Tag Archives: missed opportunity

Financial Dilemma: Slow and Steady or Swing for the Fences?

Financial Dilemma
How to solve a financial dilemma?

 A financial dilemma has come up in my life.

My work is not particularly reliable, and does not pay as well as it should. I want to be able to provide a better life for my family than I currently can.

Instead of complaining (although I do some of that too) I decided to try to look for some alternative sources of income.

This blog is one such endeavour. By my reckoning, if things continue as they are, I should be able to cover the costs involved with writing this blog by about 2050. That’s not a typo; I really don’t make much money with this blog, but it gives me a reason and venue to focus on finances, so that is enough of a benefit for me. But that’s not actually the biggest benefit I derived from starting Loonie Lover.

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Environmental Benefits of Being a Cheapskate

environment for cheapskates
Trees are green. Money is green. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

I guess I’m what you could call an armchair environmentalist.

Standing on the side of the road on Unter den Linden (the main drag in East Berlin) in 1990, being choked by the fumes emanating from the hundreds of two-stroke Trabants and Wartburgs passing by, I became convinced at an early age that once fouled, the air we breathe becomes much less enjoyable. I’m no environmental crusader, but certain things are just common sense. I try not to throw things out before they’re used up or broken beyond repair. I try not to take more than I need. I recycle.

That having been said, I still drive on the weekends, and when I go camping, I light a fire, even if I don’t need to; I’m certainly no tree-hugging granola-muncher.

Yes, you’re in the right place; this is a personal finance blog.

I can’t claim the halo of being a hard-core environmentalist, but it struck me the other while on a walk that lots of frugal habits, as well as being financially sound, have the additional benefit of being good for the environment.

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TFSA: Concentrate on the TF, not the SA

A wonderful new opportunity…that many people waste

Field of Coins

Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) were introduced in the 2008 budget, and went into effect in 2009, so they have been around for a few years now. According to a CIBC poll, almost half of Canadians have opened a TFSA,  but there is still a lot of confusion about just what a TFSA is, and how to use it.

The problem may start as early as the third and fourth words of the name of this savings and investment vehicle.  People are of course attracted to anything that has the words “Tax Free” in it, but in this case they seem to focus on the “Savings Account” part of the name.  According to ING, almost half of Canadians have their money invested (using the term rather loosely) in a savings account.  While I’m not going to disparage anyone for saving money, I will point out that that is generally not the best way to use a TFSA; putting money into a savings account within a TFSA is squandering an opportunity to make the most of this vehicle.

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