Easter is Here and some #MoneyStories

The season of Easter is here, time for you to restart, renew and reestablish things in your life. Being a religious type Christian person, this is what it is all about (Christmas is nice, but without Easter the whole Christianity thing doesn’t quite hold together). I hope you enjoy the time off (if you get time off) to reconnect with Family and friends. Please remember on the stewardship side of things, this time and Christmas are where the Church collects about 1/2 of their income (just saying).

Sugar kaboom

Remember that Lent is Over as Well, time to feast !

We had a budget this week, and many different bloggers have voiced their opinions on it, and it has a pretty hefty price tag too (reminiscent of Mr. Trudeau’s father), but I suppose there were a lot of things that were left undone, that need to get done. I will try to recap how it affects my life, didn’t see if there were any changes for parents of disabled children, but if you have kids, things will change (if you make less than $150K that is).

If you are more of a Chocolate Bunny Easter person, that is OK, you can still use the season as a good reason to restart your financial plans, or start them. The best time to start a financial plan is 5 years ago, however, the 2nd best time is now, get to it, call it your Easter Financial Plan.

 

Happy Easter

 

 

My Writings for Week Ending March 25th

I spent the week in Toronto enjoying the Ice Capades, OK, it was an ice storm, and it wasn’t something to be enjoyed either. There sure are a lot of condos down here too.

Stats Canada noted last week that Food Prices Continue to Rise especially in the area of fresh fruit and veggies. Gas prices seem to be moving back up, as are oil prices, so we shall see what happens with interest rates with this information (my guess is not much for now, however, remember the Canadian Dollar is recovering, and that might slow interest rates as well).

Food Prices Continue to Rise

It was my son’s birthday this week, and with that I revealed one of the reasons for The Origins of the Canadian Personal Finance Place. It hasn’t turned into the cash cow I had hoped, but it has been cathartic.

The Origins of the Canadian Personal Finance Place

An Easter Thought

Bunnies are cuddly
The large and the small
But I like chocolate ones
The best of them all.

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Financial March Madness, Budgets and #MoneyStories

The Madness has begun down south, no not the GOP Primaries, the NCAA Men’s basketball championship has begun, and Yale has the biggest upset so far. This is a fun time for me, as I love watching live sports, and if I could figure out a way to do that without a TV Cable package I’d cut the cord tomorrow.

Parliament Hill

$10 B deficit? $40 B Deficit? We Shall See

In other madness Oil prices continue to climb, and that has caused the Canadian Dollar to rise as well, and having a Loonie that is above 70 cents US is a good thing (in my opinion).

It is not only Holy Week next week (the week before Easter in the Christian faith), but also it is Federal Budget week, woo hoo! What new and exciting financial features will the Easter Bunny be hiding under our financial pillows? We will have to wait until Tuesday March 22nd to find out, but there are already hints of many fun financial Easter Treats for us:

  • A much larger deficit than previously thought due to either bad accounting by the Tories, bad economy, low oil prices, etc., etc., . We will owe more money after this budget.
  • Higher taxes for higher income folk, but that was already promised during the election campaign
  • More spending on infrastructure, which might help the economy, and will hopefully fix the pot-hole problems in Ottawa.

At the bottom of this fine article,there is a video of Financial Pundits discussing what else might be in the budget, so stay tuned.

My Writings for Week Ending March 18th

Winter has been washed away mostly in Ottawa, however, there is still potential for more snow soon (it isn’t quite Spring yet). A three article week this week to help celebrate St. Patty’s and my 11th year of writing. That is a whole heck of a lot of words.

Stats Canada’s report on employment, shows that Unemployment Continues to Rise but the employment numbers aren’t too bad (they are not great, but not bad). I have started reading the more detailed reports and in there you find much more interesting information.

Unemployment Continues to Rise

The National Balance sheet is an interesting report from Stats Canada is another really interesting report to read, chocked full of interesting numbers, but the one that had me wondering was the Disposable Income vs. Debt numbers, have a look. Any time you can mention Tennessee Ernie Ford, that’s Gold!

Another Quarter Richer but Deeper in Debt

Yes, I have been doing this for 11 years, hard to believe, but I have slowed down a little bit, but while I continue to have fun, I think I’ll keep doing what I am doing.

Saint Patrick and Eleven Years of Financial Writing

A Friday Thought

In life, as with exams, answer the easy questions first, let the hard ones ruminate for a while.

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Yes the Bank of Canada held their key overnight rate, which kept the Canadian Dollar rising against its US Counterpart (a nice plus for all those folks going South for March Break). In their monthly statement the bank sort of pushed things back into the lap of the new Government, with the interesting statement:

An assessment of the impact of the upcoming federal budgetโ€™s fiscal measures will be incorporated into the Bankโ€™s April projection.

Seems to imply, they will wait to see what the Government might do before they decide on April’s economic projections.

Tax Time

Tax Time Once Again

For now the Bank seems to think things are progressing (with Oil prices rebounding) well and with inflation within their limits, they don’t feel a need to add more stimulus, nor a need to decrease it (yet) either.

Are we all ready with our taxes. I believe you are supposed to have all relevant documentation from all of your sources like:

And many more. Maybe make a check list of what you think you need, so you can figure out whether you can file your taxes (the sooner you file, the sooner you get your rebate, but remember you only have to pay any taxes owing on the deadline (so that can wait)).

