Comparison sites have been around a long time; you’ve almost certainly used some yourself. Have you ever searched for a trip on Expedia or Kayak? I do it all the time, you can usually save a few hundred dollars on trips you’re planning. They’re also great research tools to help plan and budget your trips.
Have you ever bought anything on Amazon or eBay? Me too! You’d be foolish to buy something online and not consult these sites for price comparisons. You’d also be foolish to not check a site like Ebates to get an even further discount on your trips or products or money back.
While the above-mentioned sites work great for 90% of our purchasing. They unfortunately don’t help us with big ticket items like insurance and mortgages. Insurance typically is worth thousands of dollars and mortgages are often in the hundreds of thousands. You can save more on these than you would on almost any other purchase, besides the houses and cars themselves. Apparently, Canadians just don’t do this. According to a recent study by LowestRates.ca only 8% of respondents used a comparison site to source their most recent mortgage! WHAT?!?
Why would no one use these financial comparison sites?
Overspending habits: What do you overspend on?
Most people have shopping habits that they may or may not realize. Breaking these habits may have the potential to save you lots of money because you’re probably overspending. These habits can be broken but breaking them can be mentally tough.
What I mean by mentally tough is that they’re overspending habits that you’ve either grown up seeing or have developed over time without realizing. For me, it’s buying books. When I first started working I would read a book every week or two, now I’m lucky I have the time to read one a month. But my biggest issue is that I for some reason don’t walk 4 blocks to go to my city’s public library where they would have the majority of these books to borrow for free. Something which not only benefits me by saving me money, but also walking there would be good exercise and it would reduce waste in the environment. Yet I always go online and order a brand new book for myself that will be read once and sit on a bookshelf for years until I give it away to a friend that may notice it when they visit.
Is income tax season as scary as they want us to believe?
Spoiler alert: Nope!
Well it’s the end of February and I’m starting to hear all of the usual ads on the radio when I’m driving anywhere now. Even on TV you’ll see a few of them. They’re all reminding you of the same thing and trying to tell you that you need a professional’s help. They’re all about tax season! With Canada’s personal income tax deadline coming up on April 30th, 2016 I’m going to tell you why you don’t have much to worry about and why you should file your taxes yourself.
Judging by all the commercials I hear on the radio you’d think filing taxes was the hardest thing in the world. These commercials like to emphasize that if you don’t get it right the government is going to come after you for more money. Sometimes they’ll use terms you might not be completely familiar with like deductions, tax credits, or audits.
I think a lot of people are under the impression a lot of these tax preparation places employ accountants and highly trained professionals that know the income tax structure inside and out. Unfortunately this is about the furthest thing from the truth. Read more
Don’t worry Justin Trudeau and the Liberals will probably NOT be raising your taxes.
Dear people who think they’re a part of the 1% and are going to “suffer” from the proposed new tax regime that the Liberals talked about during their campaigning, you probably don’t need to worry as much as you think!
First of all let me say, I saw an unbelievable amount of “end of days” comments after the election. Everything from terrorists are now going to invade us to how much more in taxes Albertans are going to be paying. I can’t really dispute the terrorism thing with cold hard facts, other than nothing has happened so far! Now with us heading into winter I think we’re probably safe until Spring 2016. On the other hand, the tax issue I can definitely shed some light on.
Driving can be very expensive. Everyone knows how much they pay for their vehicles and they know how much they pay for gas and insurance and everything else, but does anyone actually add it all up and see how much does it cost to drive a kilometer in their particular mode of transportation?
For me personally, I drive a 2009 Toyota Rav4. I bought the Rav4 used in 2013 after the 14 year old Grand Am that I inherited had everything break in it. Seriously, the AC broke on my drive from Halifax to Calgary in June of 2011 and the heater broke in January 2013. Needless to say, spending several thousand dollars to get them fixed on a car worth maybe $2000 once everything was fixed wasn’t really a great financial decision.
I bought the vehicle because I thought it was the right thing to do. I do need a vehicle occasionally to get certain places that public transit doesn’t reach. Sometimes it’s nice to do a small road trip to the mountains or wherever I want to go.
The cost of the having the vehicle doesn’t bother me, I personally think it was a great deal. I bought it used in 2013 with 69,231 kilometers (43,018 miles) on the odometer, fully loaded, leather seats, spare winter tires and rims, all of the options. It would have cost me just under $22,000 if I have paid for it outright in cash. Everything comparable was several thousand more and the Rav4 had won best in its class for several years running by consumer reports and many Car and Driver comparisons.
Lately I’ve been wondering how “good” a deal I really got for myself or is it just expensive personal travel? I took a look into my old files from when I bought it to find out what it’s currently costing me (and my girlfriend) to drive each kilometer.
So here’s the break down:
No really, how do you save money? I’m asking you personally.
Do you have a plan to save money?
Or are you like most of my family and friends and just throw the bulk of it in a “high” interest e-savings account and contribute an arbitrary amount of your income to a high fee RRSP through your banks’ advisor because you didn’t plan first?
I’ve been there! I still am for parts of it but I’m working to fix that and you should too.