Black Friday is here with alleged savings as far as you can see, even in Canada? The claim is that even in Canada there will be amazing Black Friday sales? What happens if you don’t really want to buy anything? The entire Black Friday thing is getting out of control, and seems to be an excuse to entice folks to spend more darn money, whether they need to, or not! Just how many deluxe, left-handed, artisan cheese straighteners do you need?

Santa at Home Depot

The Spirits of Xmas: Santa 75% off with a Monkey in a Palm Tree

Don’t spend all your hard-earned cash on Friday either, because there are the Cyber Monday sales that will be astounding and eye-popping? Again, if you really have no reason to buy anything, or don’t need anything, why would you care?

I would like to propose a new day after American Thanksgiving and we should call it Regretful Tuesday, where folks look back on the orgy of spending and eating they have done, and they suddenly get a bad case of guilt? My guess is that is precisely what does happen.

For those watching the Ontario Legislature, Rowan’s Law has been introduced and should be passed soon. There is a petition for this law, it should be interesting to see how this changes children’s competitive sports and coaching.

Ottawa’s football team is in the Grey Cup for the first time since before I moved here. It truly will be a RedBlackGrey Cup. Go RedBlackRenegadeRoughRiders!

My Writings for Week Ending November 27th

It was a buys week, as I got out 3 posts this week. It is not quite like my prodigious hay days when I used to pump out 5 posts a week, but better than usual:

  • Canadians Paid Even More For Food in October (4.1%) and things are not looking like they are getting any better in terms of Canadians trying to keep their families fed. Thanks to cheap gas (which we can’t drink) we continue to have a skewed view of inflation.
  • We were very happy to get the Notice of Determination on Disability Tax Credit letter in the mail, as it was in our favor in terms of tax considerations for my son’s disability. Mrs. C8j did a great job, so we can continue saving for my son’s future.
  • What the Hustler Taught Me About Banking is another one of my ideas that has been percolating for a while, in my archives of unfinished work. Given the reaction in terms of comments, other folks liked the idea too.

Facebook Post of the Week

What is the difference between a concussion and a simple bump on the head? The National Post takes a run at that question

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What the Hustler Taught Me About Banking

One of my favorite movies is “The Hustler” (the original with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason). Mr. Newman played “Fast Eddie” Felson an up and coming hustler who wants to be a success, and his goal was to beat Minnesota Fats (played by Mr. Gleason). The movie is an intricate set of stories, one of which is the basis of my thematic premise about banking and the Hustler.

The Hustler at Amazon

The Hustler at Amazon Canada

“Always leave a mark with some money in their pocket, that way they keep coming back”

That is how banks have done it for years, but now they are finding new and more exciting ways to bleed some money out of you, but not so much that you decide to bank somewhere else (also, they are all doing it, your only other option is to put it in your mattress).

My opinion of the banks’ thinking in this area? Let me quote Fast Eddie from the Colour of Money:

“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

They aren’t earning all this extra money, they are winning it off you, think about it.

My apologies if I sound like I am picking on the Banks, this is actually true of all the Service Industries we deal with, especially the Cell Phone Companies, the Internet Providers, the Phone Companies, and the Insurance Companies.

Better learn how the game is played, or you are going to get hustled.


Notice of Determination on Disability Tax Credit

About three weeks ago we mailed in (via certified mail, so we got a tracking ID for the envelope we sent to the CRA) our re-application for the disability tax credit (DTC) for my son. We were not really sure how long it was going to take, however, yesterday we received the response about our son’s eligibility for the DTC.

Evidently we sent enough, and the correct information, as the CRA completed their review and now my son is eligible for another 8 years (until he turns 18), which is a relief to us. This means we can continue to receive the child tax benefits, and also continue to contribute to his Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) as well.

The letter from the CRA is very clear but it has two very interesting paragraphs:

You will have to file a new, full completed Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, for the 2024 tax year or earlier if we ask for one, so we can review your son’s eligibility for DTC.

In the meantime, if your dependant’s medical condition improves to the point that the impairment would not longer meet the eligibility criteria for disability tax credit, you must let us know.

