My Favorite Posts of the Year

Friday I indulged myself and told you about some of my favorite articles written by some of my writing mates around the personal finance world. Today, to end the year, I give you the posts that I wrote this year that I enjoyed. I may write another article on my most read articles, but as I have said, why folks read what I write and how many of them is not really my concern, it is what I enjoyed writing the most for today.

For me this has been a financially challenging year having 3 kids in University and a son with special needs (which I may start writing about more next year, that remains to be seen). My wife is also working hard to help out, but my guess is this will be a challenging few years for me helping out my kids. The posts in the coming year may seem a little more raw, which may not be to your liking, but remember I am writing this tome as much as a cathartic rant for myself.

Remember to keep watching my Twitter Feed as well for some of my quick thoughts (no it is not just a sounding post for my writing).

Some of my Favorites

I’ll give you a title and quick explanation of why I enjoyed or liked what I wrote this year:

  • Losing Sleep and Money was me pointing out that Debt and Money worries can become a health issue if it gets too far into your psyche. I believe I wrote this after another sleepless night of my own, just goes to show I do usually write about what is directly facing me at that moment. The same can be said when I wrote Loveless, Sexless Marriages and Money, which is a quote from Preet but Money worries can destroy relationships as well.
  • I was genuinely pissed off when I read the headline The Worst Place to Lose Your Job? on the CNN web site. Having lived through a life derailing lay off, I can assure you I know of a small handful of folks who walked away from layoffs unscathed, it is never a good place or time to be laid off.
  • Where you work and what you do usually sculpts who you are and your point of view, and having worked in the Private Sector in Nortel for 20 years becoming a Civil Servant has changed my beliefs somewhat and with that I then wrote I am a Civil Servant and Civil Servants: Another Point of View .
  • There is a trend with some of my brethren to take cheap shots at each other, I try not to do this (mostly, I have my off days), but Insultingly Rudimentary Advice came from one site that seems to specialize in this kind of one-upmanship.
  • I have 4 kids and with my older kids I have been quite clear, but I figured other folks might want to read Parenting Tip #327 Large Expenditures, remember the Bank of Mom and Dad cannot pay for it all. My Fatherly instincts show in many of my posts but I am proud of all my children (make no mistake there either) however What Do Fathers Worry About points out that your Dad worries about you even after you leave home. So That is What $50,000 looks like is a thought I had while watching my eldest graduate (best money I have ever spent).
  • I seem to find a lot of issues with semantics again this year, thus I ended up hitting that topic a few times with Don’t Confuse Spending Less with Saving, Let’s Define Debt, and Let’s Define Retirement.
  • You might think from my writings that I am a complete cynic, however, as a Christian (yup, sorry that was a big C) I have faith in a lot more things than you might think and with An Easter Story: The Leather Coat, that faith is confirmed (again).
  • I am tired of hearing how you must live your life and Buck the Fucket List (which was evidently quite controversial) is just me pointing out that success or failure is a frame of mind. I am really not sure why I wanted to bring back this interesting story from my youth, but Sometimes You Have to Set the Toilet on Fire.
  • Are Canadians Financialy Stupid? Well we are misguided sometimes that is for sure, given the number that use Pay Day Loans: The Crack Cocaine of Personal Finances. The best way to combat ignorance is to learn more about the subject (you can get it for free at the Library).
  • When Should You Try to Pay Down Debt? The answer is obvious, and that is a topic that I keep repeating throughout the year too. Don’t let Debt ruin your dreams.
  • I got a lot of positive feedback from Ten Things I have said that Have Saved Me Money, see if it can help you. They are all quite simple, and I am not sure why more people don’t do this.
  • Time is the Most Important Variable when it comes to money planning and you should keep that in mind. I have been working for over 30 years and if I had done some simple things when I started working, life now might even be easier.

Finally I was lucky enough to celebrate 25 years of marriage with Mrs. C8j and while I think we have lived a good life I still did end up having Advice for me 25 years Ago, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened back then either.

Here is hoping that 2013 starts well and brings us all , much happiness and satisfaction in our lives.

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Favorite Posts of 2012

Usually on Fridays I post a litany of my favorite posts from some of my favorite writers for the week, so given this is the end of 2012, I figured I’d piece together a list of my favorite posts of 2012 .

The year itself has not been a great one, or a bad one really in terms of money. We continue to live with very low-interest rates, a stock market that is in the doldrums, with a few stars and a few dogs but nothing much exciting.

