The Dough Report

10 Experts Give Advice on Stolen Credit Cards

We have a lovely treat for you today on the blog. It's the perfect end to your work week and it will help start your weekend off on the right foot. Has your credit card ever been stolen and you thought "Why Me?" Well if it's any comfort, credit card fraud happens to the best of us.

4 Canadians Help You Deal With Credit Card Fraud

Have you ever had your credit card stolen? If you're like most Canadians - 70% of us to be exact - the answer is probably yes. If you've ever been a victim of credit card fraud you know it's a total nightmare. As a company that encourages you to take advantage of all the benefits credit cards have to offer we want to help make credit card fraud as painless as possible.

Four Ways to Save on Your First Car

Image Courtesy of: ©iStock.com

Do you get excited at the prospect of spending thousands of dollars on a vehicle? Yeah? Really? Not me, my friend. Buying my first car was stressful. I didn’t know much to how to spend, what kind of car to get, or what kinds of questions to ask. I wished I had a go-to guide for buying my first car but now that I’ve bought a few cars, I’ve learned a few things and can pass them on to you:

4 Crazy Credit Card Frauds

Image Courtesy of: ©iStock.com

Has your credit card ever been stolen? If so when the credit card company called you to verify the transactions you thought to yourself Why would they buy that!? I know I have.

My Credit Card Was Stolen, Now What?

Editor's Note: Good morning and happy Monday! We're all back to work after March Break and the kiddos are back in school. It went by too fast if you ask me. Did you use your credit card during your time off last week? Our friend Stefanie from The Broke and Beautiful Life did and guess what? It was stolen! Please welcome her to our blog today as she tells the story of what happened and how she was able to fix it. Enjoy!

The Best of March Break Travel

Happy Friday! As March Break comes to an end you may still be dreaming of hotel rooms and pools; but for most adults Monday means back to work and for the kiddos it's back to school.

Barcelona on a Budget

Editor's Note:

Good morning! Today we have a special guest on our blog, please welcome Marissa from Thirty Six Months. She's currently working and travelling around Europe; she's here today to share tips on how to save money in Barcelona, Spain. Enjoy!

Ways To Save Wednesday: Travelling To South Korea

About a year ago, I encouraged my girlfriend to throw off the shackles of our normal lives and do something extraordinary. For some reason she actually listened to me, and a few months later we found ourselves in South Korea, some 9,000km from home. She would be teaching English, while I would be squatting somewhat legally in the apartment provided by her boss.

12 Free Things To Do in Toronto for March Break

Editor's Note:

Please welcome Hollie Pollard to the Lowest Rates blog today. She's our new Community Manager so you'll be seeing her around the web. You may already know her by her online persona Common Cents Mom. She's sharing fun things to do in Toronto over March Break and since she's born and raised in Toronto she knows all the good spots.

Ever Considered Camping In Algonquin For March Break?

This is the first day of March Break for most families across Canada. For many people, March Break means a quiet stay-cation near the homestead. But for others, this is an opportunity to show the kids a part of the world without taking away from their time at school.

Canadians Should Learn More About Credit Card Fraud

March is Fraud Prevention Month across Canada. Fraud Prevention is an awareness campaign designed to inform Canadians about the very real dangers of identity theft. When criminals steal elements of your identity, they may also acquire your social insurance number, access to other personal files, and even your credit card accounts.

Our Staff Share Their Credit Card Fraud Stories

Chances are, either you or someone you know has been a victim of credit card fraud. It’s a crime that touches hundreds of thousands of Canadians annually.
 
We canvassed the LowestRates.ca staff about their credit card fraud experiences and discovered that nearly half of us have been on the receiving end of credit card fraud or had someone in our family who has. The finding makes sense given just how much credit card fraud is reported in Canada each year.

Ways to Save Wednesdays: How to (Not?) Become a Victim of Fraud!

Have you heard all those stories about people becoming victims of fraud? Maybe you’ve seen them on television and read about them in the newspaper and now you’re concerned that you’ve missed the chance to be defrauded yourself. Don’t worry, you want what they don’t have and I’m here to tell you how to get it.

