You know that your taxes are due this weekend, so to quote one of my new favourite shows LetterKenny, Pitter-Patter, time to get at ‘er! (in terms of your taxes at least). The most interesting part of the show is that my daughter claims that she talks to people like that every day, so just remember when it comes to your money, “Keep yer eyes on the prize, Sky Chief” (to paraphrase), so get down to yer taxes. Hope this is advice you can appreciates.

RESP Piggy Bank

RESP’s Are Savings For Your and Your Child’s Future

There is a new report from the Government about the RESP program and who has benefited from this useful savings vehicle (for parents). The Report entitled, Canada Education Savings Program: Summative Evaluation Report, and the telling statement in the report (about whom uses RESPs) is:

Furthermore, it was estimated that over $400 million in grants (or 49% of all CESP expenditures) were distributed to families with a household income of $90,000 or more in 2013, of which $280 million (or 32% of CESP expenditures) went to families earning $125,000 or more.

I think this is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e. Rich folk are the ones using the program the most), in that more affluent families are more likely to open accounts, and thus more likely to build up grants from it. Very few lower-income families are even aware, that even if they put no money in, they can still build up savings for their kids future post-secondary education. While there are groups like SmartSaver.org that are trying to help get the word out, the Government does a poor job educating parents about the benefits of the program for lower-income Canadians.

There was a planned NCFBA semi-periodic meeting planned this week, but thanks to most un-excellent planning on my part things did not transpire as I had hoped. It is always fun to meet with my fellow Financial Blogging folk, because most of them are very interesting folks (you would be surprised what most of them do for their real jobs). It may have been better that I didn’t go, given my son has a terrible cold (I might have infected some of the finest financial minds).

My Writings for Week Ending April 29th

Another week and more odd news from Stats Canada in terms of prices of things, where we continue to be told that drinking gas might be the cheapest way to live? Good Food Still Is Not Cheap in Canada (Inflation for March), outlines how good food is getting more expensive but thanks to cheap gas and oil, we don’t really notice.

Self-Driving Cars Will Change Things, but not just in terms of technology and such, financially. The insurance world is still analyzing what this new technology is going to do to their bottom line. A well controlled piece of technology, instead of road raged humans? That equation should mean lower (if not missing) insurance premiums, shouldn’t it?

A Money Thought

Have more than you show, speak less than you know.

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Disabilities, Tax Time, The Queen and #MoneyStories

The CBC had an interesting story about a disabled person who had both legs removed, who had to re-file to keep their disability claim (effectively to prove their legs had not grown back). While this sounds horrible, it was most likely an admin error at the CRA, as normally they are pretty good on the disability claim side of things. The CBC however also trumpeted, Delay at CRA hurting disabled Canadians, advocates say, which is sensationalized, but has some ring of truth. The entire disability claim system is complicated and quite daunting for a lot of folks, if you want proof check out my article CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To) and the 160 comments on it from various folks asking for help. The article also talks about the private firms that folks engage to help the process that end up gouging their customers (in my opinion), which I outline in Disability Tax Credit: Please Do It Yourself. No one should be profiting on someone’s disability claim. I also agree with the assertion that the system needs to be made simpler for the average person to make a claim, or there needs to be more help for those folks. The CRA does have a Nurse on call that can help out with disability claims, if you tweet their account (so keep that in mind as well).

Sad to hear we have lost another great musician with the death of Prince this week. Remember folks, your hero age the same way you do. I never saw Prince live, but evidently it was something else.

The Queen at 90

The Queen and 3 generations of her children

Remember that your tax deadline is April 30th, and there is no extension planned by the CRA. You had your chance to have free Turbotax, although I have 5 licenses to give away, and only 3 comments on my giveaway post, who knows?

The Queen turns 90, and continues to work a withering (to me) schedule of events. I have problems getting to work in the morning, and this nonagenarian still works harder? I gotta step up my game, God Save the Queen!

My Writings for Week Ending April 22nd

Another week where I wasn’t overly motivated to write. I assume this is a short lull, so I continue to find older writings from my archive of over 220 unfinished posts, with A Personal Spending Surplus ? If you have a spending surplus, you should pay off debt, and then once that is done, you should save it, stop lifestyle creep!

A Money Thought

Time is the only limited resource in your financial plan, keep that in mind!

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Loose Money, Free Stuff, Hockey and #MoneyStories

For all of you worried about interest rates jumping, you have another month reprieve with the Canadian Dollar rebounding (along with Oil Prices) and a “strengthening” of the economy, The Bank of Canada kept the overnight rate the

Bank of Canada

Bank of Canada’s New Graphic for E-money

same for a while longer. Their exact statement about why they kept the rates the same is:

Overall, the risks to the profile for inflation are roughly balanced. Meanwhile, financial vulnerabilities continue to edge higher, in part due to regional shifts in activity associated with the structural adjustment underway in Canada’s economy. The Bank’s Governing Council judges that the overall balance of risks remains within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate, and the target for the overnight rate remains at 1/2 per cent.

