Happy Canada Day

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As a Canadian citizen, today I want to celebrate Canada Day with my fellow Canadians.

Do you know anything about Canadian Personal Finance?  See how you do on this quick ten question quiz.

  1. What is an RRSP?
  2. What is the TSX?
  3. Where would you go to spot a Loonie?
  4. Where would you find a Toonie?
  5. Who has the stronger currency – USA or Canada?
  6. A favorite place to spend your hard earned CAD is Tim ____________.
  7. What does BMO and RB stand for?
  8. In Ontario how much GST + PST do you pay for purchases?
  9. Many Canadians get their updates from Peter Mansbridge.  Who is he?
  10. What colour (spelling in honour of Canadian English) is the five dollar bill?                         Photo by scazon.

Don’t click on more until you have answered the questions.

  1. Registered Retirement Savings Plan
  2. Toronto Stock Exchange
  3. Anywhere in Canada.  The Loonie is the Canadian $1 coin.
  4. Anywhere in Canada.  The Toonie is the Canadian $2 coin.
  5. US $ is stronger than CAD.
  6. Tim Hortons
  7. Bank of Montreal. Royal Bank of Canada.
  8. 13%
  9. News anchor for CBC.
  10. Blue

Don’t think you know anything about Canada?  Perhaps you have heard of some of these well known Canadians: David Suzuki, Michael J. Fox, Wayne Grezky, Alex Trebek, Neil Young, Shania Twain, Steve Nash, William Shatner, Mike Weir, Kiefer Sutherland.

I have spent a third of my life living in the following countries – Papua New Guinea, Canada, and the United States of America.  Each of those countries have influenced me in many ways.  This morning I want to focus on how living in Canada has impacted my financial outlook.  The following might not be true of all parts of Canada, but are certainly true of my experience in a small town in Ontario.

  1. Be inconvenienced to save. Canadians go out of their way to do things they care about.  This is no more evident than their ‘green’ effort from recycling to composting to using organic bins.  This same mentality applies to spending.  Canadians car pool to save money and save the environment.  Canadians are more likely to be a one car family than families I know in the States.  Frugal living is encouraged.
  2. Working while in school is normal. Several of my friends had jobs in high school.  Many of my friends did co-op programs during college or university.  The reason?  Most Canadians pay for their own college and university expenses.
  3. Car ownership is not for 16 year olds. In high school I don’t remember a single friend owning their own vehicle.  While I went to college in the States many of my friends stayed in Canada.  Most American school students owned a vehicle and many of the Canadian students did not.  Most of my friends didn’t buy a car until late in their college experience or even until they got their first full time job.
  4. Live simple. Though I believe this is changing, when I grew up Canadians embraced a more simplistic lifestyle.

As always, any time you speak on behalf of people you are likely to misrepresent some.  I hope I have not done that in excess.  These observations are true of my personal experiences.

What about you, fellow Canadian? Want to highlight any other uniquely Canadian views about personal finance?  Any other ways we differ specifically from how others handle money?  Take today to show you’re proud to be a Canadian!

Happy Birthday, Canada.  (And Happy Birthday to my firstborn daughter, Hannah, born on Canada Day 4 years ago.)

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