The Dough Report
“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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
So your beautiful bundle of joy has arrived and you’re brimming over with happiness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another money saving post from LowestRates.ca!
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.
It’s happened to all of us. You’re halfway through your contract and you find a better deal somewhere else.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: