The Dough Report

10 Grocery Store Hacks to Save You Money

Have you ever found yourself with a suddenly-full shopping cart, thinking I only meant to buy bread and milk? Or had a case of sticker shock at the checkout, when the total came up to more than you bargained for?
 

You’ll Love These Capital One® Aspire Credit Cards – We’re Even Throwing In a Free $50 Gift Card Upon Approval!

We’ve all heard of Capital One. You see their advertisements on TV and occasionally get their offers in the mail. What you may not know is that right now Capital One boasts some of the best premium rewards credit cards on the market with their Aspire credit card line. Dollar for dollar, reward mile for reward mile, these cards really deliver!

Get To Know The Finalists In The MyKindaScary Contest

Did you submit your scariest financial story to the #MyKindaScary contest? Are you ready to help others learn from your experiences by sharing your story online?

Spooky Season Savings: Part 3 – The Party

You’ve got the costume and you’ve set up the decorations, now all that’s left is to put them to good use for your upcoming Halloween party. Setting up your big event on a budget doesn’t have to be scary, though – avoid spooky party sticker shock with these 5 tips!
 

New to Canada? Follow These 5 Steps to Build Credit Fast

Canada has long been known as a “cultural mosaic”, and for good reason. Walk through the streets of Toronto, Vancouver or even Halifax and the diversity is easy to see. According to Statistics Canada, one in every five of us was born in another country!

Trouble Financing Your Vehicle? Our Car Loan Service Boasts 100% Acceptance Nationwide!

At LowestRates.ca we know that some of you are having a tough time getting financing for your vehicle. Maybe you’re new to the country and don’t yet have a credit history, maybe you’ve had a credit setback or two – whatever the reason, sometimes securing a car loan can be difficult.
 

MyKindaScary Finalist #1: Fatima

Meet Fatima, who learned how challenging it can be to buy a new home while also selling the old home. Fatima and her husband struggled to come up with the money for their new house as they struggled to sell their old home.

MyKindaScary Finalist #2: Daniel

Meet Daniel, who learned that being approved for a credit card isn’t a gateway to free money. After charging expenses to two cards for a few months, unexpected financial circumstances prevented Daniel from paying off the balance.

MyKindaScary Finalist #3: Shannon

Meet Shannon, who applied for one credit card, and received notices of preapproval for several other cards in the mail. At the time, Shannon was unaware of how high credit card interest rates could be on her outstanding balances, and she says those extra charges have kept her trapped in a cycle of credit card debt to this day.

MyKindaScary Finalist #4: Jillianne

Meet Jillianne who was approved for a mortgage on a new home pending the sale of the previous home. Jillianne and her husband were locked into a closing date on the new home, and were required to do what was necessary to sell the old home – including spending thousands on renovations and reducing the asking price to complete the sale.

MyKindaScary Finalist #5: Donna

Meet Donna, a full time student attempting to provide a good living for her 4 year old daughter. Donna was required to apply for loans worth tens of thousands of dollars as she attends school, pays the bills, and figures out a plan to pay back her debt.

MyKindaScary Finalist #6: Sarah

Meet Sarah who was convinced by an advertised low interest rate to transfer money from her credit card to her bank account. Paying off that credit card has been challenging for Sarah, who is struggling to make more than the minimum payments and leave her debt behind.

MyKindaScary Finalist #7: Susan

Meet Susan who was stuck with credit card debt on a joint account after splitting up with her partner. Susan was tempted by a low interest credit card offer to transfer her balance to a new card, but the fine print included terms and conditions that left Susan vulnerable to more expensive interest penalties.

MyKindaScary Finalist #8: Solange

Meet Solange who was approved for a line of credit only a few months before she was scheduled for maternity leave. After leaving the workplace, Solange found herself struggling to make ends meet. She and her daughter moved into a smaller home as they made sacrifices to pay the bills as well as pay back the line of credit.

MyKindaScary Finalist #9: Precious

Meet Precious who was left with thousands of dollars in debt after leaving school. Precious was the breadwinner for her younger siblings, and struggled to find work. She was expecting a tax return to help keep food on the table, but her outstanding debt took away from her plans.

MyKindaScary Finalist #10: Matthew

Meet Matthew who reminds any cardholder to closely monitor their credit card account. Matthew was charged a fee by his provider despite not using his credit card for a long time.

