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I was talking with long-time personal finance expert Ellen Roseman the other day for a segment of her new podcast, and she asked me what I like to splurge on. My answer was something that a lot of you might relate to – travel.

Travel is consistently one of the more popular topics presented in this newsletter, and the reason is simple. It’s the best splurge ever. There are three levels of enjoyment of a trip – the planning, the trip itself and the memories (not bills) – after you return. My own No. 1 rule of travel is to do it with savings, not borrowed money.

Here’s some motivation to save for a trip. It’s a bucket list of travel spots based on the recommendations of more than 800 travel writers, bloggers and editors. There’s a fair bit of Canadian content on the list – the Rockies, seeing the Northern Lights and more. There are also plenty of ideas for more expensive trips to places like the Greek islands, Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Angkor Wat and more.

Open this photo in gallery:

Norhern lights dance over the white lights of Whitehorse.CATHIE ARCHIBOULD

The list is presented by FlightNetwork, which is a website for booking flights. Obviously, you’ll want to compare travel costs on other services as well. Here are the Top 10 travel websites used by Canadians.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Why people splurge on baby gear

A story about a luxury baby pram brand called Bugaboo concludes with this great insight about overspending on our kids: ” We know that buying the most expensive pram won’t really make you a good parent, that the season of buggy-pushing is heartbreakingly short, and that, in hindsight, it won’t really matter. But we live in hope that maybe, if we get this decision right, we’ll get the other ones right, too.”

Passing the mortgage stress test

Here’s the income you need in 12 cities across the country to qualify for a mortgage on an average-price home. The examples assume you’re making a 20 per cent down payment and are therefore subject to a new stress test designed to ensure you can afford your mortgage when interest rates rise.

Best personal finance blogs

There has been a gradual decline in the number and output of Canadian personal finance bloggers in recent years, but a few are still going strong. Here’s a list compiled by a debt counselling agency.

How Amazon could take over investing

A totally convincing analysis of how the online retailing behemoth could become a big player in financial services. Bring it on – we could use the competition.

Today’s featured financial tool

The Canadian High Interest Savings Bank Accounts website offers a monthly savings roundup that you can have emailed to you directly. A thorough roundup of who’s offering the best deals on savings accounts and GICs.

Ask Rob

Q: When trading bitcoin, is it taxed as income or a capital gain?

A: If you sell for more than you paid, it’s a capital gain. Here’s a rundown on taxation of crypto currencies.

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.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories

  • Why do retirees fear taking the CPP late?
  • Death and taxes: The question you need to ask that’s not on your return
  • For new marijuana ETFs, it’s been a really rough start (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

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