Xmas It Gift, Loose Money and #MoneyTalk


Hatchimal and Me

Every Christmas there is a must have gift that parents have to get, or risk being dubbed lame, and this year we have an interesting Canadian Xmas It Gift, that is the Hatchimal. Don’t worry about trying to buy it, you can’t find it anywhere. When my daughters were at the magic age we had Tickle Me Elmo, the Teletubbies and countless other important purchases (that have been donated somewhere). Are these toys that important? When I was a kid, I remember making my Dad run around Montreal looking for Dungeons & Dragons manuals, and it was important to me (at the time), so maybe they are important?

Big C8j Xmas Gift hint Remember that if you are planning on being lazy and giving gift cards, you can buy iTunes cards on sale all the time at Costco (usually you can buy $100 worth of cards for $94), perfect for that friend dealing with an emergency CRA audit? Truly an Xmas it gift (for those being fleeced).

The Bank of Canada kept their key overnight rate at 0.5% for 2016. Their overall view is interesting, and not clear:

In Canada, the dynamics of growth are largely as the Bank anticipated. Following a very weak first half of 2016, growth in the third quarter rebounded strongly, but more moderate growth is anticipated in the fourth quarter. Consumption growth was robust in the third quarter, supported by the new Canada Child Benefit, while the effects of federal infrastructure spending are not yet evident in the GDP data. Meanwhile, business investment and non-energy goods exports continue to disappoint. There have been ongoing gains in employment, but a significant amount of economic slack remains in Canada, in contrast to the United States. While household imbalances continue to rise, these will be mitigated over time by announced changes to housing finance rules.

So they won’t do anything, for now. I suspect if the Americans start running up their rates, Canada will have to react in some fashion, or risk having a 50 cent dollar.

Viola Desmond will be the new face of the $10 bill in Canada, an excellent choice.

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My Writings for Week Ending December 9th

I have been mucking around with trying to get Quicken running on my Mac in some fashion, and found a great article about it, but found that at the end of it, it was simply easier keeping an old PC laptop to run things, but I outline what I did in, Mac Quicken (in Canada) ?

The Xmas It Gift

In case you wondered what this miraculous toy might look like, here it is!

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Air Miles Blinks, Advent Begins and #Moneytalk

Air Miles has finally capitulated and will not expire 5-year-old miles starting on January 1st, which is a victory for consumer advocacy folks like Ellen Roseman and Robb Engen who have fought this decision very hard. Is this the end of this whole thing in the news? Maybe not, as folks are now complaining that they spent their miles quickly when they heard of the initial decision and are now upset they didn’t have a chance to keep accumulating points.

Air Miles Christmas Tree

Not This Year’s Tree, we haven’t got ours up yet, too worried about Air Miles I guess

Advent has begun so you can now put up all your decorations are garlands and the like, but so many of you already had stuff up Mid-November didn’t you? At least try to follow the Church’s calendar for that stuff.

Whenever something is in the news, it brings out the scum, as we are now seeing with the Phoenix payment system that the federal government has tried to get running for a while. Luckily I have had no issues, but some folks are not getting paid, while others are being overpaid, and that is where the story starts to get interesting. There are folks evidently calling Civil Servants and saying they are from the Phoenix pay system and they want their money back (only, no one is doing that right now evidently). These scammers are trying to make some quick dough off a flawed government system.

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My Writings for Week Ending December 2nd

A simple little bit of writing for me this week with Debt is a Four Letter word. I was positive I had already written that exact story, however, after I heard our friend Preet B. use it, I went into my archives and found that I had not written something with that exact title. I have said there is no such thing as good debt, but not that Debt is an obscenity.

A Money Thought

I think Kerry sums up the whole Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc., sales thing nicely in this one tweet

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Black Friday has arrived (it has been here in terms of Black Friday Sales for the past month, so nothing new in this version of MoneyTalk ). Who will be wasting hours at work to find that ultimate sale? I won’t, I usually end up buying AntiVirus software and that is about it. I always wonder how it is Black Friday, when the mortar and brick stores typically open on Thursday evening?

Black Friday NT Times MoneyTalk

Where Do They Keep the Left Handed Cheese Straighteners?

I am saddened to hear that all the Turkeys that are pardoned by Presidents, typically died soon after, because “eating turkeys” are bred for white meat not longevity (Today You Learned).

The hottest Thanksgiving topic this year? How to deal with Political Discussions at the dinner table. Whatever happened to discussing candied yam recipes? What is a candied yam, by the by. I do enjoy the exploding deep frying turkeys though, nothing can beat those yearly traditions.

I watched an 8 year old do tax calculations last week, which was really interesting for the first little while, but then it ends up watching someone do Tax Calculations. She did hole hoop nicely though. See the video at the end for details on this. Seems like a lovely young lady (but I wouldn’t want to watch the Blunt Bean Counter do tax calculations either).

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My Writings for Week Ending November 25th

After my time at CFPC16, I felt invigorated, so I wrote two articles this week, and have introduced a few new tricks as well.

