A MORE COSTLY NEW YEAR

While everyone hopes that a new year will bring good things to them, I already know 2010 is guaranteed to be, at least in one way, very different than 2009. 2010 will no doubt see me spend more money than 2009 and I’m not just talking about inflation either.

A few things are conspiring together in 2010 which will separate me from more of my dollars. First, remember that I have mortgage now. It’s a variable one, so my payments fluctuate with the interest rates. As many of you know, we currently have historically low interest rates. It has never been so cheap to borrow money. The Bank of Canada has previously stated they will hold the rate steady at 0.25% until July of 2010. Others are not so sure that the rates will stay that low for that long. Even in the best case scenario, I can expect have higher mortgage payments by the summer. It’s just a given.

Second, the new year will bring to the people of British Columbia, a new harmonized sales tax, which combines the federal and provincial sales taxes. In a move that only a government could see as a positive, things that were not previously taxed by the province will now be subject to this new tax. These items include restaurant meals and haircuts. Another thing that’s now subject to taxation is the service that professional building management companies provide. That means that if you live in an apartment and your strata uses a company to maintain the building, that fee is now taxable. Guess who’s going to have to pay for that new tax? The new HST will cost me and others money just by going through normal routines of life. I suppose one could eat out less or grow their hair longer but is that a way to live? This new HST has really turned public opinion against Premier Gordon Campbell and his Liberals but I haven’t been a fan of his for a long, long time, way before it was fashionable not to like him.

Last but not least, I’ve been enjoying free Internet and TV service from Telus for almost a year now. I get a whole bunch of standard definition channels and 25 high definition ones. I also get fast and reliable Internet from fibre that comes straight into my building. This perk is a result of being the first occupant of my new apartment. Unfortunately, this perk only lasts a year and for me, it runs out in late March. There’s obviously no way I’d not have Internet at home, so it’s a given that I’ll at least have to pay for the Interwebs. When I check my monthly statements from Telus, they actually charge me about $100 a month but then immediately apply a credit to my account so it ends up being no charge. I’m going to have investigate what I want to do when my free year is up.

So, even if nothing new happens in 2010, between rising interest rates, the new HST, and paying for Internet and TV, it’s a guarantee I’ll be poorer this year. Yay 2010! No flying cars but more expenses! The future is awesome!

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