylvester Mortgages, we will review your financials together to make you feel good about your spending and saving.  Join me for Sunday Morning Coffee with Gail 2 Sundays a month at 10 am – find the link on my FB page here.  Catch up on past episodes on my YouTube channel.  As your trusted mortgage broker, I look forward to keeping you informed as we navigate the summer months together.  At Gail Sylvester Mortgages – we are more than just mortgages, and we are always here to help.



As we continue to navigate Covid-19, rest assured that mortgage rates have remained low.  It is a great time to renew or refinance your mortgage to take advantage of the rates and use the savings to pay down debt or to save for future expenses. 

Each province is moving at its own pace, re-opening businesses allowing Canadians to go back to work. This is good news as it helps get the economy going again with increased cash flow.  If you are recently back to work and need to take a look at your finances to figure out the best way to proceed, contact me so we can review your financial situation together.  If your goal is to purchase a home, refinance, or sell a rental property or cottage, we will assess together the best way to make it work for you.  There are several solutions, and finding the right one for your needs will create a win-win. 

The small business economy is starting to bounce back based on stage 2 and 3 re-opening schedules.  This is excellent news for small businesses and those eager to spend their dollars helping them recover from the shut-down.  As a small business owner, if you are considering purchasing your space, leasing your space, or finding a new space, we can help you navigate the market to find the best solution for your needs.

With low-interest rates and government assistance programs continue to provide relief, conducting a financial audit will allow you to see the best course of action for you moving forward.


Do you need some extra liquidity?  Refinancing with low rates will give you peace of mind as you will have liquid cash if required.  Using your home equity to your advantage will reduce stress levels as you get back on your feet.

Renew/Renegotiate Your Mortgage

It is a perfect time to renew your mortgage. If you are getting close to your renewal date (remember you can renew up to 6 months prior to your renewal date), it is worth checking into.  The rates are low, and there are several options available for homeowners.

Consolidated Payments

If you deferred payments and are ready to start again, there is often a way to consolidate debt, so you have one payment instead of several smaller ones.  This will allow you to tackle one payment and add any extra savings you have to paying it down.  This year has been unconventional in just about every way, so if you want to explore this option – let’s figure out how to make it work for you.  

No matter what financial situation you find yourself in, there are always solutions to help you manage your finances. This year may have set you back, or changed your plans, but as financial experts, we will help you move forward with confidence.  Being organized is the best way to understanding your options.  Contact our office today, and together we will get you moving in the right direction. 


Is it possible to build a healthy relationship with your finances?  YES – it is all about mindset!  The way you think about your finances directly impacts your relationship with your bank account. 

Let’s review my top 3 ways to build a healthy relationship with your finances:

1.Gratitude Mindset

 How you were taught about money has a lot to do with the relationship you develop with your finances. If you were taught having money is a struggle, or it is the root of all evil, you will likely believe money and finances are a source of pain. This limiting belief can be turned around if you are able to change your perspective from lack to gratitude.  Begin to change your mindset by being grateful for what your finances have provided rather than what you wish you had.  Think about the shelter, food, vacations, entertainment, clothing, fun, and opportunities you have been awarded.  Your day-to-day relationship with finances will improve if you look at the abundance it affords you rather than the lack it contributes to.  There is always something to be grateful for.

2. Knowing Where You Are and Where You Are Going

There is incredible satisfaction in saving money for a specific goal. There is the excitement of watching your money grow and knowing you are working hard to achieve a particular goal, be it a house, car, vacation, or big-ticket item like a computer or piano.  Having a healthy money mindset includes patience. We live in an instant gratification society, meaning we want everything the moment we decide that we want it. A need for instant gratification is damaging our relationship with finances as it removes the excitement of working towards achieving a particular goal.  Knowing where you are, where you are going, and the plan you need to get there will provide a sense of accomplishment when you are finally able to purchase the desired item.  Knowing where you are and where you want to be is the first step in building the financial bridge to getting there. 

3. Money is a Means to an End

Knowing what you want to do with the money you have will give meaning and value to your finances.  Having funds on their own should not be your goal; having funds to purchase a particular item will provide you with a much healthier outlook on your finances.  Evaluating what it is you want, what you need to make it happen and the gap you need to close.  You will switch from saying, “I have no money” to “I need $10K to be able to buy the car I want.”  That $10K adds value and meaning to your financial goals rather than merely having the attitude that you are broke or don’t have “any” money based on one particular purchase.  The reason this mindset switch is essential is it moves you from a negative to a positive relationship with your finances. You DO have money to manage your life – what you mean to say is you need to budget or save to be able to have one specific item you are seeking.  There is a world of difference in those statements. 

If you need help reviewing and managing your finances, Gail Sylvester Mortgages is here to help…we are more than just mortgages! We want to assist in creating healthy relationships with money and productive money management.  Let’s connect today to make a plan that works for you.  For more information on a variety of financial issues and questions, tune into my YouTube channel for expert advice and conversation to help you better navigate your financial life.  See you there!