Spooky Season Savings: Part 2 – The Decorations

Have you seen prices for the latest Halloween decorations? There are some inflatable designs that can cost over $200, and even life size skeletons average between $30 and $70.

5 Car Maintenance Myths Busted

When it comes to car maintenance, many drivers assume it’s best to trust the professionals. After all, most mechanics know what they’re doing, and all those oil changes and pricey tune-ups must be necessary... right?
 
Wrong – in fact, there are many things your mechanics aren’t telling you, things that can end up costing you thousands of dollars in unnecessary car maintenance.

Share Your Chilling Personal Finance Stories for a Chance to Win $400 in Prizes with #MyKindaScary

With Halloween fast approaching, things are starting to get spooky as Canadians prepare for the ghosts and ghouls to come out on October 31.

Spooky Season Savings: Part 1 – The Costume

Think that last slasher flick you saw was scary? Check out the price tags on many popular Halloween costumes this year! It doesn’t have to be that way though – save money and stay on budget this Halloween with these quick tips. 

Wow! A Guarantee To Bring You The Lowest Mortgage Rates!

It goes without saying that when you’re shopping for a mortgage, one of the most important pieces of the process is to find the lowest rate. Lower mortgage rates mean lower monthly payments and less money spent on interest. Locking in a mortgage at the lowest possible rate can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan!

What’s in a (Financial) Name? Popular Financial Terms and Their Interesting Origins

Mortgage, equity, amortization. Liability and arbitration. All those financial terms are enough to make your head spin, and can lead to some serious confusion when reading up on insurance and home buying. 

Car Insurance Goes Local With LowestRates.ca’s New City–Specific Auto Insurance Pages!

Want to get the inside scoop on car insurance in YOUR city? Now you can with LowestRates.ca’s new city-specific auto insurance pages

Dashboard Confessional Part Two: Do YOU Know These Dashboard Warning Symbols?

Drivers know that when your car speaks, you should listen. A few weeks ago, we tested your dashboard decoding skills with the first in our series of dashboard warning light quizzes. This week, we’ve got a fresh new batch of symbols, and we're testing your knowledge once again with our second dashboard warning lights quiz.

Fighting That Credit Card Late Fee: How to Get a Late Payment Fee Waived

You’re always on time, always organized – this kind of thing never happens to you. But between working and studying and packing for that next weekend getaway, you’ve been hit with an unexpected surprise on your credit card bill: a late payment fee.

10 Fall Maintenance Tips to Ready Your Home for the Season

Believe it or not, another summer has come and gone. There's a nip in the air and pumpkin spice on every menu, and that can only mean one thing – it’s autumn in Canada. We all know what to do to get our wardrobes ready for the season, but how do you prepare your house for those chilly months to come?

LowestRates.ca's Back to School Money Saving Guide For Students


Plastic’s Out, Mobile’s In – Or Is It? Apple Pay Takes to the Mobile Wallet Stage

It’s official – the new iPhone is here. And from the sound of all that media buzz, this update was a whopper.

Putting Off Your Home Purchase? It Could Cost You!

High home prices got you down? You’re not alone – when it comes to Canadian housing, it’s a jungle out there.

Dashboard Confessional: Do YOU Know These Dashboard Warning Symbols?

Ask anyone who drives and they’ll tell you: cars have a language all their own. While there might not be any actual verbal exchanges between you and your ride (Pixar movies aside), your car’s speaking to you. 

Lunchbox Season is Here! 8 Budget-Friendly Back-to-School Lunch Ideas

Believe it or not September is here, and with it the start of a new school year. It’s time for students to dust off those backpacks, because ‘tis the season for heading back to class – whether the kids want to or not.

Toronto Penthouse Costs $33 Million, How Much Is The Mortgage?

image by Darren Calabrese with the National Post

If you live in or have visited the financial district in Toronto since 2011, you likely noticed the Trump International Hotel & Tower near the corners of Bay and Adelaide Streets.  The tower is named after US real estate and investment guru Donald Trump, who is also a minority shareholder in the skyscraper.

Summer’s Last Hurrah: Exploring Labour Day Past and Present

 
For most Canadians, Labour Day means a few things – the end of an all-too-short summer, the imminent return of the school year, and a last chance to squeeze in a sunny day at the beach before the chilly start of autumn.