4 Ways to Keep Your Credit Card Safe Abroad

As families all across the country take their kids and travel to warmer climates for March Break, money may be the last thing on their mind. You're probably focused on planning your trip, packing your bags and thinking about all the fun things you're going to do with your family over the next week. Money may not be in your thoughts, but it should be.

Rent or Buy: Which is the Better Deal in Toronto?

Over the last decade, owning property in Canada has been a pretty good move.

But as prices have surged, so has the feeling from certain groups that Canada’s housing market is in a bubble, especially in larger centers like Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. In these markets, it might even make sense to a prospective homeowner to rent going forward, especially if the market starts to decline.

Highlights From Women’s Money Week

If you were paying attention to the trends on social media this week, you probably noticed a series of discussions about Women’s Money Week (WMW). WMW encourages women to learn more about money, speak out about opportunities to make the most of their money, and position themselves for financial success.

Advice For A Second Parental Leave From My Own Mother

When my wife and I learned we were going to become parents, we thought we were prepared for everything, beginning with parental leave. As we get ready to do it all over again, I figured that I could get some advice and turned to someone I knew I could trust – my own mother.

What’s it Like To Be a New Dad During Parental Leave?

If you are part of a couple with plans to start a family, chances are that you’ve begun to ask a series of potentially life-changing questions. Are you emotionally ready for a baby? How about financially? What kinds of plans, financial or otherwise, are required before the baby is born? And perhaps the most pressing, who will take time off to raise the baby?

Ways to Save Wednesdays: How to Save Money (And Your Sanity) on Maternity Leave

So your beautiful bundle of joy has arrived and you’re brimming over with happiness.

Kind of a Big Deal: 3 Things You Need to Know About Home Insurance

Let’s face it. Home insurance is not sexy.

When you buy your first house, it’s like the first bloom of romance. You’re excited and emotional. You can’t stop thinking about your house; talking about your house; or being in your house.  You spend endless hours flipping through home décor magazines and dreamily wandering the aisles of Bed, Bath & Beyond.

You want to know what you’re not thinking about? How close your house is to a fire hydrant.  If you have thought about this question – and other questions like this – you have my kudos. For the rest of you, this is the article to read.  

Canada vs U.S. Maternity Leave: Here’s Our Experience With Both

When Radhika and I moved from Toronto to San Francisco two and half years ago with our toddler, we knew it would be an eye-opening experience. We’d travelled to the Golden State many times, but you know what they say: to really get to know a place, you have to live there.

And come to know it we have: both the good parts, which are almost too numerous to list (weather, food, wine, etc) and the bad, which include an outrageously high cost of living, a byzantine medical system, and, as we learned getting ready for the birth of our second child, maternity leave that really does leave you wanting.
 
When my wife found out she was pregnant with our second child last year, we knew right away that we’d have to start researching, planning – and saving – for maternity leave, U.S. style. And now that our son is four months old, it's safe to say we’ve seen both the Canadian and American systems up close – here’s what we found.

Getting Ready for Maternity Leave? Don't Forget About the Money!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Have you thought about how you're going to pay for it? I know that seems like a harsh question but trust me you need to think about it. I'm not trying to bring you down, I just want to make sure you're financially prepared for the next phase of your life.

Lease or Finance? How You Should Buy Your Next Car

Getting a new car doesn’t seem like a complicated process. You show up, test drive a few vehicles, and decide on one. It can all be done in the course of a couple hours if you’re feeling ambitious.

But there’s one question that remains after you pick out the model -- should you finance it, or go for a lease? Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each.

The Worst Credit Card Passwords Are The Easiest To Crack

Passwords are among the most important security features in today’s digital era. Passwords have the power to keep your personal information safe, if they are used appropriately. But an unsecure password will do little to deter scammers from stealing your information.

Ways to Save Wednesdays: Travel (and Get Warm) on the Cheap

As winter in Canada drags on into its 10th month (author’s estimate), I imagine most of you reading this are starting to get a little sick of the indoors. Patio and shorts weather just can’t come fast enough.

Which is why many Canadians throw off the shackles of winter for a holiday lounging in sunny Mexico or Cuba, drink in their hand while enjoying a nice ocean breeze. But who wants to pay retail for a vacation like that?
 
