Another fun few weeks of US College basketball (and Canadian University ball this weekend) starts up this weekend, with the entry tournaments for the NCAA March Madness Tournament, and the CIS Men’s Basketball finals (in Toronto), so I am in Hoops Nirvana. The joy is watching to see if there are major upsets in the first few rounds, and which “Cinderella Team” (i.e. a team with a low rank that still manages to get through the first few rounds) will capture our hearts.

Will She Make This Shot? She made the last one, but does that matter?

Hooping it Up!

It’s tax time too folks, you should have all of your tax receipts by now, so get your tax returns done, so you can get your refund, or wait until the last day to make your payment to the CRA. If you are wondering, “Should I do my taxes?”, the answer is Yes!

A second Friday the 13th? Yes, thanks to there being a Friday the 13th in February, there is one in March as well. It is followed by a Saturday where the Formula 1 racing season begins, so it can’t be that bad a Friday, can it? The snow is melting in Ottawa (as well), so that will make it a better Friday as well.

Watch next week, as I will be celebrating 10 years of writing on-line. Not exactly sure what that is going to entail, but remember I do have about 2800 articles to choose from.

Get $50 in free trades.

My Writings for Week Ending March 13th

I am still fighting off the remnants of that horrific flu that I picked up two weeks ago, but I did manage to write a couple of articles this week. :

  • Financial Daylight Savings is me having a poke at the idea of how Daylight Savings makes days longer, and how debt is pretty darn similar to that (in terms of a BIG lie).
  • Thanks for the $2000 CRA is pointing out to those who can get the new Family Credit, should make sure they are getting it. I checked over my return on Turbotax and sure enough, there it was (very nice). It would even be better without the $2000 cap, but it’s a good start.

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Illness, K-Cups, Interest Rates and #BestOfThisWeek

It has been a while since my last bout of the flu, but this latest version did knock me for quite a loop. I don’t regularly take sick leave (part of my spartan/protestant upbringing, that if you book off sick, you are showing weakness),but I took 2 days this week, which is more than I had used in the past 2 years. Whoever gave me this illness will hopefully get their come upance.

K Cup Pod

Diabolical Ecological Timebomb

Seems the inventor of the K-cup thinks he has created an ecological monster. John Sylvan (who sold out in ’97 for $50K) has been vocal in his unhappiness with how successful the K-cup business has been and its negative impact on the environment. Naturally he has a solution to the problem, but no one is taking him up on his great new idea (yet). Maybe he can sell this idea for more than $50K?

The Bank of Canada kept it’s key overnight rate at 3/4% on Wednesday, which is no great surprise, but it does make you wonder when the economy can be set free of the over stimulation that has kept it going since 2008? This is the summing up paragraph from the monthly statement on setting interest rates:

Financial conditions in Canada have eased materially since January, in response to the Bank’s recent monetary policy action and to global financial developments. This easing is reflected across the yield curve and in a wide range of asset prices, including the Canadian dollar. These conditions will mitigate the negative effects of the oil price shock, further boosting growth through stronger non-energy exports and investment.

So lower oil prices are hurting things, but the lower dollar may be stimulating other parts of the economy, maybe ludicrously low-interest rates are the new normal?

My Writings for Week Ending March 6th

In spite of  this vile illness I did manage to get two articles out this week :

  • Lower prices in January, now pull the other leg, is my common complaint that the yo-yo’ing prices of gasoline is confusing the inflation numbers, and hiding the steady increase in food prices over the past year or so.
  • I might have been having a fever delirium moment when I finished off the Debt Control Idea, but the comment about the return to Debtors Prison was an interesting point of view as well.

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RRSPs, Saint David, Right Arm and #BestOfThisWeek

Hope everyone is enjoying the festive last week of RRSP season and for those who enjoy getting that last minute Income Tax break buzz, you have until Monday next week to get your last minute RRSP contributions in place, to get a break on your 2014 taxes. As I mentioned this week, maybe we should have this kind of excitement for TFSAs? It’s not necessary as the limits carry forward for you (another reason to like the TFSA more than the RRSP).

Daffodils and Wales

The Daffodil a True Sign of Wales (and spring I hope too)

Sunday is Saint David’s Day for my Welsh brethren. Wales plays France on Saint David’s Eve, let us hope for a festive win to help usher in this happy day.

Dydd Gwŷl Dewi (Sant) hapus

I gave blood again this week, and due to a small pimple on my regular “giving arm” I gave with my right arm this time. Always an exciting time, but it worked just fine, and I can now feel pious for Lent, knowing I helped someone out. Have you given blood lately? If you can, why not?

The Rideau Canal has set a record for number of days open this year, we in Ottawa hope it won’t still be open in May.

