The summer seems to be wrapping up with the Labour Day weekend, and for folks with kids it’s that magical back to school time as well. Back to school is supposedly up there with Christmas for ridiculous spending by families, and I can believe it. Back to school when I was a kid was the last week in August, now it starts the first week in April! Of course when I went back to school you needed a new pair of Levis, three spiral notebooks, 2 pencils (HB) and a Bic Pen, somehow that does not seem to cut it with this generation of kids (maybe you got a new Led Zeppelin poster for your bedroom wall (that was the big ticket item)).
For those of you with small kids starting elementary school, my question is, have you started saving for their post secondary education? If not, why not? As a hint, I can tell you that the bill for 1 term of my daughter at Acadia University (that is 4 months) is over $10,000 with living expenses, books and other costs thrown in. If you child still has 14 years ’til University that means you have 1 doubling period in there, so it will be much more expensive. What’s that you say? Inflation is running at 2% so there isn’t even 1 doubling period over 14 years? Think again, because University Tuition is NOT included in Inflation and has been growing at a healthy rate (my guess is around 8%) year over year and they keep adding new and exciting fees to make it that much more expensive. Either that, or find your kids a good part time job when they can start working and make them pay.
With a lot of Canada drying out from the storms of last week, the topics this week were many and varied:
- I am not a big fan of the airline industry these days, not just because I don’t fit on most airplanes (unless I am flying business class) but with Flying cheaper, but is it better the good question is, is cheaper necessarily better in this industry?
- My Sunday best of post Wind, Shaking and Sunday best I recap some of the best posts I had put up from my archives on the tweety (where I am very close to 900 followers now).
- Pride when dealing with customer service reps has never been an issue with me and I reassert this with sometimes begging works for fees, yelling is not going to get your overdraft charge refunded, that is for sure.
- Making sure I am buying something of value is important especially with Video Games so buying video games redux I point out that my old thoughts still hold true.
- Back to school also means a need for a student computer safety tip and heed my words on this one, or you will be dealing with panic’ed children calling from long distances too.
- Yes, I did another tongue in cheek testomonial for a fictitious product the Financial Balance Band , and if you want to know where you can buy one, drop me a comment and I’ll tell you.
With all the shaking, winds and fun and games in the Political world down south (and HP cancelling their tablet computer as well) there were some very interesting ideas put forward by some of my favorite writers:
- Mike at Money.Smarts explains Why He Has an Emergency Fund Now, and it is something we should all have. Your “rainy day” may end u being like this past weekend in North Carolina, and what would you do then?
- Frugal Trader at Million Dollar journey bravely gives us a Net Worth Update: The Market Correction Edition, which shows that while it has hurt some, it has not decimated his nest egg.
- Our favorite Financial Tuber the Canadian Couch Potato is Introducing the Permanent Portfolio, another passive investing concept, that looks interesting, but maybe not quite my cup of tea.
- Michael James argues are high gas prices changing behaviors? The answer is of course, no, not yet, it seems Gas Prices are very inelastic in terms of economics (much like cigarette prices are).
- Canadian Capitalist updates us on a simple passive portfolio with the Sleep Mini Portfolio G3-2011 Update, I actually use a version of this with one of my RRSPs, very relaxing investing.
- The Wealthy Boomer Jon Chevreau gives us a practical measure with Gold-to-Decent Suit Ratio suggests Gold is overpriced, which I appreciate, since I don’t own a decent suit or Gold these days.
- Larry MacDonald did a Review of the Wealthy Barber Returns (Canadian Capitalist did one as well), and Larry feels this book the author got right (in terms of writing style), think I’ll go pick up a copy (and I think I need a haircut too).
- The Wealthy Barber comes up again in Sustainable Personal Finance article How to Save For Retirement: Pay Yourself First, Mr. Chilton is getting a lot of press this week.
- Preet advises us (from the Globe) to Forget the Spreadsheet - Just Start Saving, a good sentiment since sometimes folks get caught up in the mechanisms of finance, without actually doing much about the goals they should be trying to attain.
- Echo of Boomer and Echo, points out 4 Reasons Why He Doesn’t Use a Mortgage Broker, you know my aversion for numbered lists, but this one is OK, as long as they don’t make a habit of it!
- Our buddy My Own Advisor explains Why He Drives an 11 Year Old Car, and of course the answer is, because he can! Think about it!
Carnivals This Week
I also had some submissions accepted to various carnivals, so go have a read of these as well:
- Tom over at Canadian Finance Blog hosted The Canadian Finance Carnival #51which included my post Inflation Slows July but still High (ish)
Have alook at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well. Twitter feed where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on Digg as Big Cajun Man, on reddit, Tumblr and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well.
If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes). As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often!
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