Want to save money? Ad Ignorance is Bliss.

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Humans love the idea of a deal. It triggers a strange part of our brain that makes us feel like we’ve won something. Like a “HA! I got product X at such a bargain. Those poor suckers who paid full price!”

The thing is, you didn’t really win if the sale was advertised. The retailer wanted you to know about it. If anything, you did them a favour by clearing out old inventory that they might have thrown out anyway, or they simply tricked you in thinking it was a sale when the sale is actually just a price point that’s always there.

Continue reading “Want to save money? Ad Ignorance is Bliss.”

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Frugal Approaches to Foreign Currency Exchange

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Frugality and efficiency go hand in hand. Us frugal folk – we’re weird, you see. We overbuy discounted things in bulk to save money and time in the future. We frequently talk the shortest route walking anywhere because any additional step would be inefficient. We are minimalists with little clutter (or at least we aspire to to be).

But one area where efficiency is simply difficult to achieve is when we shop elsewhere – specifically in other currencies. Left and right, the ability to transact in a currency other than the Canadian dollar is provided at sometimes ridiculous premiums of up to 10%.

Continue reading “Frugal Approaches to Foreign Currency Exchange”

Why I despise tax refunds

A refund? No thank you.

tax refund

Sometime in April 2015, I logged into my bank account and saw the CRA had deposited over $7,200 into my checking account. My tax refund had come through. I did a little jig and then slapped myself across the face for putting myself in that position.

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Stressed About RRSP Time? Try this.

Why you shouldn’t fear the deadline.

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March 1st. The day every year where Canadians rush to the bank to contribute to their Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).

The benefit is real: contributions made before the deadline can be deducted from a Canadian’s taxable income in the 2017 tax year, which either reduces a tax hit or can generate a refund. Meanwhile, RRSP money grows on a “tax-free” basis (more on that later…), with the withdrawals getting  tax deferred treatment in retirement at a lower rate (ideally, if you plan it right).

Continue reading “Stressed About RRSP Time? Try this.”

Boxing Day: The Day I Didn’t Shop.

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July. November. December. Three dates marked on many a shoppers’ calendar. And why not? There is honestly so much bold and CAPS happening. On mailed flyers. In emails. On websites. In storefronts. It’s like retailers collectively decide to work together to tell you: “GO SHOPPING. PLEASE.

Continue reading “Boxing Day: The Day I Didn’t Shop.”

Oversubscribed

And why I don’t even have Netflix.

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As consumers, we are over-contracted with pay-for-service subscriptions these days. Such as:

  • Fitness clubs
  • Home phone (ha!)
  • Cell phone
  • Home internet
  • Cable television
  • Newspapers
  • Banking plans (technically not a subscription service… but it kind of is, right?)
  • Costco
  • Amazon Prime
  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Sirius XM Radio
  • Insurance Plans
  • Software Plans

Continue reading “Oversubscribed”