First Nation Taxation

While searching about the topic towards first nations and taxes, I came across an article regarding the false accusations people use as to why aboriginals don’t pay taxes. I found this interesting because I think it’s important for those who aren’t properly educated on this topic to understand the facts instead of the false statements. The Indian Act First Nations tax exemption applies only to personal property and income located on a reserve.  People assume that anyone who is aboriginal is automatically free of paying taxes and that they receive some sort of advantage over the rest of Canadians; this is false because as an aboriginal I know my parents pay the same amount into taxes, if not more than the average person. Aboriginal people are required to pay the same amount of taxes as others living in Canada, except where it states otherwise under Section 87. Section 87 says that the “personal property of an Indian or a band situated on a reserve” is tax exempt. Inuit and Métis people do not qualify for this and typically do not live on reserves.  I believe that there is a one sided perspective based around this topic because people don’t take time to understand the details as to why certain First Nations people do not pay taxes and I feel that it is unfair and disrespectful to categorize them all into a group of people who “have it easy” or “don’t pay as much as the rest of us.”

http://apihtawikosisan.com/2011/12/first-nations-taxation/

http://www.netnewsledger.com/2011/12/10/true-or-false-do-aboriginal-people-pay-taxes/

Investing

The goal for investing is to put your money towards stocks, bonds, or mutual funds to further expand your money and give you additional profit.  People invest because they want to increase their sense of security and ability to afford the things they want in life. Savings differ from investing because when you save money, you are putting it in a secured account for a later date. This money remains available to you when you need it. Typically, people who are saving money have a specific purpose as to why they are saving or what they are saving for.  Common things people save for are vehicles, emergency/unexpected funds or somewhat costly expenses people can’t usually afford to pay right out of their pocket. People who invest aren’t typically investing for a particular reason, some are just giving themselves a chance to generate money throughout the years.  Common things people invest in are things like retirement or starting a business. It is important to start saving and investing at a young age mostly because it gives you more time to set money aside, which will greater your total amount when you need it. Putting away money when you’re young also gives leeway for times when you might not be able to contribute as much. At age 25, you will have more financial responsibilities then when you were a teenager and setting aside as much saving’s as before may be a challenge.  Also, saving early can potentially allow you to leave the workforce and retire sooner because of the funds you have saved in the previous years.

Discussion Question Unit (7) – Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud can happen in multiple ways. Common ways include, when the card holder gives their credit card number to unfamiliar individuals online or over the phone, when cards get lost or stolen, when mail is illegally taken from one’s home and opened, or when employees of a business copy the card number and use it without permission. Technology today is very advanced and online scamming is becoming more frequent, consumers need to be aware of these things and watch out for “Phishing.” Phishing is an online scamming technique where criminals send fake emails that look legitimate to consumers, making it look like it a came from a bank or commonly used website asking for their credit card information. Once the account holder responds to these messages, giving credit card numbers or personal information, the person at the other end doing the fraud can have your bank account drained and your credit card maxed within hours. It is important that any account holder is aware of these websites and types of fraud and can spot out fake websites or report them. Once you own a credit card, you must know the steps to protect yourself from fraud happening to you. If your card is ever lost or stolen, immediately record all account numbers and proceed by cancelling your card with the company. Keep copies of monthly statements and ATM receipts so you are able to track all money spent just in case a purchase was made that wasn’t done by you. Keep important mail in a secured place, never leave important billing/account information in your mailbox for long periods of time. Shred all financial information or cut it in half before disposing of it in the garbage. Check all websites when shopping online to ensure they are legitimate and safe. By carefully following these few steps, you can be a protected consumer and avoid credit card fraud.

Discussion Question Unit (6) – Warren Buffet

A wealthy person who has become successful through investing strategies is well known business man Warren Buffet.  With the net worth of $53.5 billion as of March 2013, he is the second wealthiest man in America and the fourth wealthiest person in the world. Warren Buffet was born on August 30th, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1947, he graduated high school at age 17 and enrolled into Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. After only two years, Warren transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Aside from being a university student, he also worked full time and still managed to graduate in only 3 years.  Buffet made his first investment at age 11, and was running a small business at age 13 as a paperboy selling his own horseracing tip sheet.  Also delivering newspapers, he then saved a portion of his profit to purchase several pin ball machines which turned into a great success. Warren saved his childhood earnings and formed his first business, the Buffet Partnership. He uses a strategy called value investing, looking for securities with prices that are low based on their essential worth and then analyzes a company and seeks high-quality products that are underpriced.  “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.” – Warren Buffet. I believe this quote is to let people know anyone can become successful through investing strategies with a little hard work and smart decisions.

