Expensive Food and Shelter in April in Canada

Friday Stats Canada published their Consumer Price Index report for April 2016 and the trend of  a deceptively low CPI increase of 1.7% caused by lower energy and gasoline prices (without Gasoline CPI is up 2.0%). That is what you will find from the summary posted on the Stats Canada website, but as we have learned, if you dig a little deeper, you find many more interesting tidbits of information.

CPI

The 12-month change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the CPI excluding gasoline for Past 5 Years

The detailed report goes into a little more detail and gives us the following interesting specifics.

Main contributors to the 12-month change in the CPI:

Main upward contributors:

  1. Purchase of passenger vehicles (+4.6%)
  2. Electricity (+6.5%)
  3. Food purchased from restaurants (+2.7%)
  4. Fresh vegetables (+11.7%)
  5. Homeowners’ replacement cost (+2.3%)

Main downward contributors:

  1. Gasoline (-5.8%)
  2. Natural gas (-12.8%)
  3. Mortgage interest cost (-1.5%)
  4. Fuel oil (-19.3%)
  5. Passenger vehicle insurance premiums (-0.9%)

As we have been seeing for the past few months, eating fresh healthy food is still bloody expensive. On the positive side (and in contradiction to the Ontario Government’s new view on Energy), Natural Gas being cheaper should help the sale of Natural Gas clothes driers and fireplaces.

Bank of Canada’s core index

The Bank of Canada’s core index increased 2.2% in the 12 months to April, after rising 2.1% in March.

This is within the Bank’s good threshold, so this shouldn’t be the main reason to raise interest rates.

Reports from the Past While.

If you want to have a walk down memory lane about how prices have gone up, here you go.

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Happy Victoria Day

The long weekend in Canada that symbolizes the start of the summer! Enjoy your holiday Canada, and while you have the time off, here are a few of my favourite money posts to read while sitting on the dock at the cottage or on the deck in your back yard.

Canadian Flag

Happy Victoria Day

Fun Reads for the Long Weekend:

Remember back to work tomorrow, and don’t drive distracted, or while impaired.

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It is the Victoria Day weekend this weekend (unless you live in Quebec, La Fete Des Patriotes), and in Ottawa this is the first weekend you should be planting things (if you did it any earlier you most likely aren’t too happy about the frosts we had the past two weeks).

Justin Trudeau Game Misconduct Elbowing.

The People’s Elbow!

I have decided I want to be Floyd Mayweather’s new barber as he has haircuts 3 times a week, and he pays $1000 each time (oh and he is bald, it seems too). This sounds like my kind of career, whether Mr. Mayweather pays this or not, I suppose he is helping the economy by spreading his wealth around? Luckily football players like Cam Newton don’t waste their money on 24-Karat GoldClassic Oldsmobile 442 Cutlass, it’s an investment (?!?!?).

I think Terry Mosher’s (Aislin) comic sums it up nicely, at least the house of commons isn’t dull and boring any more. I have heard that a red card should have been given for flopping though, but that is for others to discuss, I simply enjoyed the Media’s painful overstatement when things started,”… there seems to have been a brawl in the house of commons…”.

If you use Linked-in (as I do), hopefully you have changed your password since 2013 (or so)? If not, think about it, because that old password is out there and available to some nasty folks (and don’t choose any of these). Unfortunately if you were a Mobilicity subscriber, you are now a Chatr customer (whether you wanted to be or not).

My Writings for Week Ending May 20th

Do you like using new technologies and wonder why you can’t use Interac with your Apple Pay on your iPhone 6.0, well good news for you in Apple Pay and Interac Together (but is this a good thing)? Is NFC really secure?

Went back into my large archive of semi-complete articles with Hippocratic Finances, can you argue you are doing no harm with your finances?

A Retirement Thought

“If I’d known I was gonna live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”
Eubie Blake

Here is another thought:

Debts and weights are easy to gain, hard to lose.

[click to continue…]

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Hippocratic Finances

So one of the central pillars of the Hippocratic Oath (taken by Doctors) is Primum non nicer  or in English:

First, do no harm

Hippocratic Oath

Do No Harm

What does this have to do with your financial planning? Any changes you plan on making financially should follow Primum non nocere, just like for the Doctors.

  • Do not harm savings you have built up.
  • Do not harm your long-term plans (whatever they might be).

The one problem with this is you can end up a little too conservative if you live to this credo, but it is something to keep in mind when you feel like treating yourself, if you find some money.

I think making sure you can stay sane with your finances would be important as well. If you are harming yourself worrying about your money, you are not doing any good either.

Question: How other ways do folks to harm to their finances?

 

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Apple Pay and Interac Together

Is this a good thing is the question to be answered, but later on in this I will discuss that. I have written about Apple Pay and Near Field Communication (NFC) before, but now it seems to be really will be usable in Canada, with Interac announcing an agreement with Apple on using this technology.

NFC

NFC an interesting idea?

Before you leave this page to go set this up remember there are a few limiting factors here:

  1. You need an iPhone 6 series (or above) or a later iPad series (although who would wander around with an iPad to buy things). The Apple Watch also supports this, but it ends up being “attached” to an iPhone as well.
  2. You need a bank account that you can access via Interac (figured I’d point that one out, just in case you were not sure).
  3. For the Interac part, you need to have an account with RBC or CIBC. CLANG!!! I knew there was going to be a catch.
  4. It also works with Amex cards, ATB Mastercards and Canadian Tire Mastercards

OK, so the title is a little bit misleading, as only a few banks are covered here.

The real question, is NFC (Near Field Communication) a good thing? Depends on who you ask. If you read the link I supplied you will know:

NFC is a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a separation of 10 cm or less

Sounds perfectly safe, doesn’t it? PC World has a very good article about a few steps to take if you are going to use this technology (the reading the fine print and your agreement on use of the technology). The other thing to remember is if you are going to use this technology, your phone had better be secured (i.e. password locked, at least).

It will be interesting to see how well this whole thing works, now that it is more in general usage (in Canada).

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