Saint Patrick and Eleven Years of Financial Writing

It was 11 14 years ago this Saint Patrick’s day that I started writing here, and it all started with the exciting First Entry, that started me on writing for 11 years (so far). That first post was very much just me seeing how the whole thing worked, and I have learned so many valuable things over the years from writing here.

Getting Better ?

11 Years Later

I can hear more than a few folks asking, When is he going to stop?(Dear Lord, When?!?), and to be honest I have no idea. I write less than before, but not too much less. This post makes about 2875 over 3000 posts, which is astounding if you think of that in terms of the number of words written, but I hope that at least some of my words have been helpful to some folks. I have received a few very kind comments from folks, and I thank you for them, but I don’t think I will be retiring soon, but then again, you never know.

Top Posts and Why

Just a quick run down for my Top 5 ever posts and why they got written

  1. A Script for Customer Retention was simply me trying to make it easier for folks to get a better deal with whatever service company you are dealing with. It is interesting seeing the comments from the folks in the service industry ridiculing the whole thing, did I hit a nerve?
  2. CRA Child Disability Benefit (How To) is a post I wrote hoping to help folks, and it does seem to have helped, so if I write nothing else, this one post is the one I will point to as being some good that I did. As usual all I did was write down what my wife did (always good content).
  3. The Cost of Cheques a great deal of my writing is me ranting about things that have pissed me off, and this one is a classic example, and it even includes a hand drawn flow chart (written on a napkin).
  4. How Do I Retire at 35 ? is another interesting one, where it is me commenting on the folks who seem to think that you can actually “retire” at 35. What the hell are you going to do the rest of your life? Crochet? Seriously folks, you simply change to a lesser (or no) paying vocation at that age.
  5. Quicken 2015 Canadian Edition is popular because it seems to show up when folks do Quicken software searches on line, it shows up. I asked Quicken for a copy to review for this year, but never heard anything back. I suspect I may be leaving the Quicken lovers society soon (stay tuned).

My favourite posts (that don’t get many visitors, but that is OK) are:

  1. So that is what $50,000 looks like… was written when my oldest daughter graduated, and while the title can be interpreted as me lamenting the loss of money, it in fact is me celebrating making one of the best investments I have ever made.
  2. I’m an Adult Now? is a raw view of the death of my father. He was always seemed indestructible when I was a kid, but when you watch someone you love slowly waste away, it leaves you with some very definite ideas about Quality of Life when I get older.
  3. Debt is Like Fat is another example of how much of a struggle personal finance and life can be. I have packed back on a fair amount of weight since I started writing here (about 50 pounds), and I continue to fight to try to get back to a more reasonable weight if only to ensure I live longer. I feel there is more to say in this area, so again, stay tuned.

Thank you Dear Reader for staying around and reading along with my adventures in money.

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Ten Years and Still Going

Ten years ago today I wrote a simple post

First Entry

I was planning on creating this site on my account on another ISP, but decided, maybe this is more of a BLOG type thing. I will turn on Comments and such once I get some content up to discuss.

Little did I know that it would start a 10 year run of writing about money, life, family and a few other odd topics.

10 Years is a Long Time

Ten Years Later

Ten Years is a Long Time

What has changed financially over these 10 years?

  • The TFSA didn’t exist 10 years ago, it wasn’t even a thought, now it is a key aspect of how Canadians save.
  • The RDSP didn’t exist for parents with disabled loved ones.
  • The great crash of 2008, which we are still recovering from. Goodness, that was a crash!
  • I got laid off, and then found another job (eventually). Nortel went bankrupt, but I managed to dodge that bullet too.
  • We all got used to LUDICROUSLY Low Interest Rates, how will we ever kick that habit?
  • Gasoline prices back in 2005 were about 90 cents a litre and today they are about $1, so gas has only gone up 10 cents in 10 years right?
  • Banks not only open on Saturdays now they Open on Sundays too (they didn’t in 2005)
  • The iPhone appeared and hipsters round the world danced a happy jig.
  • Plenty of tax changes:
    • Public Transit tax credit
    • Safe deposit boxes are no longer an investment carrying charge
    • Introduction of Sports (and Arts) credits for active/artsy kids
    • Income splitting for Pensioners, and a meager attempt for others.
  • I published over 2700 articles? Wow, that is a lot of words. Over 300 of those articles are on Personal Finance .

Did I miss anything big over the past 10 years?

