The 12 Days of Christmas Debt

Just to get everyone in a festive Christmas spirit allow me to offer, this cautionary tale of Christmas Debt.

The 12 Days of Christmas DEBT

12 Months of Agonizing Payments

Have you paid off last Christmas yet? How about the one before that?

11 Maxed Out Credit Cards

How much room do you have on those cards? Really?

10 Overdrafts a leaping

Really, how much are you paying in overdraft fees? Just because your bank balance can show a negative value, doesn’t mean it should always be that way!

9 Minimum Payments

You realize you will pay that off in 20 years with those minimum payments, or possibly 50 years? Minimum payments simply forestall the inevitable.

8 Balance Transfers

Shuttling debt from one credit card to another is not solving the problem. Juggling chainsaws will lead to a messy end, and that is what this is.

7 Cashed in Emergency Funds

Christmas debt is an emergency? Don’t think that is the emergency you were planning for.

6 Pay Day Loans

This could be starting a death spiral in your finances that will lead you to Day (3)

5 Gold Reclamations!

Did your Grandmother leave you that ring to help you cash it in for pennies on the dollar to pay off debt?

4 Calling Collection Agencies

These are not the bogus ones you get emails from, these are the real ones

3 Calls to insolvency trustees

They can help, but you can’t keep doing this every year either.

2 Calls to your family for an emergency loan

You do have to pay those back, you realize?

1 Mortgage Refinance

Using the equity in your house to pay for consumer debt is a very bad thing.

Yes, not very festive, but ultimately a bit too true. I go to Church and I am confident the Christmas season is not designed to bankrupt you. It is at time to get together with family and friends. 

Wonder why you dislike this time of season? How many of the Days of Debt on the list are you facing in January? 

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Yes the day is here, and I hope that you have a wonderful and special time with family and friends today. Merry Christmas to you all!

Christmas Tree 2017
The Actual Christmas Tree at my House

A favorite short video that played in Montreal on CFCF 12 at this Merry Christmas time for your enjoyment.

If that was a bit too austere for you, here is one of my favorites, a Wombling Merry Christmas. You could listen to Slade’s Merry Christmas too, but I still love the wombles.

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Winter, Inflation and Christmas are Here and #MoneyTalk

Christmas is finally here, and we can then unleash the orgy of spending known as Boxing Day/Week/Month! The sales will start on Christmas Eve, and will continue until there is no snow on the ground. Boxing Day sales used to be interesting, when I got money for Christmas, but now, they bore me. Luckily inflation is here as well!

When did giving a car for Christmas become a thing? One year we got a Vic-20 and I thought that was a huge extravagance. I was planning on giving everyone a Bitcoin, but that got a little out of hand a bit too quick.

Winter is here, to quote Game of Thrones. Days will start getting longer in the Norther Hemisphere but still look for the Debt White Walkers, Rising Dragon-fire Interest rates and the Foreclosure Wildlings, which are now loose.

Game of Thrones Financial

The White Walkers Want Your Money

Did you buy bread at Loblaws or those associated stores? They want to pay you $25 because they gouged you by price fixing. Loblawcard.ca is the place to go and register to get your card. I will be donating mine to my local foodbank.

Guess What? Inflation is back on the table. The Consumer Price Index is back at 2.1%, with transportation dragging the index up for November.

Inflation by Category for November 2017

I bet you are asking, what part of the transportation index contributed the most?

The gasoline index contributed the most to the rise in the CPI in every province except for Newfoundland and Labrador, where a lower gasoline price increase was partly attributable to a reduction in the province’s gasoline tax which took effect in June 2017.

Remember how gas was cheap a while ago? Here is confirmation that yes, it is back up for the Holidays! (not that I would be implying price-fixing in Gas prices either).



My Recent Writings

The past few weeks I have spoken with a few folks, and answered some email from people who are getting very discouraged about the DTC policy changes (apparently) at the CRA. With this in mind I wrote Apply for the DTC Please as a reminder that if you don’t apply you will never get the Disability Tax Credit.

Also, at the end of this post is something most of my readers have been waiting for, my top 3 Christmas Music Songs of all time. Yes, I do have a soft Christmassy side too.

Micro Blogging on Finance

Here is a social media post that has Bitcoins, Bankruptcy and if you click the link you have to use Google Translate to read it! That is a festive Tweet in my books.

