The British tradition of the Christmas Cracker is something I plan on continuing. Today, we will celebrate the horrible puns found in the Crackers, with these Terrible Financial Crackers.
Inside Christmas Crackers, there was a toy, a paper crown and usually a bad joke, pun or sage advice. These ideas for some sage financial advice are supposed to make you groan and wince when you read them.
I used to be a banker, but I lost interest.
I once got into so much debt that I couldn’t even afford my electricity bills, they were the darkest times of my life.
I had an account with a bank in the North Pole, but they froze all my assets.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and then? Giving Tuesday, of course. At the end of the year and during the holiday season, many charities rely on getting the bulk of their funding from the public.
In Ottawa, many charities are still recovering from the great Phoenix Sideswipe, so giving is that much more important.
If you give during the year, thank you. If you are looking for a list of charities to give to, every city has a list. I will include at the end of this list a group of charities that I either support, or have supported in the past.
Remember the gift itself doesn’t have to be only cash, it can be securities, but it can also be your talents. Phone up the charity and ask if they need help. If you have a specific skill that you think can help, offer that skill, there are many ways to help out a Charity.
If you are volunteer, Thank You as well. Your good works are appreciated, even if you aren’t always told that. Maybe we should call Wednesday Thank You Volunteer Wednesday?
Giving Tuesday Charities
Here is a list of a few interesting charities in Ottawa you can help out with a donation:
It has been a long while since I have written one of these, so I figured I’d dust off the old Olivetti and bash one out. I can already here the, “OK Boomer“, comments being sent. For those unaware Olivetti made portable typewriters. Typewriters were after pen and paper but before the Interweb.
What have I been up to, that I no longer pump out 5 articles a week? Life, mostly. As a proud member of the Sandwich Generation my life enjoys interesting sidetracks with my Grandkids, Children, and my Mother, all of which are important. I still have a backlog of about 300 articles in various states of publishing, so there is plenty to work on, just need the time.
For those who may look at my archives, I have actually been deleting a lot of older material that was just bad (in my opinion). Some of it really did not stand up over time.
This site is allegedly running on a better and faster platform. That remains to be seen, because it still loads pretty slowly on a PC or Mac. On a phone it seems OK (yes, there is a special smartphone version of this site!).
I am curious to see how the Minority Liberal Government goes about business. My guess is this will last about 2 years, unless there is a horrific scandal for one of the parties, in which case we might see a rare snap Winter Election! Minority governments do little, which is fine by me.
Recent is a relative statement since I have written only a handful of articles this year. I’ll give you some of my stuff that I think you should read.
Movember is here, and a few years back I had a nasty episode, that scared me, but unfortunately this year I mark Movember with the passing of a dear friend from prostate cancer. Men need to see doctors, and not just to get blue pills.
I was really happy to see that the Marriage Preparation course my youngest daughter took had a section on Finance and Money, but I think it could have gone a bit farther. Money is the one thing that can destroy any relationship, so both parties need to enter the relationship with their financial eyes open.
The luxury that the rich have is that they can make financial mistakes and recover, and with 5 Mistakes Rich Folks Make I was trying to get that point across. If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, don’t take risks financially.
I do have a technology blog where I write even more rarely so Banking Security delves into that area of technology to do with Financial Technology (I don’t like FinTech it is too kitchy a term these days). The security was OK, but can always be better.
Ellen is Back
Friend of this site Ellen Roseman has returned to blogging, or retired to it? She isn’t really retired, she just seems to have stopped writing for newspapers as a job, but is doing lots of other fun and cool financial stuff. A good tweet from her about Insurance folks.
Financial Winter is Coming (again)
I have continued to read many different writers, and I try to expand my horizons as well. If you keep reading the same authors, how do you learn about new things?
Michael James wrote about Correlation and when he talks about mathematics and large data, you really should listen to him. The clinching statement that should make you read this is, “… It’s impossible to know the correlation of two investments exactly. …”
John Robertson is Taking Leave for a different reason and that is to take care of a loved one. Looks like he has a plan on how this is going to work, and he knows what he is sacrificing, but I admire him for what he is doing.
Christine Benz wrote a piece on Morningstar that made my blood boil, titled Not OK. Evidently a door to door financial advisor had hooked her sister who has an intellectual disability into consulting with her. Read the story it really disturbs me that people try to make money this way.
As I get closer to being a Senior Citizen, I keep wondering when the discounts will start, Rob Carrick wrote about The sad reality of seniors discounts. I do get cheaper coffee at McDonalds, though.
Preet brings you (through Tangerine) some help understanding Passive Investing.
So far the new Ontario Autism funding program has been quite confusing for my family. Let me preface this by saying, that even though my son is on the Autism Spectrum, and the psychologist describes his autism symptoms as severe, we have received no real funding from the Ontario Government. For various reasons we have never been on any list for funding, being screened out for any therapy and never put on a waiting list for any future programs.
When the new funding model was proposed a while ago, a great furor erupted in the Autism community. It was very vague on how funding was going to work, and many folks were hearing they were going to lose funding as the budgeted pot of money would be shared with more families, in an effort to reduce the wait list.
For my family, we shrugged our shoulders, as we didn’t get any funding, we could only watch with envy finding out families were receiving upwards of 50K per year. After encouragement from our psychologist, we decided to play along with this new system. My wife is the one doing all this work, I am simply documenting it.
We called about the new program in April, and were told forms would be coming to us in the next two weeks to fill in. The forms finally showed up in June (after a lot of follow up e-mails and phone calls). My wife dutifully filled in the forms (the day they arrived) collected all supporting documentation and we scanned and emailed them back (that same day).
Near the end of August, we received a registration number (an exciting number) and a letter assuring us we are in the system. The wait list for getting a budget will be another 18 months, so again, we wait.
Autism Funding : Better? Worse?
If I see any moneys, I will be astounded. I realize there are folks who really need the money, and I hope they are getting it.
Currently I pay a great deal of my income for my son’s education and other needs he has. I get a little help with tax credits (after a lot of arguing with the CRA), but all the money that I am out of pocket is crippling my financial plans. I cannot retire, even though I can get a government pension. Still we cannot afford all the help my son needs (occupational therapy, social interaction help, and other areas).
With all of that, we are lucky. My son may end up living independently, but I have to spend money now to make that possible.
These days the media seems to be very confused. They use the term Deficit and Debt interchangeably, and they are not the same thing (in terms of government spending).
In terms of Governments, a Deficit, usually describes how much more was spent than collected in taxes. It is usually measured over a yearly budget. If the deficit is zero, that means the government is taking in funds sufficient to pay for all the spending they have done for the year (this may include payments to service existing debts).
Debt, on the other hand for a government is the amount the government owes, in terms of moneys borrowed over a long period of time. Deficit financing (or the accumulation of debt) for Canada started in the late 1960’s.
I was confused when the CBC had the headline, B.C. posts $1.5B operating debt, they have since revised the title, realizing their mistake. Their tweet remains mistaken:
Your Deficit and Debt
A personal deficit (or surplus), would be something you measure monthly. Did you spend more this month than you made? If you have more or a surplus, then you can put more money on your debt (overall debt), or save the surplus.
Your Debt is the sum total of all the money you owe. Your debt will slow your ability to enjoy your life. You cannot save for: