The Globe and Mail personal finance team wants to know how you’re coping with high food prices.
The overall inflation rate has edged lower in recent months, but food inflation is still a big problem. In December, food prices jumped 10.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis while the overall inflation rate was 6.3 per cent.
This newsletter has presented a lot of ideas for cutting back on food costs, including apps that highlight what’s on sale, price matching, meal planning, buying house brands instead of name brands and considering frozen or canned veggies and fruit instead of fresh.
Now, we’d like you to help us understand the adjustments you’re making to afford food at both grocery stores and restaurants. Please take this short survey or, if you prefer, send a comment to Globe and Mail personal finance editor Roma Luciw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rob’s personal finance reading list
Are you throwing your reward points away?
The answer could be yes if you’re using credit card reward points to buy merchandise. Travel is almost always the best way to use points.
Can a bank take money from my account?
If you default on various types of debt at a bank where you have a chequing or savings account, the bank can take money out of the account. It’s called the right of offset, a credit counselling agency says in an article that includes tips on how to avoid this outcome.
Three ETFs for the long-term investor
An expert at the independent investing research company Morningstar Canada highlights three exchange-traded funds suitable as portfolio building blocks for long-term investing.
The toxic side of fun money
Fun money is a term sometimes used to describe speculative investments you make outside your main accounts for retirement saving and other long-term goals. A financial adviser explains here why fun money can be a danger to your financial well-being.
Q: Do you know of anyone offering the Tax Free First Home Savings Account, self-directed or otherwise?
A: The FHSA should be available widely in April. Expect virtually all investment dealers and advisers to offer them.
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 and clarity.
Today’s financial tool
A review of the costs associated with high interest savings exchange-traded funds, which are an increasingly popular way to earn a decent rate of return on money you want to park in a secure spot.
The Money-Free Zone
For a reminder of the pleasures of listening to a good indie band, check out the new Yo La Tengo song Aselestine. Autumn Sweater might be this band’s best known song. I also like the ultra-catchy Tom Courtenay a lot.
From the Twitterverse
Someone asks, “What is one product under $250 that has impacted your life the most?” Fascinating responses.
In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
- High housing costs pose a crushing financial challenge for refugees in Canada
- Fraudsters impersonating homeowners to sell real estate on the rise since pandemic
- Soaring housing costs are turning cities into citadels for the rich
- What is the poverty rate among Canada’s seniors?
More Rob Carrick and money coverage
Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.
Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:
- 🎧 Catch up on Stress Test: Is the middle class dead for millennials and Gen Z? • Gas prices are soaring. Are electric vehicles an affordable solution? • Crypto is booming, but should you invest? • How are young Canadians dealing with soaring rents? • Inflation is squeezing our finances. What can we do about it? • Is a hot housing market squeezing Canadians out of their small towns?
- ✔️ The housing file: How bad is housing affordability? Even a crash won't help • Sell the family home to lock in profit and then rent? Better not • Why young adults can't afford houses: Hard work got you more in the past than it does now • Five reasons you should not buy a house till you're at least 30 • Now more than ever, owning a house is not a retirement plan
- 📈 Investing: The 2022 ETF buyer's guide: Best Canadian equity funds • The 2022 Globe and Mail digital broker ranking: Does the zero-commission revolution flip the script on who's best? • With bonds sinking, conservative investors are waking up to risks they never saw coming • A five-step plan for dealing with the sad fact that almost every investment is falling lately • The best financial advice in advance of retirement? Work on your marriage • One-year GICs are the best deal in town for safety seekers • What to do if the financial plan you paid thousands for disappoints
- 💰 Your money: Are you prepared for the pandemic wealth boom to blow up in our faces? • This hard-working 24-year-old is nailing it financially. But where’s the happiness? • Who should and shouldn’t worry about the wave of rate increases this year, and what every stressed-out borrower should do right now • Don’t make this potentially costly assumption about the CPP Survivor’s pension