Today Do Something for Yourself ( Financially )

You have worked hard for your pay, and you deserve to do something for yourself with all that cash you earned, so here are some of the best things you can spoil yourself financially.

 

Do Something for You

Lovely Sentiment

  1.  Go to the Mall, find a Banking machine, and deposit that money into your savings account. If you don’t have any cash on you and all of your money is in your bank already, indulge by walking by that ATM (and get a special warm feeling of accomplishment if it is a “White ATM” which might have charged you $3.00 to withdraw your money).
  2. While you are strolling through the mall, if you see something you really want to buy in one of the stores, realize how many hours you would have to work to pay for that thing, and then bask in the warm glow of knowing how much money you would keep by not buying it, and then don’t buy it.
  3. As you pass the Restaurant that you love to eat at, remember that wonderful sensation that isn’t the ten kilos of fat. that you would have accumulated if you continued to eat their huge portions. Self-control is a wonderful feeling and you deserve the rapture you experience when you exert it. You also won’t need that gym membership, because you didn’t put on those extra 10 kilos.
  4. If you are at your computer, go to the BMW web site, and design your dream car, give it all the extras you have always wanted (include a heated coffee cup holder). Take in this glorious piece of Bavarian Auto Prowess, then make sure that your bus pass is up to date, and know that by not buying this gorgeous piece of auto porn, you will be able to make a down payment on a house.
  5. Find all of your credit card statements, and see how many you can pay off this month, and think of all the money you didn’t have to spend on high interest charges, because you are that person. You may use your credit cards, but you are also an Adult, and know that you should pay off your debts.

Doesn’t it make you feel special spoiling yourself like this? Are there any other decadent financial pampering you can do for yourself ?

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Frustratingly Correct Financial Answers

I have already written about Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions (the financial edition), but here are some more fun answers to give folks, that will cause them to comment, “Well that is obvious”, but remember that just because an answer is obvious, doesn’t make it any less correct.

Questions and Answers

You got some Q’s I got some A’s For You

Question: When is the best time to sell my stock ?

Answer: When it reaches the highest price.

Isn’t that annoyingly correct? No, it isn’t actually answering the spirit of the question being asked, but it is giving a very correct answer.

Question: Any tips on how to win the lottery ?

Answer: Yes, buy the winning ticket.

Yes, Captain Obvious is hard at work here, but I enjoy giving these kinds of answers, because folks keep asking me questions like this assuming I might have some amazing insight or karmic understanding about how lotteries work. Yes I did work in the industry briefly over 25 years ago, but no, I have no idea on how to make money on lotteries (unless you can run one, then there is a lot of money in that).

How about some investing advice, I get asked this one regularly:

Question: What are the best places to invest money in our {RRSP|RESP|etc., etc.,}?

Answer : In places that will make you the most money, and make sure that you sell before the price of them drop in value

Great answer, isn’t it?

The final one you have seen me answer so many times before, but, it is still very correct

Question: Is there such a thing as good debt?

Answer: No. If you owe money, you owe money, which is bad.

Did I miss any?

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Financial First Date Questions

Given my amazing relationship skills (yes, like my investing, blind luck can be passed off as a skill), I figured I’d help out some folks with a set of useful questions that you can ask on your first date to find out if that person is compatible with you (or not), and has no Financial Skeletons in the Closet. I actually stole the concept from Reddit, but I have put a very financial spin on things, and please add your own questions in the comments, if I miss any good ones.

Rubik's Cube

Some Say Relationships are like a Rubik’s Cube

  1. How many credit cards do you have in your wallet? How many total?
    Note, if the answer is more than 4, run, don’t walk to the exit door
  2. Have you declared bankruptcy in the past 10 years ?
    This might even be a pre-first date question.
  3. How much did that purse cost? -or- How much did that watch cost ?
    If the purse cost more than your monthly rent, you are out with someone who likes the finer things in life (and that is not a compliment).
  4. Do you smoke?
    Any answer other than “no” means higher insurance rates later in life.
  5. Active, Passive or Dividend Investing?
    If the answer is, “I beg  your pardon?”, steeee-rike three!!! Can a dividend investor live happily with an active investor?
  6. Would you rather owe 100 people $10 or 1 person $1000 ?
    Again, there is no correct answer, the correct answer is, “Why would I owe people money?”
  7. When you need cash, do you use a “white” or no-name ATM?
    There is no way you should stay with someone who thinks $3 a withdrawal is OK.
  8. TFSA or RRSP ?
    Again, the answer “What?!?” is an automatic FAIL! However, if they answer TSFA, be on your guard.
  9. How much debt are you currently carrying, and what is your plan to pay it off (if you have debt)?
    If the answer is, “I have no debt”, he or she is a keeper! However, if they say they are carrying $120K in student loans, ask what their profession is, if they are a Dentist, Doctor or some other well-paying professional, then you might be OK, but be wary.

