My morning consisted of a hot cup of coffee (OK 3) and a read of the Canada Budget 2013 that was released Thursday. It’s quite long but I picked out a couple of bits to chat about today. After reading through it I found this quote from Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty,“We will remain focused on what matters to Canadians—jobs and economic growth, and ensuring Canada’s economic advantage today will translate into the long-term prosperity of tomorrow” motivational from my perspective as permanent resident. Returning to a balanced budget seems optimistic throughout the budget plan with the deficit projected to drop each year and the government hoping to balance by 2015-2016 which they believe will strengthen Canada’s fiscal advantage.
When I read this budget update these key words stood out- promote, extend, provide, enhance, build, help, improve, continue, invest, create, support, connect, opportunities, action, increase, invest, renew, introduce and initiative, all words that I believe create a unity or air of optimism. As we all know when creating a budget anything can happen so I’m sure many Canadians will be following this closely to see how well we stay true to this budget and how it unfolds over time.
I believe a fiscal advantage is important and like anything else in life I’m convinced that in order to stay on top Canada needs to make sure they are always one step ahead in the game. Life seems to revolve around who’s ready to take the next leap first and if we aren’t ready and leap before we have the knowledge and strength things can roll downhill and fast.
When I emigrated to Canada I knew I was on my way to a country that was special and full of opportunity for me. Not only do I have a beautiful wife whom I love I am now living in a country that I believe has so much to offer those blessed to live here. Although some of you may laugh I can assure you that the UK is not getting any better and many I know are unemployed or are moving away to find work in Australia or hoping to move to Canada. Although I’m still relatively new to Canada I keep my eyes and ears open and brace myself for what might come our way as I’m certainly not a polished Canadian with years of experience. The Canadian Budget is a topic that can become controversial depending on who you talk to and how it affects them coupled with experiences in this country and knowledge of the people who run it- the government.
Starting My Life In Canada
When I arrived in Canada I’d like to say I was a skilled immigrant yet when I had my University credentials changed over I would have had to return to school to further my education to gain the same recognition in Canada as in the UK. In the new budget it’s stated that they want to enhance the foreign credential recognition processes and integration of internationally trained individuals into the job market. I took the plunge to make a big change in my life and with the guidance and opportunities presented to me by the Canadian government. I returned to school to study in order to obtain a career that was in demand in Canada and soaked up all the information that came my way. Besides, my new career is much more engaging and hands on, something that I would never have accomplished back home. I believe the enhancement will help Canada attract the best international talent especially if they know they can do what they are trained to do.
When you read the 2013 budget plan I’m sure you can agree that connecting Canadians with jobs, economic growth and supporting families are spread thick and that in part is good for Canada. The new plan to improve economic growth to stay ahead by building roads, subways, bridges, commuter rail, public transit, highways and other infrastructures is something that I believe will not only create jobs but help open up the availability of services throughout Canada in a timely fashion.
Supporting Canadian Families and Tax Breaks
Although we always wish for more sometimes we have to take what we get and hope that the benefits are great for those in need of them. What’s that saying “you can’t please them all”. Adoption was a topic that was brought up in a conversation with friends just this past week and we talked about how expensive it is to adopt. Friends of a friend who were unable to conceive adopted a child but stated the process was not only long but also costly. The government aims to enhance the Adoption Expense Tax Credit in order to help those looking to adopt a child. There are many couples who struggle to conceive naturally or simply want to adopt a child who is waiting to find a loving family so hopefully this enhancement will prove beneficial for those who seek a child to call their own.
We can now say goodbye to border tariffs on baby clothing and sporting goods and I’m sure parents may agree this will be a big help to them but only if the retailers pass the savings buck down the line. We don’t have any kids nor are we sports fanatics so this won’t really affect us but it may affect those families/individuals who could stand to save some money and who wouldn’t pass that up, right? I’m going to give retailers the benefit of the doubt with this one and say we will see price reductions comparable to our neighbours in the USA but time will tell. I can only assume with the 76 million dollar relief investment the government will implement some sort of system to ensure Canadians are benefiting from this.
