A Money Coach in Canada

Follow & Subscribe

The guest post today is from Lana Gilbertson, Trustee in Bankruptcy for Price Waterhouse Coopers.

“As a Trustee in Bankruptcy, I am often asked what are the most common reasons that people find themselves in financial difficulty and, ultimately, filing for bankruptcy. While there are often many reasons for financial difficulty, here is my “top three” list, speaking from my own professional experience:1. Loss of income stemming from job-loss or illness2. Separation, divorce and/or breakdown of significant relationship3. Business failureWith some exceptions, I believe that overspending or spending beyond one’s means is the underlying cause of bankruptcy; however a triggering event, such as job-loss or a divorce, becomes “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”Bankruptcy is one option available for individuals who have amassed extensive debt obligations that they are unable to repay because of insufficient income and/or a lack of other resources. Bankruptcy isn’t just for the poor, the uneducated, or the sick – people from all walks of life, all professions, and all income levels go bankrupt.If you are like most Canadians, you are currently servicing some form or amount of consumer debt. Ask yourself if you would be able to continue to service the debt if something unexpected were to happen in your life.”

BILLY THE BOOKCASE is available for $20, from Vancouver’s legendary garage-saler, Neill. For this and other great deals, visit his site: www.10onwednesday.combillybookcase.jpg“IKEA – some books and some pine, and a handful of norsemen.IKEA – selling furniture for college kids and divorced men.Everyone has a home, but if you don’t have a home, you can buy one there.”( Jonathon Coulton’s hilarious song that says it all about Ikea, straight from his website, for the Ikea price of $1)

A few wonderful events coming up in Vancouver to make your summer richly enjoyable, but easy on the wallet.

  1. Musica Intima concert by donation, Sun. July 8 7:30pm, St. James Church (Gore/Cordova).  Donation proceeds fund the downtown eastside music academy (and if you have guitars/violins to donate, they’re gratefully received)
  2. Tour de Gastown – cycling race around the very tight turns in gastown.  Good, clean fun, with a number of great spots for beer in the ‘hood, too. (Six Acres has the best selection in town).  July 18, 6:30pm
  3. When’s the last time you’ve had a hot dog and watched baseball?  For $8, the Canadians give you an awesome summer experience … and for once, you can afford to bring the whole family!

Cdn pennyWell, since it’s still Canada Day season, thought I should investigate how our federal tax dollars are contributing to making Canada, Canada. Le voila:

  • $0.15 – interest on the debt (pays our Canada Savings Bonds interest, for example)
  • $0.53 – given to the provinces and territories and individuals to do good stuff with. We hope.
    • $0.23 – go to individual Canadians (like Old Age Security – $0.13, and Employment Insurance – $0.06, Child Tax Benefit – $0.04)
    • $0.19 – given to provinces and territories to implement federal programs like healthcare-$0.08, education & social assistance -$0.03
  • $0.11 – grants to things like the arts, farmers, aboriginal programs, bilingualism, sports
  • $0.25 – operating costs of running the federal gov’t (eg. Nat’l Defence – $0.07, RCMP – $0.03 and our favourite, the CRA itself – $0.02)
  • $0.03 – crown corporations like CBC, CMHC and Atomic Energy (huh? who knew?)
  • $0.06 – surplus, used to reduce the federal debt.

There you have it. Note that some of the things we love to hate, social assistance and employment insurance, were only about $0.06 cents of the dollar, whereas old age security is actually the largest single item after interest on the debt.Now we know!

John entered his second marriage at 38, with a painful secret. He was $25,000 in credit card debt. He always meant to tell Susan, but could never find the courage. John was deeply ashamed both of the $25,000 debt itself (it was consumer debt) and even more that he hadn’t told Susan.

Five years into the marriage, he was pretty sure Susan suspected (after all, a few hundred dollars a month didn’t make it off his paycheque into the family budget, but mysteriously ‘disappeared’ each month), but still didn’t feel ready to discuss it.

John came to me wanting to get really organized with his spending, and make a plan to shed the debt. How would you suggest he deal with his secret?255723_6162.jpg