Christmas is finally here (on Sunday), and I hope it will be an enjoyable, festive season for you, your family and friends. Christmas is a special time in our household, and I hope this year will be no different. Remember to give to charity this time of year, especially if you are feeling especially fortunate; help them have a Merry Christmas. Charity should be part of your financial planning (if you are thinking of starting your 2017 plans, add that in).
The CRTC announced on Thursday that High-Speed Internet access is a right for all Canadians. The line I like the most in the report was:
High quality and reliable digital connectivity is essential for the quality of life of Canadians and Canada’s economic prosperity.
– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC
Will this somehow cause the big Internet Service providers in Canada to make sure there are affordable (yet high-quality) solutions available to all Canadians? My skepticism meter is reading high that things will change without a legislated solution in place (but we saw how well the whole $25 cable TV solution did). It would be a Merry Christmas if everyone could have access to basic internet, which is defined as:
- speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband Internet access services.
- an unlimited data option for fixed broadband access services.
- the latest mobile wireless technology available not only in homes and businesses, but also along major Canadian roads.
Stats Canada published the November Consumer Price Index numbers, and year over year inflation is running at a lowly 1.2% but is it really? After a cursory look, it seems that it might be good this month, with Food being a category where prices actually dropped.
As we have learned, there is a much more detailed report for the CPI, which answers a few more questions for us and gives us some tangible highlights:
Main contributors to the 12-month change in the CPI:
Main upward contributors:
- Purchase of passenger vehicles (+3.0%)
- Homeowners’ replacement cost (+4.4%)
- Food purchased from restaurants (+2.5%)
- Electricity (+3.5%)
- Homeowners’ home and mortgage insurance (+4.4%)
Main downward contributors:
- Gasoline (-1.7%)
- Fresh vegetables (-4.7%)
- Meat (-2.0%)
- Fresh fruit (-4.5%)
- Travel tours (-4.2%)
The fact that Gas is down in price is not nearly as interesting as to how Fresh Veggies, Fruit and Meat are down in price. This is actually good news (for now); however, remember the prices on those foodstuffs have been going up big time over the whole summer. On the downside of things, Electricity prices continue to rise, not a good thing to see going into this Winter.
My Writings for Week Ending December 23rd
As most of my regular readers know, I am not a very big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, but having a financial plan for 2017 (financially) is a prudent thing to do, so thus I give you Smart Financial Goals for 2017. However, you want to motivate yourself to plan for the New Year as your business, get a plan down, and start using it.
I found 8 Holiday Ideas to Save Money in my archive of unfinished stories, so I dusted it off and published it for a small Ho Ho Ho for this Christmas season. It is a sarcastic commentary, but would you expect anything less from me?
A Warm Coat for the Winter
But do you really need this coat, for that price? I doubt it, and yes, Kerry wrote about this two years ago (I note other folks are only talking about it now):
It’s a Festivus Miracle!
For those of you who might not celebrate a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Merry Festivus, and any other holiday that I may have missed.
- CRA Information requests are nothing new to me, but Mark from the Blunt Bean Counter gives us his own update, CRA Information Requests – 2016 Update , glad to hear real money pros get these letters too.
- Robb from Boomer & Echo answers a query, I Want To Buy A House In 3 Years. Should I Invest My Down Payment? Only if you don’t mind if it gets cut in half.
- Mark from My Own Advisor interviews another one of my favorite folk, Interview with Robert Brown – Head Rabbit – Wealthing Like Rabbits, an excellent Christmas gift too!
- Blessed by the Potato enters an interesting auto discussion with Winter Tires and Bang-for-Your-Buck, in Ottawa there is no argument, you need snow tires, but do you need them in Toronto? I don’t know, but I am glad to have my snow tires on these days.
- Michael James wades in on the new local taxation premise (for local government)Toll Roads and Bridges. Everyone wants more money and the cities are now looking at introducing tolls as a new income stream.
Merry Christmas Noddy
Nothing says Merry Christmas more to me than Noddy and the boys from Slade singing Merry Christmas Everybody.
Christmas in Heaven
A festive tune by Monty Python
Christmas Wishes from the Past
I seem to do this a lot, so here are my Christmas wishes from years gone by:
- Merry Christmas 2021 was another COVID crisis time. Omicron hit and Christmas became much more closed up. Maybe the last one of these, but we thought that last year.
- Merry Christmas 2020 ! Do you see the pussy cat in the tree? An odd year with a Pandemic and all. Christmas All Year Round ? Yes, it does feel like that these days doesn’t it? The 12 Days of Christmas Debt ? What the heck ? That isn’t Christmasy at all!
- Merry Christmas 2017 ! That was a year of fun videos that I found to help celebrate the holiday. Love that old CFCF fill.
- Merry Christmas, Highspeed Internet a right, Inflation at 1.2 and #MoneyTalk 2016 ! Sheesh, I couldn’t even be bothered to send a message that year, how Grinchy.
- Merry Christmas 2014 ! A lovely quote from the King James bible for that year. Seem to have done nothing for 2015. This year I even had a Christmas Eve post.
- Happy Christmas 2013 ! I loved the photos of every years Christmas Tree, very festive. Another Christmas Eve post too.
- Merry Christmas 2012 ! You see the hideous curtains we had in the den back then. That year we had the $150 Christmas challenge too.
