What To Do With the Cash in My RRSP and TFSA Brokerage Accounts

It’s time to park my cash so what can I get for it and how?

How Much Should I Budget for Food If Nursing Homes Budget Is $8.33 per day?

Why exactly do prisoners need more food a day than pensioners?

How to Get T5 Tax Documents for Your Online Bank Accounts at EQ Bank, Oaken Financial, PC Financial, Tangerine, ZAG Bank

It’s almost tax time again. How joyful! Here’s how I rounded up some T5s.

Another Teenager TFSA Investing Approach: Buy Stocks In Individual Blue Chip Dividend Paying Or Growth Companies

Here’s another way a teenager could use their TFSA.

How Should I Invest In My Tax Free Savings Account, TFSA, After I Have an Emergency Fund?

A TFSA is a great place to invest and a stock-market-mirroring couch potato approach is a good one for many new investors.

What Could or Should a Teenager Do to Invest in a Tax Free Savings Account, TFSA?

Do you want to get a payday loan or open a TFSA?

How I Saved 25% on Our Home Insurance Policy

It can pay to read the fine print on your insurance policy.

What Is the Best Rate I Can Get Right Now (January 2017) for My Cash In a Savings Account?

It’s time to find the best place to park our roof and furnace funds.

Which Bank Offers the Best No Fee Chequing Account: PC Financial or Tangerine?

Tangerine has changed its interest rates spurring a review of which bank offers the best chequing account.

Did Amazon Inflate Its Cyber Monday Shipping Statistics And How to Return An Item

Yes, I do have a suspicious mind.

How to Link Your Tangerine or Other Bank Account to Your EQ Bank Account

Now that EQ Bank has finally joined the electronic age, you can set up transfers from your external bank account, such as at Tangerine, into EQ Bank to reduce the hold time on money you want to park at EQ.

How to Link Your EQ Bank Account to Your Other Bank Online With No Mailing of a Cheque

I like linking my bank accounts so I can push money quickly to where I need it. EQ Bank just made it easier for me to set up the links.

If I Keep 50% of My Portfolio in Fixed Income What and Where Do I Keep It?

What goes into my “fixed income” asset class especially in this day of low, but possibly rising, interest rates?

You Have to Be Rich to Get a Minimum Wage Job! What It Cost for My Teen Relative to Get Their First Job

Are employers expecting too much of new hire teen students?

How to Open a Tangerine Savings Account After You Open a Tangerine Chequing Account

It’s very simple to open a Tangerine Savings account if you are already a customer.

Why Might a Second RESP for a Niece, Nephew, Grandchild, Godchild or Other Loved Child be a Good Idea?

There are times when it might be better to open a second RESP for a child than to hand cash to the parents to put into the first RESP.

Should I Set Up a Second RESP for My Nephew, Niece, Godchild or Other Loved Baby?

You may want to help someone else’s child pay for an education. Here’s some things to consider before opening a RESP for that child.

Tangerine Isn’t Really Competing with PC Financial on Interest Rates This Fall

Why my savings are not currently parked at Tangerine.

Tangerine Bank Offers a Free e-Book Copy of the Wealthy Barber Returns

This book is easy to read and offers positive advice which isn’t always true of financial books. And now you can get it for free. (At least for a few months.)

How to Set Up Direct Deposit for Your Pay Cheque Into a Tangerine Bank Account

A first job results in a first pay cheque or in this case a first direct deposit.

How to Set a Warning Alert for Your Tangerine Savings and Chequing Bank Accounts

I don’t really expect anyone to try to steal my $49 from my Tangerine account but if they do, I want to read about it first in an email.

PC Financial Starts the Interest Wars With a 2.25% Offer

Time to transfer my cash savings around again to get a rate closer to the rate of inflation.

How Costco Bought Me Back With a Chicken, a Salad and $10

How Costco lured this reluctant member back into their empire.

My Child Is Now 15 (Or 16) What Should I Do with My Self-Directed Brokerage RESP?

Should I move my RESP before my child starts university or college? What should I be invested in and for how long?

Checking Into Auto Insurance with TD Meloche Monnex for a New Teenaged Driver

As our nieces and nephews grow up, I start wondering just what we’re looking at paying for car insurance for our own kids in a few years.

Checking for the Best Car Rental Rate for a Canadian Vacation

Renting a car can make a family vacation astronomically expensive–if you take the first rate offered.

How Did We Use Up Our AIR MILES Dream Rewards Miles Before They Expire?

With the help of our AIR MILES we are off to look for black and white creatures this summer including Pandas and Penguins.

My Teenager Needs Their First Bank Account with a Debit Card, Cheques and No Fees: Which Bank Should They Choose?

I’m still using Crest so my teens will open accounts at no-fee banks if I have any say in the decision.

Completing Setup of a Tangerine Chequing Account Using the Canada Post ID Check

After my teenage relative finished applying for a Tangerine chequing account online, he took his id to a Canada Post outlet nearby along with the Canada Post DSS Barcode provided by Tangerine. The postal employee checked the id and thenaaa

How to Open a Tangerine Chequing Account If You Don’t Have Any Bank Accounts Anywhere

Before a first job it may be necessary to open a first bank account: Tangerine offers a great chequing account with no fees for regular banking and no minimum balance plus you get a debit card.

