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Ontario Budget 2016 Will Affect Your Household Budget : The Saturday Weekend Review #161

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The Saturday Weekend Review logoROLL OUT THE FINANCIAL RED CARPET


If you don’t think your household budget will be affected by the Ontario Budget 2016, think again.

For the most part there are your typical increases but with every extra dollar spent that’s money you must account for.

The new Ontario Budget 2016 lit up the internet and social media on Thursday when highlights of the new budget were announced.

To be honest I wasn’t sitting by the computer waiting for the new Ontario Budget it kind of hit me in the face. It generated such a buzz that my Twitter and Facebook feed was littered with posts and comments.

So over a cup of coffee I read article after article about the pros and cons but the bickering between students was outrageous on some Facebook pages. When money is concerned you can’t please everyone and the government knows this. You’re almost taking from one pot to fill another and hoping that they balance themselves.

The deficit for 2016-17 is projected to come in at $4.3 billion and be reduced to zero the following fiscal year

Ontario’s net debt will hit $308 billion in 2016-17, the largest of any sub-national jurisdiction in the world, costing $11.8 billion in interest payments, which will increase to $13.1 billion by 2018-19.

You can read the full list of Ontario Budget 2016 Highlights over at CTV News but I want to talk about a few of them which will possibly interrupt your household budget.

The first thing we noticed apart from the education hoopla which I’ll talk about later was that they rid of the Children’s activity tax credit which my wife and I were just talking about. Since our son loves to swim we were going to enroll him in lessons. If your child participates in sports, art or other cultural activities you can claim that on your income tax to get back up to $70 a child. Gone! It may seem like a pathetic $70 but for some families every dollar counts.

If you are a senior expect to be paying more money for your medications in August if your income surpasses the threshold set out by the Ontario Budget. The good news is that seniors no longer have to pay the $170 for the shingles vaccine as it will be covered.

Single seniors earning up to $19,300 per year will be eligible for cheaper drugs starting in August, compared with the previous threshold of $16,018. Couples with an income of up to $32,300 will also be eligible, where before only those earning $24,175 qualified. The costs will be offset by raising deductibles and co-payments for seniors above the new income thresholds. Annual deductibles will rise to $170 from $100 and co-payments will increase by a dollar to $7.11. (Source CTV news article)


Pay your taxes


Just because income tax seems like a dirty word that doesn’t give us the right to avoid paying them. We will die paying taxes and avoidance is possibly only causing more debt to mount, especially if you owe money to the government.

If you’ve skipped out on paying your yearly income tax watch out because the government is going to be coming after you for their money. There’s lots of outstanding tax money out there and they will collect on it.

Most people shrug off the Ontario Budget as just another tax grab but this year students were jumping for joy, especially those from low-income families. There certainly are benefits to the Ontario Budget but for the most part expect increases on wine, cigarettes, gas and Hydro. Although gas will be going up 4.3 cents a litre the Drive Clean fee of $30 will be eliminated but you’ll still have to get your vehicle tested.

If that’s not bad enough don’t forget to add the rising price of groceries among other things that are going up in price in Ontario. Although the price of beef is slated to go down the price of produce has fluctuated just as bad as gas prices have over the past 6 months.

Buying a head of cauliflower in January would cost near $7 a head but has since dropped to around $2.99. How on earth do you create a household budget with these fluctuations in price? Simple. Submit to the fact that you will never have a budget that is 100% bulletproof because it’s always going to be an estimate. You either earn more or spend less.

I don’t see much to cheer about. Our natural gas bill and gas for our vehicle will go up. There is a little help for seniors but we are not quite there although hubby does get CPP Disability payments but I’m not sure how that will help us if at all.

We very seldom drink, and when hubby did he made his own beer and wine. The older boy smokes but he has cut back a lot since he moved back home. Our provincial debt is mind-blowing and she is blowing smoke if she thinks she can spend her way out of the deficit….. Generally not impressed.- Christine W. (CBB Fan)


Time to kick the smoking habit


If you are a smoker get ready to pay an additional $3 for a carton of 200 smokes on already over-the-top priced cigarettes. Co-workers of mine said that maybe this will be a deterrent for smokers to give up this bad habit. On the other hand rising prices on products like smokes and wine may show an increase in crimes, robberies and burglaries because due to lack of affordability.

There will be a $3 increase in the price of a carton of 200 cigarettes, effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, and the tobacco tax will keep rising at the rate of inflation each year over the next five years.

