Year end update – Q4 2016

Q4 2016 update

Another year is over and so here’s another update, this time for Q4 2016. As I mentioned in my last quarterly update I was jamming all of my trips into the last half of this year, so we’ll say I was on vacation…even though I probably wasn’t.

I’ll do a quick brag about my trips to start this off and get it out of the way.   Read more

4 simple holiday budget tips for this festive season!

Holiday budget tips

The holidays are here! Which probably means one of two things. You’re either going to plot how to steal Christmas while hiding in your cave because your heart is two sizes too small or you’re going to go broke from spending all your Christmas cheer(and by cheer I mean money…cheer=money in case you didn’t get the memo).

holiday budget

This is what you look like when you’re plotting to steal Christmas. For some reason plotting that makes you hairy and green.

So how can I help you with these issues? I can’t, I’m not a doctor. I have no idea why your heart is like that and you should probably have it looked at immediately. That sounds serious.  Also I can’t keep you from spending your money. That’s something you’re going to have to limit yourself. But here are a few tips on budgeting for the holidays. Read more

How much does it cost to employ smokers?

how much does it cost to employ smokers





How much does it cost to employ smokers? No matter how you break it down, smoking costs money to the smokers, the government/insurance companies and their employers.

Every six months or so one of my co-workers ends up looking at the amount of people in the smoking pit and rants about how much money we waste paying people to smoke. Then he always ends up telling a story about a guy he used to work with at another company.  

The story is about a guy who was approaching retirement. This guy wrote his superiors a letter on how over the course of his career he has seen many people take 5-minute smoke breaks X times a day. Apparently he calculated the amount of time these people took to smoke throughout the day and totaled it over his career. In his letter he mentioned his retirement and asked if he could take his smoking time now in one big chunk…seriously.  Read more

Making money and having fun – A Q3 2016 Update

making money

Where does the time go! Now we’re three quarters of the way done with 2016 and it seems like I haven’t done anything. So in true procrastination fashion, I’m jamming it all into this last half!

It seems like every year I jam all of my vacations in the last half of the year and try to rush and get my yearly goals done.  I took two weekend trips this past quarter with my beauty of a girlfriend. The first one was for my sister and her fiance’s stag and doe party to farmland Ontario.  The second was for our good friends and neighbor’s wedding back to my old stomping grounds of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Read more

What are the downsides of being a landlord – Part 1

Downsides of being a landlord

Downsides of being a landlord

One of the questions I get asked most often about being a landlord is What’s the downsides of being a landlord? While there are numerous upsides; 4 ways to make lots of money for starters. There are a few downsides as well. I’m actually only going to talk about one downside in this article as it recently had a perfect ending to it. This downside is terrible tenants.

I know there’s lots of ways to screen tenants and you could weed out the majority of potential crazies but occasionally you might take a chance on a young person with no references and get burnt.  

How bad was this person?

Good question! First let me give a little bit of background on how my duplex is run.  One of the major selling points for this building for me was the fact that it’s in my hometown, and my father owns the identical adjacent property. They were built together when the original owners built them.  He’s owned his unit for almost a decade and has had no issues. He also helps to manage the duplex for me, I’ll post all of the ads and answer all of the emails but the in-person viewings are done by him and the screening of tenants.

Now on to the tenant…

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What is the financial effect of Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is the most popular thing in the world.

If you haven’t heard of Pokemon Go yet than you’re probably living under a rock. So if you’re living under a rock and don’t already know; Pokemon Go is quite possibly the biggest fad? Trend? Phenomenon? I’ve seen in my life time. Definitely one of the most visual ones. Ever since it was launched I’ve been seeing articles popping up everywhere online. Then when it was launched in Canada I couldn’t avoid it.

In the last week I’ve seen hundreds of people playing Pokemon Go at all hours of the day. Everyone has seen at least several news articles on it. Most of them are about a player that had something happen to them that happens to thousands of people each day. Now because the news can relate it to Pokemon Go it’s now a “story” or hoped to be a viral piece. Right now it seems like everyone is either playing it or trying to relate their product to it for the extra publicity they’re hoping to cash in on.  I even saw a fire department put it to good use among many other great ads.
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The BIGGEST Sports Deal EVER?

The Biggest Sports Deal EVER-

The biggest sports deal EVER?

I’m not sure how many of you would have heard by now as it was just announced on Monday last week but the biggest sports deal ever was officially confirmed after a few weeks of rumors in the industry. No it wasn’t the Taylor Hall trade or PK Subban trade, they’re pennies compared to this monster.  The UFC, better known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, was sold for a record sum of $4 BILLION dollars. Not bad for a 15 year run after a purchase price of $2 million back in 2001.

To put that into perspective, here are the top 5 most valuable sports franchises according to Forbes(caution, it’s a page per each franchise kind of list if you wanted to see the whole thing it’ll be a lot of clicking):  Read more

Where does ISIS get its money?

Where does ISIS get its money

Where does ISIS get its money? That doesn’t seem like a personal finance title at all!  

Well you’d be almost right if that’s what you thought when you read the title of this article. Where does ISIS get its money is a topic that has been touched on by some news outlets and various pages across the internet.  I recently listened to a podcast by Planet Money titled Auditing ISIS.  At first when google play suggested it to me I thought maybe I wasn’t reading the title correctly, but it turns out at 31 years old I can actually read; writing is a bit more difficult, but that’s what this blog is for! Right? Read more

7 ways to spend your tax return

spend your tax return

7 ways to spend your tax return

In case you haven’t heard all the radio ads about how scary your income tax is SUPPOSED to be(it isn’t) in order to scare you into paying money to have someone file your taxes, you may not have realized that it’s tax season.  An exciting season for a lot of people because it’s the one time of year they get “paid” from the government.  Unfortunately, your tax return isn’t getting paid from the government but only getting your money back that you’ve loaned them interest free.

If you’re like the majority of the population you’re probably getting some money back in the next few weeks and I’m going to share with you some ways how to spend your tax return. Some of these will be great for future you, others are going to be instant gratification for present you. It will be all your choice; I can only pass along the ideas. Read more

Lotto max fever: How to spend it all?

Lotto Max Winner

Lotto Max Fever! How would you spend $60 million?

Here in Canada we have two national lotteries. Lotto 649 is the longest running since 1982 in which for $3 you can pick 6 numbers from 1-49 or have them instantly chosen at random for you. The jackpots start at a minimum of $5 million and always have a separate randomly generated number for a guaranteed million dollar payout with each draw.  The second national lottery is called the lotto max jackpot. This lottery costs $5 to pick 7 numbers from 1 to 49 but also generates 2 additional groups of 7 numbers at random for a total of three chances to win.  The jackpot starts at a minimum of $10 million and caps out at $60 million. Once it hits the $50 million mark it adds additional draws of $1 million dollars but these are not guaranteed like the lotto 649 extra draw.

Now these jackpots are nothing compared to the size of the powerball lotteries in the United States, with the most recent mega jackpot in January 2016 reaching over $1.6 BILLION but also Canada has less than a tenth the population when compared to our neighbours to the south and we have a measly Gross Domestic Product(basically the value of all goods and services produced in the country over a year) of $1.827 trillion compared to the US’s $16.77 trillion. Nonetheless, Canadians like they’re lottery playing just as much as the Americans and since Lotto Max’s Friday March 11th $60million dollar jackpot didn’t have a winner Canadians are going to be spending all this week dreaming what if… Read more

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