Summer is Here, Canada Day, Christmas and #BestMoneyStories

in Best of, Random Thoughts

As of the 21st of June, the summer of 2015 has started, with all the associated hoopla and fun. Remember that during the summer you might forget some important things like making sure your bills get paid, so maybe spend some time automating your bill payments for the summer, so that you don’t get in trouble with your creditors, and utilities.

Canadian Flag

Early Happy Canada Day

Canada Day is coming next week, on a Wednesday which will make for a great deal of confusion for folks, trying to figure out the ideal usage of their vacation, but my personal theory is if you spend 4 days vacation and get a complete week off, you are getting a 25% bonus, so take the days and enjoy the time off. Others have argued with me, why take vacation around that time, nothing is going on at work, they’d rather take their vacation when the office is busy. Both arguments are fine,  just remember to take your vacation (if Gail Vaz-Oxlade can take Time Off, so can you).

If you want a really summery thought it is less than 6 months until Christmas. How is your planning and shopping going for Christmas 2015? Here is another helpful hint, it is on a Friday, which means New Years Day is a Friday, and you have a whole weekend to recover from New Years Eve. Not helpful? How about this great advice about what to do before you go to bed before New Years Eve ?

The CFL season has started, go RedBlacks !

My Writings for Week Ending June 26th

Canada Day is quickly approaching, but it falling on a Wednesday assures next week is going to be a rather herky jerky kind of week:

  • I have started using Zinio again from the Ottawa Public Library (a magazine reading app, that through the library allows you to browse for free), and using that I noted that Money Magazine had a “Money 101” section, and this was one of the questions in that section What is My Tax Bracket ? Now in Canada it is not really that straight forward as we have so many taxes to deal with, but it gives you an idea (and Yes, you should at least have an idea what your tax bracket entails).
  • Given I am all for for Financial Literacy I figured  I would try to give some helpful hints about figuring out when you are about to be overwhelmed by debt with, Symptoms Your Debt Load is Getting Out of Control, and yes those are actual examples.
  • On this site’s sister blog, I published LastPass Hacked and Best of Technology and Security This Week , in case you are looking to learn a bit about technology and the associated security on that technology.

Something helpful from Larry MacDonald:

Kobo Canada

Roll Out Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy, Financial Literacy Days of Summer

When was the last time you heard someone explain that they hadn’t bought something because it was too expensive? Mark from My Own Advisor points out that in this day and age We Can’t Afford it Remains a Taboo, no one wants to admit they can’t afford something. I can’t afford a lot of things, guess I must be in the minority ? It’s odd that folks seem to gladly talk about going into debt, or how large their debt is, but no one wants to admit they can’t afford something? Maybe that is a good example of how Psychology Affects your Financial Landscape (as Retire Happy points out). It assuredly is part of the Problems Teaching Financial Literacy (Rob Carrick interviewed Moshe Milevsky in the Globe). Teaching kids about money and debt Can Be a Taboo Subject as well, but I keep wondering, why?

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

Another interesting part of Financial Literacy is understanding what makes you happy and how you can use your money to have those things. Mark from the Blunt Bean Counter asks that exact question, How Much Money Does it Take to Make you Happy? I have a number in mind, and have a good idea of how much I need to retire, and it is more than I think I need, because I have found I am lousy at making these estimations.  Once you have that money, you may want to buy something, however, Marie from Boomer and Echo points out the Conflict of Interest in Sales, make sure you get what you paid for.

What happens if you make that big mistake and dig yourself a deep debt hole? Barry from Money We Have gives us some Debt Repayment Options (and some you should avoid). Everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is to realize you are in trouble and getting help to get out of trouble, especially with debt. You do realize an election is coming this fall (in Canada) and Mark from 2nd Career Search gives us an American opinion on the Tory attack ads, with Attack Ads North and South. Sustainable Personal Finance had Nelson Smith write a good advice column, Stop Thinking and Start Doing, which is good advice for all parts of your life.Being the proud child of immigrant parents (the came over in the 1950’s) I read with great interest From Arrival to Retirement – An Immigrant Family Success Story.

If you are investing in Index Funds or ETFs, the Canadian Couch Potato points out that China Grabs a Bigger Share of the Indexes. Netflix has become an interesting stock and this week Netflix Announced a 7 to 1 Stock Split, wow.

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25!
Michael James brings home another good Financial Literacy concept, which is Guilt-Free Spending Through Planning, where you know you are saving so whatever money you have, you can spend (now I am pretty sure the implication of Michael James’ point is not a “You can spend it on whatever the hell you want”, more you can buy those things you need without guilt, but I might be wrong, maybe he is implying go out and blow all your money you have left, but I doubt it).

Squawkfox Says You are Wasteful

I hate it when she is right, she talks to Rob Carrick about this:

Birth of the First Robo-Advisor

A classic from the 80’s turns 30 years old, Weird Science, where Kelly LeBrock became the first Robo-Advisor (OK, well maybe not exactly), was released in 1985.  I was a big fan of Oingo Boingo (the group Danny Elfman was in (who does the Simpsons music now)) that did the theme for the movie, so here it is to celebrate the birth of the Robo-Advisor:

2015 Random Thoughts

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  • My Own Advisor June 28, 2015, 8:05 AM

    Wise words from Michael, save, spend money not credit.

    I also find it very odd, to the point of frustrating, why I get looks like a two-headed monster when I say “I can’t afford it” but they others are happy to brag about their new car that is 100% financed for the next 5 years.

    To each their own I guess….

    Thanks for the mention!!

    • bigcajunman June 28, 2015, 1:26 PM

      Only 5 years? Most of my co-workers seem to think a 7 year lease is a great idea.

  • Michael James June 26, 2015, 10:03 AM

    I think it always makes sense to be selective about spending, but if you have a plan and are headed in the right direction, there’s no reason not to use available money to do something you enjoy. The key is to use money and not credit. Thanks for the mention.

  • RICARDO June 26, 2015, 9:40 AM

    Morning BCM;
    I can not quite get my head around giving someone else access to my bank account – auto payment – simply because if they make a mistake then you have to fight to get your money back. And knowing how bureaucratic some places can be (think HydroOne or HydroQuebec for me) the only thing they will tell you that it is not their responsability if they made a mistake.
    So, NO THANK YOU, I will still keep on keeping on with those bill notifications and paying them when they are due.
    I do set up some payment schedules when the payments are set out for the year, like municipal taxes or scholl taxes. I set it up in my bank account to pay at such and such a date without any furhter intervention from me. But no one has “free” access to my bank account.


    • bigcajunman June 26, 2015, 10:37 AM

      Very true, but most banks will allow you to create the automatic pay capabilities too.


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