Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm sorry to all my readers for the absence. I've been in the maternity ward. My little girl arrived early June, and now having had time to settle in with her, I am ready to get down to business. Don't be surprised if there seems to be more baby consumer news than usual.

Good to be back and thanks for your support.

Happy Shopping!!

Long Distance Phone cards

If you have ever called anyone overseas, then you at some point have had to use a long distance phone card. There are hundreds of them out there, and depending on where you are calling, you can get one suited to that area of the world. The cards are meant to be an alternative to traditional long-distancing calling plans, where most times, you have a long or short-term commitment, depending on your plan. You buy these cards based on how long you think your call will be and whether you are calling to a cell phone or a landline. They cost anywhere from $2.50 to $20. If you don't use up all the minutes, they are supposed to be there for you to use next time. However, there is a daily fee that is charged and taken out of the money you have available on the card. You might find that, if you do not use your card within 2 weeks, this fee will eat up the remainder of your calling card and you will have to get a new one.

The problem with these cards is that in the beginning, they were a good deal, with no commitments and for considerably cheap, you could make a long distance phone call. But recently, these cards have not been working as well as they promise. I make long distance calls to Africa often, and have found that the connections have not been clear or I cannot get connected at all. Meanwhile, my funds were being eaten up. Eventually, I got tired of calling their customer service and have stopped using these cards altogether. While searching for a long distance provider, I ran into Comwave. I have found their rates cheap and their service very friendly and easy to use. The connection to Africa (at least) has been excellent. If in search for a long-distance plan and not getting much out of those phone cards, check them out.

Happy Shopping!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Payday Loans

You may have seen companies around your city or town — or seen websites — that offer "payday loans". Payday loans are small loans that a borrower usually is required to pay back on or before his or her next payday (whether that payday is from a job or from some other income source, like a pension). Payday lenders often limit the loan to about 30 or 40% of the expected net amount (i.e., the amount after taxes and other deductions) of the borrower's next paycheque. Usually, the borrower writes a cheque to the lender for the amount that was borrowed, plus all of the interest and fees. The cheque is usually post-dated to the next payday, and is usually cashed at that time.

Before you consider applying for a payday loan, remember this: payday loans are the most expensive way to borrow money, so consider all of your options. To learn more about payday loans, please visit the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, where you will find an informative brochure entitled The Cost of Payday Loans. (courtesy of Industry Canada)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


With the state of the current economy, a lot of people are hoping to ride it through by either drowning their sorrows or hoping to win it big with gambling. Like with most difficult financial periods, people still find the money for alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. This is great news for lotto retailers and casinos but not so good for the rest of us who are hoping that by twist of luck, that is how we will make our millions. Already very addictive, lottos and casinos have not seen a downward swing in players like other venues and activities have. This is in part to the "maybe" factor. MAYBE tonight's my night; MAYBE I'll pick those lucky numbers; MAYBE I'll be at the right machine. The truth is, the likelihood of hitting it big with the lotto is 1 in 14,000,000 and the odds at a casino is just as big. This is not to say I am against gambling, absolutely not, I enjoy the occasional "scratch and win" and I am part of a lotto group at work. It is just sad to see many people who (these days) are so down on their luck, turning to something which in the long run will turn into a bigger problem. Play responsibly and as the OLG says, "know your limit, play within it".
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