Finances

CERB & EI Warning

It’s certainly been a whacky year. We’ve all had our opinions on how things should have been done. Some of us have had to trust in the government’s support when our jobs got put on hold. We’ve done what is necessary to hang on and keep going. 

The Canadian government is stopping the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit(CERB), and going back to Employment Insurance (EI). People are getting phone calls from employers letting them know if they still have a job or not. Things are a bit tense. 

Whether you like your job or not, now’s the time to return if you don’t have something else lined up. Regardless of whether you can claim EI or not. Because here’s the thing. You might not realize it, but you are about to get slammed with a whole lot of taxes in the new year. 

The government treats EI and CERB like you’re receiving an income. So, just as you would claim the income you’ve earned on your income taxes each year, you’ll need to do the same this coming year. If you’ve been spending your entire CERB/EI cheques and not planning for the taxes ahead, you’re going to be in some serious trouble. Instead of going into more debt next year, this is the time to get back to work and save up. 

If your job has been eliminated, find something else. Depending on where you live, this might be easy or difficult. Please be humble in this time. If there aren’t any jobs in your field that are paying what you were making, accept a job with lesser pay. I know that sounds crazy. You’re qualified and able to make way more than the jobs available out there. But hey, you’re working and getting an income, so that’s what matters. 

If you find a new job and it doesn’t quite meet the bills, it’s time to look at a second job or selling some things off to pay your debts. Is your mortgage crushing you? It’s time to downsize. Are car loans drowning you? Sell back your cars and buy used you can afford. Some of the best car memories are from your first car. That $3,000 old “beater” that had its quirks but managed to get you around. Embrace the change and make some new memories. 

I know this isn’t welcomed information. It’s painful to think of having to change your way of living. But this isn’t the time to impress or hold tight to material goods. If you’re smart, you’ll do what you can now to reduce as many expenses so that you can live safely. 

Pride in our belongings is a dangerous thing. My Mom was an Insolvency Administrator during the 2008 recession. She had a number of people turn over the keys to their houses because they couldn’t keep up with their payments, along with all their other debts. Instead of ending up in bankruptcy because you’re too far behind on your debts and bills, now’s the time to be proactive. 

As Romans 13 states, we are to pay our taxes and our tolls. We are to owe no one anything. This keeps us in good standing with the government and with others. We are to love others. Not having any debt helps us from falling into coveting others goods, jealousy, and greed. We need to keep up with our taxes and not fall into arears with the government. This is especially true with them because they will have the right to take what you owe, which could be everything. 

“And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.
Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” – Romans 13: 6-8

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