Interesting how the CRA can still ask for an updated T2201 at any time, if they wish to review my son’s eligibility, and that I must tell them if he is no longer impaired ? Autism Spectrum isn’t cured, but I guess this is the CRA being thorough ?

Another interesting stanza states:

Please note that you are responsible for any fees charged by a medical practitioner to complete Form 2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, or to provide us with additional information. These fees are medical expenses. See line 330 of the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide

In our case we did have to pay for the Speech Pathologist Report, which was included in the documentation sent to the CRA, so that is now a medical expense (remember other things can be a medical expense as well).

A final helpful section stated:

If you need more information about the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), please see the additional RDSP information sheet.

Yes, there was a helpful sheet about RDSPs included with the letter. It suggested checking out the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) web site, which is hepful as well. It also pointed out that the Government may deposit up to $90,000 into the RDSP over the lifetime of the beneficiary (another good reason to have one). ESDC is on Twitter too.


Canadians Paid Even More For Food in October (4.1%)

Different Government same story for Inflation in Canada in October, as reported by our friends at Stats Canada. With Gasoline prices down 17.1% year over year, the real inflation rate published is 1.0%, for the 12 months, however, the clarification in the report helps understand about food:

Food prices were up 4.1% year over year in October, after increasing 3.5% in September. This acceleration was attributable to higher prices for food purchased from stores, which increased 4.6% year over year in October, after rising 3.9% the previous month. Prices for fresh fruit increased more in the 12 months to October (+13.0%) than in September (+8.5%). In addition, the dairy products index increased year over year in October, following a decrease the previous month. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were up 2.7% year over year.

Sad to see that healthy food is really going up in price these days. As I have said previously, not that many folks eat Gasoline, and now they are eating less healthy food too (especially if they have fixed incomes). With the dollar dropping in value, the pressure on the Price Index is only getting worse.

CPI for past 5 years

Consumer Price Index for Past 5 Years

That graphic might give you hope, but the following sums it all up far too well, just look at how everything is up, but thanks to lower gas prices, inflation seems low.

Inflation by sector

Inflation by sector compared to last month

Bank of Canada’s core index

The Bank of Canada’s core index was up 2.1% which is unchanged from last month, so the Bank of Canada thinks inflation is higher. (according to their Operational Guide )

Operational Guide

Reports from Previous Months in 2015


Paris, Black Friday, Financial Literacy and #MoneyStories

The world is again left scratching its head and asking, “Why?”, after ISIS attacked Paris. Honestly I have no idea of why this would be done, but as a wise man has pointed out, follow the money, and you will see the reason why.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower
Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

One of my most fond memories of ‪#‎Paris‬ is running around the Musée du Louvre snapping photos with a friend (in front of all the famous paintings and exhibits) and then wandering into a lovely restaurant with a McDonald’s shake in my hand (all to drive our boss nuts, who was complaining about how tourists in Paris only went to the Louvre and ate at McDonald’s). Again, all I can ask is Why?

Black Friday began at the start of November, but for those purists out there the actual Black Friday is next Friday (the 27th of November). Traditionally that was the day that pushed stores “to the black” (or into a profitable stance), however it is now yet another excuse to entice folks to spend money.

Financial Literacy month continues as well, have you learned something new about your finances today?

My Writings for Week Ending November 20th

It is truly the dark days of November here in Ottawa, but there were two new posts this week:

  • Cheques, Cameras and Banking Apps I rehashed some of my security concerns with Wi Fi in general and banking applications in specific on your smart phones or tablets, however, if you try to be secure these apps will mean less visits to your brick and mortar banks, but be careful with post-dated cheques.
  • If you are a customer of Rogers, do you realize Your Rogers VIP Points will be Worthless Soon ? Not that they were that great a thing in the first place, but you had better use them quickly, as they soon will be worthless.
  • From the archives remember that in Banking Everything is Negotiable, however, that does not guarantee you are going to get a better deal, just that you can always ask for one and see what happens (remember the answer is always NO unless you ask).

Facebook Post of the Week

Do you remember Y2K and all the craze about how the world was going to come to an end? Here are a bunch of other interesting computer bugs that you might not have known about.

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