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Clutter Costs Money

If you keep building up clutter and you think all you need do is call a Junk Hauler, the price for one load could easily be $1000. How do I know? I hired the Junk Ninjas in Ottawa and they took away a lot of old furniture, and a piano for over $1000. Could I have taken these things to Value Village or the dump myself? Maybe, but I needed this stuff gone fast. It was gone fast.

concentrated woman carrying stack of cardboard boxes for relocation clutter and junk
Clutter and Junk Sure Piles Up
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The piano I couldn’t give away, and it needed to go. I found out that Value Village does not take bed frames, thus we had to call someone to take away the 4 bedframes (extra) in my house. As I have mentioned, don’t store 3 apartments’ worth of stuff in your house.

This answers the question, does clutter cost money? Yes, it does.

Oh, and if your response is, “We can just put it in a Storage Facility”, you have a big problem. Storage just means you will continue to pay for junk ad infinitum. Clutter and junk are expensive, the longer you keep it the more it is going to cost.

Other Clutter Articles

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I read with great amusement an article in Business Insider Rich people make the same 5 mistakes over and over. I found it amusing, because it attempts to fool you into thinking that if you act like rich folk, you’ll become one. Unfortunately, Lies travel faster than truth.

Maybe the article is attempting to convince you that Rich Folk and you are similar, since you make the same mistakes? This is hardly the case.

Why are rich folk rich?

  • Started with money, most of the time. Family money makes getting rich a lot easier than you think.
  • Education and advantages that being rich gives you. Not just what you know, but who you know.
  • Pay lower tax rates, because they have people who make sure that happens.
  • They have enough money to make mistakes. They can take risks, that most folks can’t.

Rich People Can Make Financial Mistakes

That is what you should take from this story. Rich folk have the luxury of being able to make financial mistakes, they can recover from them. Most of us don’t have the wiggle room to escape financial blunders.

Rich folks can become like the rest of us, if they make mistakes, that is true. The story the great Investment Monolith wants you to believe is that the reverse is possible too. I think it is possible but the former is much more likely than the latter.

Mistakes are easily made, we all do them, every day. To succeed financially takes dedication, discipline and damn hard work. The mistakes mentioned in this article are bad:

  1. Assuming they can out-earn bad spending habits. That is not a mistake reserved to the rich, in fact this is how we all dig the big hole called debt.
  2. Not automating their savings. Another spin on pay yourself first, which is something you can do as long as you are not spending more than you make.
  3. Not speaking with a professional for tax-planning or estate-planning purposes. This seems like sound advice, if you take it as, making sure you do your taxes well, and you have your Will and Power of Attorney up to date.
  4. Assuming they don’t need a financial adviser because they’re successful. This is the heart of the article, as it seems to have been written by a financial professional. I have a great mistrust of the financial industry in general and in advisors in specific, but if you use this type of service, you had better trust them (and you had better watch them closely). In the end, it is your money.
  5. Not having any idea how much they spend, again not a mistake reserved to the rich. I had no idea I was that far in debt ? We’ve talked about that before.

What Should You Do ?

Don’t make financial mistakes? Easier said than done, but you must be careful with your money. Don’t make rich folk financial mistakes? Absolutely, because you don’t have the luxury of making them.

If you are one of the Rich Folk, why are you reading this?

Originally written in 2019, updated with more snark.

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For those of you who haven’t had as many financial plans and projects fail as I have, I’d like to share with you the most important variable in all of your plans, and that is Time (no not the magazine, the passing of moments). Time is the most important financial variable , unfortunately.

Time will fix many things, but assuming you can do things quickly is usually the problem that trips up most plans and projects.

Typically a repayment plan will be quite simple:

Payment per Period = Debt / # of periods

However, there are two things wrong with this plan. First is you aren’t taking into consideration that your debt will grow with an interest rate, look up Future Value of Money on-line or look up the PMT() function in Excel to figure out what the debt is going to grow. The other major variable here is the # of periods, and that is where most plans fall over.

Time
If you invested this dollar in 1967 what is it worth now? Time heals all wounds.

People are always optimistic when they start debt pay back schemes (this is my opinion, but based on observation of many friends) and think it will be easy to pay things off quickly, without taking into consideration that Life, Karma, or Sh*t, happens (depending on your religious point of view). If you are overly optimistic with any plan (speaking as a Project Manager now), you will fail, or you will spend all of your time attempting to catch up.

If you are much more conservative in your planning, time can be your friend. This is not to say that you should amortize your car over 10 years, or your house over 50 (if you could), however, don’t get too aggressive in your plans.

Microsoft Canada

Rules of Thumb

A good rule of thumb is to make up a plan initially, and then walk away from it for a day. The day later look at it and ask yourself

  • Can I live with this payment plan? Is this going to hurt a little or be agonizingly painful and will make me miserable?
  • What other sh*t is going to happen? (the realistic answer is “I don’t know”) Plan for bad things, give yourself a little slack (I didn’t say let it fall on the ground, but a little slack)
  • Have I tried this before and succeeded? The answer is most likely Yes and No, since you are doing it again (if you are really good at building up debt and then just as good at paying it off, good on you, but why are you living on a roller coaster?).

Time, it passes very quickly plan accordingly. Time is the most important financial variable , plan accordingly.

Redux

I wrote this about 10 years ago, and I can assure you, Time is an ever dwindling resource in your financial plan.

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Financial Year That Was 2020

The year 2020 is a year to be remembered. Unlike 2008 where there was a financial apocalypse, 2020 gave us a Pandemic. The pandemic has caused a financial apocalypse of its own. Whether there will be a quick recovery from it, remains to be seen.

