Christmas is a time for giving, but how far does your generosity have to reach before it starts to impact your budget?  MoneySense reached out to an etiquette expert to ask how much to tip everyone from your hairdresser and manicurist to your personal trainer and housekeeper.

Enough is enough, according to Garry Marr, personal finance columnist at the Financial Post, after forking over another $25 to buy a gift for his child’s teacher.  Marr goes on to write:

“The strain of Christmas seems to be the financial bill for many people, extra goodies for people doing their jobs just seems to add to the burden.”

Kudos to Garry for writing what many of us have been thinking over the years as Christmas handouts become the norm.  I have no problem with giving, and giving generously, but you should do so because it means something to you not because you feel guilty or have succumbed to peer pressure.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I wrote about my financial goals for 2015 and on Wednesday Marie offered her take on budgeting.

Also, thanks to Jonathan Chevreau for republishing my piece on behavioural biases over on the Findependence Hub.

Weekend reading:

In a shocking new discovery, economists at the University of Zurich found evidence that banking culture encourages dishonest behaviour.

Dozens of economists, analysts, investors, and financial bloggers sent these charts to Macleans on the economy and what Canadians need to watch in 2015.

Is it cheaper to buy from a U.S. retailer online?  Preet Banerjee does a great job explaining the fees, shipping, and exchange rate that you need to factor in before you decide.

Kerry K. Taylor shows us why impulse shopping is the Achilles’ heel of saving money.

Rob Carrick sat down with a top executive at Aeroplan to ask why customers have such a difficult time using the loyalty program.

Justin Bender argues that dividend reinvestment plans aren’t as magical as investors believe.

In his latest book, motivational speaker Tony Robbins touts the “All Weather” portfolio as a way for investors to outperform the market.  Financial author Barry Ritholtz says the portfolio is a wash-out and bets $100,000 of his own money that his portfolio will beat it.

Short interlude:

Michael James is a fan of Gail Vaz Oxlade but lately has been ripping the ‘Debt Diva” for dishing out shoddy advice in her books.  This post looks at Gail’s take on permanent versus term insurance.

Sheryl Smolkin checked in on the travel insurance coverage through her credit card and an individual plan to see how they measure up.

Dan at Our Big Fat Wallet explains why dividend cuts aren’t always a bad thing.

The Passive Income Earner looks at investing as it relates to retirement income.

Finally, Garry Marr is back with a piece that explains why Canadians are mostly losers when it comes to their TFSAs.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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