The Dough Report
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Halloween fast approaching, things are starting to get spooky as Canadians prepare for the ghosts and ghouls to come out on October 31.
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.
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!
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.
It’s official – the new iPhone is here. And from the sound of all that media buzz, this update was a whopper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.