Once again, consumers are having to shell out more money for car insurance in Ontario. At the end of 2009 car insurance rates will be going up an average of 9%, 10% if you live in Toronto. Ontario not only has the most expensive insurance in Canada, it is the most expensive in North America. As usual, the insurance companies are trying to protect their asses by blaming Ontario's "expensive rehabilitation" costs and of course, where do those costs go? They are passed on to policy holders. The insurance industry wants the government to limit the amount of claims, this will then save on what they (insurance companies) pay out for accidents, repairs, etc. They claim these savings will then be passed on to the consumer, until then they have no choice but to increase rates. Sounds like a load of crap to me. Even if that was the case, insurance companies have been known for their greed, so much so, they would find another reason to hike up rates. What does the government have to say about all this? They claim insurance rates are better now than they were 6 years ago. Wow! Really? How putting together a concrete policy to stop Ontarians from having to forever fork out money for insurance rates that seem to have no ceiling? Oh, I know why, because the more consumers pay, the more money the government makes. Unbeliveable!
Although banks set daily debit limits, one of the biggest mistakes consumers make when they are paying for a transaction by debit is not double checking the amount that has been inputted by the merchant, to make sure it is correct. I've personally had the experience of almost debiting the amount of $5008 for a $50.08 purchase (it would not have gone through because my daily debit limit is $1000.) I noticed before I continued on with the purchase transaction and it was cancelled. Consumers have to be wary and vigilant. Most consumers would only notice the large amounts like my $5008 and would probably think well what's a penny here or there? But a penny here and a penny there adds up, and besides, it is your money. Why pay more for something you don't have to?
Credit card purchases are also another opportunity for merchants to make mistakes when inputting your tab. Before signing for your purchase, ensure the purchase amount is correct. With a credit card, after signing, you are declaring that the amount is correct. If an error cannot be rectified with the store, then it should be corrected with the credit card company. You will have to provide proof of the error.
Noticing these mistakes before you complete your transaction will not only save you money it will save you time and energy. Keep any eye out, pay attention and you will experience less headaches and annoyances on your next shopping trip.
Unfortunately the days of the mom 'n' pop shop are long gone. I realized this today when I got up nice and early to do some shopping for an event I was having. My first destination was the liquor store at 9:20am, only to find that they don't open until 10am. As I stood there, I could see the employees trying hard to not make eye contact with me. As if to say, 'if we make eye contact we will be compelled to open the doors for you.' After about 5 minutes of waiting in my car, I decided to leave and go elsewhere for my drinks. Even then, because the sale of alcohol is controlled by my province, I only had the option of going to 1 other place for my purchase. After that, it was off to the bank. I reached the bank at 9:50am. At 9:59 and 57 seconds, one of the employees unlocked the door, just in time for them to open at 10:00am. It actually took him 3 seconds to unlock the door.
Later on in the day, I stepped back out to run an errand. I reached the store at 5:07pm, only to find out they closed at 5:00pm. Although I was pretty annoyed by that, it turned out I wasn't the only one. Another customer who had reached there at 5:04pm also found their doors locked and was fuming.
What has happened? It used to be that even a few minutes after closing hours, stores would make the exception for one or two customers to quickly come in and make their purchases. Opening a few minutes early was a nice gesture that said, 'don't stand out there in the cold waiting, c'mon in and get what you need.' I'll tell you what has happened, corporations realize that whether or not we make it on time for their operating hours, we will show up again tomorrow or the day after that, as we have no choice. We don't have many options for places where we can buy our liquor, do our banking or even get our prescriptions and they know it and are taking full advantage of it. Local stores which were run by a lovely older couple are long gone. I think they can only be found in places where there is a population of less than a 1000 or so. Our options no longer exist and unfortunately we now have to heed to the beck and call of the almighty corporation.
I miss the little shops, and every time I pass a small store that is now struggling to stay in business, I think of a much easier time, not so long ago. *Sigh*
As many Canadians continue to charge their credit cards, they are increasing their debt loads at an alarming rate. Getting into debt can happen very quickly, getting out of it is not so easy. Below are some tips for avoiding getting into serious credit card debt.
Do not apply for too much credit. Limit the amount of cards you apply for and have to two.
Use your card sparingly, for purchases such as gas and groceries.
Only charge amounts on your card that you know you can pay back before your next credit card billing date. Do this to avoid paying interest charges.
Choose a low-interest credit card over a rewards or points credit card if you intend on carrying a balance. Rewards cards are nice, but often come with higher interest rates.
Do not use your card for frivolous, spur of the moment purchases. Using your credit card for an expensive pair of shoes you might never wear is a waste of money. Always plan your purchases.
File your credit card receipts for 3-5 months. After the fifth month, look back at your purchases and see which ones you could have avoided. You might be surprised to find that some or many of your purchases did not have to be done by credit. This will prompt you to think about future purchases.
Leave your credit card at home if you are going somewhere you know you will be tempted.
Credit card companies periodically increase the credit limits of their customers. If this has happened to you, call your credit card company and request your limit to be decreased. This will keep your debt load low.
Shred your credit card receipts instead of throwing them away to avoid identity theft.
Notify your credit card company of any unauthorized purchases or any discrepancies.
