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Weekend Reading – austerity measures coming to Ontario and tons of great blogs

 

Looks like austerity measures are coming to Ontario after all.  That’s the wake-up call that arrived from Don Drummond this week, a former chief economist of TD Bank Financial Group.  Premier Dalton McGuinty initiated the Drummond commission during the March 2011 budget cycle, recognizing the need for drastic spending cuts in our province.  Drummond’s two-volume tome is a total of 665-pages, so weighty the reports apparently broke a table when OPP officers unloaded copies of it before the media scrum this week.

Check out a few of these made-in-Ontario austerity recommendations by Drummond:

  • Scrap full-day kindergarten.
  • Cut 70% of 13,800 non-teaching jobs created in the province since 2003.
  • Look into revenue solutions such as toll roads, congestion charges, regional gas taxes and more parking user fees.

That’s just the very beginning…

“Reform must be pervasive and speedy” Drummond said.  He went on to say the days of relying on economic growth to solve the province’s fiscal problems are over.  On this note, I read a stat that is rather scary.  If left unchecked, Ontario’s deficit will swell to over $30 billion by 2018.  What does this really mean?  In order to correct this upcoming disaster, annual spending growth must be held at about 1% over the next 7 years.  Factoring in population growth and inflation, it really means 16% in program cuts over the next 7 years for every man, woman and child in this province.  Yikes!

With 362 recommendations to act on in the report, 105 on health care alone, the McGuinty government has plenty of work to do, and I’m sure Ontarians will see many of these cuts announced when the provincial budget comes down next month.

This could make for some very interesting times ahead for Gen X.  I’m a little worried actually.   What about you?

 

Although I tried, I don’t quite have 362 recommendations for you to check out this weekend, rather 30 or so :)

These articles are not all doom and gloom either.  We’ve had enough depressing news this week I think.  I hope (and I try) to express a more positive vibe on My Own Advisor.  You are always welcome to tell me how I’m doing on that front.

Here are some great articles I read and found this week.  I hope you enjoy them. 

Have a safe, happy and healthy weekend.  Thanks for reading!

 

Balance Junkie asked:  GIC or Savings Account?  Personally, I always go with savings accounts. My money is guaranteed as long as I don’t spend it!

Michael James on Money took a second look at bonds, but it was brief.

MDJ shared some asset allocation strategies.

Canadian Finance Blog had a guest post from TeacherMan regarding the generational gap.

Money Smarts Blog discussed withdrawals from RESP accounts.

Dividend Guy Blog said you could grow your stocks with $0.  His post covered one of my favourite topics - Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs).

Beating The Index had some tips on choosing a forex broker.

BankNerd had a great guest post by Dividend Ninja, whether you should contribute to your RRSP or TFSA?  Ninja said “…a RRSP contribution is nothing more than a tax-deferral plan and this is the way you really need to view it. The string attached most people forget, is that you get taxed when you make withdrawals from your RRSP.  Read more by checking out the link above.

Andrew Hallam told us how to lose money with friends.

Preet Banerjee had a guest post about tax deductible mortgages.

Big Cajun Man was annoyed with price hikes for TD’s safety deposit boxes.

Boomer & Echo said:  “I’ll admit it – I am a tightwad”. 

Dan Bortolotti from Canadian Couch Potato told us about a new dividend ETF, with a secret sauce.

Dividend Mantra had a post about frugality vs. quality of life.  I always say, I need to save but I also need to live. 

Dividend Monk reviewed Colgate-Palmolive.

Financial Highway told us about the three deadly illusions of stock investing.

Krystal Yee from Give Me Back My Five Bucks told everyone about her new freelance gig.  Congrats Krystal!

Kevin from Invest It Wisely quit his job!  What is Kevin going to do next?  Congrats Kevin, I think your plan sounds excellent and you will succeed!

Michael James on Money said TurboTax is offering free tax advice.  That’s pretty cool.

My University Money gave us an excellent example of what makes a good teacher.  I wish I had a teacher like that!

Joe from Retire by 40 wrote about going it alone.

Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog shared some great RRSP basics.

Sustainable Personal Finance had a guest post about budgeting with uncertainties.

The Daily Thinker wrote about digging out of debt by making sacrifices.  I know we made some sacrifies when paying down our line of credit over the last year but I felt we had to and in the end it was worth it.

Passive Income Earner provided a detailed post about Norbert’s Gambit.   This is a process where you to buy an inter-listed stock on one stock exchange and sell it on the other stock exchange, to avoid major foreign exchange fees.    