Remember:Saturday night your clocks go ahead (i.e. Spring Forward) so remember to reset your clocks or you might end up being very late for your Sunday (and maybe Monday) appointments. You are also losing a nights sleep, but you can’t blame that one on the CRA.

My Writings for Week Ending March 11th

Winter seems to be over here in Ottawa, at least for now, with the shortest skating season on the Rideau Canal (ever) unfortunately. Most assuredly the oddest winter in a while.

Sometimes the title seems to write the entire article and Is Your Toilet Flushing Hot Water ? really did write itself, all I needed to add were the fees that will slowly sap all your money away (much like a toilet that flushed with hot water).

Is Your Toilet Flushing Hot Water ?

I do read many other personal finance sites, and Gail Vaz-Oxlade has some great advice (and yes you should read her stuff (as well)), and Debt Cash Grabs and Your Bank came from a Facebook comment that she made, that taught me something I didn’t know as well.

Debt Cash Grabs and Your Bank

A Friday Thought

Not asking, is rejection, by default

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Welcome Americans and #MoneyStories

Welcome our American cousins, and all those who are claiming that if Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton) gets elected they will move out of the United States of America. We Canadians welcome you with arms wide open, however, please leave your arms down there (thank you). It is always interesting to hear folks down south claiming they would move up north, a few good examples were:

The Noble and Under-appreciated Stubby

Drink Canadian Beer

  • If Obamacare passes! So you are running away from socialized medicine to move into a country with socialized medicine?
  • If gun control laws are passed? Canada you want to move to? The big one up north?
  • If marijuana is legalized ?
  • I am not even going to mention abortions

Should be an interesting choice down south, guess I should look into Wall futures? Remember that Toronto in the 60’s was a haven for Draft Evaders from the Viet Nam war, and that time was viewed as a Golden Age for Toronto, so who knows, maybe this is a good thing for Canada?

For any folks thinking of moving here, the topic for March is either, the Weather or Taxes! Luckily we have plenty to complain about on the tax side of things, with the Ontario Government slapping new taxes on many things, and the newly crowned Liberal Federal Government (or am I supposed to call them The Trudeau Government) talking of more taxes needed as well, the cold might not seem so bad. You see what I did there, I did the old switcheroo where it sounded like I was going to complain about how cold it was, and instead I zinged in with a Tax Complaint (that is a very Canadian thing too).

It is Tax Time again!

My Writings for Week Ending March 4th

We leaped out of February into a short beginning of March, with RRSP season leaving us, but Tax Season is now in full bloom.

With this being a leap year did we have an extra day for RRSP contributions? Maybe, a few folks said it didn’t matter, but if you only worry about your RRSP at the end of February, you may have a financial planning problem, as I pointed out in Leap into Your RRSPs and Financial Planning

Leap into Your RRSPs and Financial Planning

As I have mentioned many times I have a massive backlog of unfinished ideas, and I found one and added a bit of polish and a lot of sarcasm poking fun at Financial Services Web Pages

Financial Web Page Usefulness

A Friday Thought

The hardest times to say the word no, are usually the most important times to say it.

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RRSP Time and #MoneyStories

If you were planning on rebalancing your RRSP or something similar you have until Monday (end of day) to get this all done. There will be a plethora of exciting articles out there to read (including from me), but remember that the RRSP is really a Savings/Tax Deferral System, because you will have to pay your taxes on the money (hopefully not more than you saved by putting money in your RRSP in the first place). Is it worth madly panic’ing to try to make a last minute RRSP deposit if you don’t have a specific need to do so? I don’t think so, you might do better putting the money in your TFSA (if you have room, for either, for that matter), or pay down debt?

Expanding Debt

The Expanding Ontario Debt

The Ontario Government decided that they wanted to have the biggest sub-national jurisdiction Debt in the world ($308 billion), so they continue to run big deficit budgets with big promises. I will be reviewing the alleged extra funding for the Autism programs (with a lot of input from Mrs. C8j, hopefully), $333 million over five years. Why couldn’t they just give me a cut of that? Speaking of huge debts, evidently the World Debt is Rising (according to Bloomberg) but who are we borrowing from then? Mars? Venus? Maybe that is how Pluto ended up being demoted from planet (it owed too much money to the Intergalactic Banks).

Did you realize that Mattel has brought back the Thing Maker as a 3D printer? In case you were wondering what to get me for Easter.

A thought for a Friday:

“Don’t confuse comfort, for happiness”

My Writings for Week Ending February 26th

Another very confusing week of weather here in Ottawa, but luckily my writings didn’t seem as confusing (I hope).

To absolutely no consumer’s surprise Stats Canada published last week the monthly inflation numbers and it showed that healthy food costs a lot more than it did a year ago, and even Gasoline is more expensive too? Given the new taxes the Ontario Government is going to put on booze and smokes, that won’t help these numbers either.

Veggies up 18.2 pct in Canada

What is a Spousal RRSP? That is a question a few folks have asked me, and I keep thinking about how only 10 years ago it was really the only way to income split (in retirement), but now thanks to Pension Income splitting the Spousal RRSP seems to have disappeared off folks’ savings radar?

The Spousal RRSP the Forgotten Savings Tool

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