Living in an abundant country like Canada, it is easy to take the basic necessities of life for granted. Access to food, clean water, clothes, education, free speech are some of the things many of us overlook. As we watch the news or read the newspaper, it is easy to feel detached from this chaotic world around us. Wars, natural disasters and persecution are just a few of the headlines that scream out at us. While the media tells us that the economy is making a comeback, on the streets and in many homes, the news is different. Some of us are unemployed, homeless, sick, hungry or just trying to make ends meet.
This Thanksgiving, while celebrating with friends and family, working, walking, bike riding, whatever, take a moment and give thanks for all that you have.
It's getting to that time of year when 2010 calendars are coming out. There are many companies offering free calendars, you just have to know where to look.
For the next several months, I will be posting (as I find them) sites and companies that are offering free calendars. If you know of any, please send me the information (company and/or URL) and I will post it.
First off, I’d like to say that FabulousSavings.ca is the Canadian counterpart of FabulousSavings.com, which has been in the online coupon business for ten years. Granted, FabulousSavings.ca is new, but it’s got the experience to help you save money.
FabulousSavings.ca is one of the only true online coupon websites in Canada. Once you hit the homepage, you instantly realize the possibilities. Thanks to the easy-to-use and effective search front, any coupon is within a quick search. Also, our twelve categories, seasonal rotational banner and prominent social media presence make finding the right coupon and connecting with FabulousSavings.ca a breeze!
FabulousSavings.ca works to ensure saving money is easy for you. We've built relationships with each of our retailers to ensure that our coupons are valid, trusted and always working.
And using our coupons is simple. For example, to save on your hotel stay, visit the specific FabulousSavings.ca webpage for Orbitz Canada (www.fabuloussavings.ca/online/ca/orbitzcanada). Click on the coupon you want to use, and the FabulousSavinga.ca webpage will be redirected to Orbitz's own website. Then just book your hotel to receive an additional 10% off your hotel stay!
At FabulousSavings.ca, we update our coupons daily as retailers are always offering deals and offers based on the season, collections and more, so check back often for new coupons! We've worked to streamline our website as much as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through any of our social media networks. (Courtesy of FabulousSavings.ca)
As if Canadians are not taxed enough, here comes another 'tax' that is trying to hide behind the guise of a 'fee for carriage.' TV networks want us to believe that this new 'fee' will be used to help local television.
Canadians are coming together to say NO to this 'tax.' Below is some of the information that can be found on stopthetvtax.ca.
Saying that this is no time to ask Canadian families to pay up to $10 more per month on their cable and satellite bills, a coalition of Canada’s leading cable and satellite providers today launched a campaign to Stop the TV Tax at www.stopthetvtax.ca.
The campaign responds to the attempts by the large television networks to hide behind the issue of local television funding in order to obtain a new tax, a fee-for-carriage, on cable and satellite subscribers. The Coalition has launched the Stop the TV Tax campaign in order to ensure that Canadians hear the whole story. (Courtesy stopthetvtax.ca) Read more...
Recently, I was charged $40 NSF (insufficient funds) for a stop payment I made on my account for a pre-authorized transaction. The company I was to pay was notified and a new date was set up for them to withdraw funds. The stop payment was placed a few days before the withdrawal was to occur. Placing a stop payment on an account is supposed catch the transaction and although the original payment will go through the account, it will be returned into the account and marked as 'stop payment', avoiding an NSF charge. Bank of Nova Scotia charged me $12.50 for this service.
According to them, since I did not have the funds to cover the original payment that the company was going to take out, I am being charged for NSF. My question is this, if I had the funds to cover my payment, why would I need to put a stop payment? Is my bank kidding me? I am being charged $40 because I used a stop payment for what it was intended.
This is apparently their new policy. I've requested this 'policy' in writing, as I was never notified by phone, email, message center, mail or in person regarding this new 'policy'. When I was placing the stop payment on the account, I was not informed at that time either. What the bank has also failed to do is reverse my NSF fee or my stop payment fee, for a total of $52.50 in charges. I have left a message with them to request the reversal of one of these charges.
I am sick and tired of banks sneaking 'new policies' in at every whim and not notifying customers. It's interesting how these policies always seem to favour the banks' profits. It's also funny how they use their rules to try and sell you their products (VISA card, overdraft, personal line of credit, etc.) which are supposed to help you save money and avoid unnecessary 'charges.'
It looks like the banks have found another way to take more money away from hardworking consumers, (who are already feeling the financial pinch) and add to their already billions of dollars in profits. As consumers, it is our responsibility to check our bank books and transactions often and to take up any discrepancies with our banks. Most of us work too hard for our money to watch it being 'stolen' by institutions that already have way too much.
Prior to living on my own, I never realized the amount of junk mail that was received by consumers. Everything from home improvement to food to clothing. My average weekly amount is usually 10 pieces of mail. Rarely do they ever reach my house. I put them right back in the mailbox. I browse through them, look at what I might be interested in (usually not many) and I slot them back. I can't say it has decreased the amount of junk mail I receive but it does decrease the amount of unwanted mail I bring into my house that end up in the recycling bin.
Online searches regarding junk mail came up with the Red Dot Campaign. It is a campaign with basically two purposes in mind; first, to stop marketers from inundating consumers with advertising and second, to stop waste as a result of unaddressed marketing received in the mail.
As a wife and a mother of four, I need to stay in touch with what's going on in the consumer world. This knowledge not only keeps me informed, but helps me and my family to spend wisely, save money and communicate more freely.
I want to share this knowledge I have gained through my experiences, to you, my readers.-
If you have any questions, concerns, compliments or corrections, please feel free to contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.