Budgeting for Retirement: How Much Should I Expect My Property Taxes to Increase Each Year?

I know our property taxes have gone up every year but how much should I expect them to go up per year once we’re retired?

With 15 Years Till Retirement, How Much Annual Return Growth Can I Expect for XIC the Canadian TSX Stock Market ETF?

The financial planning articles I read keep saying “based on a return of XX after inflation, they will have YY$ to spend in retirement.” I wondered what return after inflation I could use for planning the growth of my S&P Composite TSX ETF so I went online to investigate.

No Easy Answers to Saving in The Retirement Catch-Up Guide

I’m always looking for a quick way to enhance our retirement savings so I snagged this book from our library hoping for unconsidered insights.

What Inflation Rate Should I Use for the Cost of Electricity? How Much Does Electricity Go Up Each Year?

In which I try to find a pattern in the rate of increase of our electricity bills.

How Can I Estimate My Spending Using a Black Box Method Instead of Keeping a Spending Journal or Log? Part Two

We had some odd “income” streams that we needed to include before we could calculate our actual annual spending.

How Can I Estimate My Spending Without Doing a Spending Journal or Log? Part One

If you forgot to keep a spending log last year you may still be able to figure out your total expenditures. The total may be higher than you think.

Beware the New Account Inactivity Fee for BMO MasterCard !

This week I dug the old BMO MasterCard out of the safety deposit box and used it to buy some groceries. Here’s why.

How Did My Income Tax Program Use Up All of My Tuition and Education Amounts So Quickly?

Once more the government’s trying to trick you by talking about big savings but giving you much much less.

How to Close an Extra Tangerine Savings Account When You Reach Your Savings Goal

Yep, I closed a Tangerine savings account.

Review: Why I Won’t Recommend Opening an Account at Zag Bank

I may be the only person who couldn’t successfully open an account at Zag Bank.

Where Should I Keep My Short Term Cash That I Need for Rent, a Reno, Buying a Home or Tuition to Make the Highest Interest?

So many banks, such low interest rates. Where should I park my money?

How to Deposit an Interac e-Transfer of Cash from an EQ Bank Account

Is it easier to deposit an Interac e-Transfer than a Tangerine email money transfer?

How to Use a Free Interac e-Transfer to Move My Money from EQ Bank to my Friend’s BMO Bank Account

EQ Bank offers 5 free Interac e-Transfers a month, unlike Tangerine and PC Financial which charge a fee for them.

How to Use the CRA My Account Auto-fill Feature to Add Info to your 2015 Tax Return Using StudioTax 2015 for Free

I wondered exactly *what* the CRA My Account auto-fill feature would upload into my 2015 income tax return if I tried it using StudioTax 2015. So I tested it out.

Finding Information on the CRA My Account Website to Prepare Your Tax Return

Before I try to use the CRA information download to pre-fill in my income tax return for 2015, I thought I’d better look at what information the CRA already has on file for me.

How to Report a Late Delivery for a Canada Post Xpresspost Item to Claim Your Refund and Get Free Delivery

How I saved $17.10 and got my parcel delivered half-way across the country.

How to Download and Install StudioTax 2015 to Do and NETFILE Your April 2016 Taxes for Free

It’s time to get cracking on my taxes: that $2.18 refund should just about buy me 2 peppermint teas.

What Reward Gives Me the Most Value When I Redeem My Petro-Canada Petro-Points?

A reader asked for an update for 2016 on the best way to use Petro-Points now so here’s the info.

What’s New for Tax Time for Your 2015 Return Due April 2016 Including the New Auto-fill Return Software Feature

A new software feature, a caution about email, an update on “income splitting” and a couple of tax programs to consider.

How to Deposit a Cheque By Taking a Photo Using the EQ Bank App

If a bank has no ABMs or ATMs and if they don’t want to get a lot of mail from Canada Post, they have to offer another way to deposit cheques.

How to Link an EQ Bank Savings Account to a Second External Chequing Account at Another Bank for Electronic Funds Transfers

How long did I wait on hold when I phoned EQ Bank in February 2016 to get another account linked for transfers?

How to Contribute to Your RRSP at CIBC Investor’s Edge By Transferring from a Linked Account

It’s simple and fast to contribute to your RRSP at Investor’s Edge.

How to Create More Savings Accounts at EQ Bank for Different Purposes

You can have more than one savings account at EQ Bank if you like to see at a glance what you’ve saved for various goals.

What’s New for Tax Time for Your 2015 Return Due April 2016 If You Have Children?

Lots of families are getting one or two new tax slips in the mail this year and are looking in vain for a non-refundable credit.

How Long Will It Take to Open My Savings Account at Zag Bank and EQ Bank?

Well I hope the short-term high interest rates at Zag and EQ Bank last long enough for me to get a deposit made first!

How To Enter the Disability Tax Credit For Adult Dependants Using StudioTax 2015

This method can be used to find other forms in StudioTax, too.

Where Can I Get a Good or at Least Decent Rate on a GIC for my RRSP?

It looks like Oaken may have the best to offer this year.

