EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

Buying Lottery Tickets and Going to the Casino?

My wife told me about a new episode of “‘Til Debt Do Us Part” which Gail Vaz-Oxlade hosts, where one of the spouse’s financial tactic to paying off their debt was to go to the Casino and try to make some extra cash (no she wasn’t working there, she was gambling). Other folks I know buy lottery tickets or are part of “groups” buying lottery tickets weekly, hoping to hit it big so that they can retire.

Allow me to be clear on this one, neither of these “Financial Plans” are effective, nor are they prudent.  My opinion is that if you have reached a point in your life where you feel you must gamble to catch up on your financial obligations, you are in dire need of serious help from some kind of professional.

The Gambling Recovery Plan

If the Canadian Government came up with a plan to take $2B and go to one of the larger Casinos in Las Vegas and attempt to double it using a “gambling system”, there would be an armed Coup D’Etat that night, however, if we hear of friends or family going to the Casino, how many of us stop them? Gambling your money on a hot stock tip, a game of no limit Texas Hold’em or a pyramid scheme is not the way to recover from a financial set back.

It usually takes time to get yourself into a financial bind, and thus it is going to take time to get yourself out of the financial bind you are in. There are no quick fixes to financial problems, and if there are, usually you’ll be back in the same financial bind quickly, if there was a quick fix (i.e. windfall money appears which helps you out, but you don’t fix the cause of the problem).

The only Gambling Recovery Plan I could think that might be a success is if, you are a gambler and you have been blowing your money at the Casino and you decide not to go to the Casino any more, that plan will succeed (as long as you don’t find somewhere else to squander your moneys).

The Lottery Retirement Plan

Having worked in the lottery business many years ago, there are three groups of people who make money on the lottery:

  1. The person that runs the lottery makes the most money, hands down. Governments, however, have made it illegal to run your own lottery, so you can’t make money on lotteries this way.
  2. Printing and distributing lottery tickets is a fairly profitable business (look at Canadian Bank Note, or British American Bank note’s financials in this area), but it is a very small percentage compared to how much the lottery commission makes on a Lottery.
  3. Selling lottery tickets makes stores money, and they get to share in winnings of their customers too, but the sellers don’t make as much as the printers do

Note there is no mention on that list of BUYING lottery tickets as being a way to make money on lotteries.

I realize that most likely every reader of this article knows someone (a friend of a friend, or something like that), that Won the Big One in the lottery. That is what the Lottery Commission wants you to remember. What you don’t realize is most likely you know of someone who was bitten by a shark or hit by lightning (both more likely occurrences than lottery winning).

If you are spending money on Lottery tickets, figure out how much you are spending yearly, then multiply that by 20, and that is the money you’d have in hand (plus interest) if you didn’t buy the lottery tickets (or the Cigarettes, or the Coffee, etc., etc.,), keep that in mind the next time you want to buy an “Early Retirement” lottery ticket.

You want a winning bet? Put that money in an RRSP or an RESP, or give it to a Charity.


Sunday Thoughts: Lent almost over

With Lent coming to a close on Good Friday, how has your Lenten Financial vows gone? My attempts at sticking with a Lenten financial regimen has not been a wild success, but it still continues on. There are days when I don’t live up to my hopes, but then there are days when I succeed as well, and I will remember the successes, and attempt not to have as many failures.

  • My attempts at controlling my spending at work has not been a raging success, but I blame that on the “Roll up the Rim” contest from Tim Horton’s (although I have won a few free coffees too).
  • Stopping procrastination is hard, in all parts of your life, not just money.

I have managed to get my taxes done, which was needed and with that, I may do another set of articles about why Income Splitting would make a lot of sense for single income families (and now with the new RESP proposal maybe we can income split with our kids too?).  Since the Conservatives will most likely kill this bill, I don’t think it’s going to be a big concern, but who knows?

Enjoy the Lenten season while it lasts, but remember Easter is very soon too.

Happy 18th Birthday to my beautiful eldest daughter. I may not be in town to help you celebrate, but you are in my heart always.


Random Thoughts

A special Friday this week, given it is February 29th, the bissextile day, an extra day for our year, so enjoy this extra day. Have a Leap today!

