JASON HEATH | Special to the Financial Post  | Published April 18, 2012

One premise of conventional financial planning is cash flow management, a fancy term for plain old budgeting. If we could all just spend less and save more, financial independence would be a breeze. But the fact of the matter is, it’s tough to spend less and it’s no fun to budget. So saving without cutting spending becomes an appealing way to pad your pockets.

Insurance can be a big cost for most families, but sometimes, it can be a bigger cost than need be. In fact, one astute Financial Post editor recently noticed a 40% increase on his home insurance and when he called his insurance company, he found that they had “accidentally” converted his house from a semi-detached to a detached on their records. Renewal notices may be chock full of seemingly useless information, but take the time to do a quick review.

Life insurance can be another costly mistake. Not that life insurance itself isn’t important, because it’s very important for most of us, but selecting the right type of coverage is the key. Whole life and universal life insurance policies can be effective tax shelters and provide pension like investment management, making them interesting options for high-net-worth Canadians. But for the average insurance customer, with a mortgage, children’s education to save for and plenty of RRSP room, cheaper term life insurance may arguably be a better alternative. read full article