How to Open a Bank Account at EQ Bank to Get the 3% Interest on Its Daily Savings Account

Here I go again: this time I’m lured by a 3% open-ended offer for daily interest.

What Is EQ Bank and Why Should I Open a Savings Account There?

Yet another high interest savings offer from an e-Bank? I check out what EQ Bank has to offer.

Why Being Old Means I’m Not Upset by the Plunging Canadian Dollar, the Stock Market Meltdown or the Crude Oil Price Crisis

Are you in the Alfred E. Neuman club?

I’m Opening an Account Today at Zag Bank So I Can Earn 2.5% on Cash in my Savings Account

I’m chasing interest rate offers again to try to keep up with inflation.

Why Buying an Index Fund ETF Must be for the Long Term Not for a “One Year Wonder”

What investment did I make in 2014 that had a better return in 2015 than XIC or a one-year GIC?

What Happens If You Deposit a Spouse’s Cheque in Your Tangerine Account By Mistake?

Don’t count on banks to save you from your own mistakes.

How to Check the Cash Redemption Value of a Premium Canada Savings Bond

If you’re going to cash in a savings bond to invest elsewhere you may want to check its value first.

How Does Walmart Online Shopping and FlexDelivery with Free Pickup at Canada Post Work? A Review

In which I test a free parcel delivery service offered by Canada Post during the Christmas rush with surprising (to me) results.

How to Add a Link to Another Bank to Your PC Financial Bank Account for Transfers

It looked like PC Financial had finally upgraded to offer an electronic means to link bank accounts….

How Your Innocent High Tech Purchase May Be Spewing Out Carbon Dioxide Emissions

I’m not so sure I’d invest in this courier company.

Is a PRESTO Transit Fare Card Worth It?

Why I got a PRESTO card even though I can walk to work.

How I Saved $5.40 Off the $99 Sale Price for Office 2016 And Got a Roll of Designer Duct Tape Plus $1 Back

I enjoy saving a few bucks when I can and getting a free roll of duct tape made it even better.

What Makes a Great Gift for Someone Who Has Everything and Doesn’t Want Anything?

And I thought it was all about the TripTiks: wrong!

Is It Safe to Use Oaken Financial for My GICs? Does It Work? How Can I Add a Joint-Owner to a GIC?

All went well with my Oaken GIC replacement but this time I added a Joint Owner.

How I Unexpectedly Got a Discount on VIA Rail Tickets

It’s much more comfortable to take the train from Toronto to Montreal than to drive the 40/201 through a blinding snowstorm: especially if I can get a really good rate from VIA.

How to Transfer Money Between Your PC Financial Account and Another Bank Account

In which I test the new PC Financial website by transferring a few $$ into our No Fee account to cover the cheques demanded by our children’s schools for various items.

What’s the Best Rate I Can Get for My Money for 1 to 2 Years from a GIC?

In which I go shopping for GIC rates for our short-term savings.

Whoops! There Goes the Free Overdraft Protection from Tangerine

Whoops! there goes another Tangerine benefit leaving their current accounts even more similar to their competitors’.

Where Can I Get the Best Rate of Return for My Money that I Need In Two or Three Years?

Where should I put the money to buy our next furnace while we wait for this one to wheeze out its last gasp?

What Will Happen When My Oaken Financial GIC Matures?

My GIC is about to mature but do I have to fill in this form that arrived in the mail?

Should I Accept BMO’s Offer of $2000 of Free Accidental Death Insurance?

As Lucy van Pelt would say: “I know when I’ve been insulted!”

Thanks RedFlagDeals for the 3% Daily Interest Savings Account Rate at Tangerine

After making a short phone call I am now set to earn 3% on my savings account balance for 180 days. The moral? It can be worth asking for what you want.

When Will I Get My Tax Refund after I NETFILE Using StudioTax or GenuTax Standard 2014?

Is NETFILEing really going to speed up getting your refund?

Will a $11,000 TFSA Limit Balance the Senate Spending Scandal?

Does the TFSA limit increase “promise” have more staying power than the leaving income trusts alone “promise” had?

How to Buy a GIC Online from Oaken Financial

Oaken Financial has improved their website and now you can buy a GIC online without phoning them.

How Will the Government Know to Send Me the New Child Benefit Money for my Older Children?

My children stopped getting the UCCB years ago: how do I get it started up again for the new benefit for children aged 6-17?

My Best Personal Finance Decisions

Reading about decisions others make about spending and investing made me stop and think about our own choices. Here are a few of the good ones, not counting buying CNR which has also turned out pretty well.

What Should You Do If You Get an Automated Phone Call Saying Your Credit Card Has Been Fraudulently Breached?

Would you return an after-hours robot call to an unknown toll-free number to discuss your credit card?

Can I Get the Maximum Family Tax Cut If My Lower Income Partner Contributes More to a RRSP?

Whenever the government changes the tax rules there’s always someone checking to see how they can maximize their profit.

You Think You’re Fine for Retirement But What Happens If Your Partner Dies Will You Still Have Enough Income? Part 2: Personal Savings (RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, Annuity) Retirement Income

Have you taken these steps with your RRSPs, RRIFs and TFSAs? Do you understand how combining RRIFs can affect your OAS or GIS? And is your partner ready to handle the money?

