A Money Coach in Canada

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garage-sales.jpg“Center Stage 2” – 2 days of sales

Great Deals on Everything!! Better than a garage sale!!

3171 Lake City Way, Burnaby
– located behind the SkyTrain Station just off Lougheed Highway

Wardrobe Sale & any remaining Set Dec

Thursday December 6th

1 to 5pm

Lots of Dance Gear / Warm Up Gear / Club Wear

Tx for the heads-up, Steve!

No, self-employed individuals are not eligible for employment insurance benefits.

If you were an employee at some point during the 52 weeks prior to having your child and managed to accumulate 600 hours on the job, you might be entitled to benefits from your previous employer. If you start your maternity benefits early, soon after your last day of employment, you will have more insurable hours in the 52-week period on which your benefits will be based than if you wait. To make sure you qualify, I recommend that you contact a branch of the Human Resources and Social Development (HRSDC). Also, please bear in mind that HRSDC will claw back payments in proportion to the self-employment income you earn while you receive Employment Insurance benefits.

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Have an accounting question? Submit it as a comment so it can be answered in a future “Ask an Accountant” entry.

The Bank of Canada  (ie. the mothership of all Cdn. banks, our equivalent to “The Fed” in the u.s.) gave me a break today, just in time for Christmas:  my line of credit (I’m running a business, you know!) interest rate dropped by .25%. 

Here’s the dilemma the Bank of Canada faces:

1.  When they lower interest rates, more people borrow.

2. When more people borrow, what do they do with the funds?  Spend it, of course.

3.  If lots of people have lots of dollars chasing a product, what happens?  Supply/Demand = the price of the product goes up.  As that starts to happen to lots of products across Canada, we experience inflation.

David DodgeSo David Dodge, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, is always walking that fine line. In this instance, he’s betting that we won’t suffer inflation next year – why?  Because our dollar is so strong relative to the USA.  That means Americans won’t be buying as much of our stuff (and driving the price up) and conversely, Canadians are starting to buy jeans and cars etc. in the States (again, forcing prices in Canada down, not up, in order to compete).

That’s it in a nutshell, as best as I can grasp it.  Any actual economists reading this, feel free to correct me if I’m off base here!

latte.jpgOK – time for the truth! how did you do?

I definitely did not keep to the plan 100%, but absolutely for sure, ate at home a lot (!) more than I usually would.

What’s shocking is that even eating at home more than usual … there were still quite a few meals out.

What I learned:

1. To build in a pressure – release, ie., to give myself permission to eat out at least once/week. That’s simply acknowledging my ‘real world’.

2. That it requires forethought. I frequently did not have appropriate groceries, and more specifically, I need a lot of grab-and-go stuff. Slow-cooking? Love the concept. Love it. But not in my real world, right now.

3. That it felt a lot better than eating out. Despite the slips, I made a point of eating at home and it felt good. I enjoyed everything about it – liked the food better. Liked being at home better. Liked not spending the money better.

I reckon I saved between $100 – $150. If I got better, that would be at least $200/month = flight to europe and then some, over a year.

Over to my fellow participants! How did you do? Leave a comment, and at the end of the week I’ll draw for the $25.

So Darren Barefoot (a legend in Vancouver) got this great idea on how all of us who acquired any great music … uh….errr… via less than fully legitimate means can pay back the artist (note: not the record company, if you, like him, think they’re evil).

Here’s the deal: you visit his new site, DearRockers, write the artist you’ve offended an “oops! Sorry!” letter, scan and upload the letter to the site, and send the letter with $5. Now that’s what I call entering the party season with good karma!

Axl RoseHere are some hilarious excerpts:

Dear Whitney,
I remember listening to your music and I thought “GOD DAMN, here is a woman that can sing and is going places”. Even though the only place you have gone is to rehab, I still love your music. I would send you $5, but I know that will just go to crack. So instead I am donating $5 to the local orphanage. I figure they can make a lot out of a little. Don’t worry though, I will always love you. Just like your song.

Dear Axl,
There are a lot of musicians I could have sent this money to; people lke Bob Mould or Henry Rollins or Robert Plant, whose music graced the mix tapes of my youth. But I figured out of all of them, you could probably use the money the most.

Dear Billy Joel,
I should tell you that, about a decade ago, I taped some of the songs from your “greatest hits” album off a friend’s tape. The songs “My Life” & “Moving Out” served as the perfect inspirational soundtrack for a 20-year old aspiring actor, just beginning her career in the Big Apple.

So if you’ve ever downloaded, burned a cd, or (any readers old enough?) taped an LP, you know what to do!