The Dough Report
Happy Civic Holiday Everyone! I hope you're all enjoying this extra long weekend. There's nothing better than having some time off work, still getting paid and being able to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous summer weather.
Now that I’m comfortably in my 30s, I tend to be more interested in watching sports than playing them. My body just doesn’t recover very quickly any longer.
But watching sports can easily add up to thousands of dollars per year in expenses, especially if you’re going to every hot game you can. Here’s how to enjoy yourself without breaking the bank.
Editor's Note: A wedding is a very special time in someone's life and summer seems to be wedding season. What better way to cherish this moment than to have a bride to be share all her little secrets with us. Please welcome Vanessa from Vanessa's Money back to our blog today as she gives us the second post in our Wedding Diary series and spills the beans on how to plan a destination wedding.
Unfortunately I have to write an article about insurance claims. The writing part I enjoy. The experience is the part I’m not excited about. Usually when I write about a topic like this, I research other blog posts. Not this time. I have to write about my own recent experience. For the first time in my life, I was involved in a minor accident. I’m not even upset because everyone was fine. I’m more annoyed by the process.
You are looking to save on travel. Your first stops are airline and hotel sites. After all, these are the big ticket items that can make or break a holiday budget. But if you need to get around, a car rental can start to add up if you’re not careful.
Here are four ways to save beaucoup bucks on your next car rental.
After almost a year abroad, I’m back in Canada. Once I got the important stuff out of the way -- like eating my weight in delicious foods that I missed -- my girlfriend and I came to an important realization. We needed a place to live.
With the PanAm games taking over Toronto and as an avid sports fan myself I thought it would be perfect to talk about ways you can support your team.
You’re all set. You’ve booked your flights and reserved your hotel. You’re bound for sunshine and sea and nothing is standing in your way...except for all that pesky packing.Traveling on the cheap is more than getting the best deals on your all-inclusive. Here are five must haves to make your summer getaway easy breezy (and affordable!):
Do you want to finally start working out? Do you want to be consistent with your workouts without going poor?
This is it. You have your new car. There is nothing between you and the wide open road. Well, except for that expensive insurance bill every month. Here are 4 ways you can save on your insurance:
Many of us like to treat ourselves or get to be treated in the summer. The sound of a jingle from an ice cream truck coming down the road is beloved by Canadian children and even some adults every year.
You’re done with college. You’re finally free. You don’t have to worry about staying up all night to complete another essay. You’re never going to see that annoying professor again. You won’t have to put up with the guy who came late and ate lunch in class.
“I want to make more money, but nothing seems to be working. I’m fed up with being broke.”
A buddy of mine complained to me about his financial situation. He wanted to make more money and live a better life. I knew that he wasn’t really doing anything about this. Sure, it’s fun to post quotes online and to complain. It takes a lot of effort to actually do something.
Oh, Calgary Stampede. You are the greatest outdoor show on earth and people come from all over to partake in your festivities. Wow, you are fun. But wow, you are expensive.
These days, with global warming only being denied by right-wing nut-jobs and folks with tinfoil hats , it seems like everyone is worried about the environmental footprint of what they drive. And even though gas prices are down, this phenomenon looks poised to continue.
When you’re trying to get the most out of your budget, sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by the almighty dollar. A lot of us will pass by things like the local produce aisle because it’s more expensive. And it’s true, most if it is more expensive. But there are a lot of pluses to spending the extra few dollars to buy local. Here are five of them:
“Do you really need to buy a whole new living room set?”
I asked the girl I was dating at the time this question. Yes, it led to an argument. I wasn’t in the mood for shopping all day and I certainly didn’t feel like assembling furniture.
Editor's note: Good morning. Boy Oh Boy do we have a fantastic surprise for you today. Our friend Vanessa from Vanessa's Money recently got engaged, is getting married in October and she's sharing her journey right here with us. Not only is Vanessa getting ready for her big day, but the man of her dreams is none other than our own blogger Nelson Smith. Please join me as we wish them nothing but a happily ever after.
So this is it. You’ve walked the stage and you’ve received your diploma. You are a freshly minted grad ready to take on the world. Congratulations! You’ve got some big decisions ahead of you.
When I was 10 years old, I was a staunch believer in ghosts, UFOs, and all sorts of other stuff that I’d scoff at today. Because of that, I was very concerned when I found out we were moving to a new house. My first question: “Has anybody died in the house?”
Happy Canada Day from the Lowest Rates team! What are you up to today?
“I have to pay you cash because I don’t have a credit card at the moment.”
I was surprised when my buddy told me this before a trip. We were going away and the time came to pay for the trip. He couldn’t put his credit card down because he didn’t have one. This guy was always good with money, but something went wrong.
Ah, the Donald.
Say what you want about his many quirks, faux pas, and his brash Twitter account, I have to admit I kind of like the man. It’s like he’s a parody of himself. During the middle of what seems like his 7th bid for president, let’s take a closer look at what life could possibly be like under a Donald Trump presidency.
The biggest struggle for most students is to put together a few bucks for drinks on the weekend (or on a Tuesday afternoon). I’ve been through this process. I survived college and I never missed a party. I also graduated with grades that I was proud of. On top of all of this, I had money saved.
What would you do if something unexpected occurred and you suddenly owed $1,000? How would you deal with an unexpected expense?
Join our Canada Day Giveaway & show off your Canadian Spirit! Lowest Rates is excited to be hosting a photo sharing contest to celebrate Canada Day!
