We all know that it’s not true that having no debt is the reason you forget to cash a government cheque. In saying that most people would agree that forgetting about money owed is hard to believe. It happens though.
Not everyone is going to chase after you when they owe you money including the government.
For many Canadians it’s as simple as getting all their financial ducks in order, including the CBB household.
Household debt is a huge problem and I don’t know about you but tracking every dollar owed to us is imperative. However, I think some of us let life get in the way of the important things such as our family finances.
I read today that Ottawa has a stockpile and it’s not from using coupons either. They have over $730 million dollars in unclaimed government cheques and refunds according to Public Works Canada.
I have to ask myself who forgets they are owed money? I don’t. Most times people forget they owe money to pay a bill but not in this case.
The government has the cash and it’s waiting for Canadians to come forward to say, “Hey I don’t think I got my tax refund in the mail”.
Most people who don’t claim a government cheque owed to them might forget because it’s a small cheque (remember every bit of cash adds up), health reasons, no direct deposit, life events such as divorce, marriage, new baby, new career, a move, no forwarded address or the recipient has passed away.
Come to think of it as we age it’s very important to have someone close to us that we trust to help with our finances so that all money owed does come back to the person it is owed to.
If you are like many other Canadians you are checking your mailbox on a daily basis waiting for a government cheque to turn up. If you are a smart Canadian you would have set up direct deposit so if a government cheque is owed to you it is as simple as checking your bank account.
This is something my wife and I have worked on setting up so we don’t have to worry about cheques getting lost in the mail. We do however still need to track money coming in and out of our bank account. I’m not sure why so many people are hesitant to set up direct deposit besides finding the time but it’s the easiest way to track money owed to you from outside sources along with a budget tracking sheet.
A few weeks back I wrote a post about whether you would forget you had money in a bank account and here is what some of you said…
- I’m like you Mr. CBB, I can’t imagine not knowing where my money is!
- I have to confess that my hubby and I had forgotten about two life assurance policies we thought had gotten moved into another account. To our surprise when we checked them out and we have quite a bit (we went through a lot of our boxes that hadn’t been touched since we first moved out of our homes in Aberdeen) this money is now going to be transferred over to investment accounts here in Canada. Check out all you paperwork even if you think there is nothing there we certainly got a surprise! This definitely cheered us up after three months of wondering if we were staying here in Canada or not.
- Not once, but twice, I’ve had unclaimed money in a checking account. It was 15+ years ago and during my times of moving for college and internships. I’d find myself in a place where my “national” bank wasn’t. I’d open a new account and like the bank and plan to keep using them in my next location, arriving there to find the bank didn’t have a nearby branch. Two accounts got caught in the mix. Sure, I should have known better, but we are also talking a very small amount of cash. Less than $300 between the two. Nice surprise for years later when I was more responsible with money
The problem with a government cheque or tax refund is that there is no unclaimed money search websites available for you to find out they owe you. It really is funny with all the technology today that this is not set up yet but like pointed out in the article maybe the government is using it as a tax grab since they haven’t put anything in place for Canadians. Maybe they are just holding us accountable for our own money.
What will the government do with all of this money and how long will they sit on it?
Below is what government money is owed according to the article and has not been claimed for whatever reason. I’m sure you will be just as shocked as I was but keep in mind this is just another way to point out… small amounts add up to big numbers. Not all the figures are huge cheques.
- $149 million dollars in tax refunds to 338,000 Canadians- Double check that you got your tax refund government cheque in the mail people. That’s outrageous
- $40.1 million in Ontario Trillium Benefit /Ontario Sales Tax Credits
- $32 million in B.C Low Income Climate Action Tax Credits
- $41 million Canada Pension Plan – Don’t forget you are retired….. I know I won’t.
- $5.1 million Employment Insurance – This is so hard to believe but maybe you didn’t need the money as bad as you thought?
- Almost one million Canadians have not cashed in their GST/HST government cheques to the tune of $92.6 million dollars- WOW!
- $22.6 million in Child Tax Credits
Track your cash
Direct deposit it the only way to battle the case of not receiving and cashing government cheques owed to you however your best defense is to always track your money. If someone owes you money than track it or write it down so you can follow-up if you don’t receive it. If you owe someone money than make sure you pay them back and don’t forget about it.
I know some people who won’t ask people for money that is owed to them so do them a favour and pay them back as promptly as possible and don’t use “I forgot” as an excuse.
Forgetting that we own money or that money is owed to us is simply not taking care of your finances properly. Sure you might move to a new city and not forward your mail with Canada Post or close old bank accounts and update direct deposit forms but that’s your fault.
The government at this point is not working that hard to track you down and is merely suggesting you get set up with direct deposit to make sure your government cheque goes where it needs to go.
Missing money is a tragedy to anyone because it can all go to a good cause. If you are so rich that you simply forget that the government owes you money than so be it but for the rest of us unclaimed funds can make a big difference to our bank account balance.
What are some other reasons Canadians might be forgetting to cash in on government money owed to them? Has this happened to you and why?
CBB at home and the blog
Besides going to work I’ve been hard at demolishing our bathroom and it’s pretty much framed with the plumbing sorted. I’m hoping this week to finish up including the installation of the Schluter shower kit, bench and wall inserts, tiling and the ordering of the glass doors.
