When you've caught the last scraps of tinsel floating around the house, and your New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside, there's still a final holiday tradition left to enjoy: dreading the arrival of holiday bills. Yes, this time every year, thousands of Canadians are struck with cases of Bill Avoidance Disorder (B.A.D. for short). Think you've come down with a case? Try all of the following, and call us in the morning.
The current Quebec government is at least trying to tame its deficit and start chipping away at its huge debt. But there are some people out there who question whether or not Quebec's public debt is really such a serious problem, and therefore whether our provincial government's "austerity" policies are truly necessary.
Predictably, the success or failure of your plans may be determined even before the strike of midnight. 'Tis the season for peak gym-membership sales and promises of budgeted spending. Whatever your goals are for 2015, there are a couple of safeguards you can implement to ensure that you aspirations are accomplished.
When a government underspends to the extent we are seeing with the Harper government, the estimates become unreliable. Parliamentarians aren't able to find out how much the government is actually spending until months after the end of the fiscal year. As a result, they can't inform the public about what programs and services have been diminished in time to make a difference. The way the underspending scheme stifles debate reminds me of the Harper government's omnibus legislation, except it's even worse.
In the wake of new health expenditure data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the evidence continues to mount that Canadian public health expenditure growth is moderating. Moreover, adjusting for inflation and population growth, per capita provincial and territorial government health expenditures have actually declined since their peak in 2010.
Spending time with one child allows you to really connect with what they're doing at school, the friends they're hanging out with, and what they think about what's going on in the world as well. We also became quite adept at picking out the accents and languages of fellow travellers -- many British, German, and Eastern European dialects.
If you know you are about to be attacked, why not beat the other side to the punch? The same philosophy works with student debt. Build up a solid defense against it by working part time and saving money throughout the next 3-4 years. This way, when that debt tries to attack you after graduation, you'll be armed with a sizable nest egg you can use to pay down the principal.
Have you ever had one of your friends ask to borrow money from you? Most of us are willing to oblige when the amount is small -- like $10 or $20 -- but what about when the amount is more significant? You are placed in an extremely difficult spot when a friend or family member is asking for $1,000, $5,000 or more.
The important thing is to write the goals down and post them somewhere that you see them everyday. Don't be embarrassed about putting them on the fridge and having your friends see them when they come over for a visit. You may not be proud of falling into debt but you should be proud of overcoming it.
Canada Day is coming up on July 1. Proud Canadians will be gathering with their friends and family to celebrate the birth of our nation all those years ago. And in true Consolidated Credit fashion, utilize these truly Canadian ways to ensure that you and your family have a financially secure future.
Grab a couple of gloves and a ball and ask your dad to play catch with you just like you did years ago. You may not have the same coordination as in the past, but it will be fun nonetheless. And you know what? It's not even the act of throwing and catching that will make this gift memorable -- it's the quality time and conversation you'll have while doing it that he'll remember.
By now, most students planning to start college or university in the fall are beginning to think seriously about what needs to be done before their classes start. So how do we help students prepare for the coming year? A good starting point would be by taking some time now to review and discuss the following questions.
Not a day goes by without someone, somewhere, asking for politicians to levy another tax on a particular group -- ''the rich'', drivers, smokers, or taxpayers in general. And with fiscal deficits crippling many provinces -- especially Ontario and Quebec -- brace yourself. You can count on lobbies of all sorts and politicians to come up with ''innovative'' ideas on how to dig deeper into your pockets to pay for their pet projects.
Do you have a budget? It is one of the most fundamental steps in making your money work for you. A personal budget is a basic estimation of the revenue and expenses over a specified period of time. Whether your goal is a down payment for a new house, saving for your child's education, a dream vacation or simply retirement, a budget is the answer to helping you reach your financial goals.