Crooks Love a Civic: Model Takes #1 Spot on List of Most Stolen Cars in Canada

 
On Monday, the U.S. National Insurance Crime Bureau released its yearly list of top ten most stolen cars in the U.S.A. What does that have to do with Canada, you ask? As it turns out, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) releases its own top ten stolen vehicles report every year, and there’s some overlap between the two lists.

Canadian Celeb Car Insurance Series: Justin Bieber’s Pricey Premiums

Have you ever been jealous of a celeb’s ride? Maybe you’ve stared longingly at Kim Kardashian’s Ferrari, or drooled over Jay Leno’s luxury car collection. While we all get jealous of celebs from to time, one thing we don’t need to be jealous of is the astronomical car insurance premiums many are paying to insure their sweet rides.

Banking on Satisfaction: How Canadians Really Feel About Their Banks

A dash of customer service, a spoonful of financial products, a pinch of problem resolution – is this the perfect recipe for banking satisfaction? J.D. Power and Associates tried to figure out just that with its latest Canadian Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction Study. As it turns out, TD Canada Trust and Tangerine have the recipe down-pat, both ranking 1st in their segments.

CBC Says Goodbye As CTV Says Hello To Kevin O’Leary

Financial and investment gurus are likely sharing in the heartbreak of CBC’s Chief Business Correspondent Amanda Lang.  Lang’s longtime business show partner and foil Kevin O’Leary is leaving the CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange for a similar program on CTV.  Lang will remain with CBC and begin hosting a new business show in the fall.

10 Ways to Save on School Supplies This Year

While it might seem like you were watching Canada Day fireworks just yesterday, the dog days of summer are slipping by. And even though that means soccer and swimming and playing on the beach, it also means good old back-to-school shopping. Penny pinching parents are already on the hunt for the best deals – they know that when it comes to back-to-school, now is the best time to strike. As September approaches, here are ten ways to save money on your children's school supplies. 

Having Trouble with Your Finances? Try Turning to the Classics

 
In June, we took a look at seven of the top personal finance books on the market, gleaning wisdom from the best financial advisors out there. Since then, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that there’s more to be learned from the printed word – but this time, in the fiction aisle.

What’s the Deal with One-Way Auto Insurance?

We get a lot of people asking about so-called “one-way” auto insurance policies.  But is one-way car insurance a good idea, and does it actually save you money? The answer is that it really depends on what kind of car you drive and how much risk you feel like taking – read on to find out if one-way car insurance is right for you.

Say “I Don’t” to Debt: How to Cut Your Wedding Costs This Summer

 
 
It’s midsummer in Canada, and love is in the air. Wedding season is in full swing as happy couples from coast to coast say “I do”.  And while the big day is all about family, friends, and fond memories, it’s also laced with expenses that can clean out a wallet faster than Uncle Ted’s Moonwalk cleans out the dance floor. According to WeddingBells.ca, the average Canadian wedding checks in at a whopping $31,685!

What’s The Best American Express Aeroplan Card? It Depends . . .

 
It’s no secret that the Aeroplan travel points program is wildly popular in Canada, and that American Express leads the pack with its Aeroplan credit card offerings. At LowestRates.ca one question we get asked a lot is, “which Amex Aeroplan credit card should I get?”

6 Financial Lessons Learned from Our Immigrant Parents

 
 
“You know, we came here with nothing,” says my mother.
 
It’s the line I’ve heard time and time again – I know the story well. My mom uses this line when trying to convince me not to make an impulse purchase, or spend money on something I don’t really need.

Blindsided: 7 Sneaky HST Surprises

The $30,000 real estate commission you just forked over to your realtor? Yeah, you’re going to have to pay HST on that.
 
Unfortunately, it’s hard to go through life without getting blindsided by the good old HST from time to time. And although bureaucrats have designed a wonderful name for this pernicious little tax (who doesn’t like something “harmonized”?), it can still strike when you least expect it.
 
Here are seven instances where Canadians often get blindsided by the HST. Protect yourself now (or at least be prepared to write a check!)

Sean Pynaert And His Family Are #MyKindaCup Champions

Meet Sean Pynaert, the lucky winner of the #MyKindaCup promotion powered by LowestRates.ca throughout the World Cup.  Sean and his family are big fans of soccer, and thoroughly enjoyed the conclusion to the world’s biggest soccer game.