I will be installing a fan and lights inside the shower as well as ordering the bath fittings online so hopefully they come in as fast as they say they will. Once the shower is done I can rip out the old shower, move the toilet, put the heated floors in, tile from floor to ceiling and add the new vanity and other accessories that we bought. We still have plenty to buy.
Anyone who thinks they can do a decent bathroom reno for under $5000 is lucky because this one will likely hit around that ball-park number.
The garden has been doing well with all of the rain we’ve been getting in Ontario although I had a slight issue with the basil this past week. I had gorgeous basil which you might have noticed from last week’s photos.
All of a sudden it started to turn a brown colour like it was rotting. I don’t know if it was over-watered or what was happening. I had to pick almost all of the basil and managed to make three jars of homemade pesto from it. It is still growing but I’m a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to make basil cubes for the winter. Hopefully I get another crop but I’m not betting on it.
I finally dug out the garlic which was growing only because we put the cut-offs from last year’s garlic from my father-in-law in the compost heap not thinking when I spread compost around the garden it would grow.
Well, it did grow and we had garlic all over, oops. I had to dig it up and re-plant the garlic in a bin. We actually got some decent garlic that is very pungent in smell and the taste is outrageous.
You can see from the photo above that they are not huge bulbs because I picked them early but they are still just as good. If I would have left them I’m sure we would have had jumbo garlic bulbs like they should be. I just have so much on the go right now that caring for the garden has been difficult for us this summer.
I also notice our honey suckle gets a mold on it every year. I thought this year would be different but again just this past week it started to happen. I’m contemplating ripping it out and putting another climbing plant in its place for next season. Any suggestions?
I’ve been very busy with the above ^^^ and trying to keep up with the blog but my fans have been great. They recognize that I can’t be here day and night and I appreciate the support from all of you.
You will know more about what’s happening with CBB in the next week or so. I have still been keeping up reading many blog posts around the web to keep up to speed in the world of Personal Finance. Thank you to all the bloggers who come around and comment here. I note this and appreciate your support.
Guest posts wanted
If you are a Personal Finance Blogger I’m looking to book High Quality Guest Posts for the months of September and October to help me get through a very busy period. It’s a great way to share your thoughts and the way you write with my fans.
If you are interested please contact me today as spots are filling up.
Weekly CBB posts
If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading! You will notice that I’m only posting 5-6 days a week now. – Mr.CBB
- Work more to work less with a compressed work week
- Do summer foods cost you more money?
- What or who do you rely on to earn an income?
- No-bake chocolate peanut butter truffles
- Leaving kids alone when you can’t afford a babysitter
- Store saving money tricks to cash in on
Fan deals and inspirations
Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.
This week Jen shares a fantastic deal that she picked up at a garage sale. If you are a parent then you know what a Bumbo chair is and how costly they are. The Bumbo chair ranges in colours and can cost upwards of $59.99 plus tax, ouch at most Canadian retailers and online stores. The Bumbo chair is a floor seat which allows a baby to maintain a sitting position before they are able to sit upright. A great tool for all parents to have for their child.
This week Jen scored a Bumbo chair for a whopping $2.00!! Well done Jen!
Making a difference
If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email canadianbudgetbinder (@) yahoo.ca so I can reach out to them for a feature story.
Note: If you are a blogger who gives back and would like to be featured get in touch with me as I am booking spots for the rest of 2014 and they are going quickly.
I started my blog in October of 2012 after going through a divorce. I was struggling to get my life together and decided to put up a blog to chronicle the process – which turned out to be a huge blessing.
I started writing about the different things I was going through as a single mother – including finances. I ended up meeting a ton of fantastic people through my blog, a few who I would now consider some of my best friends!
Through my blog I’ve also been able to slowly build up a freelance business and quit both day jobs I was working just two years ago.
Here’s a bit more about me:
I live in the US, out in the boondocks in Ohio to be exact. I’m 27 years old and have two daughters ages four and five. I currently freelance full-time which allows me to have the flexibility to be there for my kids when they need me.
Here’s a little of what I cover on the blog:
I live a very low expense lifestyle spending roughly $1,600/month. I talk about living a low-cost life and pursuing an online business. Single Moms Income is my personal blog and is very much used as a creative outlet for me.
I look forward to having you come around to the blog.
Weekly Features around the web
If you featured CBB and I missed you it’s because I didn’t get a ping-back. Email me to let me know. Thanks.
I’d like to thank Our Big Fat Wallet for featuring Canadian Budget Binder this week. – Weekend Reading Banking Bonus Edition
Google search terms
Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.
- Fudge-o recipes booze– Those certainly sound like “adult cookies”
- Renovating whole house by yourself- I hope you have patience and time.
- If a product doesn’t scan is it free? – No, the scanner is either broken or can’t read the bar code. Stores would go broke!
- Ways to post LOVE on a Post It Note– So you want LOVE Quotes that won’t make you look or seem silly.
- Welfare food- There is NO such thing as Welfare Food!!
Thanks for joining me for this edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #82. Join me here again for more crazy stories from around the web and at home!
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- The Saturday Weekend Review #78: Celebrate Canada Day and enjoy our beautiful country
- The Saturday Weekend Review #79: Would you forget that you had money in a bank account?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #80: Would you spend money at a restaurant without free Wi-Fi?
- The Saturday Weekend Review #81: Leaving children alone when you can’t afford a babysitter