Interest Rate Guessing Game, Tax Refunds And Debt Repayment And Money Quickies For March 20,2014

facts-of-lifeInterest Rate Guessing Game

I was convinced that interest rates were going to start to slowly rise in 2014.  That theory was blown out of the water when my bank, TD Canada Trust, sent me a mortgage offer for 2.97% for 4 years.  What does TD know that I don’t?

We both know that the giant Chinese economy is not doing as well as the Chinese want you to believe it is doing.  We both know that other large economies are not improving as fast as expected.  We are both worried about what Putin is planning.

We are both risking money by trying to guess which way interest rates will go.  TD seems to think they will stay down while I was hoping they would rise slightly so that I could put some of my retirement funds in super safe GICs (guaranteed investment certificates).

There are probably a team of economists and other suit and ties  at TD who think that the entire thing is just a guessing game and that anything could happen.



Weekly No Spend And Debt Update

I spent a little more than I should have this past week.  A buy 1 get 1 free Blizzard sale at Dairy Queen was too tempting to resist.  The sale continues through the weekend and I cannot guarantee that I won’t go back again.  I rolled some dimes in preparation for this next splurge.  I am out of change now except for the emergency money in my car and ice cream in the winter is hardly ever an emergency.  I did have a $10 bill but I bought a Jack and Jill ticket from a coworker.   I could have bought 4 more Blizzards with that.

I got paid so I was able to put a bit more down on my debts.   Another $125 on the car loan and $500 on the Heloc brings the total down to $7,780 for the Heloc and $10,675 for the car loan.

With only 7 pay cheques ($1,350 per cheque) left to reach my goal of paying down the Heloc on July 4, 2014 I am relying on my tax return to take a small chunk out of the Heloc but I haven’t even taken everything to the accountant yet because I am still waiting for a T4 from one of my son’s employers.  It is from a small business owner who told my son that the T4 was in the mail.  That was weeks ago and the business owner is on an extended vacation.  My accountant has said that he may be able to access that information on line but he hasn’t gotten back to me so we wait.


Critique This Blog Please

My readership is stagnant.  I average 200 views per day and I am not seeing any improvement.   Most of the views are spammers and don’t really count.  Inspired by regular reader Nancy (she isn’t even related to me and she still reads this) who had some suggestions but I want more ideas.

Should I do away with these multi-topic Money Quickie posts even though they are often the most fun for me to write?

Are the posts too long?  Too short?  Too whiny?  (February was very whiny).  Do I write about too many things when I should focus on a niche?

More pictures, less pictures, more pictures of David Beckham?

Am I just not writing about what people want to read?

I am open to any an all ideas and I am interested in hearing ideas from other bloggers as well as my several non-blogger readers.


financial windfall229598_s

Tax Refunds And Debt Payment

According to a CNN poll 41% of Americans plan on paying down debt with their tax return.    I wonder how many repeat that pattern every year?  I am paying down debt with my tax return but I don’t plan on running that debt up again.

I have a sneaky feeling that many of these debt payers will just run the debt up again in the next year and repeat the cycle.  Instead of benefiting from this money they just use it to pay for stuff.

This year I will use my tax refund, small as it will be, to pay my Heloc then next year I will invest it in my retirement.  I will continue that as long as I get a tax refund.  I expect that I will get a tax refund for as long as I continue to work.


The Money Behind The Scenes – Alan Thicke

Canadian actor Alan Thicke may be best know for his role as the father on Growing Pains but that is not where the bulk of his $40 million estimated net worth comes from.

Mr. Thicke works as an actor and game show host but his big money comes from his work as a television show theme song writer.   Those catchy repetitive tunes from The Facts Of Life and Different Strokes and game shows such as Wheel Of Fortune.   Every time one of those shows is played he would get a little bit of royalty money for writing the theme song.

Most of us need a side line to get ahead.  Mr. Thicke’s has made him a millionaire.


David Beckham.  He looks good but he sounds like a British Smurf every time he opens his mouth.



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21 Responses to Interest Rate Guessing Game, Tax Refunds And Debt Repayment And Money Quickies For March 20,2014

  1. Oh, I am SO with you on the Dairy Queen stuff – it is definitely my downfall. As far as the blog, Jane, the most productive thing that I’ve done to increase traffic is to comment, comment, comment all over the place and do some social media stuff on a regular basis. The more you get your name out there all over the place, the more people will find out about your blog and come and visit, IMHO. I think you’ve got great stuff here and always a bit of humor with it, which is nice.

    • janesavers says:

      I have been trying but I guess I haven’t been doing enough. Sometimes I find it hard to find the energy to put time in to the blog after a long day at work. I need to find more energy and be more organized. I also need to get to Dairy Queen one more time before the sale ends.

  2. It takes a long time to build up steady blog traffic!~ Just keep being yourself and make sure to utilize your social media!

    • janesavers says:

      I dropped my Facebook account because someone who shouldn’t have found out about it and I must continue to be anonymous because my work would not be happy.

      I guess it is time I joined Twitter. I barely have a cell phone but apparently I can do it from my computer.

  3. Heather says:

    Your blog is one of my favorites (I read a large number of P.F. blogs), and I’m not even Canadian. I have no suggestions for changes, because I find both your style and subject matter refreshing. Keep up the good work!

    • janesavers says:

      Wow. Thank you Heather. This week I thought my only readers were spammers trying to get me to look at a Miley Cyrus sex tape. I got a dozen of those comments today.