- Merry Christmas 2011 ! The tree moved back to the front room and I used Google Translate to create a festive message. Think I was on French training that year. Also At Christmas Why Not Just Give Cash ?
- Merry Christmas 2010 has some very deep philosophical commentary in it. Must have been hitting the Christmas cheer early. Christmas Eve that year must have been a Friday.
- Merry Christmas 2009 and all you got was an NFB short? Not that bad really. There was also Christmas Eve thoughts too.
- Merry Christmas 2008 ! That was the year of the infamous Financial Advent Calendar too.
- A few last Yuletide Thoughts was what I had in 2007.
- Merry Christmas 2006 ! A quieter year I suppose.
- Whatever little money you have, make sure you spend it… was my first year writing here. Quite gruff and grinchy.
2016 Random Thoughts
- January 7th, Market Meltdown, TFSA, WildCard Weekend and #MoneyStories
- January 14th, Cheap Oil, Cheap Dollar, Dead Folk, and #MoneyStories
- January 21st, Loose Money, High Household Debt, Weak Loons and #MoneyStories
- January 29th, Doomsday Clocks, Rogue RRSP Receipts, Cash Crops and #MoneyStories
- February 4th Bouncing Loonies, RRSP Season, Superb Owls and #MoneyStories
- February 12th Lent is Here, Bricked iPhones, Love Day and #MoneyStories
- February 19th Digging Out, Ransomware, RRSP Time and #MoneyStories
- February 26th RRSP Time and #MoneyStories
- March 4th Welcome Americans and #MoneyStories
- March 11th Bank Rate Stays Put, Spring Forward and #MoneyStories
- March 18th Financial March Madness, Budgets and #MoneyStories
- March 25th, Easter is Here and some #MoneyStories
- April 1, Money Fools, Ronnie, and #MoneyStories
- April 8, Tax Time, Spring Delayed, Panama Papers and #MoneyStories
- April 15,Loose Money, Free Stuff, Hockey and #MoneyStories
- April 22,Disabilities, Tax Time, The Queen and #MoneyStories
- April 29,Pitter Patter Tax Time, RESPs are For Rich Folk and #MoneyStories
- May 6, Fort Mac, Mothers and #MoneyTalk
- May 13, Panama Papers, Google & PayDay Loans, Full Moons and #MoneyTalk
- May 20, Victoria Day, The People’s Elbow, Haircuts and #MoneyTalk
- May 27, Loose Money and #MoneyTalk
- June 3, CRA Itunes Pmts, RESP Scams and #MoneyTalk
- June 10, Portal to Hell Opens in Ottawa, BoC FSR and #MoneyTalk
- June 17, Fathers Day, Trump Housing Bubble, and #MoneyTalk
- June 24, Brexit, Fete National, Enhanced CPP and #MoneyTalk
- July 1, Happy Canada Day and Best Mid-Year Financial Stories
- July 8, Brexit Market Mayhem, Millenial Bashing and #MoneyTalk
- July 15,Brexit Hurts, Loose Money, Postal Strikes, Recounts and #Moneytalks
- July 22,More Pensions, New CTC, and #MoneyTalk
- July 31, Unknown Long Weekend, Windows 10 and #MoneyTalk
- August 5, The Olympics, Topless Spelunkers, and #MoneyTalk
- August 12, Women Rule, Less Jobs and #MoneyTalk
- August 19, Obnoxious 30 Year Old Retirees, Olympics and #MoneyTalk
- August 26,Farewell, EpiPens, Ombudsman Report and #MoneyTalk
- September 9,iPhone 7, High Tuition, Loose Money & #MoneyTalk
- September 16, Unemployment Up, On the Money, Debt and #MoneyTalk
- September 23, Rate Rises, Winter is Coming, Access Neutrality and #MoneyTalk
- September 30, Bye Bye CSBs, 36 Million Strong and #Moneytalk
- October 7, Thanksgiving, Knuckleheads, Debt & the Buddha & #Moneytalk
- October 14, Henson Trusts, RDSP Gripes and #MoneyTalk
- October 21, RDSP , New Mortgage Rules Hurts Economy and #MoneyTalk
- October 28, Overvalued Housing, EU Trade Deal, Overcharging Banks & Scary #MoneyTalk
- November 4, Curses Broken, Doomsday, and #MoneyTalk
- November 10, Grating America, Shocking Mornings, Making Debt Great Again and #MoneyTalk
- November 17, CPFC16, Black Friday, Mortgage Hikes and #MoneyTalk
- November 24, Black Friday is Here, Exciting Tax Calculations and MoneyTalk
- December 2, Air Miles Blinks, Advent Begins and #Moneytalk
- December 9, Xmas It Gift, Loose Money and #MoneyTalk
- December 16, Interest Rate Hikes, TFSA Limits and #Moneytalk
Remember, my RSS feed is available too, and I have added an RSS Comment Feed. I was hoping you could have a look at my micro-blog on Twitter, where you can see a whole plethora of good articles and pithy comments by me as well.
My Twitter feed is where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off-colour commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flipboard, Instagram and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid). Don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes). As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often!
This site is iPhone Friendly (and Android, iPod Touch and iPad Friendly). Enjoy it on the go, in a readable format for the device. If you are reading with an iPhone or Android device, drop a comment and tell me if this needs any improvements.