Young & Thrifty had a guest post by Dividend Ninja comparing website income vs. dividend stocks – which one comes out on top? I’ll go for dividend stocks any day.  My goal is to have close to $30,000 in dividend income in another 20 years. I can’t foresee my blog ever making close to that much money but you never know I guess?   Regarding dividend income, you can read about my latest update here.

Prairie EcoThrifter shared some thrifty ways to save on travel costs.

The Blunt Bean Counter said he strives for a balance between enjoying life and being frugal.   I’m with you Mark.  He said: “For what it is worth, my suggestion is that you create a bucket list of things you really want to do during your lifetime and try and build in actual time frames to cross the items off your list. Use your frugality or savings ability to specifically save for a bucket item and thus, leverage your behaviour and financial philosophy while gaining some personal life balance.” 

That’s a happy note to start the weekend with :)

Filed in: Weekend Reading

22 Responses to "Weekend Reading – austerity measures coming to Ontario and tons of great blogs"

  1. Thanks for the mention!

  2. Echo says:

    Thanks for the mention, Mark! Wow, 362 recommendations to act on. Was one of them to move to Alberta? ;)

  3. Annoyed doesn’t really describe it… I am downright pissed!

  4. Thanks for the mentions. Have a great weekend.

  5. Peter says:

    $30,000 per year in dividend income. Wow, if you achieve that, it really would be something. = ) I also read on G+M that if you achieve $50,000 in dividend income in non-registered portfolio (if I remember correctly), and no other income, it is tax free or something.

    Enjoy your weekend

    • @Peter,

      I really hope I can get there Peter, it’s a goal, and I’m working towards it. I don’t think over the next 20 years, I’ll need to find all that money in capital, since my dividend portfolio is growing by about $50 per month right now. Compounding over time, should really accelerate that income plan. Trying to be optimistic anyhow ;)

      Thanks for your comment and following my site.

  6. Thanks for the mention Mark and have a great weekend!

    $30,000 per year in dividend income would be sahwweet… the portfolio would have to be pretty hefty for that, no?

    There are a lot of bloggers (not me of course) aiming to get $30K in blog revenue this year.

  7. Mark thanks for the mention. I await a blog on your bucket list :)

  8. Thanks so much for the inclusion. Great round up. That is a big list to deal with but most bucket lists are. Just pick away one piece at a time. That reminds me, I really should write mine down. Have a great weekend and I will talk to you when I am back from Africa.

  9. MOA, thanx for the double mentions! :) really appreciated. What your not selling all your dividend stocks, and buying websites?

    Yah I’m afraid the changes coming up in Ontario are going to be a real mess, and will spread throughout the rest of Canada. You can be sure they will go after the unions as well! This is what happened in BC during the mid 2000′s. The healthcare sector has never recovered… (oops I’m not supposed to talk about somehting controverisal – like politics).

    Have a good weekend MOA!
    Cheers

    • Ninja, you’re joking right? :)

      Sell my dividend-paying stocks – no way! I just got a 15% raise today from Enbridge!

      I’ll need all the dividends I can get, Ontario is going to go into some dark times, at least for a decade.

  10. Thanks for including me in another awesome roundup!

  11. That Drummond report really stirred things up didn’t it? I’m glad. It’s about time we started looking at these issues and coming up with some realistic plans.

    Thanks for including my article here! :)

  12. Elemag says:

    I would like to see some spending cuts and more fiscal discipline here in Alberta as well. Just like you and I live below our means, the same rule should apply to the provincial and federal governments as well. Elections in Alberta are coming in the spring and I predict that the Torries might face a new political reality. Looks like they need to learn the hard way that we are sick and tired of “being bribed with our own money”- a quote form a fellow Albertan. Too bad that the price of austerity is always paid by everyone including the people like the readers of this forum who definitely take good care of their finances, save, live within their means. Life is not fair…or so it seems sometimes.

    • Alberta is in good shape I think. Ontario is a mess. Cuts are coming – just hopefully not for my job but never say never. I’ll continue to work hard and keep my head down.

  13. I’m late to the party, but thanks for the inclusion. :) Instead of reform, why doesn’t Ontario open up a free-trade economic zone? Maybe it’s time for a regulatory reboot. :)

  14. Tom Drake says:

    Thanks for the mention Mark. At least I’ve already got Echo’s recommendation covered!

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