The #MyKindaCup promo asked fans to correctly guess which team they think would be the eventual winner of the World Cup.  Each person that correctly picked the winning team, which turned out to be Germany, was entered into a draw to win the prize – $300 in cash or a gift card to Sport Chek at the same value.

Busted! 5 Common Money Myths Debunked

“Money doesn’t buy happiness.”

Ever heard that phrase? Of course you have. How about this one: “If you rent, you’re throwing your money away!” Or this one – “Just pay with cash, forget credit cards.”
 
These myths have unfortunately burrowed their way into our collective financial consciousness. What’s worse, the devotees of money superstitions are everywhere, from the credulous grandpa who’s never owned a credit card in his life, to the mother that’s always dropping hints about how you should “wait to buy it on sale!”

5 Scams Canadians Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2014

I got a call from The Captain the other day. In fact, I’ve been getting calls from The Captain for a while now. It’s always the same message – a foghorn blares into my ear, followed by the sea-farer’s robotic voice: “This is your Captain speaking …” He wanted me to know that I’ve won a free cruise to the Bahamas. I don’t wait for the “Captain’s” voice anymore – now I hang up as soon as I hear the foghorn.

Even if you haven’t been personally called by The Captain yet, you’ve probably heard of his shenanigans already. This telemarketing scam has been going on since 2011 and continues to frustrate those on the receiving end. Unfortunately, it’s not the only scam testing Canadians’ patience (and grabbing at their wallets). New scams are cropping up all the time, and changing to reflect our modern world. That’s why it’s important to stay informed – check out our list below to acquaint yourself with 5 common Canadian scams from the past year.           

Comparing Cash Back Credit Cards: Five Tips and a Head-to-Head Match-Up!

There is something undeniably appealing about earning cash as you make purchases with your credit card. Money might not grow on trees, but sometimes cash back rewards really do feel like the next best thing. That’s probably why cash back is by far the most popular credit card category, surpassing even travel points.

The Barter Babe Comes To LowestRates.ca

The way that Canadian families and households manage their money has dramatically changed since the global recession of 2008.  Gone are the days of easy access to credit, or mapping out long term financial plans that are set in stone.  The world has changed, and people must adapt to it.

5 Ways to Celebrate Canada Day on a Dime

Want to have some frugal Canada Day fun, but not sure what to do? We’ve got 5 free (or really cheap) things to do this July 1st so you can celebrate our nation’s birthday on a budget!

7 Summer Personal Finance Reads

 

When it comes to personal finance, everyone’s a critic. At one time or another we’ve all been bombarded with advice on how to save, spend, and invest our money. If you try to listen to all that advice, though, you might just go crazy. Step into any bookstore and you’ll be flooded with how-to guides that promise to fatten your wallet and make your bank account sing – that’s why it’s a good idea to listen to the experts and tune out all the background noise. 
 
To keep you from having to flip through the plethora of personal finance books out there, we’ve narrowed it down to a cool top seven to help on your money management journey this summer.  

How To Improve Your Credit Score: Six Tips

Thinking about taking out a mortgage or applying for a credit card? If so, you should definitely make sure your credit score is as good as it can possibly be. Here are six tips to help you take your credit score from good to great.

Stolen Credit Cards Being Peddled on YouTube? Shocking Report Shines Light on Fraudsters

If you’re reading this right now, you probably surf the web pretty often, maybe even every day. There’s also a good chance you visit YouTube at least once a week, perhaps to get some DIY tips on anything from makeup to origami to fixing that leaky toilet. 
 
YouTube is overflowing with handy do-it-yourself videos, but one type that’s been garnering a lot of attention recently isn’t so harmless – it turns out that credit card fraudsters have taken to YouTube to make some DIY videos of their own.

6 Ways to Teach Your Kids about Money This Summer

It’s the middle of June already, and for most Canadian kids, that means school’s (almost) out for summer! In a week, elementary schoolchildren across the country will be ditching the notebooks and agendas for two blissful months of fun in the sun. Kids love summer vacation, but parents don’t exactly love the brain drain that often accompanies their sunny two months off.

Money Doesn’t Buy Security: Shooting Shocks Residents of Upscale Toronto Area

It’s a sombre day for Avenue Road and Brookdale Avenue residents. Neighbours are reeling after the second attempted armoured car robbery this month.