Here are 5 ways you can save serious cash on your next tropical getaway.

What Happens to Your Mortgage Payment if Interest Rates Go Up?

When deciding whether to take a fixed or a variable rate mortgage, there are many things to consider. But for most people, one factor overwhelms the whole thought process: if mortgage rates jump up, will I be stuck paying hundreds more each month in payments?

It’s a very legitimate concern, especially in today’s world of ultra-low interest rates and inflated real estate prices. Let’s take a closer look at this complex issue.

Congratulations to the 5 Lucky #sharethelove Contest Winners

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but many people will continue to share their love for the important people in their lives throughout February and beyond.

Financing Your Vehicle? Here's How to Get the Best Deal

According to a study by Maritz Research, approximately 25% of people will pay cash for their next vehicle purchase. That leaves 75% of us who are either going to have to get financing or end up taking the bus.

The world of auto financing can be a scary and dangerous place, especially for people who haven’t done it before. But fear not; we have some great tips that will save you money and hopefully calm your anxiety about the whole experience.

Ways to Save Wednesdays: How to Save Serious Cash on Groceries

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another money saving post from LowestRates.ca!

For most people reading this, groceries are likely the 3rd biggest expense you have each month, after shelter and transportation. A small family can easily spend hundreds of dollars per month on groceries, and that’s not even counting restaurant costs.
 
Here are 4 easy ways to save some cash the next time you head to the grocery store.

Your Travel Insurance Can Protect You From Winter Storms

It happens a lot this time of year. You book the time off of work, put aside enough money to pay for a well deserved vacation, arrange the travel plans, and await the date for takeoff.

Then, out of the blue, a massive blizzard blows through the region.

Switching Car Insurance Providers? Read This First

It’s happened to all of us. You’re halfway through your contract and you find a better deal somewhere else. 

Sometimes you just suck it up and keep paying, knowing that you’re bound by the terms of the deal and have little hope of getting out of it. The people who have tried to extricate themselves from a mortgage or cell phone contract know the feeling.
 
But what's the case for car insurance? Let’s take a closer look.

Ways to Save Wednesdays: How to Get Cheap Travel Insurance

I’m currently spending a little time away from Canada, traveling for the next five or so months in Asia, mostly in South Korea. My girlfriend got a job teaching English there, and I was not about to pass up the opportunity to join her.

Although just about all of Asia has very reasonable health care costs -- U.S. citizens will often travel to the region to get cheap medical care -- I opted to take out travel insurance. I wanted peace of mind knowing that I would be covered if something bad happened to me, like if North Korea found out I watched The Interview.
 
Of course, I also wanted to do so in the cheapest way possible. Here’s how I saved more than $200 on travel insurance.

Share The Love And Win a Prize For Your Valentine

Love comes in many forms and is expressed in many ways. Some expressions are simply romantic such as love poems or a quiet night in together, but other expressions are more lavish – particularly around Valentine’s Day.

Ways to Save Wednesdays: 6 Deals You Can Only Get In February

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means – another money-saving post from LowestRates.ca!
 
Last month, we counted down a list of 7 cool deals you can only get in January. Now, we’re back with more! Although this month’s the shortest one of the year, that doesn’t mean there are no deals to be found. The savings you can snag this February are hot as ever.
 
Let’s get to it, shall we? Here are our top six deals for the month of February. 

Renewing Your Mortgage? Read This First

I used to be a mortgage broker, so I’ve seen plenty of joy when a mortgage is approved and disappointment when somebody with bruised credit got denied. Even if someone gets a mortgage, it’s still a pretty stressful process. There’s always a mountain of paperwork, and there’s a nervous few days waiting for the lender to announce there’s no more conditions. 

This is part of the reason why when it comes to mortgage renewal time, many borrowers just accept the terms the bank dictates on the renewal letter. Although that’s the easiest solution, it’s almost never the best one.

Do You Really Need Travel Insurance For Your Tropical Getaway?

It isn’t their fault. It’s just that a combination of short days, cold temperatures, icy roads and snowy yards has a way of really getting us down. It’s like every cold February day is quietly mocking us, reminding us that spring is coming but just isn’t here yet. No wonder it’s the shortest month.