To be honest though, have you ever walked through the baby section at some of the local shops and read the prices on baby clothes? When you have to pay just as much for a pair of jeans for a baby as you would an adult clearly something is wrong. It’s no wonder parents aim to get second-hand baby clothes from Value Village, The Thrift Shop, Garage Sales, Mom to Mom sales and even heading over the border to the USA. We have friends who simply can’t believe the price comparison from Canada to the USA and shop in the USA to help reduce the costs in their family budget. Having a baby today is costly no matter what way you look at it whether it be every day baby items, maternity leave, day care or babysitting costs etc.
It’s not surprising why the coupon phenomenon took off so fast these past years and it’s because we can’t do it all financially, so something has to give. Many couples are waiting to have kids because they simply can’t do it all. You can’t graduate from school with OSAP debt and expect to pay for a wedding then afford a down-payment for a house and then slap a baby into the mix to go on maternity leave for up to a year. That’s likely why we are seeing more couples getting hitched in their 30’s and having children later in life, if at all. As we all know debts can take years to pay back so when does life begin for most or do they just say sod it, we’ll deal with the debt along the way? It can be done but potentially without all the fairy tale luxuries they believe they are owed or desire.
Although I agree that personal finance starts at home I also think the education system needs to take charge and educate children about money and budgets to help them on their journey. The disheartening part is that it might not be one person in the relationship with school debt it may be both partners which is a potential disaster waiting to happen for some couples. It’s no wonder many Canadian families are sinking fast into the debt pit. With education costs becoming outrageous and out of reach for many, some opt to forgo further education for a minimum wage job or one that requires only a high school diploma. We have a friend who has a son who is terrified of school debt and not finding a job so he is working to save up to go to school first. Not all parents can afford an RESP or to pay full/part tuition for their children so their options become limited. Never mind adults who simply want to return to school and already have a family, the struggle is always looming.
Finally the government says they will not raise taxes in fairness to the system which I’m sure many Canadians are happy about. They will be cracking down on all the tax loopholes in order for them to keep taxes low so expect them to be pulling out the magnifying glass and scrutinizing everything with a fine tooth comb. All in all this is such a huge topic which I have barely touched on here today. If you are interested in the 2013 Canada budget I’d suggest giving it a read to see where your country stands in terms of working hard to make your world a better place.
What did you think about the new budget?
PF WEEKLY READING LIST
These are my TOP 8 Blog Post Picks + Funniest Post of the Week and My Top Recipe/Frugal Blog Post of the Week!!
- The Frugal Farmer– Back To Basics
- She Thinks I’m Cheap– How Future Transit Plans Can Affect Real Estate
- T-Shirts and Twine- Living Simply, Easy For You To Say
- Modest Money– Evaluating Blog Marketing Efforts
- Freedom Thirty Five Blog– The Golden Purchase
- IHeartBudgets– Forget Keeping Up With The Joneses I Became One by Kim at Eyes On The Dollar
- Johnny Money Seed- The Neglected “Secret” to Becoming Rich
- My Own Advisor– Book Review and Giveaway More Money For Beer and Textbooks
Recipes/Frugal Blog Posts of the Week
- The Outlier Model– Frugal Ideas For A Housewarming Party
- Reach Financial Independence– Easy Guacamole Recipe in 5 minutes vs Mr.CBB’s Tangy Easy Guacamole!!! I’ve been waiting for Pauline’s recipe since we both love avocados so I’m going to test our her dip and I hope you try both our recipes and let us know what you think.
Inspirational or Funniest Post of the Week
- Boomer and Echo- How My Retirement Plans Got Derailed Big Time
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- Emigrating to Canada ~ Should I Rent Out My House (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Personal Finance Reading List #9- Welcome March~ B.C Pooled Pension Plan (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
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