The Dough Report

Is Buying a Rental Property Right For You?

“Can you come by with coffee in 20 minutes?”

My good friend Robert invited me over one Sunday morning. I thought that this was a strange offer. Why would I go there first thing in the morning? Did he have some wild Saturday night stories for me?

7 Minivans for Soccer Moms

Are you a soccer mom? Do you want a vehicle that can ride like a dream and roll with the punches? You need convenience, cargo space and a safety rating that would make a semi truck jealous. Well, we have the lowdown on 2015's best mini vans for you and your family.

Apply to be Our Next Summer Intern!

Good morning. We have exciting news today. If you follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook you may have already seen our #LRSummerIntern Challenge and just in case you didn't I'm going to tell you all about it.

5 Ways to Support Breast Cancer

May is breast cancer awareness month. It's estimated that 1 in 9 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in her life. Whether you know someone personally or have read about Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy, supporting breast cancer means supporting a cause that goes beyond the women diagnosed with it. It’s about the men and women battling breast cancer, their family and friends, and the communities that support them. Here are five ways you can help support the cause:

How To Save Money This Long Weekend

Are you excited for the summer?

You work hard and often don’t get enough playtime during the week. Chances are that you look forward to your long weekends because you finally get to let loose. The summer only offers us a few long weekends, so we might as well take advantage of them. The only problem is that sometimes we get carried away on these weekends and spend too much money. It’s easy to spend money because we get lost in the moment. It happens to me all of the time.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Most mortgages are pretty simple. You borrow the cash using the house as collateral, and slowly pay it back over the next 25 years. By now, we all know the drill.

Why Your Next Car Should Be Brand New

“Why would you buy a new car? It’s such a waste of money. Just buy something used and fix it up.”

My Uncle Jack gave my father grief for buying a new car. My dad used to always buy used, until one day he realized that it was such a better idea to buy a brand new car. Ever since then he has only purchased brand new cars and he hasn’t looked back since.

Should You Rent Or Buy In Vancouver?

Recently, I took a closer look at whether it was a better deal for someone in Toronto to rent a place or buy one. In case you missed it you can read all about real estate in Toronto right here. Let’s continue on the series and see whether someone looking to live in the Vancouver area would be better served to rent or buy.

Need a Budget? Treat Your Money Like The Playoffs!

It’s playoff season. That means that every game means so much more and every single player is going to do whatever it takes to win. The games are more intense. More risks are taken. There’s more passion involved in everything. You don’t want to miss a playoff game. I’m not even a big sports fan and I enjoy watching playoff action when I can.

3 Car Dealership Upgrades to Avoid

Buying a car is a big expense – especially if you’re doing business with a dealership. Personally, I don’t mind buying from a dealership. They are more expensive but if there’s a big problem, they tend to be a lot easier to find than a private seller. But not everything from a dealership is a great idea. Generally when you’re buying a brand-new or second-hand car, the dealer is going to offer you to some upgrades to help protect your new purchase. And what’s a few hundred dollars when you just spent many thousands? If you want to protect your new purchase, avoid the upgrades and become more car care aware:

Helpful Advice from the Moms of Lowest Rates

Happy Friday. It's two days until Mother's Day so let me ask you a question, what did you get your mom? All week we've been saluting mothers around the world because here at Lowest Rates we're big fans of moms. Just in case you're a last minute shopper we have some great gift ideas from DIY gifts to awesome gifts under $25. So if you're looking for last minute gift ideas this is where it's at.

A Message from our Co-Founders about Nepal

When the news about the Nepal earthquake hit social media our staff (like many other people) were saddened and shocked by this terrible tragedy. We've kept up to date on the rescue efforts and have been sharing information on both Facebook and Twitter in case you're looking for a way to lend a helping hand.

4 Priceless Pieces of Wisdom From My Mom

Editor's note: Please welcome Sarah from Unsettle.org. She's here today sharing all the good pieces of life and financial advice she learned from her mom. Sometimes we take words of wisdom from our parents for granted and sometimes we don't realize just how valuable their advice is until we get other. Hopefully our moms good advice makes us better people and for that we want to say thank you!

Easy Mother's Day Gifts For Under $25

Editor's note: We have a very special gift for you today. Please welcome Anne from UniqueGifter.com as she helps us find 13 affordable last minute Mother's Day gifts.

How to Avoid Bidding Wars When Buying a New Home

If you’re buying a house in a popular Canadian city such as Toronto or Vancouver, you’re most likely going to have to deal with the dreaded multiple offer situation. If this happens to you the smart thing to do is politely bow out, otherwise it could end up costing you big time.

3 Money Lessons I Learned from My Mom

Mother’s day is coming and it’s time to buy a card, make brunch reservations and make sure the grandparents are invited to the celebrations. But it’s much more than a day to exchange gifts and make conversation with the family, it’s a time to reflect on what mother’s day actually means. When I think about what my mom has done for me, I think about how she’s helped me become the person I am today. Here are some ways that my mom helped me learn more about money:

What I Learned about Money from my Immigrant Mother

“We can’t afford those new shoes right now.”

I really wanted new Nike shoes as a kid. I thought that if I begged enough, my mom would buy them for me. I didn’t realize that the reason I couldn’t have the shows was because my parents couldn’t buy us food if they bought all three boys a $100 pair of shoes each. Looking back, I feel bad for being such a punk as a kid.

4 Ways to Keep It Frugal this Mother's Day

Editor's Note: Good morning. We have a special guest for you today. Michelle from Budget Bloggess is here sharing her favourite frugal Mother's Day gift ideas. So often we think finding the perfect gift is about how much money we spend - and that's just not true. When it comes to Mother's Day gift ideas it really is the thought that counts. Please welcome Michelle to the blog and be sure to share your favourite gift ideas on our Facebook page.