What Housing Boom? Cottage Sales Stuck in the Doldrums

Canadians just don’t seem to be buying cottages like they used to. New spring sales numbers show a recreational property market that isn’t participating in the broader housing boom – in fact, by some measures, it’s a market in decline, and new CMHC regulations could hamper activity further.

Wynne’s Big Win: What Does It Mean For Ontario Auto Insurance Premiums?

The Ontario provincial election is over and Kathleen Wynne has swept in with an unexpected majority Liberal government. Tim Hudak has stepped down as Progressive Conservative leader, and a wounded Andrea Horwath will keep fighting for the New Democrats with a mere fraction of the power she held before voting against the budget in May.
 
Newly re-elected premier Wynne told reporters yesterday “I’m thrilled to be here and I’m really eager to get on with it.”
 
Now that the election is over and Kathleen Wynne is ready to go, one question on many Ontario drivers’ minds is “Will she follow through with those proposed auto insurance cuts?”

Get World Cup Fever by Entering Our #MyKindaCup Contest!

Four years have passed since the last World Cup, and the 2014 tournament is ready to kick off in Brazil on June 12.  The World Cup is beloved by millions – no, make that billions – of fans around the world, including the LowestRates.ca team!

What Is #MyKindaCup?

5 Awesome (and Frugal) Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dad

Father’s Day is a mere six days away, and for those of us that haven’t quite figured out what to get Dad this June 15th, it’s time to hustle. Even though he would probably insist that “it’s the thought that counts”, it’s still nice to get Dad a little something that shows how much he means to you.   

While there are plenty of ideas for thoughtful (and downright awesome) Father’s Day gifts out there, it can be tough to get something that says “I love you” while sticking to a budget. With that in mind, we’ve got five thrifty – yet still pretty awesome – gift ideas that will make Dad proud this Father’s Day.

Would You Bank With Google? New Survey Says Many Young Consumers Would

Would you bank with Google? How about Apple, or Amazon? If you’re part of the younger generation of Canadians, a new survey says there’s a good chance you would.
 
Last week, Accenture released a survey that’s confirmed what we already suspect – younger Canadians would make the leap to alternative banking options much more readily than older ones.

School’s Out! 7 Tips to Help Students Stay on Budget This Summer

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the barbeques are coming out of hibernation. This can only mean one thing – summer is coming to Canada. And for students across the country, that means school’s out.

If you’re like most college or university students, after finishing that last exam you just want to ditch the textbooks and timetable for a few months of sunshine and sleeping in. But if you’re not careful, you could end up burning through your budget this summer.  
 
There are a few things you should keep in mind – even during your hard-earned vacation – to help make sure that this summer, you don’t break the bank. Read on to find out what you can do to help stay on budget between now and September.

Get Even More Free Flicks with the Scotiabank Scene Card this Summer!

Everyone loves a freebie. Almost everyone loves a good movie. Put them together, and you’ve got the premise for the Scotiabank Scene credit card. For the past seven years, the Scene card has helped Canadians catch the latest flicks for free.
 
This year, Scene cardholders have something else to celebrate besides the arrival of summer blockbusters – Scotiabank is doubling their sign-up bonus for accounts opened by October 31, 2014. This means that new members will earn 4,000 bonus points for opening an account, as opposed to the usual 2,000 points. That’s four free movie tickets, just for signing up!

Don't Give Up on Plastic – Go Guaranteed

It’s frustrating to have a credit card application denied time and time again. If you’ve gone through a rough patch financially, and your credit score has taken a hit, you may wonder if you’ll ever be able to use credit cards again. Don’t give up on plastic just yet though, because there’s a card out there for you, and your approval is virtually guaranteed - it’s called (very fittingly!) a guaranteed card.

Unless Interest Rates Spike, Mortgage Debt Not a Problem in Canada: DBRS Report

Mortgage servicing costs as a percentage of Canadians’ income are at their lowest level on record, according to a new report from credit rating agency DBRS. The findings cast even more doubt on the idea that Canada is in the throes of a housing bubble. 
 
DBRS released the comprehensive analysis of Canadian debt on Thursday.
 
“Mortgage debt servicing fell to 3.7 percent (in Q1), the lowest level since record keeping started in 1990,” the report said.