You Think You’re Fine for Retirement But What Happens If Your Partner Dies: Will You Still Have Enough Income? Part One: Work Pension Income in Retirement

Have you forced yourself to check the details of any work pension plans to see how your partner would be affected if you die, or you would be affected if they die?

Should I Wait to Claim My Tuition Fees Until I’m Earning More Money?

Delaying some types of income tax claims can save you money; others don’t.

Writing Something Off On Your Taxes Does Not Mean It’s Free!

Why you shouldn’t buy a new printer for your office without some serious thought.

Does GenuTax Standard Free Software Calculate the New Family Tax Cut Income Splitting Reduction?

It’s too late now to make more money last year but if you had here’s a few cases and what GenuTax says you would have saved on your 2014 tax bill if you were a couple with a child under 18.

Does StudioTax Calculate This New Family Tax Cut Income Splitting Reduction For Me?

How much can we save with this new Family Tax Cut? Will it be dim sum or Disney?

How to Set Up a Bill Payment Using BMO Online Banking

In which I risk tangling with Bell’s billing department yet again.

How to Buy a RRSP GIC from Peoples Trust

If you’re going to buy a GIC at Peoples Trust for your RRSP to claim on your 2014 taxes you’d better start clicking fast!

How to Download and Install Free Tax Software to NETFILE Your 2014 Canadian Income Tax Return

It’s time to download tax software to prepare your 2014 tax return. Fortunately GenuTax Standard and StudioTax are still both free and both approved to NETFILE your return for free!

Is the Tangerine Offer of Cash for Transferring Your RRSPs to Them a Good Deal? Where Should I Consider Keeping my RRSP Investments?

Tangerine is offering a small cash incentive for transferring a large RRSP to them. Is it a good deal? Where else should you consider keeping your RRSP money?

Is It Safe (and Ethical) to Insure Your Parent to Fund Your Own Retirement?

Would you feel uneasy if your brother had Power of Attorney for Personal Care for your aged parent and he also would get a million dollars from a life insurance policy when your parent dies that’s costing him $3400 a month while your parent is alive?

CIBC Investor’s Edge Really Wants Your Business: Free ETF Trades, Cash Back, Free Stock Trades

Investor’s Edge is offering free purchases and sales of 1900 ETFs just in time to re-balance our portfolio: how kind is that? They are also offering quite a package of incentives to lure in new customers and new money.

How to Save A Bit Buying Lego Mindstorms Robotics

I only found one way to save on Lego Mindstorms. If you’ve found a different way, please share it!

Think Twice Before You Give the CRA Your Email Address on Your 2015 Income Tax Return

I’m not giving the CRA my email address.

Where Can I Get the Best Rate of Return on my RRSP GIC?

It’s getting harder each year to find a good rate for a GIC even during “RRSP Season.” Here’s what was available today including 2.4% for a 1-year term.

Who Should I Name as the Beneficiary for my Non-Registered Investment Accounts?

I trust that you already know the answer but if not, read on.

Getting Ready to File Your Income Tax Return for 2014: Forms and Free Software

Rather than mountaineering over snow banks why not order your tax forms and guides from the comfort of your own computer? And while you’re at it, you can download FREE software to NETFILE your 2014 income tax return.

Investment Portfolio Stock, Bond and Index Fund Updates and Surprises for January

January has bought some pleasant investing surprises.

With the Drop in the Overnight Rate, What Interest Rate Can I Get On my Cash in my Brokerage Account?

If you have any cash parked in your brokerage account you may want to get it moving.

Retirement Planning: What Will You Actually Do with Your Life?

My grandfathers showed me two ways to live in retirement. Does one of their styles appeal more than the other to you?

Get Ready to Die: Revising Your Will and Guardians As Your Children Grow Older

Our children aren’t toddlers anymore and we’ve realized we need to update our wills to reflect some new realities. Seeing a car accident at close range reminded me it’s time to make the call.

How to Get Warned That your BMO Bank Account Balance Is Getting Low

I’d prefer something that magically creates new money and deposits it in my bank account but at least BMO is offering an easy way to get an email alert if our chequing account balance drops into the yellow zone.

How Can a Canadian Couple Legally Income Share to Reduce Taxes?

These two strategies allow some income-splitting between spouses regardless of whether they have any children.

How Did Our Investments Perform In 2014? Part Deux

Did we win or lose playing in the market this past year? Unlike previous years where I refused to even open the envelopes, this year I read our statements and report the results here.

How Did Our Investments Perform In 2014? I’ll “Shoyu” Mine! Part One

Well our “under the car seat and behind the couch cushions fund” has had a return of over 250%! Here’s how our other fixed income investments did.

What Was Our Personal Rate of Inflation in 2014 and How Does It Affect Our Retirement Plan?

Why I’m eyeing the crabapples thoughtfully after calculating our 2014 personal rate of inflation.

How to Contribute to Your TFSA Savings Account at Tangerine

It may be time to top up your TFSA if you’re using it as an emergency or short-term savings fund.

Should I Dump My Bond Funds? Are Interest Rates Finally Going Up?

What return did my bond funds yield in 2014?

Going South? Your Insurance Won’t Cover You If You Do This: Don’t Risk Losing Your House!