Smoking and drinking both can become an addiction and when you don’t get that fix it can drive you mad. I know, I was a smoker for many years. My wife was a smoker from her teens until we both quit in 2012.

Related: How Quitting Smoking Saved our Health and our Budget

In college the cigarettes were so expensive and she was supporting herself with money from her OSAP loan that she could not afford smokes. In desperation both her and another roommate picked up butts off the ground to smoke.

I know, that’s disgusting and she’s not proud of it BUT this is what nicotine addiction can do to you.

Thankfully, we’ve both been smoke-free since we gave it up but don’t forget how hard it was to kick the habit. It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do. Besides our health the best part was all the extra money we had in the bank. Still to this day we tally up just how many thousands of dollars we’ve saved over the years. It’s surreal.

So what I’ll just buy cheap reserve smokes…

If you think that you will by-pass buying Canadian cigarettes for tax-free smokes think again. As of January 2016 the government is buckling down and wants to close the doors on the sale of illegal smokes to those not authorized by creating an OPP tobacco team.

The ministry is funding an OPP team dedicated to disrupt the distribution of contraband tobacco in Ontario and beyond.

This means that if you live in places like Sarnia, Chatham or Brantford in Ontario or any other First Nations communities where reserve smokes are sold the OPP tobacco team may be lurking. If it’s not your first offense you may even end up in jail. Is it really worth it?

Smoke shops across First Nation communities in Ontario legally sell tobacco products that are both excise taxed and non-taxed. You are not allowed to possess or distribute these smokes unless you are authorized.

Some of these shops are cashing in making millions of dollars from an addiction that will likely never go away. We can always try to control and educate but ultimately it’s up to the individual to say no.

The price of a carton of reserve smokes can sometimes be as cheap as 2 packs of Canadian cigarettes. You can also buy Canadian cigarettes on the reserve but most that shop there go for the cheaper smokes or bagged smokes. If you get caught with the smokes you can expect a fine of $100 for 200 smokes (carton) or less. That means if you have one cigarette and that’s all you’ve got on you be prepared to pay for one of the most expensive cigarettes you’ve ever had if you get caught.

If you are convicted of possessing contraband tobacco you may be fined three times the tax on the unmarked cigarettes you possessed plus:

  • a fine of $100 if you possessed 200 unmarked cigarettes or less
  • a fine of $250 if you possessed more than 200 unmarked cigarettes but less than 1,001
  • a fine of $500 if you possessed more than 1,000 unmarked cigarettes but less than 10,001
  • a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $10,000 if you possessed more than 10,000 unmarked cigarettes.

In addition, if it is not your first conviction for possessing unmarked cigarettes or if you are in possession of more than 10,000 unmarked cigarettes you may be sentenced to up to two years in jail.

Cheap smokes means that kids and adults continue their addiction but for less money while the province is losing out on the taxes that they would have paid if they bought their smokes in Ontario shops. If you do decide to quit smoking not only will you have improved health and extra money but your life insurance after one year smoke-free will show an insurance premium drop.

Yes, they will test you so you can’t fake it!


Make your own wine


If you are a wine drinker and need a few drinks to wind down or up making your own wine may be the cost-effective option. My father-in-law makes demijohns’ (carboy) of wine every year with white and red grapes. He stores them in his root cellar and when he wants a gallon, he sorts himself out.

The white wine is amazing and the red wine is a bit on the stronger side but it sure does hit the spot. If you’re looking for fancy wine you’ll end up paying the price and since the price of wine is slated to go up in the new Ontario Budget you’ll just have to adjust your budget accordingly.

The minimum price for a bottle of wine rises to $7.95, and there will be a series of increases in the LCBO’s mark-up on wine, starting with a two percentage point hike in June — about 10 cents a bottle — followed by another two percentage points in 2017 and 2018, with a one-point hike in 2019

There will also be annual increases of about 10 cents in the tax on wine sold in private retail outlets, increasing from 16.1 cents to 20.1 cents over four years

It’s cheaper to make your own wine but if you don’t have all the equipment you’ll pay for some upfront costs the first time. If you can’t be bothered with making your own wine at home there are custom wine shops where you can make your own wine on site and they teach you how.

No wine-making mess at your house needed.


Free Tuition For Students


Probably the hottest topic from the Ontario Budget 2016 across University and College campus social media was the free tuition for students. A free education will be offered to those students who come from families with income levels of $50,000 or less. This was amazing news and plenty of people were rejoicing that they finally get to go to school.

