Using Guilt to Ensure You Get Your Money’s Worth

• 3 min read

Good morning my friends!

I have a firm belief that life happens in very short bursts. Like explosive forms of energy which are instantaneous and then suddenly gone, so too does life take immediately new paths with very little time to react.

I remember the week where my wife and I bought our home. In one week, I learned major information about school, we learned of a new business opportunity, and we closed on our home. And then, for the next few months, very little happened.

This past week has been one of those weeks for us. Good news all around, in this instance. We are extraordinarily blessed.

It’s not always good news though. For those who are working through the worst events in life, always know there are great people around you who are rooting for you. And know life happens in short bursts and you’ll get through it quickly.

If you haven’t filed your tax return yet (don’t worry Team Canada — our deadline is April 30th, while our American friends have to deal with an earlier deadline), hold your horses. I’m seeing a bunch of people flying into the office looking to have their tax return completed ASAP, only to find out an RRSP contribution slip hasn’t been mailed out yet for their 2021 contributions. Companies like Wealthsimple and Manulife have stated their last mailings will go out March 19th-26th, so it’s very, very likely many people don’t have their full slate of tax documentation.

It costs more to have someone complete your return if you don’t have all your documentation in one shot. It also raises red flags if you file a return that is incomplete.

Be patient, let the mail come to you, and that refund will be in your bank account in no time.

Though the list of COVID-19 impacts is endless at this point, one area in my life has been physical activity — normally I have a chance to step on the ice with a referee jersey on my back and participate in a two-hour exercise session at least once or twice a week. Without any hockey this winter, we had to go looking for new ways to maintain some physical fitness.

So Jac and I jumped to the tippy top of the food chain: We bought a Peloton.

A staggering 18 weeks passed between order date and shipping date.

Since the end of February, we've both exercised nearly every day. It’s a short couple weeks, but it’s a great start in the right direction.

Ever since, I’ve tried to pin down why I think the Peloton (so far) has motivated us to keep going — we’ve tried a variety of other exercise regiments and nothing has kept us motivated this long.

It may be a bad reason, but I’ve come to think money guilt is one of the reasons.

Guilt as a Motivator

The Peloton Bike is an expensive exercise bike. The basic Bike starts at $2,495 CAD and you can trick out the accessory package all the way up to $3,045. The Bike+ starts at $3,295, goes up to $3,845, and rocks a swiveling screen and better onboard speakers.

It’s an expensive bike.

The subscription package is no better. To enjoy Peloton’s world-class instructors and classes, you’re looking at an additional $50 per month.

It’s an expensive bike.

Now, a few things:

  • You can finance the Bike for 0% with a 36 month payoff period.
  • Many people pay between $150 and $200 a month for a trainer at the local gym.
  • Many people pay much less than $150 to $200 a month for fitness.

I recognize this is a lot of money. I recognize I’ll get a couple eyebrow raises.

I also recognize how motivating that high price tag has become.

We spent all this money on a high-end bike with high-end classes and high-end instructors, so we better get up every stinking day and ride the bike.

It’s a simple proposition: I don’t want the purchase to be a waste, so (at least so far) I’m using the Bike as much as possible.

How many other products are like this? Where the guilt for having bought the product results in healthy benefits and good habits?

Guilt is one of those things that gets a bad rap. And it probably should.

But in this one circumstance, I feel like you can harness a guilty purchase for the better.

As I said, this week has been a busy one. No mind-bending tax tips or tricks this week. Next week though, I’m hoping to discuss why I don’t think the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan is an overly good idea anymore. Nearly every tax return I’ve completed with a Home Buyers’ Plan repayment is counter-productive, and I hope to show you why.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful, prosperous, and warm week ahead.


← The RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan is Usually a Ripoff
Two Pieces of Financial Advice I Don’t Really Agree With →

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