In previous years I have written over 200 articles in a year. In 2020, I wrote a great deal less than 200 articles. I continue to have a huge backlog of unfinished titles, but 2020 was an interesting year. Here is the entire list, missing my #MoneyTalk compilation posts.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

CPP and EI Maximums for 2020, was my most read and searched article all year. I have done these every year for a while, so not sure why it was so popular, but here it is. I have in fact already published CPP and EI for 2021 to see if it is as popular.

My CRA Account another highly searched article, outlining how to set up your on-line CRA account. You really should set that up.

When to Put Money in RRSP I created a step by step reasoning, and naturally someone complained it wasn’t a waterfall. Seems there is no pleasing some folks.

Save up to 50% on life insurance.

Miscellaneous

The Hidden Cost of Land Transfer Taxes is a rework of a much older article. Funny I never hear about this being part of the purchase of a home. This is not an insignificant lump of money.

Moving Expenses for Students are things to remember if you have just graduated. These costs can help lower your initial tax bill.

What to do with Found Money (update) with some added ideas. Remember to wait before making any big money decisions.

Not Asking is Rejection by Default is a simple yet very true statement.

The Financial Echo Chamber is a dangerous place. Many of us live in bubbles, that really don’t help. You need to see opposing opinions, to understand the whole picture.

I Like My Money Like I Like My Coffee a bit of click-bait, that no one seemed to think was funny. Nice photo of a cup of coffee though.

Free Credit Bureau Access sounds lovely doesn’t it? Unfortunately the reasons for it, are not so lovely.

The Dangers of Automatic Reloading I have written about this before. Keep this in mind, when you automate things. The Perils of Automatic Payments is also an area you should audit regularly. If you pay bills from PayPal or a Credit Card, make sure you restrict access to only those bills you want paid.

Credit Card: One Time Services can help if you are late paying your bill. This only comes into play, if you are a customer who normally pays things off on time.

RESP – Registered Education Savings Plans

RESP withdrawals and Taxes was a guest post by a chap from UFILE, a little thin in spots, but still interesting.

A Guide to Understanding the Tax Considerations When Cashing out an RESP was a guest post, that was OK, but missed a few aspects of things, as well.

MER : A Worm in the RESP Money Tree especially if you use the wrong Mutual Fund. Using low MER ETF’s or Index Funds is the way to go there.

RESP Only For the Rich ? There is an argument that this is how it ends up. The poor, don’t open accounts, even though they can earn money without deposit. Banks don’t market them to those with low incomes, thus, RESP’s are for the rich.

Questrade

RDSP and Disabled Loved Ones

RDSP Statement of Grant Entitlement 2020 another yearly post. I get this document outlining how much money will received matching grants in my son’s RDSP.

Henson Trusts another way to save for a disabled loved one. Some good links to help out, if you wish to go in this direction.

More RDSP Talk in preparation for my chat with Tom Drake a few thoughts came to mind.

RDSP : Quick Points are the notes from my Chat with Tom Drake about RDSPs. As usual a little disjoint, but usable for research.

Specified Disability Savings Plan – SDSP – How Does it Work ? The RDSP is a very long-term savings plan, but there can be exceptions for early withdrawal of funds. The rules are very precise for these early withdrawals.

RDSP after DTC Lost is now much clearer in terms of what to do. The RDSP no longer must be closed within a year, which is a good thing.

Microsoft Canada

Impact of COVID-19 on Small Business and Self-Employed was an excellent article written by my daughter. She is a small business member and COVID has impacted them a great deal.

COVID-19 Are we F*cked ? really was prophetic. The pandemic has made a mess of so many financial things. Interesting to see the comments as well.

Doomsday Finances was an old article I recycled. Whenever you can talk about Star Trek and money together, you know you have a winner.

Post COVID-19 Budget ? but when will you be able to use it? Soon, is the hope, but remember, right now, your life is different. Maybe you can bring some good habits forward, but maybe not.

How to Open a Kids Bank Account in the time of COVID was a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. Still had to go into a bank storefront to complete it, which was annoying.

The Year to Come?

As I have said, don’t count on 2021 being a complete turn around year. I can be better, but it could even be worse. If anything 2020 has taught us is, you can never guess what might be coming next. If you want try some New Years Resolutions, but don’t look too far ahead, you might trip on something in front of you.

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Not Asking is Rejection by Default

I have written many times about if you don’t ask the answer is always no, but the title of this post is also a good turn of phrase. Too many times folks feel they have no one to ask for help, so they just give up. Most of the time that is exactly what service companies want you to do.

Many times return procedures are convoluted, complex or just downright silly, but it is to stop you from returning things. If you keep it, but don’t want it, they have won.

The New York Times Store

A good example is, if you want to use TD E-series mutual funds, inside your TD Mutual Fund account, it is not an easy procedure. You must apply via a written form, and wait for the “OK” from them to be able to buy them. Once you are granted permission, you then must figure out which funds are the E-series funds. If you wish to cash the E-series Funds out of the account, you must first go on-line, transfer them to a Money Market account, and then go into a TD Branch, to do the cash out?

The best way to deal with this, is simply don’t use the TD Mutual Fund vehicle. Other reasons to be wary, will be the Risk Profile trade cancellation issues.

The New York Times Store

This example shows that the system seems to be set up to discourage you from doing what you want. Worse, to do nothing, when you should be rebalancing or other important investment tasks.

Why Not Ask?

This is the question. If you do not ask for what you want, you will rarely get what you want. You may sound like a pest, you may upset whoever you are dealing with, so be polite, but ask for what you want. The worst they can say is, No.

Not Asking is Rejection by Default

Unknown, but words to live by

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