Not sure whether other folks used the old SRA reading system, but I did, and it struck me that you could use SRA Readers for Financial Literacy and Money Concepts ? That methodology of starting off with more simple topics, and then build to the more complex ones.

The EQ bank folks were at the conference again this year, and one of their folks started talking about making banking more straight forward,so naturally that caused me to ressurect a 50 year old expression with, WYSIWYG Banking. You’ll have to read to figure out what WYSIWYG means (and how to pronounce it as well).

A CPFC16 Thought

The most interesting arrival tweet, by far, but I am not surprised either.

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CPFC16, Black Friday, Mortgage Hikes and MoneyTalk

Where might you find me this weekend? Surprisingly, I will be at #CPFC16 with a bunch of other Financial Writers, Bloggers, and Industry Folk talking MoneyTalk (and Mortgage Hikes). It is always interesting to put faces to writings (as I am sure it is for a lot of folks when they meet me). Hoping to touch base with many friends (note I didn’t say old) and make a few new ones as well.

Black Friday

It’s Really Black November these Days

Black Friday is coming next week, with American Thanksgiving on the 24th. What does this mean? For Canadians, not as much as it used to mean, if you can find any deals, you will be lucky. I wandered around Best Buy and they are ready for an influx on Black Friday, but the deals don’t make me want to squander my money just yet.

I note the sun has been rising these days, so the world has not quite ended with Mr. Trump’s election, but it is a much more interesting world (and that is an understatement). One interesting theory I keep hearing is that Mr. Trump is purposely trying to get impeached or thrown out, we shall see if that is a valid theory.

Sounds like Amazon may be extending their Video Streaming capabilities to Canada soon (if you believe tweets by Jeremy Clarkson). Another competitor for Netflix? Not likely, but you never know.

Yes, the Banks are upping their Mortgage rates, as I predicted (6 years ago)! Now might be a good time to lock in for a while, given it might give you a bit more peace of mind? The Bank of Canada hasn’t changed anything yet, but this might be a harbinger of some kind? Bank of Canada will remain quiet until December 7th on the topic of Interest Rates.

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My Writings for Week Ending November 18th

After having a lunch with some prominent financial folk (aka the N.C.F.B.A.) I was inspired and wrote two articles this week. It was sad to read about the death of Leonard Cohen, but I also remembered his financial issues, so I joined the two with Leonard Cohen a Cautionary Retirement Story. Are you sure your retirement savings is safe? I would go check just in case.

The American elections now has reached the blame game and with that, folks are suddenly realizing how simple it is to manipulate Social Media (I know how to, I simply, choose not to), however I outline some things in Fake Money News and other Manipulations. What I forgot to mention was the authors of these less than truthful stories also make money from you coming to their unscrupulous sites too! To quote Yakov Smirnoff, America, what a country!

A Money Thought

I actually stole this one from Crazy Ideas on Reddit, and it seems to have been well received. I would watch those documentaries as well. How do you submit ideas to Netflix ?

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To quote that noted newscaster Kent Brockman, “…without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?” . I have read and heard stories of the impending apocalypse and such, thanks to President-elect Trump’s  policies, but I am more worried about the fact that the “Angry Old White Man” Party (aka the Republicans) can now “run the table”. I would not be surprised that if at the end of all of this, Mr. Trump ends up being the voice of reason (yes, I threw up a bit in my mouth typing that), in the Grating America.

Kent Brockman

Dire News From Washington and Kent Brockman

For those who did not wake up a cold morning in 1975 to find the PQ in power in Quebec or a dark October morning in 1990 when Bob Rae became Premier of Ontario, the only advice I can give is, “Chill out for now, and watch closely at what happens”. No one can say for sure what will happen, and if they say they know, they are probably trying to sell you something. I do like the #CalExit folks, given that California is the 6th largest economy in the world.

Meanwhile in Canada Canadians’ debt load increases (according to TransUnion). To quote our friends at Transunion:

“Canadian consumers saw average non-mortgage debt balances rise by 2.3% between Q3 2015 ($21,195) and Q3 2016 ($21,686).”

Note that this is non-mortgage debt as well, so yes, maybe Mr. Brockman was asking the right question?

So one of my new tricks these days, is to combat the deluge of really great deals that arrive in my mailbox (Canada Post), I have taken to saving the really great deals (and coupons), for a special task. Any time I get a great deal (like the new CPP upgrade program, that looks like a Government program, but comes in a blank envelope) with a paid postage return envelope, to say thank you, I put some great coupons and deals in this envelope and mail it back to those helpful folks.

Yes, it is Juvenile, but that is who I am.

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My Writings for Week Ending November 11th

Another more quiet week from me, but I did write one thing to help parents out Helping Kids With University Costs, Idea #214, for those of you thinking your kids will be able to leave home to go to University. Day to day living expenses for your kids, if they are not at home, really do add up.

Toblerone the Christmas Grinch

Really Toblerone? Really? I may be boycotting my favorite Christmas candy. #BoycottToblerone #BoycottTheValley

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