The Liberals are setting the stage for these students many who could only dream of an education. These young students were thrilled to know they may have a shot at living their dream instead of going to work right out of high school.

There are students that are exceptionally smart or good with their hands yet don’t have the finances to get them into school to explore their options. Some kids said they went without clean clothes or even bringing a lunch to school when they were growing up. Although with the Food Bank in operation in just about every city and other community services this should never happen.

But the rich people can afford school…

Not all high income earners have big fat bank accounts, are debt free and have no mortgage to worry about. None of this matters, all that matters is that income number.

I’m betting we will see students drop out of school for a year to work and then hope for a free education because they earn under the income threshold for free tuition. Unless there are rules of some sort in place which I’m sure there will be I can see this happening more than once.

Students from families with incomes up to $83,000 will receive non-repayable grants that exceed the average tuition — mostly students who live on their own (source CTV news article)

In the summer businesses rely on students but possibly since some students no longer need any money to go to school they may opt out of the summer job. This means…possible vacancies in what once was a competitive summer job market. There may be a an influx of students who don’t want to work full-time either but rather part-time because they don’t need as much money for the school year.

Why work harder, longer or at all when money for your education is free? Don’t let this be your mentality about finding a summer job. From my understanding students still have to cover the costs of accommodations, food, transportation etc. So, earning money still should be a priority for all students.


Money Management and kids


I’m not saying I’m against the free tuition but we preach about teaching our kids about money from a young age but this doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Not all parents who earn over the income level cutoff have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) nor are they debt-free. I’m betting that many of these families have a mortgage and lots of debt. Currently we are debt free including the mortgage and pay $208.33 a month to get the maximum allowable grant of $500 for 2016.

Related: RESP Investing in your Child’s’ Education

They say the more you earn the more you spend and sometimes for other reasons even debt looms over the rich. It happens but for the most part all they have to do is stop spending money and pay off their debts so they can get back in the clear and away they go. The money flows where that’s not always the case in low-income families. No one and I mean no one is safe at any job though because one minute you’re swimming in the cash and the next you’re unemployed. Be smart and save your money.

In the least the government should expect students who come from low-income families to provide some amount of money toward their education as should students from high income earning families. Not only does this promote responsibility it promotes a stronger future for Canada.

I think students should have some investment in their education. Give them grants but it shouldn’t be free. They should still be responsible for some of it.- Susan D (CBB Fan)

I paid my way through University AND bought myself a house at age 21 while doing it because I worked hard and lived a frugal life. I graduated in my field unfortunately in the UK there are so many unemployed University grads and not enough jobs.

Will the same thing start happening in Canada? Possibly, if more jobs are not created, retirement booms or people start to die off.

As far as job growth, Ontario is projected to create 300,000 net new jobs between now and 2019 with 78,000 net new jobs expected in 2016. The province’s unemployment rate is below the Canadian average with a projected unemployment rate in 2019 at 6.1 per cent. Source


Household Budget Expenses


All you can do at this point is wait and see what the prices increases are how they affect your current budget. Once you have a couple of months of data then you can improve on your budget to balance it. For all the other reasons you need to visit your budget at least monthly the Ontario Budget is another. With a new Ontario Budget comes changes to how much money you will spending and saving. Don’t forget to adjust your finances as needed.

How will the Ontario Budget 2016 possibly affect your budget? What do you plan to do about it?


CBB Week At A Glance


Hey everyone!! I spent more time away from the house than I did in my bed this week as I was blasted with tonnes of work to do. The good thing is that I’m on vacation for a few days next week which means I can get some stuff around the house, get out with the family and just relax. I haven’t started our income taxes yet because not all of our T4 slips came in yet but soon I’ll be getting that done and out-of-the-way.

I’m tired but prepared for the next contract that comes my way. I won’t be doing as many hours for my next contract which means I get 1 day off a week which is great because now I don’t have to rush off to work on gym day.

Our son is not 2 yet but we are experiencing the terrible two’s now. He’s getting frustrated easily especially if he’s tired and he throws anything he can get his hands on. We are working on helping him to understand patience and the need to tidy up. So far, we are not successful. If anyone has any tips that would be great.

That’s my eventful week…. How was your week?


Awesome posts published this week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each one. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details! I’m more than happy to chat via email to bring your story to life.