Have you attended to this detail to keep your home insurance policy valid while you’re exploring?

Is Someone with an Income of $2 000 a Month Rich? What’s My Rich Ratio?

Our Rich Ratio will change at retirement: Will it drop us out of the Happy Retirees category?

Comparing Canadian to US Dollar Cash Exchange Rate Options

A reader was checking recently about how to use Tangerine to buy USD and then transfer them to another bank to withdraw the US cash. It made me realize it’s been a while since I compared exchange rates offered byaaa

Fighting the Urge to Shop Too Much

Will anything stop me from shopping too much?

Customer Service at Swiss Chalet Soothes This Chick’s Ruffled Feathers

How our Food Bank benefited from Swiss Chalet’s mistake.

Planning the Best Way to Invest Our Emergency Fund

We needed a strategy to try to keep our emergency fund available but earning enough to meet or beat inflation.

Why I Don’t Expect People to Buy Me Christmas Presents

I’m a horrible pain to shop for because most of the best things at my Christmas don’t come from a store.

How to Transfer Funds Into Your Oaken Financial Savings Account

In which I test a transfer into our new Oaken Financial bank account. And in which the true identity of PC Financial is exposed to all!

How to Check Your CAASCO Account Including CAA Dollar Balance Online

I don’t want to keep phoning to check if my CAA dollars have landed in my account yet, so I signed up to be able to check online.

The TSX Is In Freefall: Time to Buy!

Wow! Good prices: New Money: What should I buy?!

How to Buy a Guaranteed Investment Certificate, GIC, at Oaken Financial

Could I buy a GIC online? How long do funds stay on hold? Can I buy while my funds are still on hold?

Redeeming Petro-Points for CAA Dollars for a Membership and a Bonus

Ah the joy of giving without the sting of a bill! And even better a tiny little bonus, too.

How to Deposit a Cheque by Taking a Photo Using the PC Financial Mobile Banking App

There are a few things I don’t like about what happens when you use the PC Financial app to deposit a cheque by taking a photo of it. In particular, I’d be leery of writing VOID on your cheque for a few business days after you submit the photo.

How to Set Up Online Banking with Oaken Financial

Well that was fast: my savings account is open; my GIC is purchased and my ability to transfer funds between banks is set up. How long did it take Oaken to complete these tasks?

How to Buy Shares of Stock or Units of ETFs Using the BMO InvestorLine App

Is marijuana legal in the location where the graphic designer lives who created the icons for the new InvestorLine app? These and other thoughts crossed my mind while executing a trade using the new iPad App. (And why you should be careful when using this App if you don’t want to end up long in Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.)

How to Download the BMO InvestorLine App and Why You Might Want To

How to download the InvestorLine app and two reasons why you might want to do so. (One involves real time quotes.)

How to Open a Higher Interest Daily Savings Account at Oaken Financial

Would you pick a fund with a MER of 0.25% or an identical one with a MER of 0.59%? Then you know why I’m opting to open a non-registered account and buy a GIC from Oaken Financial.

It’s Official: Tangerine is Charging a Fee to Transfer your RRSP or TFSA to Another Bank

Tangerine is starting to charge a fee to transfer out your RRSP. Did they provide any required notice of this change? Will they now reimburse your fees to transfer an RRSP in to Tangerine from another bank? I have more questions than answers at this point.

Shopping For the Best GIC Rate, Term and Flexibility: A Comparison of PC Financial, Tangerine, DUCA, Implicity, Oaken and Others

It’s time to get some of our emergency fund working to reduce the impact of inflation so we’re shopping for GICs. We won’t be visiting any banks, though. Here’s why.

Simplifying and Improving Our RRSPs: a Review of the Progress Made Over 4 Years

How one piece of paper can save your spouse $1 500 or more. This and other things I learned while straightening out the tangled strands of our RRSP skein.

Is November the Time to Revise Our Power of Attorneys and Help the Lung Association?

Our Powers of Attorney are decades old: it’s time to update them in the most charitable way possible.

What Are the Common Types of Registered Education Savings Plans and Which is Best?

Where’s a good place to open a RESP if you can’t or won’t invest in the stock market? What about if you want to buy equities but only have a small amount to invest each year? What about investors with large family-plan RESPs who want to buy ETFs? Here are some suggestions and considerations. Please add your own in the comments.

Deliberately Misleading Government Ads About Tax Breaks Anger No-Young-Children Canadians Needlessly

Why is there no law requiring truth in “advertising” from our government? And how is antagonizing taxpayers without young children helping to unify our country?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Holding a Self-Directed RESP Account at a Discount Brokerage

We considered many factors before moving our RESP to an online brokerage–here are some to consider.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Enrolling in a Group RESP Through a Private Company

There are many companies that offer to take your RESP contributions and invest them for you. In theory, when your child begins a program of education after completing high school, they then pay your child an amount as agreed toaaa

Advantages and Disadvantages of Holding a Registered Education Savings Plan, RESP, Through a Bank or Credit Union

Many of us start our first RESP at a bank or credit union for some of the reasons listed here; Many of us move our RESP later for some of the other reasons listed here.

How to Download Your Transaction History from a BMO Online Bank Account

It’s fast and simple to download your banking data from BMO but there’s one thing I wish they’d change.