Many Canadians take off to a warmer part of the world trying to beat the winter blues. But, many of them are missing one key piece of luggage. No, it’s not their bathing suit, tank top, or sunscreen. It’s something much more important – travel insurance.

Keep On Reading After Family Literacy Week Wraps Up

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative that is promoted every year on January 27th. The initiative was launched by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 but over the years, the organization unofficially expanded the awareness campaign. As a result, Family Literacy Day is interchangeably referred to as Family Literacy Week.

With Oil Below $50, Alberta's Housing Market Looks Grim

For anyone involved in Alberta’s energy sector, it’s a pretty scary time.
 
As oil continues to languish below $50 per barrel, there’s little doubt Alberta’s economy will take it on the chin. Layoffs are already starting in the oil patch, with household names like Suncor and Shell cutting thousands of workers from their oil sands operations. According to most energy analysts, those layoffs are just the beginning of a bigger trend, especially if oil doesn’t recover right away.
 
But what does it all mean for Alberta’s housing market? Let’s take a closer look.

10 Monthly Household Expenses You Can Cut for Big Savings

You’ve heard all about it, but you had your doubts. How is it possible? How can you live like that?
 
Haters beware: it’s true. You can live without cable TV. Or a home phone, a gym subscription, and a slew of other pricey household expenses.

What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Mortgage Penalties

 
Chances are, at some point in your life it’ll happen. For whatever reason you’ll be looking to sell your house and be forced to break the mortgage early.
 
We’ve all heard the horror stories about how that can cost tens of thousands in fees. How exactly is that legal? And more importantly, how do you make sure that you get enough flexibility to ensure you’re not paying those huge penalties?

We Grow and Develop Because We Learn From a Good Story

ABC Life Literacy Canada is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Canadians improve their literacy skills. In 1999, the organization created Family Literacy Day, a national awareness initiative revolving around activities that inspire families to improve the literacy of their children. Notable children’s author Robert Munsch is the Honourary Chair of Family Literacy Day.

Financial Wisdom on the Small Screen: 5 Money Lessons Learned from Our Favourite TV Shows

The next time someone tells you that “TV will rot your brain!” it may be worth showing them this list.
 
Sure, it’s probably not a good idea to binge-watch Netflix until your eyes hurt, but every so often the small screen serves up some serious nuggets of financial wisdom.

Why Do Borrowers With Small Down Payments Get Better Rates?

On the surface, it makes no sense at all.
 
One borrower goes to get a mortgage, barely scraping together the minimum required down payment of 5%. Meanwhile, somebody else works their tail off and manages to save up enough to put 30% down. Not only are these two borrowers likely paying the same rate, but sometimes the borrower with 5% down will actually be paying a lower rate!
 
Let’s take a closer look at exactly why this happens.

Shock Bank of Canada Rate Cut: What It Means for Borrowers

The Bank of Canada stunned markets today with a surprise quarter point rate cut, lowering the benchmark interest rate from 1% to .75%. And yes, it really was a surprise: of the 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News prior to the announcement, fully zero predicted the Bank would take rates lower.

It’s Almost Family Literacy Day! 6 Ways to Save on Books

That’s it, that’s the last page.
 
I close the book and clutch it to my chest. After all the struggle, the late nights reading by Micky Mouse night light, the intense storytime sessions spent sounding out strange words, I’ve finally claimed my prize. There’s only one thing left to do – announce it to the world.
 
“Mom, Dad, I finished reading it all by myself!”

How 15 Minutes Really Did Save Me Money on Car Insurance

 
Back in 2008, I had an auto insurance problem. Specifically, I thought I was paying too darn much for it.

Best Credit Card Bets for 2015

Tired of the plastic you’ve got in your wallet? Want a total credit card overhaul in 2015? Or are you just looking for a solid first-ever card? Whatever the conundrum, we’ve got you covered.

Up To You To Crush Your Debt And Set Yourself Free

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The Situation

When I finished college, I was in my share of personal debt. My situation, one shared by millions of new graduates, was made even worse by graduating in the heart of the 2008 recession. The recession all but eliminated entry level jobs for those of us fresh out of school.

