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There’s wide consensus that the term emergency fund must go. In a recent Carrick on Money poll, two-thirds of the 674 respondents said the term does not work for them.

In a moment, I will ask you to vote for your favourite of the many suggested replacements. But first, my thanks to the people who provided such smart, apt, outrageous and even funny responses.

Close to 20 ideas for replacing the term emergency fund involved the F-word, as in f-off fund. I get it – it’s all about self-reliance. But that term’s not quite ready for prime time. Other suggestions that made me laugh: The CAKE Fund – Contingency and Kept for Emergency; The GOK Fund – God Only Knows; The Face Punch Fund; The DIGI$TA Fund – Damn, I’m Glad I Set This Aside; The Humpty Dumpty Fund; Domesday Dollars; The Stash; the NMBH Fund – Not Moving Back Home; and, the S**t-show Fund.

Now for the finalists. Please choose your favourite:

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Rob’s personal finance reading list

Best tax software, plus free options

The always Savvy New Canadians blog picks the best tax software program – its TurboTax. Best free software – a basic version of TurboTax.

Family fraud

A case study on the fraud risk from family members from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments. There’s also a lesson here on keeping your PIN safely protected, even from family members.

Don’t just cavalierly toss out your banana peels

First, dust your plants with them. There, I doubled the value you get from your banana spending.

Did CERB save the day?

A look at how young adults have fared financially in the pandemic – not too badly – and the role played by the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Solid reporting here by the Young & Thrifty blog.

Ask Rob

Q: A few months ago, you suggested in one of your articles that, due to the pandemic, debt has lost a lot of its stigma. I was wondering if you could speak about debt stigma more broadly, but also about why you think recent events have reduced it.

A: In a newsletter back in April, I said the pandemic has ended the debt shame game. What I meant was that in the pandemic, people have run into debt difficulties through no fault of them own. The debt load that was manageable a year ago may have become crushing as a result of job losses or reduced income. The current state of the economy makes it too simplistic to blame people for their debt problems, as if there’s no more to the story than excessive spending. Actually, I think the stigmatization of debt began years ago, when household debt levels rose as use of home equity lines of credit increased. Debt is normal now.

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 compilation of financial frauds related to the pandemic. Beware these crooks.

The money-free zone

I have Spotify running a lot of the time I’m working and just now I’m finding albums a better listen than song lists. Here are two cool collections of albums past and present to check out – one of them with a work-at-home theme and another focusing on albums best enjoyed from start to finish. David Bowie to The Wu-Tang Clan.

Video of the week

A helpful video produced by securities regulators on how to understand your investment account performance.

In case you missed these personal finance stories

More Rob Carrick and money coverage

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