A Review of Great Canadian Rebates and SoftMoc Online Shopping

I can barely wait till my children stop outgrowing their boots but in the meantime, I found a way to save a bit of money and still get them the cool style and colour.

How Are My “Defensive” Stocks Weathering the Recent Market Dip?

Some of our money is invested in individual stocks which are supposed to be less likely to nosedive when the market slumps. How is that strategy playing out during this recent drop in share prices?

Markets are Falling: When Should I Buy Now or Later? When Will Prices Reach the Bottom?

Ok you’ve found some money to invest with and the markets are slumping–when should you click Buy? A Wishy Washy Investor discusses how to develop your personal investing strategy.

How to Open a Tangerine TFSA Kick Start to Save in the Fall of 2014 for January 2015

If you got paid and therefore have new money to save which you couldn’t deposit to catch the last interest rate promotion from PC Financial or Tangerine, here’s another way to make some extra interest on it.

Which is Better Tangerine or PC Financial: When Will I Get My Bonus Interest from PC Financial?

When will you get your promotional bonus interest? Does Tangerine pay compound interest?

Testing the Rules of the Tangerine Interest Rate Promotion by Moving Money Between Spouses

In which I introduce the Crooks Contrivance and report on its efficacy. (Or, in other words, how I gamed the Tangerine system to get some extra interest on our savings.)

How to Enroll a BMO Bank Account for Online Banking

What would Spock say is illogical? Who is so security UNconscious that they frankly should not be allowed to online bank? And why do we have a bank account that is not electronically linked to any of our other accounts?

Is Our Health Coverage for Eye Care Worth It or Are We Losing Money?

Insuring our eye care costs must be a money-saving idea, right? After all they call it a work “benefit.” Yet we are slightly losing money by insuring our children for their orthodontic costs which made me uneasy. So I decided to check whether we are saving money by insuring our eye care or whether we are paying the insurance company more in premiums than we are receiving in benefits.

How to Set the Credit Score Monitoring Alert Settings for Your Equifax Account

After you open your Equifax account you can set up some email alerts to notify you about changes in your credit report that might indicate someone trying to fraudulently use your id to get a credit card or loan.

How to Setup my Equifax Premier Account with My Home Depot Security Code

Ok, now I have a code from Home Depot for Equifax monitoring I need to set it up. What exactly do I have to agree to?

What To Do to Protect Yourself from Fraud or Identity Theft Caused by the Home Depot Credit Card Security Breach

If only we hadn’t done that home repair on August 27, we wouldn’t have to play telephone tag with Equifax. If you bought something at Home Depot between April and September 2014, here’s what you also may need to know and do.

Ways to Save Money Paying for Orthodontics (Braces) for Your Child (or Yourself!)

We found a few ways to reduce our costs when paying for braces; If you saved some money too please share how!

How Soon Does a Cheque Deposited at CIBC Appear in an Account At PC Financial?

Imagine that you have only a few hours left to get your money deposited in your PC Financial account to get bonus interest: Can you meet the deadline depositing a cheque through a CIBC ABM? Read on for the answer to this breath-taking suspenseful question! (or not)

Why Do Markets at All Time Highs Mean a Crash Is Coming? Don’t Stocks Have to Go Up to Be Worthwhile?

Are you still putting new money in the markets or are you building your bunker out of gold bricks?

PC Financial Offers 3.1% Short-Term Rate to Lure Customers from Tangerine

If only I’d published this on the 8th, it would have been a scoop. Ah well, here’s the details of the latest salvo in the savings account interest rate wars.

How Much Should You Budget to Save for Your Child’s Orthodontic Work? What Do Braces Cost?

No one would tell me how much to save for our children’s teeth so I’m trying to help you by sharing what we found out. And please help others by sharing your experiences!

Are We Losing Money On Our Dental Plan Because of Orthodontic Coverage for Our Children?

Having a dental plan through work can be great. But recently I began wondering just who was paying whom when I started tallying up our premiums and our payouts!

What Rewards Do Loblaws, Longo’s, Metro, P.A.T., Sobeys, Starsky, and T&T Offer for Grocery Shopping?

Don’t you wish grocery stores just immediately gave you a few dollars off your grocery bill instead of making you collect and redeem points? Did you know there’s one chain in southern Ontario that offers just that?

Do You Transfer Your Cash Between Tangerine and PC Financial to Get the Highest Interest Rate?

Instead of offering a decent annual interest rate on savings accounts, some banks prefer to offer short-term bonus rates but only on new deposits. That’s led some customers to fight back and game the system. Are you one of them?

Will GenuTax Software Run on an iMac?

Should you choose your new computer based on your favourite free tax software?

How Risky Are My Preferred Shares: Should I Sell Now or Hold?

While wading out into the deeper waters of investing have I taken a step that will sink me? What risks am I taking by buying some preferred shares and will the benefits be enough to keep me afloat?

It’s Easy to Save If You’re Rich

Does Tichborne offer the ultimate in Staycations?

Why I Will Never Own an Expensive Luxury Car

How many cars will you have owned in over 30 years of driving life? Does our decision about the type of car to buy mirror yours or are we automobile-opposites?