  • With this extra day you have today to finish up your 2007 RRSP purchases if you wish.  Given how down the markets have been, you might find some deals (or you might be buying tainted meat too, I can’t tell).
  • Tomorrow is Saint David’s Day (the patron Saint of Wales). Buy a leek and watch a Rugby game.
  • You are supposed to have received all of your relative tax forms by now as well (T-4’s and such) so you can now do your taxes. My employer waits until the very last day before sending my tax forms out.
  • The Federal Budget passed a confidence motion yesterday, so TFSA‘s are a step closer to coming into laws.
  • CIBC took a massive write down from the Low Rate Mortgage scandal in the U.S., which means their stock is tanking even further. TD on the other hand announced a tidy profit and an increase in their dividends. A tale of two Banks?
  • I am attempting to get back on the horse and STOP spending money at work again, due to another announcement this week.
  • I continue to fill in my net income on financial aid questionnaire’s for various universities, which makes me wonder, what do THEY do with all this information? Once they tell me, “You are too stinking rich to deserve financial aid”, do they simply shred my information? I really hope so, because they ask some very SPECIFIC questions (values on specific lines of my tax forms).

Have some mushy peas and maybe some leek soup and enjoy your Saint David’s weekend.


Canadians are Rolling Again!

Yes folks, it’s that time of the year, where the lines at Tim Horton’s gets longer because all those Starbucks snobs try to WIN with their morning coffee in the infamous Roll Up The Rim to Win Contest. For some of us this is either our bonus program for the year, or our one chance at winning a lottery (since I don’t buy lottery tickets, but I buy enough coffee to compensate).As some of my more regular readers know this is a yearly thing for me to rant about this contest and it’s fine print (remember this one from last year), so my apologies for those in the states who wonder what exactly I am ranting about.

For the benefit of those who don’t want to go to the web page, here is your chances of winning by region:















Big TV







Cash Prize







iPod nano
















<!–[if !supportLists]–>1. <!–[endif]–>British Columbia

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2. <!–[endif]–>Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories & Yukon

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3. <!–[endif]–>Ontario

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4. <!–[endif]–>Quebec (excludes Bas St.-Laurent, Gaspésie & Ilesde-la-Madeleine) & Labrador

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5. <!–[endif]–>Atlantic Provinces (excludes Labrador) & Quebec region of Bas St.-Laurent, Gaspésie & Ilesde-la-Madeleine

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6. <!–[endif]–>USA (New York, Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Kentucky, West Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania)

This is my retyping in from the web site, so check it out yourself on the links above, don’t go suing me because my information is incorrect. There is also a break down by cup size as well, which is well worth reading.

And from our friends at Stats Canada we have the following good news as well:

In December, the average weekly earnings of payroll employees (seasonally adjusted) increased 0.1% to $757.27 from November. This leaves the year-to-date growth in earnings at 3.0%. This rate of change is obtained by comparing the 12-month average for 2006 with that of 2005, and is subject to revision for next month’s release.

So you have a little more cash in your pocket to buy your coffee, unless of course you gave that up for Lent, then you are in trouble! Remember your Sundays off!

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Guilty as Charged: Fifteen Free Coffees

So, for my more regular readers (all six of you), you have read my tirades about saving money by not spending it on the little things that fritter your money away, like buying Coffee (especially if your employer is supplying free coffee to you), well you can officially call me “Mr. Pot” to all you Kettles out there.

I figured out that I have had over 15 free coffees in the latest chapter of Tim Horton’s “Roll up the Rim to Win” contest (a couple of free donuts as well). On the surface that sounds pretty darn good, and it is much better than I normally do (usually win 3 or 4 cups over the 2 months). However, if I look a little closer at the 3 cups of coffee a day I was buying and then the 7 or 8 each weekend (usually bought because I was going to be in a drafty and cold gymnasium), I think I have blown over $300 on coffee over that two month period. Sigh! I’m an idiot.

Yup, me who complains and laments about how the government hates me, and I never have enough money to do things like fixing my roof (that is the next financial story to be told in the coming weeks) had enough disposable income to blow $300 on coffee? Um, no I didn’t, but I did it any way.

“Hello, my name is Big Cajun Man, and I am a Tim Horton’s coffee addict”

Easter is for new beginnings, time to control this out of control spending! I’ll keep you posted on whether I can stop this out of control coffee buying (I think I’ll drink the free stuff at work, that should cut down on my intake, as this stuff takes putrid!).

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