  4. For me, it’s a trick to make people feel like they can take on a mortgage and don’t have to wait. I don’t buy it… but if that rate is still around when I go to buy my condo (if I do), then I’ll take advantage of it.

    I REALLY like your Money Quickie posts, but for you to increase blog readership you need to be more active on social media — Twitter being the one that comes to mind. Facebook is a wash for me… Other than Twitter, you need to then be on other blogs commenting like crazy.

    Your posts are good, I link to you probably the most out of any blogger if I am to be honest.

    Also, you have only been at this since Oct 2012. With my first blog, it took 5 years to see any kind of readership.

    • janesavers says:

      I will try Twitter. I think Facebook may be losing it’s appeal and I am glad I didn’t buy stock in it. I do comment on other blogs but perhaps I am being too impatient.

      The first 6 or 8 months that I was blogging had some pretty bad writing. I was using too many words for everything. It was like Stephen King was my writing coach. Too many words make for some pretty scary posts.

  5. I was in a similar situation as you – I had a few people who read my blog but I plateaued. I joined twitter on the recommendation of Girl Meets Debt, and it’s significantly helped. It also lets you “chat” a bit more with other bloggers, making those networking relationships more than the tit-for-tat commenting (“you commented so I’ll comment on your site”).

    That being said, spreading your web to other blogs will pull in other bloggers. It’s draining, and sometimes really difficult to comment. I have been having a crazy (!) week and stopped commenting nearly as much as I usually do. As a result I only have 4 comments on my most recent post rather than 20 or so.

    • janesavers says:

      I will probably be the only Twit who uses her computer and not a cell phone. I am on a tight budget and I will not spend too much for a phone just so I can tweet.

      I tend just to comment on the blogs I enjoy reading, I know I post on yours frequently, but I guess I have to expand and find more blogs.

  6. Shelley says:

    I always look forward to your posts because you put thought and humour in your writing. I happened across your blog because of Canadian Budget Binder (I think). Can I suggest putting a way to contact you directly (not everyone cares to post on an open forum) and also a way to easily subscribe to your blog? I follow through Bloglovin’ but I don’t tend to look up blogs individually.

    • janesavers says:

      I am going to work on the contact page and the about me page next week because I have a few days off.

      I will try and figure out the subscription thing. I find the technical aspects of the blog much harder than the actual writing. I have messed up the technical stuff so badly that I locked myself out of my own blog twice because of things I did wrong.

      Thank you for reading Shelley.

      • If you ever have any questions about the technical stuff, I’m no expert but I can definitely set you in the right direction.

        That being said, are you self-hosted WP, or are you on WordPress’ servers? That will make a difference to what you can do.

        • janesavers says:

          I am self hosted on Word Press. I bought my domain and it does not have WordPress in the title so I think that means I am self hosted.

          • Yeah, I knew you owned your domain because you don’t have the WordPress name in there. What I mean is, do you pay $5 per month to a host company (like Blue Host/Host Gater etc) to be separate from WordPress. You still use that platform, but you have full control over your site.

            The reason I ask is there are certain things you can’t do if you’re not self-hosted.

            The offer is still there to help if I can though :)

          • janesavers says:

            Do you see why I need help when I don’t understand the basic questions?

            I am with Green Geeks. They seem very nice. I had to move to a private host to have ads that don’t pay me anything.

  7. Daisy says:

    What!!! I was convinced that interest rates would rise a little bit too, and I specifically went for First National because my bank (TD!) had higher rates and worse terms. My rate is very slightly above what you mentioned. I guess that’s a good thing. Next year, if they are still so low, we’ll probably re-finance for 10 years. Hopefully in 10 years we’ll have the mortgage paid off (we bought the house 2 years ago so that would be after 12 years).

    Blog improvement is so difficult; one of the ways I was able to grow my various sites after awhile was going through all of the search engine referral terms to find out what my readers were looking for. Then, crafting posts around that. Plus, you can always poll people to find out what they want to read more of on your site. I like how personal your site is, though!

    • janesavers says:

      I am in Canada Daisy so maybe interest rates are a bit better in the US. If I was financing anything I would go for a very long term because the rates have to rise eventually and way back in the 80s mortgage rates were around 11% and I remember when I was lucky enough to get an 8%.

      I always read the terms people search under but I never thought to use that. I will throw in a survey question on my next money quickies post asking what people want to read about.

      I am glad you aren’t put off by the personal nature of my posts. I am not a financial expert so all the posts are my experiences and I live to express my own opinion. I think people may find my blog more interesting when I am debt free and I am making more investment choices. Living frugally is just not that interesting. The posts other people make about what they invested in, what their returns are and how they saved on big trips is always fascinating to me.

  8. debT debS says:

    Yay! I’m just about caught up on your blog so I now feel entitled to leave a long comment.

    I don’t know if you saw the other comments I have left here and there because even though I have checked off Notify me of follow-up comments by email and Notify me of new posts by email I am not getting notified for either. I don’t know if this is because your site is self hosted or not. I am new to this blogging stuff so learning as I go. But, what I am thinking is that if this is not working for me, perhaps it is not working for others. People like to read your responses back and do not have to go looking for them. Maybe you should use “blogluv” I think it’s called to help in this regard. I know IHeartBudgets uses this so I’ll provide a link to his blog.

    Definitely Twitter (I use it from my computer also), an about page, a contact page, and a link at the side of your blog so that people can subscribe easily via email are musts. I don’t see any of these on your site. Keep in mind, I am new, but these are the things I have noticed in other sites that seem to be important. You can set most of this up via widgets. I can try to help you if you want. Please just give me your contact details on my site.

    I love your blog!

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