Buying your first home is a big step. Up until this point, your biggest expense was probably your car, your education or maybe that sweet set of skis you bought last winter. Buying your first home is exciting and exhilarating, a brand new place of your very own. What’s not to love? No sleazy landlord, no binding leases, and no leaky toilet that never gets fixed.
Wedding season is upon us and people everywhere are looking for way to make their big day beautiful without the big price tag. When you are looking for ways to cut your wedding costs, DIY might be a great way to save some money and make your celebration unique. Here are four DIY tips to save on your special day:
“Did you hear about that new app?”
You need to get the best tools on your side so that you can save money and move forward. I already know that you have Tinder and Instagram on your phone. Now you need some money apps so that you’re not always broke. It only makes sense to have the best tools on your side so that you can make your life easier.
“Why would you buy running shoes in the winter?”
My father asked me this exact question when I was teenager. He has always been a practical man who asks whatever is on his mind. Growing up, I always knew that I couldn’t get away with much foolishness.
If you mention that you’re trying to save money for your upcoming marriage, you can bet people will have that one piece of indispensable advice they want to share with you. Like politics and religion, everyone has a way to cut costs on your wedding. And I am no different. Here are some suggestions for what to save money on, and what to splurge on for your own big day:
“Are all of these people here for the same event?”
With female soccer players flooding cities all across Canada I thought it would be appropriate to write about the cost and benefits to a city when they host major sporting events.
Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s time to celebrate all things paternal. It’s time to find that fabulous (and frugal) father’s day gift for dad and get together for that family bbq. Today, I’d like to celebrate my husband – step parent extraordinaire.
Have you finished your Father's Day shopping? If you need help thinking of ideas or want to add a little extra gift onto your plan, look no further than LowestRates.ca.
The best soccer players in the world are currently playing right here in Canada. From now until July 5th, the country hosts the 24 top rated soccer teams with every player determined to lift the championship trophy.
If you drive, you know what a pain car expenses can be. You also know that you’re sick of public transportation and you never want to sit next to a random stranger with bad body odor again.
As the weather warms up and the days get longer, our days are filled with sports, barbeques, patio drinks, and other summery activities. And for some of us, it’s the perfect time to switch apartments. After all, who wants to move in the winter?
There’s a lot of buyer beware information out there about credit cards and its ugly step-cousin, consumer debt. While many of these ‘kid in a candy store’ warnings are good reminders of why it’s important to be responsible, there can be some definite pluses to owning a plethora of cards (Okay, maybe not a plethora but you get my point).
You love the great outdoors. You’ve been waiting all year for the six feet of snow to melt, the flowers to bloom, and the leaves to come out. Summer has come and now it’s time to get your tent on…or your trailer. While camping has a reputation for being a cost-effective way of doing your vacation, there are still ways to stay on budget. Check out the savings below:
Good morning and happy Friday!
We found a number of good reads to start your weekend off on the right foot, so let's get into it. I hope your weekend is full of long naps, yummy brunch and warm sunny weather.
Grad season is here! It’s an exciting time for your teen as they get ready to celebrate the end of high school and the beginning of the next stage of their life. While grad can be a wonderful experience, it can also get really expensive for you and your teen. Whether they plan to go all out or want a smaller affair, here are some cost-cutting ways to keep it classy:
What have you read lately?
The beauty about a book is that you pay $10-20 for years worth of wisdom and experience. Whatever you want to do right now has already been done by someone and written all about.
I can’t believe how much thought young people will put into where they go on a Friday night and how little thought they put into buying their first home.
Sure, your choice of vodka is important, but a hangover will go away. Your new home and home-related expenses won’t go away so fast. You only have one first home that you’re going to buy. You only have one shot at making the right financial move with a first home.
Ah, Kijiji. It’s the best place on the internet to get a deal on just about anything, provided you’re okay with meeting possibly crazy strangers in public places.
“Do you remember your first summer job?”
Sadly, summer isn’t only about drinks on the patio. For some reason a friend asked me this a little while back. I started thinking about my multiple summer jobs. I almost forgot about some of the odd jobs that I held during the summer months. As a teenager (and adult too) I’ve always used my summers as a chance to make tons of money. I’ve never been much of relax-in-the-summer type of guy. I see this as the perfect time to make money and build up my savings.
Is travelling your passion? Do you like to get the best bang for your buck? These travel rewards credit cards will help you get to where you want to go. Check out my favourite ten travel rewards cards, five with annual fees and five without. Make sure you are comparing credit card offers to make sure you're getting the best deal.
Can you make money by driving people?
I officially started driving for Uber on May 8th as an experiment to see if driving folks around would be a profitable business venture. If you’ve been following the news, you know that Uber and other companies are now allowing drive sharing services. The passenger saves money and a regular person is allowed to become a driver for profit. You have to pass the background check and go through the screening. Then you’re in.
Do you flip through House & Home magazine and make grand plans for your own home? Do you want to update your home so you can update the price when you sell? While this can be a great way to increase the value of your home, you want to make sure you’re getting the best return on your investment. Here are four renovations to sidestep if you want to save money:
“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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
“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.
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.
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.
It’s that time of year again, time to spoil mom with some of these DIY gift ideas on her special day:
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!
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 kind of credit card are you using?
Your credit card is one of the most important financial tools in your wallet.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
“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.
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.
“What’s the money like for college sports?”
That’s what I asked my buddy when I saw him watching a game once.
Happy Good Friday!
Furious 7 comes out in theatres today and we're giving away 11 awesome prizes to celebrate.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!