Minister Flaherty gave us a very vague budget (2013) yesterday. For Hockey Moms, reasons to rejoice, given tariffs on Hockey equipment, Golf Clubs, Baby Clothes and a few other things are now gone. In terms of taxes, no new taxes, but no new tax cuts. However, for you “tax cheats” who use “tax loopholes” to pay less tax, the CRA is looking for you (what a load of codswallop that is, how is someone who uses a tax loophole, a tax cheat?). It has been proposed to allocate more funds towards training, aboriginal education, and infrastructure to prevent further incidents like sinkholes appearing on major roads. However, there are still some uncertainties regarding budget cuts. Is the government still committed to achieving a balanced budget by 2015? Apparently, yes.
Cuts to the Civil Service? Yes, but it is not evident where or how this might happen, or by what measures either. When will this become evident? Wait for the OMNIbus bill that will bring this budget to life, and that is where a lot of the nitty gritty parts of this budget will become evident (if previous Tory budgets are any measure).
What will the Harper Government want to cut? My guess is there will be “cuts” in terms of jobs, however, they have not finished their cutting from last year, and, they will rely heavily on the aging baby boomers retiring to take care of a lot of the cuts in that sense. The BIG fight will be the “Banking of Sick Days” (which teachers in Ontario used to be able to do but it was abolished and the slate was wiped clean (i.e. all banked days were lost)) which is in the current PSAC contract. Ottawa is abuzz with what might be proposed, but this will make for an interesting battle, and we may only know when the Budget Omnibus bill is proposed.
So 40 years ago this year, Pink Floyd put out one of my favourite “Dessert Island Albums,” Dark Side of the Moon. The album is one of the biggest-selling albums ever, but I enjoy all the intricate weavings of sound and music. You don’t have this album? What are you some musical Luddite? Please go out and buy it! Any album that has the line “Grab that cash with both hands, and make a stash” is a must have for Financially Minded folks.
Speaking of old things, you might have missed the huge celebration last Sunday for my Eighth anniversary on line (some people thought it was for St. Patty’s day, but no, all that green beer was in celebration of my writings, trust me).
This Sunday is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week for Christians. Lent finishes on Good Friday (or is it Easter Sunday?) so your Lenten financial journey is almost over (for those attempting to make some changes over this time of year). At least the Catholic Church got a new Pope in place before Holy Week (it would be embarrassing not to have one for the biggest week in the Church’s year).
My Weekly Recap
You’d think after eight years I might get tired of this, but for some reason I just keep going not sure why, I just does:
My Writings for Week Ending March 22nd
Still Crazy After All These Years…
Seriously St. Patty’s was the first time I wrote on the original version of this blog, wild times!
Seriously folks, you don’t have to pay those crazy fees, just ask to have them refunded and you might be surprised at the results.
For those of us with disabled loved ones, it is important to take all the financial breaks the government is willing to give us.
OK I kind of borrowed this idea from Larry Swedroe, but it is important you don’t over invest in your employer or you might get badly singed.
Free for all Thursday I figured I’d open the whole cut rate mortgage discussion. Lots of interesting comments to read here.
Links for the Week
Spring Sprang this week, however all that means (in Ottawa) is that the snow will be turning brown soon, no birdies or grass to be found :
Top Stories of the Week of March 22nd
Yes, surprisingly Easter is more important than Christmas (but don’t tell Santa that!)
Michael James points out that another way to control cut rate mortgages might be to up the CMHC premiums in hot real estate areas, and that might control things better than Mr. Flaherty calling up lenders telling them to stop offering cheap loans?
The BBC gives us a neat Â test to make sure that your finances can withstand a major stress. (like a sudden death or the like). Can your finances take the stress test? Better go try it, could save you or your loved ones a lot of stress later on in life.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade gives another good article which you may not WANT to read, but I can assure you, that you NEED to read it, to get your priorities right in your financial life.
Mark from My Own Advisor discusses the enemies of your investing strategies. Â He makes a good point about the money you lose to management fees is money you’ll never get back (or ever had in the first place).
The Canadian Capitalist Â wonders if Teksavvy is worth the headaches, or whether he should just have stayed with Bell for his internet supplier. My family has had similar issues with Teksavvy, but I still recommend them over Rogers and Bell (even with their service shortcomings).
Jim Yih, gives us a little help figuring out how much CPP we might receive if we retired. This is not a simple calculation, and you may not get an exact number, but you will get a good estimation with this calculation.
Krystal wonders if it’s possible to keep from buying ourselves into a financial bind? She seems to have a good handle on it.
