Black Friday Brainwash, Minimum Wage And Money Quickies For November 30,2013

clonesMinimum Wage Confusion

Minimum wage rates are on the rise across the USA.  Sea Tac city in Washington State have voted to raise the minimum wage for some workers to $15 per hour.  The state of California has vote to raise their rate to $10 per hour.

Things might get rough in Sea Tac.  People wanting to open new businesses might pick a different city with a lower minimum wage.  Less overhead is always a contributing factor to the location of a business.

In my province of Ontario the minimum wage is $10.25 per hour but there is an active movement to raise that to $14.

I make more than $20 per hour and I struggled to support my family and I was going in to debt when I was making $17 per hour and only working 32 hours per week.  I would not be a home owner on minimum wage and I am not sure I could afford a car.  While I feel for those who make minimum wage I wonder if drastic raises won’t lead to drastic rises in the price of everything and a much higher unemployment rate.

Is it better for the economy to have less higher paid workers or more people working for a lower wage?

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Flower Pot Heater Danger

I posted about a flower pot heater a few weeks back.  Be warned.  While it will heat your room it may also damage your floor.  They say that heat rises but heat also goes down through the loaf pan, through the corrugated cardboard, through the 2 flattened cereal boxes and in to the floor.

Luckily I decided to move it closer to where I was sitting and discovered that the laminate flooring was very warm.  No damage but there could have been.  I thought I had a piece of wood that the whole mess could sit on but it was not flat enough.

You can read how to make a flower pot room heater here  http://solvingthemoneypuzzle.com/2013/11/14/saving-on-heat-this-winter-car-financing-and-money-quickies-for-november-142013/

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brainBlack Friday Brainwash

I am Canadian so our biggest shopping frenzy is Boxing Day and not Black Friday.  Some Canadian retailers offered a version of Black Friday but no one was trampled, tasered or stabbed over a parking spot so it is just not the same.

While many retailers offer exciting bargains to lure the unruly hoards the best bargains are yours to be had when the store is empty and not when the retailers are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of all the cash you are going to drop during the consumer stampede.

Don’t be a lemming and follow the herd.  The best deals are at off peak times and seasons.  If you are one of those trendy people who have to have the latest fashion, gadget, or toy then you will be paying more even though you think you are getting a deal.

My Christmas shopping is almost done.  Shop all year round and watch for deals and sales at odd times.   Start the third week in January when the Christmas decorations are not just marked down but the retailers are desperate to rid themselves of old merchandise.   Move on to shovels, snow brushes and mitts in late February and follow the pattern throughout the year.

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Attack Of The Clones 

I thought I had seen all of the Star Wars movies but I must have missed Episode 2.  I am trying to watch it while I write this but the acting is just so awful that it is distracting.  I feel like a rubber-necker at a car accident.  Ewan McGregor you are better than this.

The movie should have come with one of those warning statements at the beginning.  You know the ones that say warning may contain graphic violence or sexual content?  This one should say WARNING THIS MAY BE THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE AND YOU WILL NEVER GET THIS TIME BACK.

As bad as it was it still managed to gross $650,000,000.

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Exchange Rate Today

As thousands and thousands of Canadians blow their cash shopping in the USA this weekend they can take comfort in the exchange rate.  While not at par it would take $1.06 Canadian to buy $1.00 American.   It has been much worse.  It has been below $0.80.

The Canadian dollar has been higher, lower and on par with the American dollar over the last few years.  I am amazed at the number of Canadians who visit the USA to shop several times each year but never think to stock up on American dollars when the rates are favourable.

If you are interested in American bargains then you might as well take advantage when their money goes on sale.

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10 Responses to Black Friday Brainwash, Minimum Wage And Money Quickies For November 30,2013

  1. jon_snow says:

    Star Wars ended after Return of the Jedi, simple as that…

  2. Alicia says:

    I remember going to the states 10 years ago or so, and having the exchange rate at about $0.75… that was a hard conversion to take. I like it when it’s close because it’s just so much easier to figure out if something is actually a good deal if I was shopping down there.

    Also, I did fall for a Black Friday sale in Canada, but I got a steal (I know my prices), and it’s a Christmas gift so I can’t wait until Boxing Day… especially here in the East Coast since everything is closed on the 26th. Boxing Day sales start here on the 27th.

    • janesavers says:

      Canadian retailers should embrace Black Friday. Anything they can do to increase traffic to their stores is good marketing and good business. If people are fooled by sales that aren’t really sales then that is their fault. Consumers need to educate themselves and sellers need to market their goods so they can continue to pay the employees and their share of the taxes.

  3. 1. Black Friday is a scam in Canada. I only found ONE deal on a pasta pot we had been eying for a while and a Dyson Hot + Cool fan / heater.

    2. I hold a lot of my money in USD, which has helped my portfolio greatly.

    3. I’d rather have more people working, period. I have a sneaky suspicion that this problem is partly due to those who work at minimum wage should also consider moving to lower-cost cities rather than staying in expensive ones like Vancouver or Toronto, but are too afraid to leave. Or don’t want to.

    I also know a lot of parasites who don’t work at all and scam the government, which frustrates me to no end. They’re a tax on the whole system.

    • janesavers says:

      I know a lot of people who just don’t want to work or who don’t want to work very often. When someone calls in sick at my work and there is a chance at overtime I jump at it. Lots of co-workers won’t even answer the phone but complain about how broke they are and surprise they are some of the same weekend who overshopped in the USA this weekend.

      I think if more people are working that is always good. If minimum wage goes up then the price of everything goes up and that hurts the minimum wage people the most. I can’t imagine being a minimum wage person in the USA and having to pay for health care on top of that. Very unfair.

      Congratulations! You are the 1,555 non-spam commentor on this blog. There is no prize because this is a blog on a very tight budget.

  4. Judy says:

    I don’t know how people get by on minimum wage. By my rough calculations that is roughly $20K gross. I don’t know what that equates to in take home pay, but I know it’s not a helluva lot. I read some personal finance blogs and they talk about saving 50% of your take home pay. Well, that is a lot easier when you are making $50K or more. Also, I think it is easier if you are in a couple or have a roommate to share the costs.

    • janesavers says:

      I do think it is less expensive to be splitting expenses even if both partners are making minimum wage.

      I don’t know how people live on minimum wage. I couldn’t. I guess I could live but I wouldn’t be able to save anything.

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