To Buy or Not to Buy (in Bulk) – 5 Not-So-Obvious Items You Should Bulk Buy

It’s easy to poke fun at that grocery shopper loading up 40 rolls of TP onto the checkout. Sometimes, buying in bulk can seem silly and unnecessary. But the reality is that buying certain items in bulk can legitimately save you money, and lots of it.

Get Paid to Go to the Store: Here's How

One thing every Canadian can do to improve their finances in 2015 is get serious about credit card rewards points.
 
There are simply too many of us who are using a credit card with a pitiful rewards program. Getting 0.5% cash back might seem like a good idea when the alternative is nothing, but you’re leaving some serious rewards on the table. Let’s take a look at a couple of rewards credit cards and just how much free money you can earn from them.

Fixed or Variable: Which Mortgage Should You Choose in 2015?

When I was a mortgage broker, customers tended to care about one thing mainly: interest rates.
 
Even though variable rates have traditionally been cheaper than fixed rates, approximately 80% of Canadians opt for a fixed rate mortgage. We happen to like the security of not having to worry about interest rates for as long as the mortgage’s term, usually five years.

Conquer Your Debt the Balance Transfer Way

Are your finances in tatters from all that holiday spending? You’re not alone. While January is the month for resolutions and fresh starts, it’s also the time of year when Canadians are faced with the harsh reality of too much debt. 

Ways to Save Wednesdays: Cool Deals You Can Only Get In January

It’s 2015! We hope you had a wonderful holiday and a fantastic start to the new year.
 
It’s no secret that here at LowestRates.ca, we’re all about saving you money. That’s why we’re excited to present a new weekly blog series focused on helping you save even more all year round. It’s called Ways to Save Wednesdays, and it’s exactly what it sounds like!

Take These Five Steps to Secure Your Finances in 2015

The tree is taken down, the stockings are put back into storage, and all the leftover turkey is either already eaten or thrown into the garbage in frustration. Yes, 2014 is finally behind us.

Now it’s time to focus on 2015. New Years’ resolutions can range from the mundane to the life-changing, but they usually include something aimed at sprucing up your finances. With that in mind, here are 5 easy steps you can take to start 2015 off on the right financial foot.

LowestRates.ca Proud to Donate to Yonge Street Mission

The holiday season encourages us to be generous and thoughtful. It reminds us that we should be thankful for all that we have and celebrate our love for one another with joy and merriment. It is also a time to think of those who do not have the same luxuries and comforts we often take for granted. At LowestRates.ca, we reflected on this and challenged ourselves to make the lives of those less fortunate than us a little better over the holiday season.

The Dough Report Year in Review: Favourite Blog Posts of 2014

2015 is almost here! And as December comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year. 2014 has seen its fair share of economic ups and downs, and through it all LowestRates.ca has been keeping readers up to speed on hot-button personal finance issues.
 
So, in the spirit of reflection, we’d like to take a look back at some of our favourite (and most useful) blog posts of 2014.

4 Easy Ways to Shed Your Holiday Debt

For most Canadians, the holidays were expensive. In 2013, the average Canadian spent approximately $1,800 on the festive season. This included $689 on travel, $674 on gifts, and the rest on incidentals like food, booze, and earplugs after your nephew gets a new toy that makes a bunch of noise. 

Chances are the holidays also left you with a whack of debt. Here are some easy strategies to slay those credit card bills and start 2015 right.

Infographic: 14 Key Moments from 2014

One thing's for sure – 2014 has been a very interesting year. Mortgage rates defied prediction by sinking even lower, while home prices continued to climb higher – sometimes much higher – in several key Canadian cities.

Want to see how the year in personal finance played out? Check out our infographic below:

Season's Greetings from All of Us!

Hey, the holidays are here! And that means family, food, and much-deserved time off. Whether you’re lighting the Menorah, gathering around the Christmas tree, or just relaxing by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa, we’d like to wish you a very happy holiday!

From the entire LowestRates.ca team, Season’s Greetings and all the best in the New Year!