My Writings for Week Ending February 27th

I did enjoy the festive feel for this final week of RRSPs, and my twitter feed was peppered with useful RRSP commentaries :

  • Didn’t hear if anyone used my RRSP Bingo card for their RRSP purchases, I hope someone had fun with it.
  • What order do you do your savings RRSP then TFSA ? I have a different idea, but if you are a regular reader you can guess my point of view on this.

TigerDirect (CA)

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Lent has begun (it started on Wednesday), and what are you planning on doing  for Lent (in terms of your finances)? You can go simple with the pledge to bring your lunch to work (instead of buying lunch) and putting the money into a savings plan of some kind, or you could simply read more things about money to have a better understanding how things work, but do something, it is the perfect time to try a 7 week experiment. Maybe try exercising more, or just park your car further from work so you have to walk farther ? No need to get too complicated just try something new.

Lent

Lent

The Frigid Winter of 2015 continues on with no day in February (in Ottawa) going above Zero (Celsius). Maybe the Rideau Canal will be open in April this year? It looks like it will assuredly be open in March. We really could use some more heat here.

Last week the value of Apple (the technologies company not the fruit) was over $700B which is actually more than Switzerland (the country) is worth. Interesting how a once almost broke Tech Giant can rebound like that. Rumors of Apple either setting up an Electric Car division, or buying Tesla outright persists, which means Electric cars will need to add a “Hipster” mode to their normal “Eco” and “Sport” modes.

The Canadian Flag turned 50 this week as well, I think it’s a pretty darn cool flag. I am proud of our flag.

Hope your RRSP Season is going well, still haven’t found any RRSP Carols or what I should hang on the door during this festive financial phase of the year.

My Writings for Week Ending February 20th

Did you enjoy pancakes on Tuesday? I did, I do like Shrove Tuesday :

  • I sent out the winning e-mails for the Turbotax Contest and Quick Review, you must really be careful with the “clear” button, in Turbotax you will create a great deal of issues if you accidentally hit it.
  • The flood of bills that comes to me every month has now changed and I must check in many places to make sure I pay on time and it is easily turning into Bill Notification Overload.
  • It is now the Lunar Year of the Horned Mammal (i.e. Goat, Ram, Sheep, etc.,) celebrate, good times, c’mon!

TigerDirect (CA)

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RRSPs, Valentines, 50 Shades of Debt and #BestOfThisWeek

It is RRSP season, if you have not noticed, and there is still time for you to put money into your RRSP and claim it for your 2014 taxes. You should have done this a long time ago, but if this is how you do things, you still have about 16 days to get this done. A word of warning, you are not buying an RRSP, you are either (1) Setting up an RRSP account and depositing money into the account, to purchase or set up a savings vehicle, like GICs, Bonds, Securities, Mutual Funds or the like, or (2) You are adding money to an existing RRSP account, where you will purchase or set up a savings vehicle. You are not “buying an RRSP”, please don’t say that.

Valentines Day

An Apropos Sentiment for tomorrow

This Valentine’s Day Weekend remember your loved ones, and show them that you love them in some fashion, that does not completely bankrupt you. No matter what the diamond industry says, 3 months gross income is far too much to spend on anything that dangles off your loved one, or slides onto a part of their body. Just remember that Lent starts this coming Wednesday, so start getting your Shrove together as well.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, a truly lovely romantic movie is coming out, 50 Shades of Grey, is being touted as a beautiful love story. I have read 2 of the books, and I can assure you, that is not how I read them (I couldn’t get through the final book it was, “too beaucoup”). The books are quite graphic, which makes me wonder how the movie will cover some of the more interesting parts of the books, but it is not likely that I will see the movies, unless I get a free copy, or it appears on NetFlix (and even then, I think I’d rather watch House of Cards (U.S. and UK versions) or the IT Crowd). The one interesting prognostication I have seen is that the sales of “sex toys” may sky rocket thanks to this movie, so all you We-Vibe stock holders must be rubbing your hands with glee (at least I hope that is your hands).

And I do have a partially written article entitled 50 Shades of Debt, but I can’t quite get it right. Oh and yesterday was my 2700th post as well, I guess that is what 10 years of writing will do for you.

My Writings for Week Ending February 13th

I had only planned on 2 articles this week, but the extra “Valentine’s Doom” post just wrote itself:

  • The Canadian economy seems quite adept at creating Part-Time jobs, but how Stats Canada counts them is still incorrect (imho) as we saw in More Part Time Jobs in Canada in January
  • Retirement is a wonderful thing to dream about, but if you die before you get there, what is the point of saving all that money? That is at the core of Going to the Gym to Work on My Retirement. Either way pick up Seasick Steve’s album, well worth the price.
  • Society seems to condone the concept that Money is Love, and the retail industry not only agrees with this, they think you are not spending enough.

Scotia Bank Value Visa

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