Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Home Renovation Tax Credit, not Rebate

In an attempt to get Canada's economy moving, the federal government has introduced the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) for the 2009 tax year. Many people are under the misconception that after a home renovation, when receipts are submitted to the government, they will receive a rebate of up to $1,350. I have seen the commercials and they can be very misleading. The way the term credit is used in the commercials, it can be easily misunderstood as rebate.

This is a tax credit and not a rebate. Credit means you may use the amount to decrease your taxes payable on your income tax return; rebate is when you first spend the money and then get a portion back.

Not all home renovations are eligible. There are exclusions.

The HRTC applies to eligible expenses of more than $1,000, but not more than $10,000, resulting in a maximum non-refundable tax credit of $1,350.
It applies to eligible purchases made after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010.

For more information click here.

While you’re here, you might want to take a look at other tax credit opportunities that may apply to you; there are some rather interesting ones, such as the SRED program, which allows businesses conducting scientific research and experimental development to receive cash refunds and/or tax credits for their work.

Happy Shopping!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lotto Max

Super 7's last draw is September 18, 2009 and is being replaced by a new game called Lotto Max. Lotto Max will cost a minimum of $5 to play and has jackpots starting at $10 million which can reach up to $50 million.

Game details:
  • Draws will be held on Friday nights, starting with the first draw on September 25
  • Players will receive three chances to win (seven numbers each) per $5 play
  • In order to win the jackpot, players must match 7/7 numbers (from one to 49)
  • Odds of winning a jackpot are one in 28.6 million per play
  • Odds of winning any prize are one in 6.6 per play
  • If a jackpot is not won it will "roll" to the next draw date, with MAXMILLIONS jackpots created after the $50 million mark is reached
  • The base jackpot is $10 million and will grow until won or until reaching $50 million (courtesy of OLG.ca)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rogers™ feedback and thank you gift

I recently received a phone call from Rogers inquiring as to how I enjoyed my service. I figured it was a routine phone call, so I answered the customer service rep's questions such as 'how do you like your service', 'are there any questions or concerns regarding your service', etc.

Then out of nowhere, the customer service rep says, 'I can save you money',

I replied, 'whaaaat'?

She says, 'yes, I see that you are paying too much for your home phone and I can save you $15-$20 a month.'

I started to ask the technical questions: with taxes, without, locked in or not, does it include international, Canada, US? She explained all to me and I accepted the new 'deal'.

Then came the shocker....wait for it.....'because you are a good customer, you have a choice of $10 gas card or $10 grocery gift certificate to pick from.'  

'Seriously? Gas or food? Well, if I had no gas in my car but I was full, I could walk somewhere. I opted for the $10 grocery gift certificate (I can make a good meal for my family with that).

She put me on hold and came back to inform me that I get a $20 gift certificate because I have numerous Rogers products (That's 2 good meals).

My reward will arrive in the mail in approximately 12 weeks. I am watching my mailbox.

Happy Shopping!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tips for Saving Money

  1. Open an ING account and have your funds automatically deposited into it.
  2.  Save the Rest at Bank of Nova Scotia automatically deposits $1 or $5 into a separate account for short term savings such as a vacation or car repairs.
  3. Start clipping coupons. Search online, newspapers, magazines and in-store.
  4. Make a list before going grocery shopping and eat first before you go. Once at the grocery store, shop on the outer perimeter of the grocery store, this is where all the fresh food is kept. Vegetables, fruits, breads, meats and dairy. Don't forget to stick to your list. 
  5. Plan your meals, at least a couple days in advance if not longer. There are some wonderful meal plans online. Search under meal plans.
  6. Start using cash. Leave your debit and credit cards at home. By doing this, you won't give in to impulse spending.
  7. Budget. Write out your expenses and allocate your funds accordingly. Don't forget to include some fun things like entertainment. Stick to your budget. You might get off track once in a while, but do not make it a habit. Too many times off course and the budget won't work.
  8. Shop for items when they are on sale. 
  9. Adopt the jar method. Allocate into jars, money for those expenses that are not fixed, for example: gas, entertainment, groceries, transportation, spending. Once the funds in the jar are finished, the do not get replenished until next payday. This method works best by pay period.
  10. Open an RRSP account. You can start as low as $25/mth with most banks.
  11. Swap children's clothing with friends. Kids grow up so fast, it gets expensive buying them a new wardrobe everytime.
  12. Shop at second-hand stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village and Once Upon a Child.
  13. Watch movies at home instead of going to the theatre. 
  14. Make gourmet meals at home instead of going to an expensive restaurant. 
  15. DIY. Learning to do-it-yourself will save you hundreds of dollars a year. Everything from home improvements to interior design can be done by you. It just takes time and patience. 
 If you have any money-saving tips, please email me and I will post your suggestion.

Happy Shopping!!
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