🎄 If you want more great financial stories click here 🎄

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8 Holiday Ideas to Save Money

Given the Holiday spending season is upon us, I thought I’d help out with some great Holiday Ideas to make sure that save money so the Grinch isn’t waiting for you in January, to foreclose on Whoville.

Save Money

The Spirits of Xmas: Santa 75% off with a Monkey in a Palm Tree

  1. Convert to Judaism, a sudden religious change will throw off your family and save you from Christmas, however, you will still be on the hook for Chanukah so keep that one in mind (8 Crazy nights of Chanukah).
  2. Regift, regift, regift, the importance of this at holiday time cannot be underestimated. Other folks have worked hard to thoughtfully buy you something, so you should repay their thoughtfulness by giving that thoughtful gift to someone else (and saving money).
  3. Declare bankruptcy now, and beat the January rush. No one will expect you to buy them a gift if you are bankrupt (and you might make out like a bandit with gifts of cash), whether you actually declare bankruptcy is up to you (you could save money by simply stating you did it).
  4. Abide by the Christmas Rules , if someone asks you what you are buying them for the Holidays, answer with, “That puts you on the naughty list” and then don’t give them a gift. The rules of the holiday are clear about who does and does not get gifts, and it helps save money.
  5. Honest Mistake Option, on Christmas morning when everyone is handing around the gifts and such, and they turn to you and say, “Where are the gifts that you are giving”, put on your best act and say, “I FORGOT! OH MY GOD, I am SO SORRY!”. It is easier to beg forgiveness (as always).
  6. Play Christmas Chicken, don’t buy gifts for people you don’t think you will see over the holidays, and if you do see them, carry an emergency gift card from a gas station that you can give them (beef jerky, a gift card, or maybe a window scraper).
  7. Christmas Roulette, claim that you took all over your Christmas money, went to Vegas, and gambled it all on the Roulette Wheel (if you want you can say you put it on Black and it came up Green), and thus you have no money left for the holidays. Be very effusive about the things you would have bought folks had you won.
  8. The Reason for the Season, stop worrying about the gifts that you are buying folks, and just do something nice for them that they need done (that they maybe can’t do themselves)? The idea of Christmas is not to bankrupt yourself and drive yourself crazy trying to find the last GI-Joe (with Kung Fu grip) (or that Hatchimal thing), I know I go to Church. You know what says “I love you” the most? You saying, “I love you!”, surprisingly.

Don’t I sound Grinchy? Send me a lump of coal by Paypal if you wish.

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Christmas Advice: How to Deal with Uncle Frank the Financial Expert

Christmas is only a few days away. We will soon all be getting together with friends and families, to share in this happy season. The big Christmas question this year is how will you deal with your family’s financial expert Uncle Frank ?

Every family has an Uncle Frank (or Aunt Francine). The family member who claims to be a money expert and will chew your ear off about how they are doing well financially. How do you deal with a financial expert like this? You are OK with your investments, you don’t want advice, but if you duck Uncle Frank, Aunt Frieda (the crazy cat lady) will corner you in the kitchen.

If you are comfortable with it, you could simply argue with Uncle Frank about how leveraged Hedge Funds are the last thing your 70 year old mother should be investing in, or how the next market crash (or huge gain) may not be due to happen soon, but most folks just want to try to change the subject, or hide in the basement (or drink a lot more eggnog).

financial expert and motivational speaker
Uncle Frank telling some sage financial advice

As a service to my readers, here are some helpful phrases to throw at Uncle Frank. They may help you slow down this  relentless financial expert:

  • I have heard that with Trump’s election, the Russian economy will be making huge gains, so I am planning on putting my money in a Vodka Hedge fund.
  • Someone I work with has got me some inside information on how bees (the insect) will soon all be gone, so I should invest in honey futures (aka the Bee Movie fake out).
  • Given the exploding prices of houses and condos in Toronto and Vancouver, I have decided to live in a Van down by the river (aka the Chris Farley method).
  • I have a great multilevel sales opportunity that guarantees me huge paybacks, if I can get other folks to join in on this rare chance to make money, can I sign you up ?

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, catch up on your family’s news, but try to leave money discussions out of things. Are there any other escapes from Uncle Frank I missed ?

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