The Dough Report
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:
Hey, the holidays are here! And that means family, food, and much-deserved time off. Whether you’re lighting the Menorah, gathering around the Christmas tree, or just relaxing by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa, we’d like to wish you a very happy holiday!
From the entire LowestRates.ca team, Season’s Greetings and all the best in the New Year!
The holiday season is still in full swing, but as the year comes to a close, many of us will be resolving to better ourselves in 2015. Our resolutions won't be entirely about hitting the gym and quitting the gin though – in fact, many Canadians' New Year's resolutions revolve around financial fitness.
So far, it seems like the city of Calgary is almost entirely unaffected by the bloodbath in the oil sector.
The price of crude has cratered from nearly $110 per barrel in June, all the way to current levels around $55, a swing of almost 50%. Canada’s energy giants have been forced to adapt in a number of ways, including cutting capital expenditures, slashing dividends, and delaying new projects, especially in the oil sands.
Being in credit card debt isn’t a lot of fun.
The holidays are almost here! Stores are bustling with sales and flights are being booked to warmer climates (not that we’re jealous or anything...). But as people plan their vacations and make their shopping lists we began to wonder -- just how much does the average Canadian spend during the festive season?
For most Canadians, buying a house is the largest financial commitment they’ll ever make.
The holiday season is upon us, which means we will spend much of our time shopping for gifts, preparing hearty meals, and making room for family in our homes. We are also encouraged to support the less fortunate who may be unable to enjoy the type of holiday that many of us take for granted.
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.