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Canadian Budget Binder-Personal Finance Weekly Reading List #2

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Personal Finance Reading LIst

This weeks reading list will be full of awesome blog posts from personal finance blogs and foodies blogs around the web. I’ll admit I’ve slacked with commenting as I’ve been so busy with side projects but I do read them and share.

I’m sure I’ll be wrapping all that up shortly and we can roll out the new site soon for all the fans who are anxiously awaiting for me to get rid of this cult of a page.

Yes, that’s the feedback I received and that’s OK, I enjoy learning about what needs to be improved with the page or anything in my life. Life is about learning and when you shut the door and stop listening then growth stops.

So when my fans told me my blog was dark, busy and cult like, well I listened. In order for CBB to grow, this blog environment not only has to be fun and interactive but inviting and clean.

Not many Bloggers realize how the presentation of their site can impact the fans who want to stick around but don’t. I was one of them. So, Andrea…. work your magic, no pressure though.

 Another milestone was reached on my Facebook page reaching 3000 Fans and now we are at 3200 Fans. What I love is the daily interaction on the page, there is never a dull moment especially when it’s “What’s For Dinner?” time.

My goal for 2013 is to reach 5000 Facebook Fans and 1500 Twitter Fans. A big thank-you to everyone who shares Canadian Budget Binder and is part of the team!!! High Five to all my fans who already Like and Follow me! This if not just my blog it’s a place where you can come and share your opinions and experiences.

You are why this blog keeps on getting bigger and better. (Although I always like to sneak in some food!!) So, if you aren’t following me on Twitter or Facebook hook up with me and chat with all the amazing fans who visit my page daily!

If you want to guest post send me an email as I’m filling spots for 2013.

What’s Up EI?

Earlier yesterday we learned that EI (Employment Insurance) has made some changes as of January 6, 2013 to their program as read in the Huffington Post that would affect seasonal, contract and those applying to be in the EI system.

The EI system is now presented with stricter rules in hopes to get individuals back into the workforce as fast as possible with-in local jobs. One of my fans concerns were who would hire them, “Nobody is going to hire you when they know you are going back to work in 8 weeks. It would be a waste of their time to train you.”

 The new rules also separate the long time folk that have paid into the system and not using it to those who use it regularly and occasionally. It would also require claimants to search for suitable work involving preparation although there are criteria such as commute time, suitable hours and pay.

From what I read EI has all their bases covered including health, family and transportation options according to the Huffington Post. What was intriguing in the news article was the savings of 12.5 million the first year and 33 million the next of the benefit cuts.

News of the cuts have been met with opposition from those all over but like one of my fans says it best, think of EI as non-existent and start budgeting as if you will not receive it.”  

According to information in a CBC news article about the EI changes, “Claimants will no longer qualify for EI if they refuse a job within a one-hour radius of their home, even if the job pays 30 per cent less than their previous employment.”

Of course there is much more to learn on this topic so head to Service Canada to read for any current updates or contact them for more information.

Many of my Facebook Fans expressed their opinions, here are just a few….

  • “Also wonder how this is going to affect where I work. I drive school bus most of the people who work there go on EI for the summer. If they couldn’t get ei over the summer it will be even worse trying to find enough people to do the job.”
  • “Not impressed at all, this will definitely impact my decision to go back into landscaping full-time”
  • “Well that’s a smart approach to addressing the economic crisis! Amend the stats. After all, if someone’s not receiving EI or social assistance, they’re not statistically counted as unemployed. Remove all social benefits and we’d have full employment, at least on paper! Who cares if people are suffering, losing their homes, or going hungry as long as it makes those guys in Ottawa look better?”

What are your thoughts on the changes to EI?

Hazelnut mascarpone brownies
Hazelnut Mascarpone Brownies

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  1. Thanks for the mention. The EI issue is a tough one. We want people who have paid a lot into the system to use it when they get into trouble, that’s why it’s labeled as an insurance and not a tax, although some would argue differently, but at the same time we don’t want other individuals to take unfair advantage in the system. I’ll be waiting to see how the new changes will affect the labour market over time 🙂

    1. I understand exactly what you are saying and they should have sorted this out from the beginning rather than making it a landing pad. I’m sure it will make more sense once it’s up and I’m sure it will change the labour market, hopefully for good for some of these people.

  2. Mr. CBB thanks so much for the shout out about the onion cough syrup! Tell your readers not to immediately dismiss it as YUK onions….seriously it is a powerful anti-inflammatory potion the only down side is that it is not long lasting so has to be taken about every 2 hours I need to add that to my post……can’t wait to read the blog picks for this week…I am so becoming a money saving machine thanks for your blog 🙂

  3. What a great milestone to pass on the FB likes! How did you end up getting so many?

    The interaction you get with you fans there is very impressive. I certainly don’t have that rapport (as many of my likes came from contest giveaways and not because they “love” my site).

    Thanks for the mentions as always!!

    1. Hi Jason,
      I also hold contests from time to time depending on if I reach a milestone. I also hold the grocery game challenge. The fans love to chat on my page and I enjoy chatting with them. It’s interactive because the page is for them.

    1. Thanks so much Donna! I’m a brownie addict and have made my own. I may try to create this one on my own as well…. maybe add in some nutella to compliment the hazelnuts… I’ll go check it out. Cheers

  4. Hey Mr. CBB, Thanks for the shout-out as always. Your posts are always a mainstay on my reading list. I am spreading the word about your incredible site!

