Tag: canada

Think money.

“Money
It’s a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash”

Pink Floyd

Well no “stashing” for a lot of people these days. Why? Because most and I mean most don’t budget. A report by HuffPost in Nov of 2019 said almost 30 percent of Canadians don’t have enough money to pay the bills. Yes, I know we need to raise minimum wage, we need to give people more money, we need guaranteed income etc…

Mostly a bunch of crap. I’ll just say one thing, if everyone had higher wages and a guaranteed income of 10 thousand dollars a month, or a million dollars a year, it would make no difference, those people making a million guaranteed dollars a year would still be poor. Why? Because if your landlord knows you make a million a year he’ll raise his rent to match and the stores will raise their prices to pay for shit you buy. There will always be poor peoople. It’s just a fact of life.

That said, just because your “poor” and I mean making minimum wage, doesn’t mean you have to live like your poor or worst of all in debt over your head. That’s easy for me to say I’m rich, right? No. Here’s a brief history of my financial life. I grew up with my mom and four other siblings, we all lived in low income housing on welfare. My dad was a deadbeat who never gave my mom a dime. Oh, sure he’d give us a twenty dollar bill at Christmas and on our birthdays, but that was about it. The thing I remember most about growing up in low income housing is that we had the cleanest house and always had food in the fridge. When I would go to my friends houses, they’re parents would drink and somke, the house was a shit hole disaster and there was rarely food in the fridge. The neighbourhood kids thought we were rich. Turns out a clean house and a budgeting mom goes a long way.

I moved out at 18, making my big minimum wage of $4.10 an hour, paid my rent my phone, my cable and was left with about $20 dollars a week extra, that covered a box or two of Kraft Dinner, a couple of loves of bread and a jar of peanut butter. The rest of the money went for a pack of smokes and 12 pack of beer. That life lasted a few years, but I was lazy and kept quitting my jobs… I preferred to party and do drugs… so I did.

Make a long story short, I’m married, lost one kid to cancer, have two more and am living with Thirty thousand dollars in credit card debt, working a minimum wage job at the Sally Anne, and living with one income. My wife was raising the kids. We actually tried to get a house through Habitat for humanity and discovered we were to poor. Go figure. Yet, somehow we make things work. I could go on and on…

One day I woke up and decided to take over my financial situation, I couldn’t leave it all to my wife. We never fought about money (we didn’t have any), but we both knew we had to do something. So, here comes the budget. Within 4 years of starting a budget, we bought a house, and within 10 years we were debt free and the only thing we had to pay was our mortgage. Was it easy? No. Did we get a few lucky breaks along the way? Absolutely. But, we looked and worked for those breaks. A week after I got my mortgage, I quit my minimum wage job and got a better one, and moved with the company and starting making more and saving more. Now, we’re on our way to retirement… not rich, but we’ve got a plan, or as I like to call it a budget.

If you want to know more, comment and I’ll get to work on a budgeting series.

 

Chip Toodee

 

 

 

How I know a pack of smokes hasn’t gone up in price in at least 30 years.

Living in Canada and hearing all the complaints about the price of cigarettes and how they’re always going up in price… and the damn government making so much money on it etc, etc, etc…

Well I’m here to give you some good news. The price of cigarettes really hasn’t gone up like you think. But before I get to that let me clarify a couple of things about the taxes the government collects on those smokes of yours, and the cost of smoking.

These numbers are from 2012 so you can imagine the costs have gone up. Smoking costs Canada about 16 Billion dollars a year with 40% of that being direct health care costs. See, in Canada we have universal health care, that means you can walk into a hospital and get treatment with no bill to follow you. Ok, so, 6 to 7 billion dollars a year just for health care.

Smoking and fires? Yup falling a sleep in bed while smoking, tossing that smoke out the window? Yup, that costs about 75 million dollars a year. We can add all kinds of other costs, like sick days missed, early death etc…

So, how much tax money does the Canadian government bring in? Well, about 8 Billion dollars a year. As you can see, not enough to cover the costs that come with smoking.

Ok, my point was that the cost of a pack of cigarettes really hasn’t gone up in 30 years, here’s how I see it. It usually costs one hour of minimum wage to buy a pack of smokes. When I was making 4 bucks an hour back in my younger days I paid about 4 bucks for my smokes. Today a pack is anywhere from 11 to 15 bucks a pack and guess where minimum wage is across the country? I’m sure you can guess.

If you don’t want to pay for smokes quit. I don’t smoke anymore, but I do like to indulge in a drink. If the government taxes that sin to the point that I start complaining, well guess what? I’ll just shut my mouth and quit drinking. I’ll put the money somewhere else.

A final word for ya, if the Canadian Government wanted to break even on the cost of smoking, they would have to charge you $40 a pack, and that’s where Australia is heading. Think about that.

Canada votes 2019, and I’ll make a bold prediction.

Well kids, it’s time to vote… that means about 60% of you will stay home binging Netflix and wonder what “some” people are talking about the next day. Get off your lazy privileged ass and get out and vote, that’s all of you out there from 19 to 99 (or older if you can make it). It sickens me to see adults of all ages to lazy to vote. I have rarely heard of a good excuse. Go out and ruin your ballot if you want to, but go out and express your rights.

Ok, calm down Chip! Here’s my prediction. I see a probable Conservative minority government with the Green party holding the balance of power. I also predict that the Green party will achieve historic representation in the house. I wouldn’t have dreamed of voting Green, not even in my worst nightmares… but, it so happens that I am seriously leaning that way. Why? Let me just say that I usually vote based on who will probably be finance minister and how the Leader of the party looks at budgeting and financing. That said my vote is not owned by any one party. I see it as my right to vote for who I think will do the best, or the least damage. I’ll be clear I did not vote for Trudeau, his incompetence was clear from the beginning.

So, why a Conservative minority with a slight chance of a small majority? It’s simple. Trudeau is useless, the only reason he got the job is because of his dad and he’s pretty. That’s right, kids voted for him because he’s pretty. My daughters couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t vote for him. Now, their are readying to vote for the first time and guess what, they’re not voting for him now that they’ve seen the light. Or, they’re just lying to me. Both are a strong possibility.

Ok, back to why I think the Cons will win. My theory is as follows… Conservative voters rarely change their ways. Liberal voters may go back and forth between parties. I think that a lot of people who would’ve voted NDP and or Liberal will transfer that vote to the Green party. Why? Because they don’t like what the Cons are bringing to the table, they don’t think Pierre’s son is doing anything other than traveling, surfing, jogging and photo bombing. The NDP? Who? Singh has a long way to go to get anywhere? I have no idea who is? I think the greens will be the cry in the wilderness, they’ll be the vote that says, enough is enough.

Now, I did throw out the idea that they might even form opposition, if there is enough of a rebellion in the country… but Canada is no Quebec. See the election when the NDP took over that Province… That’s a rebel move. If Canadians stand somewhat together, like we did behind the Raptors. We might and I say might be able to send a message to all the parties of Canada.

Voting Green has never been my first choice hell, it was even a choice. Sure I like one or two things in their mission statement, but as a ruling party they would destroy our country. That said, it’s always easier to promise everything when you have no power. So, I will probably vote Green, not because I like them, but because a strong message needs to be sent to all the parties. Enough is enough. It’s time to scare the crap out of them.

 

Chip Toodee