Looks Bad, but that is Good

So I learned yesterday that if you are in an Emergency Room waiting room, looking bad is what gets you through the system quickly. My daughter had her foot “guillotined” by a table at school, so she and I went to the emergency room to have the massive lump on her foot looked at. The room was filled “to the gunnels” with folks coughing, the elderly and the injured, and I thought we’d be there for at least 8 hours.

We were triaged, and the lady there was nice enough to comment, “We take these kind of injuries ahead of coughs”, which made me think we’d only be there for 6 hours. Sure enough, we were called up and sent to X-ray, went back to see a doctor, who brought up my daughter’s X-ray on a computer Monitor (a nice big one)(that was the coolest thing, no film, just zoom in on the computer screen). The Doctor’s comment was, “Nothing is broken, it’s just a HUGE lump due to soft tissue damage”, bing, bang boom, we were out of there in 2 hours flat. My daughter still has a huge lump, which she ices and keeps elevated, and I have new respect for looking bad, but not being bad.

OK, what does this have to do with Personal Finances? Sometimes things look a lot worse than they are, but ignoring them and hoping they get better is the real danger. If you have a large debt load or credit card debt, do something about it NOW, it might not be as bad as you think, but if you wait and hope for the best, you really never know how bad it was or whether you made it worse by waiting.

Oh and Emergency room visits go faster if you are: Polite to everyone, look bad but don’t complain a lot and if your foot has a lump on it the size of a pineapple.


Inflation at 1.2% in Canada

Inflation fell back to 1.2% in Januaryfor the year, which is not too shabby, given the high price of gas, heating and electricity. In December it was 1.6% so it dropped, which is great news for the Consumer.

Dropping gasoline prices is what seems to be helping keep inflation lower, since housing prices and food prices are both fairly high these days. Inflation is highest in Alberta, but that is a classic example of an economy that is overheating.

Alcoholic beverages are going up in price too, which doesn’t make me happy, but I guess since it’s Lent, it doesn’t matter right now.


Canadian Leading Indicators UP for January!

Thanks to the whole housing industry the Canadian Leading Indicators are up 0.5% in January (in December there was a scarysmall 0.2% increase ).

Everything was kind of up in January, except for Manufacturing numbers, which is interesting. The Canadian economy continues to stay RED hot for now. The Housing Index is up 2.8% for January after actually dropping by 0.5% in December. Who are buying all these houses? I keep asking this question, but no one seems to know. Maybe it’s a big Eastern Syndicate (like the guys in the Charlie Brown Christmas, that own Christmas).

Keep going Canadian economy!


Happy Shrove Tuesday

I hope your Shrive is well and indeed done, and you are ready for the coming of Lent tomorrow. Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday is a fun day at our Church, where we have a pancake and sausage dinner, and folks get together and have a meal together.

Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday

It’s an ending and a beginning kind of event. It’s the end of something you will try to “give up” for Lent and the beginning of a journey to see whether you can live up to your promises.

Every day in your financial and fiscal planning life can be like this if you give yourself a chance and START doing something about your financial plan (and your life plan if you want to go to that grand scale). It’s trite to say, but each day is the first day of the rest of your life (yes, I can’t believe I typed that one either). Begin something new today. Remember Lent does not just mean giving something up. You can take something on as well.

Other Shrove Tuesday Thoughts


Tim Horton Savings Plan?

I think if you bought Tim Horton’s stock (for your Tim Horton Savings Plan) you are doing ok (no I am not saying go out and buy their stock, figure that one out for yourself), but I am saying look at that “Double Double” you have sitting next to you. Ever thought how much those things cost you? I have asked you this question before, so you should know the answer.Let’s have some fun Monday Arithmetic, shall we?

K Cup Pod
Another way to have a Timmy’s
  1. Assume you drink 3 “Double Doubles” a day for 5 days (what you do on the weekend is your trouble not mine). How much is that costing you a week then?3 * $1.39 * 5 = $21.00 per week
  2. You work how many weeks? I’ll say 45 weeks to make it easier to calculate for me. So that means you are spending about:45 weeks * $21 / week = $945 per year on coffee
  3. Over say 10 working years assuming you took that money made a lump sum payment every year into an investment vehicle that paid a modest 5% (remember if you put it in an RRSP you’d get back tax money too).
Year Value
1 $945.00
2 $1,937.25
3 $2,979.11
4 $4,073.07
5 $5,221.72
6 $6,427.81
7 $7,694.20
8 $9,023.91
9 $10,420.10
10 $11,886.11

So after 10 years you’d have almost $12,000 in your pocket (less taxes on the growth, unless you do this inside of an RRSP).Does that coffee seem so cheap now? Hey, you folks drinking at Starbucks and paying twice as much for your coffee, want me to do the calculations on THAT for you? Tim Horton Savings Plan , think about it!


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