How I Got $200 and 50 Free Trades from CIBC Investor’s Edge for a Self-Directed Brokerage Account

Sometimes it’s worth ignoring the internet and making a phone call!

Do I Have to Pay a Fee to Take Money Out of My Online Non Registered Self Directed Brokerage Account?

Five big Canadian banks have affiliated self-directed online brokerages that offer non-registered investment accounts. You’d think they’d all charge the same fee (or nothing) to take cash back out of your account, right? But they don’t! Before you open an account, you may want to know which brokerage charges nothing and which one charges $10 each time you take out cash.

What Is a Non Registered Brokerage Account?

When is it worth investing the money for your next car in a non-registered brokerage account? And an overview of what these accounts are, who offers them, what you can hold within them and how taxes apply to them.

How to Accept an Email Money Transfer Sent to You by a Tangerine Customer

It’s easier and faster to get your money if you’re also a Tangerine customer but anyone can accept an email money transfer from a Tangerine account. Here’s how to do it.

How to Email Money from Your Tangerine Chequing Account for Free

If you have three children paying university tuition this September, can you just email them each the money to pay their bills from your Tangerine chequing account? And why it depends whether they’re going to McGill or U of T.

How Is Defaulting on Your Credit Card Debt Different Than Robbing a Bank?

If you could pay back your debt, would you?

How to Set up a Computershare Personal Account to Manage Your Shares

I finally joined the electronic age and created a Computershare account to manage some stocks–I refuse to shred the old paper certificates though. Did I need a cell phone to do this and why did I need to pick a colour and three memorable words?

Another Race: Tangerine to BMO InvestorLine and CIBC Investor’s Edge

Another simple race to move RRSP money using T2033s.

How Many Bank Accounts Can I Open at Tangerine? Why Would I Want Several Bank Accounts?

Can I get five free cheque books from Tangerine by opening 5 accounts? Can I have an unlimited number of Savings accounts?

How to Buy a Mutual Fund at Tangerine for your TFSA, RRSP or Savings

If you want to start index investing with a small amount of money you easily can using Tangerine mutual funds. Here’s how to enroll and buy some units of the Tangerine Balanced Portfolio fund. As I checked into this, I discovered whether I could invest only $1 and whether a teenager could invest their lemonade stand profits.

What is a Business Bank Account? Do I Need One? How Do I Open One?

Aside from the higher fees, how do business bank accounts differ from personal bank accounts?

What Kinds of Business Bank Accounts Does Tangerine Offer?

The business account Tangerine offers is very simple but there was still one twist to application process that I didn’t expect. I was also curious whether you could deposit cheques for free into their business account because many business accounts charge a fee even for deposits. So I checked with Tangerine.

Do I Want my Retirement Income to Come From Dividends and Interest or Capital and Growth?

As we edge nearer to retirement I’m trying to position our investments to match our retirement plan. Of course that would be easier if we HAD a retirement plan. One of the first choices we need to make is whether we are planning to fund our retirement from the capital gains made by our investments or only from the dividends, interest and other income our investments generate.

Comparing the Interest Rate for a Business Savings Account at Tangerine versus the Big Banks

Why would anyone bother opening a Business Savings Account at Tangerine? Is the interest rate that much higher than the rates at BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotia, and TD?
(Also: Read on to find out which of those Big 5 Banks won my Personal Sneer of Disapproval award for making it very difficult to determine the interest rate they offer on their Business Savings Account.)

How to Buy a Guaranteed Investment Certificate, GIC, at Tangerine

Do you buy GICs as fixed income investments? Or do you buy them to prevent yourself from spending your cash? Here’s how to buy a GIC at Tangerine and an update on whether they are cashable GICs or locked-in ones. And why I hope to get 16 cents for Christmas 2015!

Our Expectations for Retirement

When I said I expected to live in my retirement like my relatives, someone challenged me to explain that further. So I did.

How Quickly Will I Get My New Account Bonus from Tangerine?

Everyone likes getting free money and getting it quickly is even better.

How to Transfer RRSP Cash to a RBC Direct Investing RRSP

It’s time to get some money moved and invested in some ultra-low fee ETFs using my free trades!

Why Do Oreos Always Go On Sale for Father’s Day?

Do Marketing Gurus know something about Fathers that we Mothers don’t? Are Rumballs a more energy-efficient dessert? Is KD to macaroni and cheese as tilapia is to salmon? Why do children like cookies in little foil pouches?

How to Confirm the Link and Transfer Money Between Your Tangerine Account and Your Other Bank Account

Or how I scored 23 cents from Tangerine for a minute’s worth of typing!

How to Connect a Tangerine Account to a Bank Account at Another Big Bank

You don’t have to mail in a cheque to connect your Tangerine savings account to another bank’s account. Also includes as a no-fee bonus: a sexist saying with which my Grade 8 teacher used to irritate us.

How to Check Your RRSP Contributions Using the CRA My Account Website

Was Duke Nukem the real reason the CRA started using computers to store its tax return information? Or is it just a meaningless coincidence that the data available through the CRA My Account website dates back to 1992?

Which Self-Directed Brokerages Handle Which RESP Grants, Bonds and Incentives?

