A Money Coach in Canada

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Iseafood.jpgf you read my post on Friday, you’ll know that my next Personal Praxis regarding money is a simple one: to plan out meals for November. I’m taking it a couple steps further:

1. I’m going to incorporate healthy eating, and shed a few extra pounds when I’m at it (any nutritionists care to give opinions?).  I want to become a lot more thoughtful about my eating – Isabella’s post connecting our own eating habits with world hunger has inspired me.

2. I’m offering a $25 gift certificate to Safeway/IGA/Choices (you choose) to giveaway to 1 person who makes a plan, and sticks with it the entire month of November. In other words, you could Eat Better, Save Money and Win $25 to boot. Interested? Leave me a comment (wooly woman, I know you’re in!) and keep posted for info on participating via a forum on my website. Note: this is provided at least 10 people participate, so invite a friend!

PS: happy birthday to Krystal, one of Canada’s most delightful young personal finance bloggers.

Do you eat out too much? And half the time it’s not because you really want to, but because you were too busy to have food on hand, and it’s easier just to buy a meal? I struggle with this constantly!

So…. I’m joining a couple Canadian graduate students who are tackling their debt in November Meal Planning Month!

tuna-sandwich.jpgGoodbye to paninis on the fly (I used to love them ’til they became a habit), goodbye to Starbucks snacks to fill the gap …hello to my own nutritious home-made food. Hello to spending more on groceries and way less on eating out. Net savings = more in my Christmas Stocking Fund 🙂

Care to join us? Leave a comment! And if I get really organized, I may even set up a forum – like the Savings Forum in the spring – on my business site, Your Money by Design.

cdn-penny.jpgWith our dollar at par, many Canadians can’t help but notice how much less expensive it would be to purchase a car in the US these days. And with NAFTA an all that, this would be an option of us, you’ think. Here’s Judy’s experience:

So you’re a Canadian and want to buy a Toyota? Excellent choice. Great car.

But oops! The price. About $10K more than the identical vehicle in the United States

Well, how ’bout buying one in the US and having a bit of a vacation during the three days it takes to get a US export permit?

Canada Customs is very helpful, providing a pamphlet called, “How to import a car from the U.S.” And all they will ding you for is the gst. No duty.

Then comes the brick wall. Whammo! That friendly American salesperson you were negotiating with sadly informs you that he is not allowed to sell to you.

“What? Who, me? Am I such a pariah?” Yes, you are. Because you’re Canadian, that’s why.

Canadian Toyotas are still priced as though the Canadian dollar were still around 63¢ US. That accounts for the 30% difference. Somebody in Toyota must be getting very rich selling in Canada.

An irritation, though, is that stream of Canadians going to buy Toyotas in the US – what a hew and cry from Canadian dealers! The remedy? Forbid US Toyota dealers to sell to us Canucks. Disregard the discrimination. Disregard the Canada – US Free Trade Agreement. Protect the obscene profits made by Toyota in Canada.

Editors note to Judy: you’re not alone in your disgust! CBC did 2 features – one on the general question: when will consumer goods start being evenly priced in Canada? And another specifically on the car issue – apparently a class action lawsuit alleging conspiracy is being taken against four car companies and the canadian auto association.

Readers: what are you thoughts on this? Are the higher prices in Canada justified, or is it a complete rip-off?

Brian MulroneyLove him or hate him, Brian Mulroney (make that the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney) is coming to town – to Chapters on Robson, specifically.

He’ll be promoting his newly released book, Memoirs at 8pm, Tue. Sept. 25th 2007.

It’s that time of year again — we put away our swimsuits and start thinking about cozy evenings with a movie.

If you’re like me, and hate wandering aimlessly through the usual video stores, here are a couple alternatives. You join a membership, and are entitled to a certain number of video rentals sent straight to your home, with a package in which to return them.

If you live in Vancouver, the legendary, has-cult-following, Videomatica offers the same kind of program.

And for you more active types: 10 on Wednesday has this find for you:

Women’s Size 10, complete with kneepads, elbowpads, gloves…. all for $20:


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