http://beginnersinvest.about.com/cs/warrenbuffett/a/aawarrenbio_2.htm

Discussion Question Unit (5) – Budgets

I believe it is important for teenagers and young adults to understand the concept of budgets/budgeting and the benefits that come along with it. A budget, also known as a “spending plan” and is an organized outline of income and expenses that can be used to set spending goals and track your earnings. Budgets are a smart financial tool for teens because it can help plan and save for certain expenses whether it be short term or long term. It can cut unnecessary spending habits because a budgeting plan shows what your money was put towards that month, seeing where you could have saved on certain things could make you wiser about future purchases. It’s not easy for a teenager to set aside a portion of their paycheck for saving purposes because it usually involves making sacrifices and spending choices. However, creating a budget benefits because it develops lifelong money management skills for a more successful financial future. Discretionary income is an individual’s income that is left after spending, investing or saving. It includes money spent on vacations, non-essential things and high priced luxury items that aren’t necessarily needed.  It relates to people’s spending and saving because discretionary income can become a habit and individuals would rather spend money on what they WANT than what they NEED. Tips that I find useful for creating a well-rounded budgeting system is to stay organized. Organization is key for someone trying to make a successful budget because you need to be able to see the amount of money coming in and what the funds are being spent on.  Having a certain percentage of your pay check set aside for savings included in your budget will ensure that you never forget to save. Lastly, a useful tip towards budgets is having a reliable way to do so whether it be in a notebook, an excel spreadsheet or a free template that allows you to make one.

Discussion Question Unit (2) – Keeping up with the Joneses

The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” means that you’re striving to achieve or own as much the people around you. “If you want to keep up with Joneses, you must own three cars.” This statement means that you aren’t keeping up with Joneses unless you have expensive things, and live an expensive life style of the rich and famous. The phrase “living within your means” simply means that you are being realistic about your money situation and only spending what you can afford and have. People living within your means can pay for things they need and even set aside money to save at the end of the day without getting overwhelmed with debt. This day in time people think in order to own nice things, you have to be in extreme debt to get them which isn’t a smart financial decision. For example, when buying a house and taking out a mortgage, it is possible you will be in debt for the next 30 years. Although, this debt can be beneficial to you because equity and the amount of money put into your home can raise the total value, also making a regular mortgage payment helps you build a strong credit rating. However, those who are using their credit cards for fancy, expensive purchases can be driving themselves into unnecessary debt by buying nonessential things they really can’t afford. These phrases contradict each other because they are total opposite. Keeping up with the Joneses is spending large amounts of money and doing anything (possibly even maxing out your credit card) just to have expensive nice things and living within in your means is only spending the money you have and afford. People make the mistake of living a lifestyle they really can’t afford, only hurting their financial future in the end. Advice I would give about these phrases would to be to spend responsibility and realistically. Financial decisions now affect your future greatly and being stuck with outrageous amounts of debt can be difficult to get out of when you have gone too far.

Pursuit of Happiness Blog

Chris faced multiple financial challenges throughout the movie. For example, Chris was having trouble affording his monthly rent and eventually the landlord had evicted him and his son. The mother of his son couldn’t cope with the financial stress and was tired of barely making ends meet, so she decided to take off leaving Chris with the responsibility of being a single parent. Living expenses and trying to provide as a single parent are both financial challenges Chris faced.  Chris is a salesman that tries selling the device he has invested in called “Bone Density scanner.” Although, he does not have much luck considering this device has a hard time selling. With his sales not being successful, he has a hard time making much money. This is a step Chris took to try and overcome his financial stress. When Chris did his internship for a stockbroker position at Dean Witte, he was different than the rest of the employees because there were only a selected few that would get the job at the end of the 6 months and it was a priority to him, which made him more motivated than others. Chris tries to sign more members than anyone else and while others go for their lunch break, he continues to take more calls to ensure he is the first one hired at the end of the internship. He also differed from the other employees because of the color of his skin and the way he presented himself.  This specific job required a professional look and Chris has had rough days where he has showed up looking far from it and also considering he is the only African American person throughout the employees applying for the job, I do believe he faced inequality and doubt that he wasn’t capable of having the opportunity to work at Dean Witte based on his personal appearance and race. The overall lesson I took from this film is to appreciate what you have, because there is people out there with a lot less, struggling to make ends meet. It also made me appreciate the concept of money, and how it revolves around everything. Without money, it is hard to be successful.