Backup plans – continued

December 29th, 2009

Well, I still didn’t get my garage cleaned out, but I did have a terrific Christmas with my family.

Since I am really serious about each person getting a good computer backup plan I am going to share a few more thoughts on this topic. ¬†It doesn’t really pertain to taxes but today that’s beside the point.

First, ask yourself what would happen if right now your computer would fail. ¬†Let’s suppose that everything on your computer was wiped out, and could not be recovered. ¬†Do you have a backup plan that would restore your important information? ¬†If not, I encourage you to take a few minutes to review your options. ¬†While I am certainly far from an expert on computer backups, I’m going to share some tips anyway.

1.  Web based backup service.  If you have high speed internet, you can choose to backup your data to an online service.  These services are automated, so you can set it and forget it (although it is a good idea to check in once in a while to make sure it really is working!)  They are also secure, using encryption services to protect your data.  There are many options to choose from, but one good one is

2. ¬†A portable hard drive. ¬†Another option is to get a portable hard drive that plugs into your USB. ¬†Portable hard drives typically hold 250 GB of data or more, and you can pick one up for around $130.00. ¬†You shouldn’t need more space than that for the average user, and backups are super fast.

3.  USB Flash Drives.  These compact little drives have been around for a number of years, and are continually getting more affordable.  If you only need a small amount of space for your backups, these may be the way to go.  For about $25 or $30 you can purchase a flash drive that holds around 4 to 8 GB of data.

4. ¬†An IT Professional. ¬†If your backup needs are complex or you don’t trust yourself to set things up correctly, call a technology professional. ¬†People like Nick Gunn at Scotia Systems ( can talk to you about your needs and set you up with a cost effective system.

These are just a few options. ¬†Whatever you do, don’t delay. ¬†I encourage you to make this an end of year priority.

Filed under: Other tips by David Boese 1 Comment »

Create a data backup plan

December 22nd, 2009

Do you ever get tired of being nagged about something? ¬†Like, a reminder that you haven’t upgraded Windows lately? ¬†Or a reminder that it’s almost spring cleanup week and you still haven’t cleaned out your basement/garage/attic/closet/whatever?

Well, today I’m going to join in the fun and nag you. ¬†Don’t have a secure backup plan for your computer? ¬†Get it done now. ¬†No, I mean it. ¬†Even if you’d rather spend the next three hours cleaning out your garage, trust me on this one. ¬†It’s more important that you get a back up plan for your computer.

Why am I suddenly harping on this topic? ¬†Well, it probably because I just did a restore of a file that became corrupted during a routine software upgrade. ¬†If I hadn’t been diligent with my computer backups I would have spent a few *very* unhappy hours redoing some work. ¬†As it was, I was able to restore a backup and am pretty much back to where I was.

I’d like to provide you with some backup options, and I’ll do so shortly. ¬†Unfortunately I don’t have time right now. ¬†My garage really needs cleaning out!

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Renovation Tax Credit

December 14th, 2009

Don’t forget……the renovation tax credit is still scheduled to end on January 31, 2010. ¬†Apparently those extensions that Minister Blackburn hinted at aren’t materializing! ¬†So, if you want to benefit from the reno tax credit, you ¬†have to get going.

You are allowed to buy eligible supplies by January 31, and install them after that date. ¬†These costs will still qualify. ¬†On the other hand, if you are hiring someone else to do your work for you, only the portion of the work that is completed will qualify, even if you have paid for the whole ¬†project by January 31. ¬†In other words you can’t pay someone on January 31 and then have ¬†them do the work in February. ¬†This makes sense ¬†since without this regulation you’d have all manner of interesting arrangements taking place!

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Capital losses

December 7th, 2009

The markets did bounce back from the brutal beating they took, but you may still have some losers in your portfolio.  If so, consider selling them now before the end of the year, and using those losses to offset other capital gains you may have.  Capital losses can also be carried back up to three years, or carried forward indefinitely.

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