5 Financial Resolutions for 2015 – And How to Actually Keep Them!

The holiday season is still in full swing, but as the year comes to a close, many of us will be resolving to better ourselves in 2015. Our resolutions won't be entirely about hitting the gym and quitting the gin though – in fact, many Canadians' New Year's resolutions revolve around financial fitness.

Calgary Real Estate: Why 2015 Could Be Ugly

So far, it seems like the city of Calgary is almost entirely unaffected by the bloodbath in the oil sector.

The price of crude has cratered from nearly $110 per barrel in June, all the way to current levels around $55, a swing of almost 50%. Canada’s energy giants have been forced to adapt in a number of ways, including cutting capital expenditures, slashing dividends, and delaying new projects, especially in the oil sands.

6 Painless Ways to Save Money on Utilities

Considering it’s winter for approximately 11.5 months per year in Canada, saving money on heating is important to everyone. I know I sure don’t like to go outside in the cold. But it’s not just heating costs that can add up. Between heat, electricity, water, phone, and internet, most of us are spending hundreds each month on utilities. Since there’s no avoiding them, wouldn’t it be nice to save a few bucks just by making some painless changes?
 
Here are some tips to keep your utility bills reasonable.

10 Budget-Friendly DIY Holiday Gifts (That People Will Actually Want!)

The holiday countdown is on! Christmas is just days away, and, while many Canadians have wrapped up their holiday shopping, some of us last-minute folks have yet to cross everything off of our to-buy list. The clock may be ticking, but time isn’t the only factor at play – holiday shopping can cost a bundle, too.

Telematics: An Easy Way to Save on Car Insurance

If you own a TV, you’ve seen the commercials. There’s a little gecko with a British accent getting into all sorts of fun situations, always getting the last word with a witty comment. The commercials always end with an offer to call and save up to 15% on your car insurance.

8 Winter Driving Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them!

WINTER Driving Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
 
Some love it, some hate it, but the holidays in Canada just wouldn't be the same without it. I'm talking about snow – nature's winter décor. It's so pretty on rooftops, tree branches and Christmas cards, but a few inches on the road? Instant commuter chaos.

'Tis the Season for Free Car Insurance from LowestRates.ca!

Editor's Note: Effective immediately, due to unforeseen regulations, we have been forced to end this contest. We apologize greatly. All participants will be notified by December 31, 2014 directly.

Credit Card Debt: Why You Should Play the Balance Transfer Game

Being in credit card debt isn’t a lot of fun.

For most folks serious about getting back to zero, dealing with credit card debt consists of a lot of cheap, homemade meals, having a nonexistent entertainment budget, and saying no to anything but the cheapest of vacations. After all, paying back credit cards is expensive. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

How Much Do We Spend On The Holiday Season?

The holidays are almost here! Stores are bustling with sales and flights are being booked to warmer climates (not that we’re jealous or anything...). But as people plan their vacations and make their shopping lists we began to wonder -- just how much does the average Canadian spend during the festive season?

Mortgage Life Insurance: Why You Need to Choose Wisely

 
For many homeowners, it’s the forgotten part of the mortgage process.
 
When buying a home, it seems like there are a million things to take care of. You need to get an almost endless amount of paperwork to both the Realtor and lender. You need to rent a truck and bribe some friends to come help you haul stuff. Even little things like switching your address can take more time than anticipated.

Saving With Your Smartphone: Part 4 – Travel, Gas, and More

  
It’s official: we’re hooked on money-saving apps. In parts 1 to 3 of our series, we’ve wandered through the world of digital coupons, grocery helpers, and mobile deal-finders. We’ve used our smartphones to save a bundle at the supermarket, and snag the hottest gadgets and fashions at seriously discounted prices.

5 Easy Ways To Save Money On Your Mortgage

For most Canadians, buying a house is the largest financial commitment they’ll ever make.

On the surface, it seems pretty simple – you call up a Realtor, look at a few houses, and make a decision. Once a mortgage lender agrees to lend you the money, you’re all set to move in. No fuss, no muss. There’s just one problem. That mortgage you just took out?  You have to pay that back. With interest. For all the mortgage newbies out there, here are five easy ways to make that as painless as possible.