Preet brings us a new podcast with an interview of an actual Money Coach. What is a money coach? Better listen to this and get an actual Money Coach’s explanation of her role(s).
An Interesting Video with LEGO
I was lucky if I could make a house with my LEGO when I was a kid, nothing as fancy as this!
Best of 2013
Some of the best of posts from 2013
- CPP Reform, Snow, Christmas, Boxing day and #FreeFormFriday Did the CPP reform of 2013 fix much? Kind of, but Christmas was coming too.
- Mandela gone, Canada “Post”, Gail on the Shelf and #FreeFormFriday Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013, after a long illness.
- Christmas is Coming, Christmas Lay Offs, Electric Fees, Commie Pope and #FreeFormFriday Celebrate Christmas with more online shopping – BMO and many other companies announce layoffs during the Holiday season.
- Black November, Bitcoins, Tablets, Unloseable Lottery and #FreeFormFriday So Black Friday is upon us, however, it seems to be losing a lot of it’s “thunder” thanks to the “sales” starting earlier.
- Mad Dog, English Men, I’m OK and #Shoutouts Maurice Mad Dog Vachon was a tough son of a gun, but did he have a financial impact too? Read on to find out.
- Toronto Circus, Prince Charles Retires, More Word Puzzles and Friday #ShoutOuts This whole Toronto thing really is just a reality TV show gone off the rails, isn’t it? The three-ring circus that is unfolding in the media
- Identifiable, the Iron Sheik, Remembrance Day, More Word Puzzles and Friday #ShoutOuts So my concerns that if I put my natural face on my Social Media accounts were just paranoia.
- Incestuous Bloggers, Word Puzzles, RDSP Menu, All Saints Day and Friday #ShoutOuts Sometimes blogs become a little closed in and don’t recognize new folks and we become incestuous bloggers.
- Senate Fun, Apocalypse Averted, Asteroids and Friday #ShoutOuts News Canadians can’t ignore: investigate the scandal and discover if the Harper Government’s demise is near!
- Kicking the Can, Throne Speech, Windows 8.1 and Friday #ShoutOuts Seems our friends down south had so much fun with almost upending the world economy, they’d like to try to do it again in January.
- Government #Defaults, Fake Reviews, Turkey Time, Fall Colours and Friday #ShoutOuts Given that for some odd reason shutting the government down wasn’t enough our friends down south are now attempting to disrupt or possibly completely f*ck the world economy by defaulting in a few days.
- Government Shutdowns, Hockey Returns, New iPhone and Friday #ShoutOuts Explore the debate surrounding the US government’s shutdown with insight into potential resolutions outside of the standard back pay for civil servants.
- Financial Bloggers, 35 Million Strong, Odd CRA Cheques and Friday #ShoutOuts I had a very good time at CPFC13 where I got to moderate a panel of Investing Smart folks, and I learned a great deal from a few outstanding presenters,
- A Better Friday and #CPFC13 Not a regular Friday after this week and my preparations for the coming weekend, I didn’t really get enough time to put together my regular Friday Random Thoughts, but here is a shortened version.
- Friday the 13th, Private Royal Mail, Canadian 1% and Friday #ShoutOuts Watch out for bad things on Fridays – it’s Friday the 13th! Don’t subscribe to the concept? Tuesday is the most evil day. September 11th was a Tuesday! Don’t forget about ladders and black cats either. UK privatizing the Royal Mail? A price tag of £3B pounds!
- King Louis, Braun Follies, Lice and Friday #ShoutOuts Greetings and Happy Birthday to Prince George Louis Alexander Windsor (and future King of Canada), welcome to the media “sh*te storm” that will be your life.
- Loose Money, Faster Sites, the Heat is On and Friday #ShoutOuts The new Bank of Canada Governor announced on Wednesday no change in the interest rates for now, with the overnight rate continuing at 1%.
- Floods, Explosions, See Thru Lu Lu’s and Friday #ShoutOuts Looks like the Engineer is now being “thrown under the train” as it were (i.e. the finger of blame is being pointed at him by his CEO).
- Egypt, July 4th, Sweltering Summer, Alfie and Friday #ShoutOuts Interesting how the Egyptian military throwing out an allegedly democratically elected President is being hailed as a great democratic change.
- Canada Day, 4th of July, Flooding and Some Random Thoughts A hard week in 2013 for my family with the passing of my Mother-in-law to Cancer. One day that disease will be done.