Ditch Those Annual Fees with a Great No Fee Credit Card

 “You can’t get something for nothing” – how many times have we all heard that phrase? In a society that’s taught us to always watch out for the catch, it might be hard to believe that sometimes, you can get something for nothing. There are plenty of credit cards out there that won’t cost you a dime, and they’re not second rate either. These days, many no fee cards even come with solid rewards programs, so those Air Miles and fancy perks aren’t just for big spenders.

Speak To Your Bank For Ways To Save On Banking Fees

There’s an old saying that it costs money to make money, but Canadians argued for years it should not cost money to access money.  Bank fees, ATM charges, and processing fees are all costs that people incur each time they use their debit or credit cards – adding up expenses every month on banking statements.

Auto Insurance in the Upcoming Ontario Elections

 With the Ontario general election only a few weeks away, the province’s three major parties have their campaigns in full swing. As with every election in the province, there’s been no shortage of attack ads and campaign lawn signs sporting the red, orange and blue. 

Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, and PC leader Tim Hudak have been holding rallies and debating the hot button issues. This year, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the spotlight is on auto insurance in Ontario. With hundreds of news articles and countless video clips of politicians sounding off on the subject, we thought it would be helpful to outline what you can expect from each party when it comes to car insurance in Ontario.

Inflation Surge Could Take Rate Cut Off Table

 Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Canadian inflation surged this month on higher fuel and food prices. Statistics Canada reported on Friday that the consumer price index(CPI) jumped 2 percent on an annualized basis in April, the highest rate in more than two years. The figure is significant because it likely takes a rate cut by the Bank of Canada off the table, at least in the near term.
 

Four Ways That a Business Credit Card Makes Running Your Business Easier

 You’ve put in the long hours and the hard work, and now your small business is off the ground. It's all worth it though, because you can finally call yourself a proud business owner. The last thing you need after all of that is to be stuck sorting piles of receipts and bills when tax time rolls around. Enter the small business credit card.

This powerful piece of plastic can make your life (and job) so much easier. A small business credit card will help streamline your finances, separate your personal and business spending, and make bookkeeping a whole lot easier. If you use it wisely, a small business card is a great tool that can help your business thrive. Here are four ways that a small business card can make running a small business easier.

Let the Good Times Roll: Alberta Housing Hot as Ever in 2014

Talk of a housing slowdown seems a world away in Alberta. The province’s real estate sector is on fire, according to a new report from the Alberta Treasury Board. The agency’s in-depth review of Alberta housing found scorching demand for single-family homes, rising prices, and an outright boom in construction starts. As home sales slow in the rest of Canada, the board says Alberta real estate will be a standout performer in the years ahead.

Money Management in a Mobile World: Our Top 5 Financial Apps

Although the financial crisis is behind us, and Canadians seem to be budgeting well, when it comes to keeping track of finances everyone can use a little help. There are plenty of tried-and-tested methods of money management out there, but as the world has shifted from paper to online, the days of keeping your receipts in a shoe box are long gone. The mobile industry has become more and more sophisticated, and it seems like these days there’s an app for everything, including managing your money.

A Closer Look at the Investors Group 1.99% Mortgage: What You Need to Know

Investors Group roiled the Canadian mortgage market this week when it announced it was cutting its 36-month variable mortgage rate to 1.99 percent, the lowest rate offered to borrowers in more than two years.  The move stunned many economists and prompted talk of a price war among lenders this summer. With all the buzz surrounding this mortgage product, we decided to dig a little deeper to make sure borrowers don’t get any surprises if they decide to sign up with Investors Group.

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane (But Not Without my Travel Insurance!)

Thinking about getting away this summer for a much-needed vacation? Whether you’re trekking across Europe, scuba diving in the Tropics, or going on an African Safari adventure, there are a few things to think about before you start packing those bags, and travel insurance happens to be one of them.

They’ve Arrived! Capital One Credit Cards Debut At LowestRates.ca

This week we’ve added even more horsepower to our credit card section with the introduction of six new Capital One credit cards. These additions are particularly exciting because Capital One is known for consistently fielding some of the best credit cards on the market, whether it’s in the budget categories, the high-end categories, or anywhere in between.

Does Going Green Increase Premiums?

Nobody likes high gas prices. If you’re like most drivers, you’ve probably gotten sticker shock more than a few times when taking a look at how much it costs to fill your tank. Maybe that’s when you first thought about switching to a hybrid. Some drivers have switched to hybrid vehicles for exactly that reason – to save money on gas. Most, however, have adopted these “green cars” as part of a lifestyle choice. But before making the switch, you may be wondering if a hybrid will cost you more in insurance premiums.

