There are some serious concerns about household debt in Canada. But as families put the final touches on their Thanksgiving plans, I thought it would a great time to point out some things that are good about personal finances in Canada. Here are four bits of personal finance news we should be thankful for.
This month, Canadian students finish exams and begin hunting for summer jobs. A student working the counter at Taco Bell for minimum wage would have to work eight hours a day, seven days week, for almost the entire summer to cover tuition, never mind the cost of specialized or technical degrees. Students have a responsibility to work and pay for at least some of their education. Also a responsibility, when choosing their college or university program, to think about whether they are choosing a field of study where there is a real demand for jobs.
The financial press in Canada has been identifying our deficient economic productivity for several years now. In 2012, the Financial Post ran a column entitled "Canada's productivity gap is looking worse than ever. There may be opportunities to influence our growing debt problems in the country through programs comparable to those used to stimulate our economy's productivity. If tax credits and other incentive programs can be formulated to help stimulate our productivity gap, are there similar policies that could find ways to help those looking to start their own business, create jobs and directly impact the economy and productivity?
Is college or university a waste of money? For some people it is, for others it is a great investment. The point is that you should crunch the numbers and carefully consider your decision up front, so many years from now you are not looking back wondering how you will ever pay off that massive student loan.
Canada's new top central banker is no Mark Carney. That became clear on Wednesday, when Stephen Poloz, lauded the Canadian consumer for carrying the country through the global economic crisis of recent years. His comments so far suggest he isn't too worried about Canada's burgeoning consumer debt burden -- and that's a problem.
In a country that prides itself on its social safety net, one could argue that the current personal debt story is really a story of an endangered future for the things we hold dear as a society. Will debt-ridden Canadians be supportive at election time of paying more in taxes to maintain universal health care?