In the world of Personal Finance writing there have been some very interesting pieces written and today I will touch on a few of them that I have enjoyed over the year.

In General

In general there are some sites that you really should be reading if you are serious about expanding your personal finance expertise:

  • Preet at WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo puts out a Podcast that you really should be subscribed to and listen to (you should have his site in your RSS feed reader as well). I view Preet as a friend who is genuinely trying to help folks out, so why not avail yourself of this help? Oh and you should add his Twitter Feed too.
  • Ram at the Canadian Capitalist has been incredibly busy this year and has not really written as much as he used to (and he may not write much in the future) but you should be reading this site as well.
  • Michael James has changed his internet address but should be on your list of daily reads as well.
  • Larry MacDonald’s internet connections seem to be a little in flux, but have a look around for him another writer (a real writer in his case) worth reading.
  • Mark at My Own Advisor should also be on your list of reads as well.
  • Gail Vaz-Oxlade is also someone who you must have on your reading list as well.

Favourite posts of 2012

I did have some specific articles I liked this year:

That’s it for this year, these were my favorite posts of 2012, there were many other interesting posts out there, these are just the ones that tickled my fancy. Remember to get a good RSS reader and add these Authors to your reading list!


One Thing You Can Buy on Boxing Day

So a while ago, I spoke about how Anti-Virus software is needed, but the pricing trickery is ridiculous.

On Boxing Day here in Ottawa, pricing games were driven home like a nail from a pneumatic nail gun.

I have noticed that the Boxing Day sales regularly have Anti-Virus software on sale, so I decided I would wait and see what might happen with the sales.

Sure enough, our Amigos at Future Shop delivered and had Norton 360 on sale for $29.99, for three machines and for a 15-month subscription (remember to renew for one device for 12 months was going to cost $79.99), so my patience seems to have paid off. I checked the Norton site and they had a Boxing Day sale for the same product (3 licenses Norton 360) for $69.99 (wow).

I guess we can add Anti-Virus software that you can purchase at the Boxing Day madhouse.

Previous Boxing Days?

I have written on the topic of Boxing Day a few times.


Boxing Day Advice

Happy Boxing Day! You have managed to make it through Christmas Day, and now you must figure out whether you are a Boxing Day person or not. Remember, the Boxing Day Main Event is You vs. Your Debt, so don’t add to it! (yes, I realize that Boxing day has nothing to do with pugilism)

Things Not To Buy on Boxing Day

As a public service, here is a list of things that you should not buy on Boxing Day:

Truly Xmas Crap
Truly Xmas Crap
  • A pet or any kind of pet larger than a gerbil, the SPCA is full of animals that were bought on a whim. Are there boxing day pet sales?
  • Wrapping paper or any kind of Christmas decorations, you are not getting a good deal, you are taking steps towards being a full-out hoarder. I don’t care if the stuff is free, you have to store it, you’ll forget about it and if you are lucky throw it out, keep your money!
  • A car. Seriously, you are buying something over $20,000 on a boxing day sale? If you can impulse buy something that is that expensive, you really have a problem.
  • Construction supplies, unless you are about to build a new house, 20 sheets of dry wall for $2 a sheet cheaper is not a deal!
  • A frozen turkey, it’s not going to keep until next Christmas, you will waste more money on the electricity keeping it cold in your freezer.

What is Acceptable to Buy on Boxing Day

  • Presents for 2nd or 3rd Christmas. If anyone has an extended family and more than 1 Christmas, Boxing Day is a fantastic day to get your Christmas Shopping finished (if you have a list).
  • Something that your Grandparents gave you money to buy. I used to get a picture of something and was told to buy it at the Boxing Day sales (good idea).

The question you must ask yourself today is, “Do I need to go stand in line with a bunch of crazy people to buy something that you aren’t sure you need.”

Previous Boxing Days?

I have written on the topic of Boxing Day a few times.


Merry Christmas 2012

Yes, it is Christmas Day. I am writing this sometime long before to wish all of my gentle readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyeux Noel, Felice Navidad,  Happy Kwanza, Happy Chanukah and all the happiness of the season to you all.

Today is the time for families and being with your family (whether you want to or not in some cases). Don’t forget to watch my Twitter Feed for helpful, quick hits during the time between now and New Year 2013!

Merry Christmas 2012
Merry Christmas 2012

Christmas Wishes from the Past

I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:


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