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Me, I’m not a brunch guy. I don’t eat eggs and that makes brunch a writeoff. Will that be pancakes or waffles? Syrup on top, or the usual gnarly slices of unripe fruit?

Others adore brunch – or at least they adore talking about it. The other day, I read a defence of brunch on the New Yorker website and then googled the terms “brunch and hate.” Brunch, believe it or not, is a controversial topic people love to debate. Some see it as overpriced waste of time, others as a festive weekend-only meal. One of life’s pleasures, or a sign of a sick society.

Here’s what I think the fuss over brunch is really about. Money. People are stressed about their finances and they’re taking it out on brunch. Somehow, it’s worse than all the other things people spend money on these days. Here’s a list of 10 facts that “remind you it’s really OK to absolutely hate brunch and all it stands for.” To sum up, brunch is frivolous and overpriced. Also, there’s this: “Unless you want to eat a dessert for breakfast, you are essentially forced to eat eggs.”

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As a personal finance guy, I try not to judge people on their indulgences. I’m more of a big picture person – if you’re saving regularly, shrinking your debt and have some money put away for emergencies, then enjoy your brunch, your single malt, your expensive concert tickets or your ever-expanding shoe collection. If brunch or any other indulgence is preventing you from getting your finances in order, then you need to look at that.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Cutting the cost of commuting

Gas prices are on the rise and the public transit isn’t cheap. If you’re looking for ways to cut the cost of commuting, here are some useful suggestions.

The biggest financial regrets of seniors

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A U.S. survey asked seniors about their biggest money-related regrets from their twenties. The message here is clear: Don’t shirk your responsibility to save for retirement. You may well regret it if you do.

How to protect your tax refund from scammers

A smart, simple guide to identifying e-mails from criminals trying to rip you off, including those pretending to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The world’s wealthiest countries

Canada ranks No. 8 in terms of private wealth. We’re 38th in population. Good context for us in considering our personal financial well-being.

Today’s featured financial tool

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Growing net worth – the difference between the value of what you own and the amount you owe – means you’re building wealth and on a path to improving your financial situation. Here’s a calculator to track your net worth.

Ask Rob

Q: “I have 800 shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank in my RRSP. They’re currently worth about $60,000. I’m up something like $45 per share. I have a huge capital gain (not taxable because it’s in my RRSP) but here’s my question: Am I wise to sell TD and then to reinvest it all in another equity that pays the same or better dividend? What’s the smart (aka Carrick) thing to do?”

A: “I say let it ride. TD is a banking powerhouse that consistently raises its dividend. It’s hard to find stocks that offer so much potential for strong long-term total returns (dividends plus share price growth).”

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

What I’ve been writing about

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