New: If your story submission gets chosen and published you will be entered into a yearly draw for a $25 Gift Card or $25 CDN via PayPal if you are from the USA.

Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge), Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a Frugal Recipe on Sunday!

Popular Post this week: A must-read > How much should my grocery budget be?


Budget Brags


Submit your Deal or Brag:

ham and russet potatoesSaving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge .

Join the Budget Brag Challenge 2016 and WIN!!!

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!  In 2016 if you send your Budget Brag you will automatically get entered into a yearly draw for a surprise gift card.

If your Budget Brag gets chosen you get an extra ballot! So start sending in your brags with a photo and write-up telling me about your deals. If you are from the USA and win I will PayPal you the money in CDN dollars. Open to Canada and USA only.

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans,

I picked up a great deal this weekend on 1 kg sliced ham for $1 and a 10 lb bag of russet potatoes for $1.87. Love it –Anne Russell


Making A Difference (MAD)


Welcome to the 2016 Making A Difference series!

If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you. I’m currently booking for March 2016!

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you the blog, The Butler Journal.

TheButlerJournal1(1)Greetings Canada,

I’m Jason Butler the owner of The Butler Journal. I discuss debt, travel, side hustles and college information on my website.

Who is Jason Butler?

I am a financial aid counselor by day and a blogger/side hustler by night.  Between student loans and credit card debt I’ve accumulated over $72,000 worth of debt.  In late 2014 I decided that enough was enough. I had to eliminate this debt. I’ve been paying on the debt consistently since January 2015. My plan is to pay it off in three years. On my website I discuss many side hustles that I am doing to help me pay off the debt. I also share a debt update each month.

I want to show my readers that they can pay off debt and make more money if they truly want to. I want to show them my successes and my struggles during this journey. I also want my readers to know that there are other ways to make money than just working a 9-5. While there is nothing wrong with working a 9-5, there are other options out there as well. If you’re trying to pay off debt you will definitely need more than one income stream.

I also want to show my readers that they can travel even if they don’t have that much money. It just takes some saving and planning. Since 2003 I’ve been able to travel quite a few places in the U.S. without spending too much money.

I typically tweet two posts each week on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. Learn more about me at The Butler Journal. I can’t wait to see you all over there.


Top Recipe



Food and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with. If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch. Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you’ve accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

For the past 2 years I’ve had a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world. I also share recipes on the blog on Sunday either made by home cook and mom Nicola Don or myself.

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Jill over at Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for these cute Easter Rice Krispies Baby Bird Nests. If you‘re company or the kids’ school is having a bake sale or treat day for Easter these are inexpensive to make and perfect for Easter. 


Top DIY Project


valentines felt envelopes I’m on a roll for craft projects since our son made me a homemade Birthday card with some craft items we picked up at the Dollar Tree a few months back.

I know that since he is excited to create art (scribbles) and use felt, pom poms and glue that the wife and I should probably start learning projects we can do with him as he grows older.

Gail over at the blog Probably Actually makes these cool Felt Envelopes which I thought would be great for those of you who use the Envelope Budgeting System. Instead of using paper envelopes to separate your cash which eventually rip you can use these felt envelopes, label them and re-use them over and over. They are colourful and in my opinion motivational because certain colours like blue, yellow and green make people feel happy inside.

You can also use these for Valentine’s for the kids. valentines felt envelopes


Editor’s Pick


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with all of you. Please head on over and give the post a read and let them know that Mr. CBB sent you if you comment. Thanks.

Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) this week goes to Cat Alford over at Budget Blonde shared this great post,Why Money Is the Most Important Topic Imaginable 

Without money there are things that we can’t do like put a roof over our heads, clothing on our backs and the ability to buy just about anything or pay to survive. Money does make the world go round even as the basic necessity of life.


How readers find CBB


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog. Some of them are serious and others are meant to have a laugh.

This week I want to talk about The Scanning Code of Practice which is a top post on CBB which means I get lots of traffic on SCOP. The funny part is the way the consumers try to locate more info about SCOP and the names they call the practice. Some of them make me laugh.

  • Retail Price Scan Accuracy Laws
  • Canadian Scanning Code of Practice
  • Price Accuracy Policy Ontario
  • Priced Wrong Law
  • What is the Consumer Scan Code
  • Canada Code Scanner Register Law
  • Scan Code of Conduct -What….?
  • Canada Government Scanned Wrong Policy

As you can see from the few I picked some are laughable and others gave an honest shot at trying to remember what the policy was actually called.


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