Who said romance is dead? Best to ask these questions so you don’t end up in a Loveless, Sexless Marriage.

Symantec CA

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Best Excuses for NOT Doing Taxes on Time

For all of those who have not finished their taxes (in Canada) yet (April 30th deadline looms large), I would like to give you some of the excellent (what is the font for sarcasm) excuses that I have heard over the past years from friends and co-workers. (maybe you should read Myths About Your Taxes before you read this great list, just to make sure you are sure you don’t want to do your taxes):

Bad Dog eats taxes

Really, that is your excuse?
Photo courtesy Forbes

  • I don’t owe money, so I just couldn’t be bothered.
    Question: How do you know that you don’t owe any tax if you haven’t done your return?
  • My taxes are simple, so I am sure I don’t owe any money, so why bother ?
    Question: What if they owe you money? Don’t care? Want to send money to the “Send Big Cajun Man on Vacation fund”, if money means so little to you?
  • If I owe money, the CRA will tell me, soon enough
    Statement: WTF? Yes, and the CRA will also impose their penalties starting May 1st (or earlier) if you owe them money.
  • I might do it wrong, then the CRA will get mad at me
    Comment: The CRA might get mad at you, but my guess is their penalties won’t come into play, if you submitted your forms on time (although they may make you redo it, correctly)
  • I am on a worldwide cruise and can’t submit my taxes until I get back in September
    Comment: CRA’s answer might be, “Maybe you should have thought about this before you went away?”
  • The CRA always extends the deadline, so I don’t have to rush
    Comment: What if they don’t? (see penalties comment previously)
  • The dog ate my tax receipts!
    Comment: Get a new dog?
  • The dog at my computer?
    Comment: Umm…. next?
  • I didn’t submit my taxes last year, and they didn’t bother me, why should I bother this year? (repeat that excuse for 6 years)
    Question: You enjoy loaning money to the Government? You most likely are owed money, but the CRA doesn’t need to tell you that, do they?

Any other great excuses out there about not doing your taxes on time, that I might have missed? I guess with these great excuses you won’t need to Search For a Good Tax Preparer either?

Disclaimer: This article neither condones, nor espouses any of these lame excuses, do your taxes on time!

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How to Find the Right Tax Preparer

As the tax deadline looms on the horizon, I felt folks might need a few helpful hints on how to choose the right tax preparer for you, or maybe more accurately, which tax preparers not to choose (especially if you are in a rush, the wrong decision here could end up being quite costly for you).

Laughing Accountant

An Accountant with a Sense of Humor?
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If your prospective tax preparer has any of the following problems or character flaws, don’t choose them to prepare your taxes:

  • If they say that they are not very good with numbers, but that doesn’t matter much with taxes, run away from them very quickly
  • Should they mention in passing that it was nice of you to drop by, as they just got out of prison for fraud, you might not want to choose them to prepare your taxes, unless they are a relative. In that case invoke the, “I don’t do business with family”, clause.
  • If they ask you, “Now when is the tax filing deadline this year?”, you might want to rethink hiring them, for your tax preparation needs.
  • If the firm is called H&P Block that might be a dead giveaway they are trying to snare unsuspecting clients, assuming they are getting H&R Block.
  • If their motto is, “Only 1/2 our clients get audit’ed, and we were out of town when that happened“, that shouldn’t give you a lot of confidence in their skills.
  • A laughing accountant always worries me too, but that might just be my own experience going to school with future accountants.
  • If Canadian Tire started offering Tax Preparation services while I waited for my oil change, while convenient, I would avoid that service as well.
  • If they offer you an “Instant Cashback“, doesn’t that make you wonder how much more of a tax rebate they may have found for you? If you need your tax rebate that fast, you may have bigger problems than you think (financially).

Just a few helpful hints on who to avoid as your tax preparer for this year.

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