For Young Canadians, Student Credit Card Key to Establishing Good Credit

 Between getting good grades, making new friends, and learning how to be on your own for the first time, post-secondary students have a lot to worry about. Many are so busy with their studies that they forget about the importance of building a credit history before they graduate from college or university. Guess what: the best way to establish good credit while still enrolled in school is by regularly using a quality student credit card, and finding one has never been easier!

As part of our ongoing credit card series, we’ve put together some tips and tricks students can use as they shop for a student credit card.

Announcing the Finalists - Cast Your Vote In The MyKindaMom Contest

Have you been treating the maternal figure in your family to a heartwarming Mother’s Day?  The team at LowestRates.ca wishes all families a Happy Mother’s Day today, and wishes to thank all participants who submitted financial advice from their mothers into the MyKindaMom Mother’s Day contest.

Finalist #1: Evan – MyKindaMom

Meet Evan who learned about the consequences of speeding shortly after acquiring his G2.  Realizing that his car insurance premiums would skyrocket without being a responsible driver, Evan’s mother had her son pay his own insurance for a whole year after acquiring two speeding tickets – an experience that he says will follow him forever.

Finalist #2: Leona – MyKindaMom

Meet Leona who came from a large family with very little money to spare.  Leona credits her mom for teaching her a valuable lesson – money will not look after you, you must look after your money no matter how much or how little you may have attached to your name.

Finalist #3: Raheel – MyKindaMom

Meet Raheel who arrived in Canada as a young boy from Pakistan, and who describes his mother as his role model.  Raheel was taught the value of money at a young age, and that to truly appreciate and respect the importance of money, he would earn his way to acquire the things he wanted to own.

Finalist #4: Lyle – MyKindaMom

Meet Lyle who was taught the true value of money by learning how to squeeze every penny out of household products.  Lyle’s mother introduced her son to couponing, bargain hunting, and how to get the most out of every item in the home.

Finalist #5: Linda – MyKindaMom

Meet Linda who learned from her mom that opening a bank account with a small balance encourages a child to earn and save more money.  Beginning with only $5 in the bank, Linda followed her mother’s advice to become a self sufficient, hard working woman with a comfortable lifestyle.

Finalist #6: Erik – MyKindaMom

Meet Erik who learned the hard way that saving money over the long term is more valuable than spending money on flashy products today.  Erik’s mom allowed her son to make his own decisions with the money he saved, and this learn by experience lesson taught him the value of saving.

Finalist #7: Jody – MyKindaMom

Meet Jody who learned from her mom that debt may be a four letter word, but carries a lot of weight.  Jody’s mother advised her daughter that making payments as fast as possible and above the minimum required balance, lowers total interest and saves money over the long term.

Finalist #8: Samantha – MyKindaMom

Meet Samantha who entered into the MyKindaMom contest with a story about earning, saving, and ultimately investing.  Rather than indulge in a shopping spree she initially wanted, Samantha learned from her mom that saving and investing her money is a far more rewarding experience.

Finalist #9: Laura – MyKindaMom

Meet Laura who submitted a list of money saving tips she learned from her mother as a young girl.  Laura’s advice is an excellent checklist for households to ensure they remain on budget, and live within their means.

Finalist #10: Beth – MyKindaMom

Meet Beth who submitted a story from her past describing how her mother’s advice taught her a valuable lesson about money.  Sometimes we may feel like we need something that catches our eye, but if we commit to save enough money before buying the item, we may find we lost interest in the item.

Managing Passwords in a Post-Heartbleed Net

It’s been about a month since the Heartbleed bug caused Internet-wide panic, and left many wondering whether their beloved daily-browsed sites were hacked. Our worst online fears were confirmed when it turned out that many of them were vulnerable to attack. From Facebook to Gmail to the Canada Revenue Agency and Healthcare.gov, many popular websites were affected, and users were sent scrambling to change their passwords on one site after another.

Will Driverless Cars Affect Auto Insurance?

Remember that 90’s sci-fi flick Total Recall, where Arnold Schwarzenegger takes a ride in a driverless taxi? Or that scene in I, Robot, where Will Smith relaxes behind the wheel of his self-driving car as it speeds through futuristic traffic?