- Fathers, Corruption, Horton’s Hedgings and Friday #ShoutOuts Hopefully everyone enjoyed Father’s Day, I know I did, very nice day, lovely meal and some peace and quiet.
- Stanley Cup, Turbans, Car Tracking and Friday #ShoutOuts The Stanley Cup finals have started, and hopefully all the games aren’t going to go that late into the night, or I will need to start working the night shift at work.
- Baseball “Cheats”, D-Day, Fun with Fiji and Friday #ShoutOuts It seems baseball is embroiled with yet another “performance enhancing drugs” scandal with a few very well-known names being implicated by yet another “wellness clinic”. Are the accusations true?
- Obliterating Rock, Floods, Senators and Friday #ShoutOuts If you are reading this after 4:35 PM May 31, 2013 I guess we survived another close fly by of a “Civilization Killer” lump of Rock.
- Senators, Twisters, Water and Friday #ShoutOuts To say the entire Senators Expenses Event is more ridiculous than a Christmas Panto (usually an excuse for men to dress up as women
- Mothers, Hab Nots, Trains, and Friday #ShoutOuts What does a Walrus, Model Trains and Mother’s Day have to do with each other? Not that much but more financial stories too.
- Taxes Done, Drones, Playoffs and Friday #ShoutOuts Hope your taxes were in on Tuesday, because if not, you might be in trouble (especially if you are part of the $29 Billion dollars still owed to the government in Taxes).
- Disk Crashes, Daffodils, Password Trappers and Friday #ShoutOuts High Tech always proves that it is much like Mother Nature, in that, you should never ignore it or take it for granted, because things can change very quickly at the most inopportune times.
- Loose Money, Trudeau-mania II, Nut Bags and Friday #ShoutOuts If you missed it on Wednesday the Bank of Canada continued to keep their key overnight rate at 1%.
- Snowmaegedon, the Masters, Windows and Friday #ShoutOuts Today, we are experiencing a late version of winter, with a nasty snow/ice/rain storm that proves that just when you think it is Spring, you might be mistaken.
- Final Four, Dark Matter, Tax Time and Friday #ShoutOuts The NCAA Men’s basketball Final Four is this weekend, and my bracket is completely shot.
- Budgets, Dark Side of the Moon, Eight Years Later, Palm Sunday and Friday #ShoutOuts Minister Flaherty gave us a very vague budget (2013) yesterday. For Hockey Moms, reasons to rejoice, given tarifs on Hockey equipment, Golf Clubs, Baby Clothes and a few other things are now gone.
- Pope Picked, Pi Day, St. Patty’s Day and Phriday #ShoutOuts Seems our Catholic brethren have chosen a new Pope (Francis) this week, thus ending one of the greatest talent hunts of the year.
- Thanks Stompin Tom, Loose Money Continues, Tax Time, Pope Picking and Friday #Shoutouts Stompin’ Tom Connors a true Canadian treasure has left us, and I for one am sad to hear it.
- St David’s Day, Snow, RRSP Season Over, Tax Time and Friday #Shoutouts Happy Saint David’s Day to all my Welsh brethren today.
- RRSP Time, Winners, Tax Time, Short Weeks and Friday #Shoutouts Yes, it’s that magical time when your Savings Institution pressures you to top up your RRSP account so you can take full advantage of the savings on your taxes.
- Lent , Pope Out, the Senate, RRSP Time and Friday #Shoutouts Lent is finally upon us, have you started making your plans? No? Me neither, I just haven’t had a heck of a lot of time to think about this kind of stuff.
- Lent , Pancake Tuesday, and Love Day Soon and Friday #Shoutouts For those of you unaware, Lent begins next Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) February 13th, so here is yet another chance to restart (or start) your financial plans for the coming year.
- Groundhog Day, Farewell Penny, No Vine and Friday #Shoutouts Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, so then we shall see how well a ground hog can prognosticate the weather (about as well as I can prognosticate financial stuff is my guess).
- Loose Money Continues, Polar Temps, More Info Lost and Friday #Shoutouts Wednesday our friends from the Bank of Canada kept their loose money policies in place.
- Hockey, Armstrong, Idle Folk, Lost Loans and Friday #ShoutOuts What happened the week of January 18th in 2013? Some NHL stuff, but a lot of interesting financial stuff too!
- Drop the Puck, Death Pills, Strikes and Friday #Shoutouts For those die hard NHL fans (like me) there will be hockey soon.
- Bye and Thanks for all the Fish, CBC Questions, Holiday Hours and Friday #Shoutouts Well it has been fun, but I guess it all had to end some time, it’s been a good run.