To Take Or Not Take Early CPP

Happy Non-Retirement

CANADA PENSION PLAN DILEMMA   My husband just turned 62 and we’ve been in a quandary about whether he should take his Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) early (before 65) with penalty or not. We’re both still working and plan to be for the next 4 years while we pay off a whack of debt. Because of penalties introduced in 2012, the amount you receive by taking your CPP early is less than before this legislation was introduced. Let me try to walk through the peculiarities of our situation and how we reached our final decision.   The CPP Rules   While I can’t walk you through all the rules, I will highlight the key ones or ones that were relevant for us but refer you to the CPP website which is actually pretty clear.  I just want to point out that the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) has a different set of rules, up front. Normally CPP was collected at 65, with penalties and premiums if you elected to take it anytime from age 60 to 65, or from age 65 to 70. Contrary to popular belief, with the new rules introduced in 2012, the age for CPP has not changed […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should you really shop at a bulk food store? : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Oct 6-12, 2014

Bulk Food Store Walnuts

THE MORE YOU BUY THE CHEAPER IT IS… OR IS IT?   Most people would assume that if they buy food from a bulk food store that it would cost less than buying at a local grocery store. I’m not just talking about a bulk food store like the Bulk Barn but also stores like Costco that people believe help slash their grocery budget. Almost two years ago when I participated in the Welfare Food Challenge I agreed that buying in bulk would help keep costs lowered for those who want to stick to a budget. It’s true as long as you are always getting the ‘best price’ for the size/amount you buy. What is also important to consider is here as well is quality of product. If you aren’t then likely the savings aren’t going to be great.   Bulk Food Store Savings   We don’t have a Costco membership which you have to pay for and factor into your overall costs. This cost can run you anywhere from $55 a year for a business membership to a $110 for an executive membership. Through the grapevine I’ve heard that if you buy a Costco gift card or one was […]

Turtle Pie Oh My!

slice turtle pie wm

CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS   Turtle pie is one of my go-to recipes when the chocolate craving hits. If you are a fan of those famous chocolate turtles this recipe is for you. The past month I’ve been busy canning pasta sauce, salsa and cherry tomatoes for over the winter months thanks to my best friends. The great part is they know I will take their overflow of fruit and vegetables so they don’t go to waste. You all know how I don’t like food waste. Football season is full on at the moment and trying to find time to can is getting harder but it’s well worth it to have delicious tasting homemade sauces especially before the season ends and the farmer markets close until next year. Or in my case my friends gardens!   Turtle Pie   I was craving something really sweet the other day so decided to make a turtle pie for dessert. Now this turtle pie is a pretty easy recipe and one you can whip up even in a pinch. That’s why I like it. What is Dulce De Leche? When the condensed milk goes on sale normally $1.88 is a great price I will stock […]

If you won the lottery would you go bankrupt? : The Saturday Weekend Review #91

the saturday weekend review fall trees lottery winner bankruptcy

THE MILLIONAIRE BUDGET   I read an online article about what not to do when you win the lottery which made me wonder why people go bankrupt when money falls in their lap. I know what you are thinking…how does someone who won millions of dollars blow through it all so they go bankrupt? Easy… they don’t manage their money properly. Whether you are a millionaire or not you still have to budget your money. I know some of you might laugh at that but money is money and there is no special budget for rich people either. It’s simple math but people tend to complicate money to the point where they don’t know where all of their money went until it’s too late.   Lottery tickets are a waste of money   Some people may say that spending money on lottery tickets is like throwing money out the window and in one sense I agree but in another you can’t win if you don’t play. My wife and I play the lottery and buy one line with encore of Lotto Max every week. No, there have been no heart-stopping moments checking our lottery tickets but it’s our way of […]

Your Will And The Legal Ramifications Of Death

Will & Testament Photo

HOW DEATH WILL AFFECT YOU   When a loved one dies, the grief that follows is often overwhelming and difficult to bear. I know this feeling all too well as my stepfather passed away in 2013 after a COPD diagnosis and several recurrences of cancer. If you’re a surviving spouse or a very close relative, the responsibility may fall on you to oversee the funeral arrangements and burial or cremation rites. During this time of mourning, it isn’t likely to be a forethought whether or not the deceased had a will, significant assets or debts. Settling an estate cannot be delayed for long however. Regardless of whether the deceased lived alone or had a surviving spouse, someone will need to assume the great task of sorting through the person’s financial life and personal belongings. This is in order to meet the law’s requirements on the settling of an estate.   Last will and testament   Upon the death of the individual, one of the first questions that needs to be asked is if the deceased had a valid last will and testament. In Canada, there are commonly three types of wills used.   Formal Will:  this is a typed document […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How quick meals can be a life saver for new parents: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 29-Oct 5, 2014

convenience food canned goods

MEALS ON THE GO   I honestly never thought we’d be writing about filling our shopping cart with cheap meals in a can, box or container but now is the time. As you all know in the past few weeks we welcomed a baby boy into the CBB family. One CBB fan asked why we didn’t prepare freezer meals ahead of time and to be honest we literally didn’t have the time. I’ve worked non-stop and trying to renovate and although I’m my worst enemy I knew something would have to give. My wife and I are simple when it comes to eating that we both decided that we’d be fine with soups and sandwiches, cereal and toast etc once baby arrived. Silly us! We have stretched our days so far that there wasn’t much time left although looking back maybe I should have bulked out some meals. I’m the first person to encourage people to make time to budget (solid advice) so taking my own advice here should have been a priority. Just another learning experience for us. Meals for us normally consist of fresh vegetables and a protein and we love cooking homemade meals from scratch not to […]

How going vegan affected our budget

vegan grocery budget

FOOD AND YOUR WALLET   About three years ago, my wife and I decided to switch to a vegan diet. The decision was a difficult one but after some quick research into the type of foods we were eating, we decided we wanted to make a change. Personally, I wanted to start avoiding meat products and processed foods that were heavy in calories and made me feel tired after consuming them. Along with the health benefits that come with eating a more healthy diet, the decision to go vegan affected our monthly food budget in a few ways (and some were surprising).   EATING VEGAN   What is a Vegan? A vegan diet eliminates meat products and ‘strict’ vegan diets also refrain from consuming eggs, dairy products and other animal-related by products. The term vegan is described as “non-dairy vegetarian” and typical vegan diets are usually high in fibre, magnesium, vitamin C/E and iron. They also tend to be lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc. Since most processed foods tend to include animal-related products, a vegan diet usually consists of eating more raw, lean and healthier foods. Some notable vegans include Ellen DeGeneres, James Cameron, […]