Will I be doing this in 10 years? Who knows?

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CLBs, Weak Loons, Tax Time, Superb Owls and #BestThisWeek

The predicted snowmagedon for New York didn’t really appear, however, Boston took it on the nose as did the Maritime provinces, Ottawa continues to be storm free (for now). Ottawa’s weather has been cold but lacking in precipitation, but we still have February and March to get through yet.

A signature success/Un succès sur toute la ligne

Can I have this one?

This week we heard about SmartSaver which looks like a good program to make sure that the folks who the CLB (Canada Learning Bond) was designed for, receive the money they deserve. I also got mentioned by Rob Carrick so lots of new eyes have been wandering across the site, let us hope a few of you have stayed around to continue visiting.

The Canadian Dollar is now below 80 cents US, and how this changes the economy remains to be seen. Imports will start getting more expensive (again), but will this help Canadian Manufacturing? It also means that there most likely won’t be an NHL team in Quebec City for a good long time (this will hurt the Canadian NHL teams in terms of having to pay their payroll in US Funds, but earning their income in Canadian Funds).

It is also time to start thinking about your taxes, joy! Better start making a list of all the forms you will need to be able to file your return, and try to get it in as soon as possible (unless you owe money, but even then, you can file early and then only pay on the last day (on-line at your bank)).

Evidently there is a celebration of Owls this weekend, and a quest to find the one that is the most Superb? It’s called the Super Bowl? Oh, well that makes more sense then, good luck to both teams, and I hope they both lose (being a Giants fan).

My Writings for Week Ending January 30th

Something must be in the air, I wrote 5 articles this week? Haven’t done that for a good long while :

Scotia Bank Value Visa

Click here for more great personal finance stories

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The Importance of Anniversaries

Today is the anniversary of when Mrs. C8j said yes that she actually wanted to be married to me (you can query her as to her sanity on this day), and as a helpful reminder for those folks who “poo poo” anniversaries and such, these are important dates for many reasons.

Mmmm... Cake

Mmmm… Cake

  1. Realizing there is someone who actually wants to live with you, which in my case is almost miraculous.
  2. You can realize just how fast time is passing in your life, when you realize you have lived with the same person for almost half of your life (in my case).
  3. A good excuse to have a small celebration

It’s pretty easy to sacrifice these kind of celebrations in the name of frugality, but if you don’t mark these dates, you’ll regret it later in life.

As a message to Mrs. C8j :to quote the great one, “Baby you’re the greatest!”

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Financial Things to Do On Your Birthday

Yes, for me around this time of year, another birthday transpires (mine to be specific), and I was thinking about the things (financially) that you need to do or think about on your birthday. I am confident I am missing a few, so if you read this and think of some other things I may not have thought about, please add in the comments:

Birthday Reminders and Things To Do

A Real Birthday Cake!

A Real Birthday Cake!

Just a few important things to think about on your birthday

  1. Insurance: this topic actually has a whole bunch of interesting sub topics:
    • Life insurance, is your premium due for the year? Should you be thinking about getting more insurance, if you have more kids, or have had a life change? Have you checked to see who the beneficiary is of your policy? Might be time to just go check that (if you are divorced, or a widower).
    • Car insurance, does it need to be renewed? Is it time to shop around to get a cheaper policy?
  2. Did you get your car registration renewed? Here in Ontario that is usually when it lapses. How about your drivers’ license? If you have moved, you might not have got your reminder, open your wallet and check.
  3. Guilt, have you called your kids the day after your birthday and reminded them that it would have been nice to get a call saying Happy Birthday? Guilty kids are less likely to be bothering you about getting more money from you.
  4. Have you checked the batteries on your smoke detector? If you want to protect your house or property it is really important to check these.
  5. Maybe it’s time to make a Doctor’s appointment, if you are over 30. Don’t wait until your arm is cut off by a reciprocating saw or when you think you need little blue pills to go see  your Doctor. Having money is great, but if you are dead, you aren’t going to be enjoying it that much
  6. What the heck is in your safe deposit box? Maybe it’s time to go and check on that, maybe there is stuff in there that much be dealt with.
  7. You could always restart your New Years Resolutions too, since you most likely abandoned them by your birthday (for me it’s a lot harder given my birthday is in January).
  8. How about those deadbeat friends of yours that come over and drink your beer? Get them to buy you a drink (or 12)!

Just a few simple ideas for those with a birthday coming up.

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