Happy Christmas 2013

A Happy and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones from THE Canadian Personal Finance Site (Big Cajun Man sole proprietor).


Yup this is my actual Christmas Tree

Yup this is my actual Christmas Tree

Happy Christmas



Christmas Eve is Here

Hope you are ready for Christmas, because it’s pretty much here. You have one more day to get those last things you think you needed.  Many people travel today, while some have the tradition of the major celebration for Christmas being tonight (after midnight mass), how ever you celebrate I hope you enjoy it.

A few last-minute tips:

  • Remember to have your bills paid as banks are “closed” for the next couple of days.
  • Given the bad weather we have been having, make sure you have more than half a tank of gas in your car (usually a good idea in the winter anyhow).
  • If you are out shopping today, remember everyone is stressed, but if you don’t succumb to the mayhem, you will be a better person at the end of it. Same holds true with your family as well.
  • This is a festival of joy and celebration, always remember that.

And always remember:


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Elf on the Shelf (for Money)

One of the “traditions” many families do every Christmas is play Elf on the Shelf with their children. The “game” consists of buying a book, which has an Elf included with it. The parents put the Elf on the Shelf in different places, and the children must go find him (her?).

Should you wish to buy an Elf, here is a link

Evidently this Elf on the Shelf goes back to the North Pole every night and reports back to Santa if the kids have been naughty or nice (think of it like Santa’s version of the NSA). To me this is a pretty darn creepy looking elf, and I am not really sure what it is teaching our kids, but if you read the Wikipedia entry for the game you might get a hint.

Suppose we had a Financial Elf on the Shelf™ might that help us control our Festive Christmas Spending? Better still how about this idea, knowing how our friend Gail Vaz-Oxlade hates over-spending, how about a Financial Gail on the Shelf™?

If every time you came back from shopping there was a small Gail Vaz-Oxlade waiting for you, that simply said, “What did you buy this time? Could you afford that?”, and every night she went back and reported to “Santa” on whether you were good financially or not? (and if you were naughty Santa cut up your credit cards).

Better still, the Gail on the Shelf can also go into your wallet and replace your credit cards with cards that say, “You Cannot Afford this!” and a picture of Gail wagging her finger?

An Excellent Photo for the Replacement Credit Cards

I think I could make a pretty penny selling this (of course I’d have to give Gail royalties as well). Have I missed the point on this odd new Christmas “tradition”?


Christmas Quickies

I know you all have to rush around and get all your Christmas shopping/carnage/guilt in high gear so here are some quick ones for you to think about while you are shopping.

Getting a Good Deal on something you don’t need isn’t saving money. 
Thank BroTips for that one.

Christmas go for the Holiday but don’t end up  unable to pay
Stop overspending for Christmas maybe

Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more…
Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas 
I believe he is commenting on overrunning your credit cards in this case.

In suggesting gifts: Money is appropriate, and one size fits all.
William Randolph Hearst
He must have been commenting on Gift Cards

Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.
Author Unknown
Very topical, and maybe you should be paying cash?

When the Christmas Lights are brighter than the street lights, you might want to tone it down.
Brotips again
A lot to be said for demure lighting

Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money
I think that is where we will end the sermon for today

Keep some of these in mind when you are out there trying to find the perfect cheese straightener.

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Give Ca$h not a Gift Card for Christmas

There does seem to be a backlash going on against the Gift Card industry this Christmas season, and I ( for one ), like it. Preet B. wrote about it yesterday in the Globe and Mail, however, I have said this all along. Why is there a stigma about giving cash and no stigma giving a gift card?

I asked my Christmas Gifting expert, Mrs. C8j and she said the big thing about cash is it seems like a Lazy Present (i.e. you didn’t feel like spending some time to find a nice present).  While I understand the sentiment about cash, I again say why are Gift Cards being viewed as “just fine” then?

Gift Card, Cash which is more appropriate

This is more personal than Cash? It’s at a Loblaws!

I can buy a gift card at my Loblaws for pretty much any store, in fact, I can do that at most Gas Stations now, why is that more personal than Ca$h?

Cash on the other hand, you usually have to go to a Bank to get. Banks are very exclusive, yes they may be open 7 days a week, but they close a lot more than most stores (and certainly more than most Gas Stations).

If you give Cash, you know it will get used, if you give a Gift Card, do you know how many gift cards never get completely used? I have no idea, but I am sure it is a huge number. Cash is friendly, fits in your wallet just like a gift card, and it has a picture of the Queen on it (or other important Canadians).

Give Ca$h this year, for Christmas.


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