So the Canadian economy seems to be “in the zone” for now, however, that zone continues to be the in dire need of stimulation zone.

The Hockey season is over in Ottawa, after a disappointing season. The team owner who proved that he is much better at finding a replacement liver, than a winning coach, has fired all the coaches. What team to cheer for now there are no Canadian teams left? I think I’ll just watch the Jays and Formula 1 and move on.

Under the your mileage may vary category, I submitted my tax on-line on this past Saturday, and when I checked at MyCRA on Tuesday, the return had been processed and I am due to receive my refund on this coming Monday. That is a very quick system, given these are the dog days of the Tax Year (i.e. the CRA is most busy).

Sorry to see Tom Mulcair get the boot from the top seat at the NDP, but someone was going to have to eat that stunning election collapse. The only question now is, will the NDP return to being the Political Party of the Oppressed and Downtrodden, and the conscience of Canada or continue their move to the center? The Liberals are hoping for the first one (I bet).

I have a special treat for you, at the bottom of this post another great John Oliver video, but this time on something very on topic, Credit Ratings.

My Writings for Week Ending April 15th

When people make statements like I Just Don’t Like Saving I kind of scratch my head and wonder how they got to that point, but surprisingly I hear this more often than you think.

You would think a giveaway would cause a flourish of comments, however, not on my site! No comments have shown up yet? This explains my inability to get a date when I was younger as well (I suppose), but remember I have 1 comment now, and 5 on-line Turbotax licenses to give away (thanks to my friends at Intuit ).

I have Said This Before

Experience is learning from your mistakes. Wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others

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Remember that Tax Season is in full swing, so it might be time to file your return (especially if you are owed money). Don’t loan the Government money, make sure you neither owe nor get a huge rebate.

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

You can call the CRA if you have questions about your taxes, but remember many folks are panicking working on their taxes right now as well, so be patient with the wait and with the folks trying to help.

A big snowfall this week should remind folks who live in Ottawa, that Spring may be in the air, but that does not mean there won’t be any more snow. Most of the snow is gone, but does that mean we are finished with the white stuff? Not until after your taxes have been filed!

The Panama Papers leak seems to be causing a great deal of consternation for many of the 1% and many politicians too. I guess my question is, would you rather be mentioned in the Panama Papers, or in the Ashley Madison leak? (maybe both?). RBC was mentioned in the Panama Papers, and they don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

It was Autism Awareness day on April 2nd, or as we call it around our house, Saturday (or my Daughter’s birthday). Autism awareness has a noble goal, but frankly, more services and support would be great as well (and the new Ontario Autism services model isn’t going to help). We are very lucky my son is higher on the spectrum, but that does not mean I deserve little (or no) services because he is older (and I am evidently rich).

My Writings for Week Ending April 8th

A busy week for me, meant I really only got 1 article written, but I do continue to put up my best on my twitter feed (along with a lot of other great stuff).

Given we are getting close to Tax time Tax Reflections for 2016 points out the things, I keep forgetting for my taxes.

Tax Reflections for 2016

I have Said This Before

Not asking, is rejection by default

or better still, the Answer is Always No, unless you ask.

The Answer is Always No Unless You Ask

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Money Fools, Ronnie, and #MoneyStories

I was saddened to read the passing of Ronnie Corbett, a noted English comedian and one half of the Two Ronnies. I grew up with his humor, and still enjoy watching the Two Ronnies skits on Youtube (look up Four Candles). Watching this show was very much a family event in our house (whereas my Mother refused to watch Monty Python with us, as it was much lower brow humor).

Ronnie Corbett

And it’s Good Night From Him

I suppose I could stay with tradition and write a swerve paragraph about financial planning, given it is April Fools Day, but given how things are going in the world, I can’t write anything that would sound implausible. The U.S. Elections seem to be ruining any attempt at ironic humor, as it is just flat-out Nuts!

I guess I could write a Debt is Good post, but no one would believe anything like that coming from me.

My Writings for Week Ending April 1st

I continue to work on my backlog of articles, and found a couple I could work with.

I suppose I am showing how paranoid I am about the financial world with Advice From a Rich Man, but if I knew how to make a bloody fortune, do you think I’d share that information? Not likely.

Advice from a Rich Man

“There was a fire at the main Inland Revenue office in London today, but it was put out before any serious good was done.” –The Two Ronnies

All Daddy really wants is the big piece of chicken, but the problem is there are too many Daddies out there trying to get that big piece of financial chicken.

Wanting the Big Piece of Chicken in the Financial World

“All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my right hand.” –The Two Ronnies

An After Easter Thought

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and you make horrific choices. Stop doing that.

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