Tax man and phone-in radio shows

Taxes

Yesterday we went to do our taxes. Since we’ve been in Montreal, every year we go see the same people- a mega chain that charges an arm and a leg and that hires incompetent eggplants who do not give a shit about you. They shall remain nameless, but there logo has a lot of green in it and there initials are…

Why? Why do we keep on going back year after year, although we suspect that if we put our minds to it, we could probably do our own filing?

Because we don’t want to think about it. It’s boring and filled with bureaucratese, which I suspect we are both allergic to. So every April, I gather the T4s like a good little citizen, phone the first people that come to mind, and try and get it over with. Usually we would get a refund and that would be that. Don’t have to think about it ’til next year.

Well. After two hours of watching the poor, lost man stare at J’s T4 for royalties, and not understanding what contract work is, we left there, all told, owing a hundred bucks. Now, this doesn’t sound so bad, except for the fact that I have about $500 taken off each paycheque. Which meant that we were not making ends meet. But no. I owed the Quebec government another $500 and J another $400. Why, because we must contribute to the medication fund. Medication we never buy. Because we are healthy.

I know, know. That is how we can have public health care. I’m just wondering what I was paying for with the money taken off of my paycheque?

So, here’s the situation. Because we could not make ends meet, and it was actually costing me to work at my old job, I am changing jobs. This is not the only reason, but it is a big one. I hope, though I’m scared, that the higher pay will actually translate into more money coming in (although I suspect I will just be taxed more). And then maybe I can pay the bills.

Resolution: To find a financial planner and figure out a better way. Preferably one that doesn’t make me want to run out of the room screaming. Because there must be a better way! How do people do the financial thing? I need some help. I need some help bad.

Phone-in radio show

So I was listening to the Radio Noon phone-in show yesterday and they were talking to Carl Honore, the author of Under Pressure: Rescuing Childhood from the Culture of Hyper-Parenting. Now, as you can imagine, I have something to say on the topic, but am usually pretty shy and reserved. But all of a sudden, the phone was in my hands, I was dialing the number and talking to who I assume was the producer. Then all of a sudden, I was on the radio!
I said my piece, and there you have it! If you would like to hear it, you can go to their website for the next seven days and listen to it on realaudio. And I won the book! Which is great, because I was going to buy it anyway, frittering money I don’t actually have.

Unfortunately, the two subjects, taxes and hyperparenting, are connected. I have to work all the time to make ends meet. Which means that I have very little time for my children to be roaming around at will. Which means they are either in afterschool care or an activity.

It’s a vicious circle, I think. We try very hard to give our kids some time for themselves, but time is a scarce commodity these days. When they have some of it, they are usually too tired to enjoy it, or it takes them too long to figure out what to do with it and then it’s gone.

Okay. It’s probably not so bad. This week we totally ignored homework and my youngest finally learned to ride a bike. But, in order to do that, I had to have a week off (in between jobs) and still steal time from something else in order to have the time to play outside.

How did I end up here? That is the question.

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