Major lifestyle changes usually cost money. And I am not talking about lifestyle changes like moving into a better house or buying a new car. These changes are a natural part of an individual’s or a household’s growth. The pandemic forced us to make certain changes, like working remotely, stockpiling certain supplies, or arranging a sitter because the daycare facility your children go to might be closed, so you can go to work.
Many of these changes allowed people to save money (fuel, coffee, eating out, etc.). In comparison, other changes forced people to spend more money, which was difficult for low-income families, especially since many breadwinners lost their jobs. This required government to help her people out, and thus the CRA beefed up some old payments and introduced some new ones for the citizens.
Canadian households with children received an extra $300 in May, along with their regular CCB payment. This was a one-time additional payment to help with some additional childcare expenses that might have cropped up during the pandemic. Currently, the government is offering a very different benefit payment: CRCB.
You can only get it if you can’t work full hours (or at all) because you have to stay home and take care of your child or another dependent. You also can’t receive any other benefit payment while receiving the CRCB.
The additional GST payment
Like the child benefit bonus, the CRA also issued a one-time $400 additional payment with the routine GST credit. This might not look a lot to many people, but every little bit helps. The best part was like child benefit or other more sizable benefits; you didn’t have to apply for either the extra GST or child benefit payment. If you had filed your returns for 2018, you’d have gotten the additional GST payment.
The CERB is undoubtedly the crown jewel of the COVID benefit payments. People who lost their income source (whether it was a day job, small business, or gigs), you could apply for the CERB and get it. The CRA was very lax with the payout. People who only needed part of the full payment, if they lost around half of their income, or they were not laid off could use the remaining CERB for investments.
For example, if you had even just $1,000 from CERB payments by May and invested it in Tecsys (TSX:TCS), you’d now be about 90% richer. The company grew its share price by 90% since May 1. $1,000 invested in the company would be worth about $1,870 (discarding fractional shares). It nothing else, this will help you pick up some of the tax burden associated with the CERB.
Tecsys is a supply chain tech company, and its growth is significantly more organic compared to other tech stocks (that grew only because of the sentiment around the sector) because of the boost that e-commerce got during the pandemic. This is why the profit difference between the quarter that ended in July and the same quarter last year was $1.5 billion. The company actually reported a net profit compared to the loss last year.
You may not get these benefits now. There is still the EI and the CRB if you’ve lost your income, but there is no news (yet) about the additional GST or childcare benefits. A good idea would be to stop waiting or relying on them and try to earn, save, and invest by yourself. Even starting with as low as $50 would be better than not saving and investing at all.
Speaking of COVID payments...
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Fool contributor Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tecsys Inc.