Why You Should Never be Cheap With Your Mom

You better not be cheap with your mom. This is the one person that you can’t hold out with. You can save money by missing your friend’s birthday party or by staying in one night.

10 DIY Gifts for Mom

It’s that time of year again, time to spoil mom with some of these DIY gift ideas on her special day:

Check Out Our Give Mom A Break Giveaway

Happy Friday! Today we have a very special treat for you - we have a HUGE awesome giveaway! Yes that's right, today starts two weeks of Mother's Day craziness here at Lowest Rates and we're kicking it off with over $750 in prizes with our #takeabreak giveaway. Let me say that one more time, there are over $750 in prizes to be won!

Borrower Beware: 6 Mortgage Conditions That Can Trip You Up

Caveat emptor, buyer beware, due diligence -- whatever the term, we all get the basic idea: the onus rests on us, as customers, to understand the product or service we’re purchasing. Canadians usually take this concept to heart when buying big-ticket items like cars, televisions, appliances -- even houses -- but sometimes they don’t do the work they need to when it’s time to get a mortgage. They see a great rate and simply say ‘that’s the one for me’ without paying enough attention to the all-important fine print.

What’s in Your Wallet?

What's in your wallet? What kind of credit card are you using?

Your credit card is one of the most important financial tools in your wallet.

The First Time Homebuyer Checklist So That You Don’t Go Homeless

“If we put all of our savings together we might be able to scrape together a mortgage down payment.”

I couldn’t believe what my friend was telling me. She was ready to buy a place with her boyfriend already. They were a fairly new couple and they both had barely any money saved. This situation really bothered me, but I didn’t want to be a jerk by giving unsolicited advice.

Weird Ways to Save Money on Taxes

It’s tax season again and the deadline of April 30 is quickly approaching. If you haven't filed yet you're probably rushing around trying to get all your documents in order so you can file your taxes on time - and avoid late fees. Here are a few weird and wonderful tips that might help you save money on your taxes.

Lowest Rates Best of the Week

Happy Friday! If you're looking for something to do this weekend may I suggest going to see the movie Furious 7. If you follow us on Twitter you know I went to see it this week and I have to say it was a good movie, not the best of the entire series, but nevertheless a good way to spend a couple of hours. The good-bye to Paul Walker was touching and if the saga continues I'm sure the movies won't be the same without him.

Why I'm Not Mad My Credit Card Was Stolen

Editor's note: Good morning! Today we have Cat from Budget Blonde joining us. I sat down with Cat to talk all about having her credit card stolen - surprisingly there are no hard feelings. Cat is a mom to two lovely twins and a wife to the man of her dreams. Please welcome her to our blog as she gives tips on what to do and how to stay calm if your credit card is stolen.

How to Save Money on Everyday Driving Costs

Nobody wants to walk everywhere. Most of us all will need to buy a car at some point to get around. Very few of us will be fortunate enough to walk to work and not everyone’s a fan of extreme lifestyles. The only problem is that a car can drain your wallet.

First Time Filing Your Taxes After College? Read This!

“What’s the big fuss over taxes?”

A friend asked me this and we ended up having an extended discussion about taxes. Not a fun topic, but nobody can escape the Tax Man.

5 DIY Spring Cleaning Tips

Hey folks! Welcome to our exciting new (and virtual) game show about spring cleaning! We'll offer you carefully crafted spring cleaning tips with two possible answers and it’s up to you to guess which one is right! One will help you make your spring cleaning experience a dream and the other one…won’t.

Who Else is Ready for Spring?

Image Courtesy of ©iStock.com

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you but I for one am ready for the weekend and for this rain to be over. If you’re reading this from the GTA I’m sure you feel the same way. We’ve been living under rain clouds all week and correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it supposed to be spring?

The 10 Best Cash Back Credit Cards Right Now

Cash back credit cards are a great option if you're looking for a hassle free rewards program. There are a lot of cash back credit cards out there and trust me when I say they're not all created equal.

What Are the Top Cars For Gas Mileage?

“I can’t afford the gas to drive down there.”

A friend stressed to me about how he didn’t want to drive out of town because he couldn’t afford the gas. He was spending a fortune on car insurance, car payments and maintenance already. He didn't have any wiggle room in his budget to make casual trips.

4 Energy Savings Tips from Earth Hour

From the continent of Antarctica to the International Space Station, Earth Hour was celebrated by 172 countries on March 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm. Millions of people turned off their lights and showed support for the climate change movement.

How Much Money is Involved in College Sports?

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“What’s the money like for college sports?”

That’s what I asked my buddy when I saw him watching a game once.

Enter to win tickets to see #Furious7

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Happy Good Friday!

Furious 7 comes out in theatres today and we're giving away 11 awesome prizes to celebrate.

Doing Easter…Calgary Style

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Happy soon-to-be-Easter to everyone, I’m sure every city has its celebrations but Calgary has a pretty good line up for everyone out there. Check out these events for whatever you’re in the mood for:

4 Fun and Frugal Easter Activities for Kids

So the Easter weekend is approaching and you’re wondering what to do with yourself and your family beyond the turkey festivities. Well, never fear because I'm here with some ideas for the holiday:

Why You Need to Support College Sports

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Are you a fan of college sports?

I never played any sports in school nor did I do much of anything physical. I was the kind of student that worked full-time. I would go to school, get my work done, and leave. I trained at my local gym and attended a few kickboxing classes. I never got in with the whole college sports culture.

4 DIY Renos To Get Your Home On The Market

Image courtesy of ©istock

Every spring brings two things to Toronto: Canada Blooms and the National Home Show. Every year, the National Home Show seems to get bigger and better and it always brings some great inspiration and help from the experts who attend. This year was no different.

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

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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

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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:

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