My province’s finances are not great and this is well reflected on the annual provincial budget.
The end results? People are furious, scared, and reacting.
Even I found myself perplexed by some of the new impositions on our lives and finances. Did I create this mess? Why should I be taxed and forced to pay more on many stuff and services? What will happen in future – will this turn around or will it continue like this, or even get worse?
I have no answers to these questions. I just feel the hardship coming and hope is lost. I wonder sometime whether we will ever be able to retire in such an economic climate? Even today there are many people who cannot afford to retire, as their retirement income would be much less than what they are getting today through their salaries. Ironically, the longer these individuals stay at work, the lesser the chances for the young people to have jobs.
With increased jobless rate and decreased financial ability comes, inevitably, less spending and more public discontent & stalled economy. I think economist call it something like “consumer confidence”; when the economy is not good, people spend less. So how is this new budget, new fees and taxes, and weakened ability to consume helping anyone?
I hope the government has some great economists who can understand, designed, and approved of their plan. Maybe there is a benefit in this budget folks like myself cannot see.
I sure will be spending less, now that I have extra fees and costs associated with being a resident of my province. Do not get me wrong; I am a collective person, I would be happy to help out the less fortunate. But I am not happy with a depressive future outlook. If I knew that this was only temporary and things would be eventually better, then I would have a better feeling about these. But I do not.
I do not think that things will get better after a few years. There are many talks about extensive lay offs. There are many people who are talking about leaving this province for another one, or worse yet, sending their kids away for better opportunities. I think everyone is entitled to their own decisions and by all means I respect their wishes, but again my problem is the loss of hope for the future. It looks dark. It looks not healthy. It looks uncertain (well… future is always uncertain, but when you face a financial situation like this and realize how serious the situation is, it just becomes more palpable than I would like).
So I must spend much less to pay off the extra taxes and fees imposed by the provincial budget while I also want to keep going with my financial plans (e.g. maximizing my RRSP and TFSA contributions each year; contributing to my retirement plan; keeping an emergency fund to help especially home repairs; keeping my chequing account at the positive side; and increasing my mortgage payments in September).
OK…. How the hey am I supposed to do this???
I already have a minimum spending plan that also buffers the costs associated with limited social activities and having a comfortable life.
I have not shopped for clothes for some time.
I cannot cut my cable because I have a cable-internet-phone package and if I delete the cable, then the remaining two cost essentially the same amount.
I am not into extreme couponing (though I love reading about it).
I cannot possibly drop anything related my health and well being, like medications, fresh produce, or hygiene.
So what am I supposed to do?
I do not know. But something will give up I guess.
This being said, I am nevertheless grateful that I am one of those fortunate ones who can still keep a home above their heads and food on their tables. If things get worse, I can further reduce my spending (I hope this will not happen, though), but for families and single people out there who are making much less than me, this would mean a disaster.
Hoping the economy will get better. If not, then at least, not get worse.
Just know you are not alone in your thinking. We often have similar worries about preparing for our own retirement futures. We keep working but that means one less opportunity for a recent college graduate to get our type of job. Yet we must look out for ourselves and prepare.
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I totally agree with you that we should look our for ourself first. The real problem is the economy and the health of the future pensions (which is mostly supported by the contributions of the working people). You are right we all have similar worries for the future. I guess we will live and see how it develops 🙂
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