  5. Thanks for the link!

    As far as EI goes I don’t understand the bus drivers that go on EI regularly. Most people now days work, 2 or three jobs. We would all love to work 9 months a year and then take a paid vacation for 3 months a year. Any time I am underemployed I try to find a side job. I don’t think EI is supposed to be relied on to supplement your yearly income indefinitely.

    I routinely drive an hour to an hour and a half to work in my job. When I lived in L.A. everybody drove over an hour to work every day. Why should that stop someone from accepting a job if you are out of work?

    1. Well I’m afraid that’s what it seems to be. I just quoted a bit from some articles in a comment in this post you can read. It seems that an hour or 2 to get to work and home will not be an excuse. It should get interesting to see how this all comes together. I understand what you are saying exactly. I heard the official website should be updated this weekend with the changes but will just keep checking in.

      1. Great look forward to it!

        I am a free market guy… instead of taking EI off everyone’s check, why doesn’t the government let us put that money in an account we control. If you want to take summers off and use your EI, that’s up to you. If you want to let that money grow and get a second job, that would be your option too. That way everyone would still pay into EI. Everyone would still have EI coverage, but those who wanted to work full-time wouldn’t be subsidizing those who don’t.

        1. That sounds interesting mate. It reminds me of going to a restaurant and the owner paying a low wage and expecting the customers to pay the rest. Not only are we paying for our meal but to run the joint. I don’t care if the overhead is high..that’s the owners problem not mine. I don’t want to pay your employees to make you money. Then they will just offset it into the price of the food if they didn’t. Hence why we hardly eat out. Off topic I know probably a sore spot with me.

          1. I ate out for the first time in a long time yesterday. My burger was burnt black and the “salad” was just lettuce from a bag. I sent the whole thing back and didn’t pay for it.

  6. Ah EI. Unfortunately, I feel that a lot of the comments you have quoted are from folks who haven’t witnessed widespread EI abuse. Where I live, there are buttons and stickers available that say “government sponsored ski bum.” There are several industries where there will have to be some structural change in contract set up and wages. A few years ago, my neighbours were tree planters who made nearly 40K over the summer, collected EI over the winter and worked one shift a week as housekeepers, to make sure they stayed under their top-up maximum. On top of that, they are eligible for a lot of health benefits. That puts them solidly in the middle of the pack for Canadian incomes, with a very decent portion coming from the taxpayer’s pocket. The same is true of forest fire fighters.
    Fishing seems to rely on a similar process. Forestry uses two different forms of reliance on EI, depending on the role an individual plays.
    In short, I believe the changes are good, depending on the minutia of details, as I see abuse of the system all the time. A friend actually quit being a government employment counselor because she was disillusioned with all the perfectly capable people who put effort into avoiding working and into scamming the system in various ways. The proposed changes appear to still provide EI to those that need it, not those that rely on it as a way to do nothing or to avoid planning their finances. I can foresee ways that people honestly trying to work may end up shortchanged, but I believe there will be substabtial savings by reducing chronic EI reliance.

  7. Thanks for including my link this week mate and also a big thanks for sharing it on Facebook with your followers 🙂

    Congratulations on your Facebook milestone, I think you will easily get to 5,000 followers by the end of this year.

    Finally, that whole Employment Insurance thing sounds like a real slap in the face.

  8. Thanks for the mention.

    In Colorado, seasonal employees aren’t actually elligible for unemployment. I guess because the state has such a large seasonal sector with all of the ski resorts. I’m more of seasonally unemployed instead of seasonally employed and a rule like this would directly affect me.

    I wonder how they define a 1-hour radius? In one hour, I can get to northern Denver (50 miles) during off hours, Longmont (30 miles) during rush-hour, Berthoud (20 miles) by bus, Loveland (10 miles) by bike, but only southwestern Fort Collins (<4) by foot.

      1. That seems like a dangerous assumption to make. I’m currently between cars myself. If I were forced to look for jobs in Denver, that would take 3 buses and over 2 hours to get there.

        1. Below is a quote from the CBC article I linked in my post. This is all that we know at the moment. There really is more detail to all of this so Canadians should just wait until it’s post on the official website. Hope that helps mate.

          Margaret van Nooten, a social rights worker for Project Genesis in Côte-des-Neiges, is concerned the changes will require the people she helps to take work that won’t fit their lifestyle.

          “I really feel that people will be quite hard hit by these changes,” she said.

          “People have six weeks of looking for employment in their field … After that, there could be monitoring as to their job search efforts without them being able to specify, ‘Well, I haven’t taken this particular job because it’s a pay reduction for me or because it would take almost two hours to get there or I wouldn’t be able to be home in time to make supper for my children.'”
          Claimants will no longer qualify for EI if they refuse a job within a one-hour radius of their home, even if the job pays 30 per cent less than their previous employment.

  9. Thanks as always for the mention Mr. CBB! I too am excited to see what’s in store for your site. I would agree that many bloggers don’t realize that presentation and how a site is laid out can play a huge role in how their visitors interact with the site and how long they stay. Thankfully my wife has a keen eye to that with her being in advertising for over ten years. I am happy, btw, to be a part of the Mr. CBB cult. 😉

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