Well, the future is near, and that means driverless cars are no longer just a thing of science fiction. Google has driverless technology moving ahead at full speed with the Google Chauffeur, and traditional automakers like Ford and GM have teamed up with researchers to be part of the game.

Spring is in the Air! 5 Tips to Get Your Car Ready for the Season

Everyone knows that there are a few things you should do to prepare your car for winter. Change your tires, have your breaks checked – you know the drill. But what to do when the snowy season’s over? Auto repair shops are pushing their spring service specials, but what can a winter-weary driver do at home now that spring has sprung?

To help your vehicle adjust to the road after the deep freeze of 2013, here are a few tips to rejuvenate your car for spring.

Ditch the Monthly Balance Blues with a Low Interest Credit Card

So far in our credit card series, we’ve discussed two types of cards that can help you get a fresh start on your finances – low balance transfer cards and secured cards. But what if you’re one of those cardholders who tends to run a monthly balance, and you’re sick of paying high interest rates month after month? In this case, the best (and most obvious) answer to your dilemma is to get yourself a low interest card. 

Celebrate Mothers Day and Get the Chance to Win $300 in Cash or Prizes with LowestRates.ca #MyKindaMom Contest!

It’s no secret that Mothers really do know best, and if you’re like many people, some of the most important lessons in life you’ve learned from your Mom. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, at LowestRates.ca we’re celebrating the wisdom of Moms across the country this May with our #MyKindaMom short story contest.

A Driver’s Twilight Zone: The Blind Spot

Most people have heard the term “blind spot” enough times to know that it’s definitely something worth worrying about when you’re behind the wheel.  When rolling down the highway, you might be pretty confident in your quick reflexes and rear-view mirrors, but there’s a sneaky driver’s Twilight Zone hiding from view. This is called the “blind spot,” and has been posing a threat to drivers ever since their wheels first rattled down the road.

Counting Credit Cards: How Much Plastic is Too Much?

For many people, the decision to use credit cards is a no-brainer. Given the option of only-paper-forever or only plastic, many of us would surely cling to our MasterCards and Visas. In a society that’s become more and more dependent on credit cards, there are a few basic questions that seem to crop up a lot, and perhaps none more so than “how many is too many?”

Out with the Old, in with the New: Take Charge of Your Debts with a Balance Transfer Card

Earlier in the week, we covered the ins-and-outs of secured credit cards, and how they can help you get a fresh start on your finances. While that option may work well for someone new to the workforce or recovering from a personal bankruptcy, it doesn’t really help you if you’re wading through debt left over from other cards. That’s where a low balance transfer credit card can come in handy.

Spring is a Time of New Beginnings – The Same Goes for Your Credit

After a long, cold winter for most of the country, spring is (finally!) in the air. The sun has come out, the snow has melted, and the biting cold of the polar vortex is a distant memory.

OSFI Set to Tighten Mortgage Insurance Standards

Spring is in the air, which means it’s once again time for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to call for tighter lending standards in Canada.

Last May, OSFI officials mused about reducing the maximum amortization period for mortgages from 35 years to 25 years, while in the spring of 2012, the regulator imposed more rigorous mortgage underwriting guidelines on banks. 

The World Within a Block: The Past and Future of St. James Town, Toronto

St. James Town has been called many things over the years. The Toronto neighbourhood has been deemed Canada’s most densely populated community, and because of the wide range of immigrant populations, is sometimes even known as “the world within a block”.

Nestled between Parliament, Sherbourne, Wellesley and Bloor, in the northeast corner of Ontario’s capital, this neighborhood has history that goes all the way back to the 1870's. But despite its rich history, cultural diversity, and downtown location, St. James Town has had a difficult past, and is facing an uncertain future.

CREA Report Shows Tale of Two Housing Markets

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) latest report paints a very mixed picture on Canadian housing. Metro markets across the country appear to be starting to diverge in a way they have not done for some time, with sales in the East slowing dramatically while the West continues to outperform.

Credit Card Arbitrage: Free Money or Risky Bet?

It’s a common personal finance trope that credit card companies always win, no matter how generous their rewards programs or how many cool features they offer to customers. Whether it’s through hidden fees, surcharges or sky-high interest rates, in the end, the theory goes, credit cards are just like casinos: the house always wins.

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