Use The Power Of Social Media To Ensure A Meal This Holiday

The holiday season is upon us, which means we will spend much of our time shopping for gifts, preparing hearty meals, and making room for family in our homes. We are also encouraged to support the less fortunate who may be unable to enjoy the type of holiday that many of us take for granted.

Getting in Gear for Black Friday: 8 Essential Tips for Canadian Shoppers

Hold onto your shopping bags – Black Friday is almost here. In less than 24 hours, Canadians from coast to coast will be lining up outside retailers’ doors, ready to bag some serious bargains. But this year, the Black Friday news is not all rosy. According to a recently-released report from Vancity credit union, when it comes to savings, some retailers’ just aren’t dishing out the real deal.

7 Ways to Cut Your Energy Bill This Winter

Canadians know that winter weather often doesn’t wait for December – around these parts, the chill comes much sooner than that, and this year’s been no different. Freezing temperatures seen in much of the country can take a toll on even the hardiest of Canadians, and on their heating bills.

Tips To Improve Your Credit Score And Financial Know How

Well hi there! I’m Shannon Lee Simmons, financial planner and all around money geek. I’m super stoked to be a regular contributor to LowestRates.ca! Today, I’m going to drop some awesome tips on how to improve your credit score and improve financial awesomeness.

Saving With Your Smartphone: Part 3 – Deal Finder Apps

 
So far in our money-saving apps series, we’ve counted down coupon clippers and helped you stretch your hard-earned dollars at the grocery store. But what about all those other times you’ve wished you could snag a bargain? Have no fear, there’s an app for every I-wish-I-could-get-this-cheaper moment, and they can help you save on everything from electronics to apparel to local (or international) getaways.
 

The Pledge Lives: Bill to Reduce Auto Insurance Rates by 15 Percent Passes in Ontario Legislature

 

Who says elections don’t matter? This morning, Ontario's legislature passed a bill aimed at lowering auto insurance premiums 15 percent by next August. Provincial Liberals say the new law will bring much-needed relief to drivers by reducing fraud and expanding provincial oversight of the claims process. 

12 Essential Snowbird Insurance Questions Answered

  
It’s that time of year again – the time when Canadians dream of sandy beaches and sunshine. And many of us do more than just dream – over three and a half million Canucks visited Florida alone last year!
 
The true snowbirds among us have to think about a lot more than just how long they want to fly the Canadian coop though, because spending winter down south brings its fair share of insurance hassles. Below we answer the 12 essential snowbird insurance questions that seem to come up every year when the weather turns chilly. 

Toronto Star Columnist Ellen Roseman’s 4 Simple Secrets To Credit

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Hi everyone! My name is Sara, and I’m the new Social Media and Outreach Executive here at LowestRates.ca – welcome to my first blog post!

Saving With Your Smartphone: Part 2 – Grocery Store Apps

You already know what to do to save money at the supermarket. But clipping coupons, flipping through flyers, and comparing prices the old fashioned way takes time – something that most people just don’t have. Luckily, there’s an easier way, and all it takes is some swiping and tapping. 

Join Toronto Star Columnist Ellen Roseman at LowestRates.ca for a Live Webinar!

To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, LowestRates.ca is proud to host Toronto Star columnist and personal finance author Ellen Roseman in a live webinar, 4 Simple Secrets To Credit Building.

Sign Up For Car Insurance And Help Support Movember

Now that Halloween has come and gone, Canadians turn their attention to November. That means preparing for the holidays, honouring veterans on Remembrance Day, and for Canadian men, growing moustaches in support of Movember.

Saving With Your Smartphone: Part 1 – Coupon Apps

 
Want to save money on the go? There’s an app for that. We use our beloved smartphones to play games, catch up on TV shows, or even buy car insurance. These days, there’s an app for just about everything – including saving money.

Get a No-Obligation Evaluation of Your Home AND Save up to $1500 in Legal Fees!

 

 
Getting a great deal on your mortgage is one thing, but finding a real estate team you can trust can be a bit more complicated. And in today’s hot housing market, having a tough, experienced realtor by your side is invaluable – especially in the GTA, where house hunting can be an intense, even searing experience for many.

10 Grocery Store Hacks to Save You Money

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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?

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

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

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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.

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