Only some of the larger brokerages are offering support for most of the federal and provincial government education savings grants, bonds and incentives. Here’s a list of which brokerages are supporting which grants, and a list of links to read about the different programs from which your child may be eligible to receive money.

How to Change Your Income Tax Return by Mailing In a T1-ADJ Or a Letter

How I completed and mailed a request to revise my tax returns. And do you know why Shawinigan has a CRA office? (If you do you’re probably over 25.)

How to Change Your Tax Return by Filing a T1-ADJ Online Using Your CRA My Account

It’s worth claiming overlooked income tax credits and deductions: adjusting your tax return online takes only a few minutes and could pay you back handsomely.

How Can I Check What the Government Thinks Were My TFSA Contributions and Withdrawals?

Just like it’s worth checking your credit files every few years for oddities, it might be valuable to check what the CRA thinks your TFSA transactions have been. It’s surprisingly easy to do.

How to Get Into Your CRA My Account Tax Information Online to Check Info or Send In Changes

How to apply for online access to your tax information from the Canada Revenue Agency. Once you have access you can print out a history of your TFSA withdrawals and contributions; electronically file a T1-ADJ for prior years’ returns; and check what you carried forward for capital losses or education amounts.

What Info (T4, Tax Owing, RRSP Limits) Can You See Online from your CRA My Account Website?

There is quite a filing cabinet of information now available online through the CRA My Account site. Ever wonder whether you claimed your Education amount in 2002? Want to know your TFSA contribution and withdrawal history, as the CRA believes it happened? It’s all in there. No waiting on hold required!

One Reason Why Spousal RRSPs Are Useful and How to Make a Contribution to an Existing Spousal RRSP at Tangerine

Is there any reason for a Spousal RRSP now Canada has pension income splitting? We think so which is why I just added to our Spousal RRSP at Tangerine.ca.

Rogers Communications Misses Me and Wants “the Opportunity to Earn Back My Business!”

Why are trees around here banded with duct tape? It isn’t to trap gypsy moth caterpillars or to post advertisements for lost pets or garage sales.

ING Direct is Now Tangerine.ca: a Thank You to a Reader and an Update on Tangerine

Why you might need to call your insurance agent and your municipality and what happened to Streetwise and THRiVE plus how to get a bonus or a few bucks in extra interest. And a big thank you!

Why Couch Potato Investing Doesn’t Work

Are you bold, brave, strong and resolute enough to be a Couch Potato?

How to Complete a Business and Personal Income Tax Return Using GenuTax Standard

Although I must have pressed the F8 key on my keyboard two hundred times to do it, I used GenuTax standard successfully to complete a test case of a personal and business income tax return. Would I use it again? Is it better or worse than StudioTax?

How to Review and NETFILE Your Business and Personal Income Tax Return for Free Using GenuTax Standard 2013

Here’s how to NETFILE your tax return using GenuTax Standard 2013. It’s a little simpler this year thanks to some changes at the CRA.

How to File Your Taxes for Free Using NETFILE and StudioTax 2013

This is the first time I’ve had to report how much interest income I earned from mortgages. Did your tax software prompt you for this info before you NETFILEd your return?

Completing a Simple Business Income, Personal Tax Return and Spousal Tax Return Using StudioTax 2013

I tested StudioTax 2013 with a pair of linked spousal income tax returns, one for a spouse with a business income and one for a spouse with employment income. There were only a few things I had to watch out for.

Be Forewarned: Move Your RESP BEFORE You Want to Make a Withdrawal

I wasn’t expecting this rule when I skimmed a federal government document.

Testing Whether You Can Buy Shares the Day Before A Dividend is Earned and Sell the Day After

I really don’t suggest you follow my example and test this scenario for yourself.

What Happens to my OAS if I Sell a Cottage and Have a Large Capital Gain?

Here’s how you can estimate the amount of your OAS clawback if you enjoy a large capital gain and how you can request the government not withhold any of your future OAS payments if you don’t expect to realize any additional gains next year.

How Do You Fill Out Your Income Tax Forms?

When exactly does someone remove your cheque payable to the Receiver General from your tax return envelope? Do you think it happens right in the red Canada Post drop box, or is it a few minutes later?

Book Review Count On Yourself: Take Charge of Your Money

This is a book I would give to my cousin if he asked me where to start in getting control of his savings and investments.

Retirement Planning: Testing the TD Retirement Savings Calculator

Does TD think I have enough saved to fund our retirement? I’m not sure because using their calculator left me with some unanswered questions.

Retirement Planning: Testing the Canadian Government Retirement Savings Calculator

With some trepidation I used the Service Canada Retirement Savings Calculator to see what income we could expect in retirement. Then I started wondering how much Walmart pays those guys who stand near the door handing out carts and putting stickers on merchandise coming back for a refund.

Retirement Planning: How Much Do We Really Spend Now and How Much Will We Spend Then?

In which I survive two near heart attacks while trying to figure out how much we spend a year.

Borrowing Money Is Not For Me

What I have borrowed money to get and what I won’t pay interest for. Plus a scathing indictment of the government’s new light bulb policies.

How to Join Great Canadian Rebates

In which I test another online shopping kick-back program to see if I can get a few bucks back on a birthday present.

Review of StudioTax 2013 for a Student and a Parent Claiming Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts (T2202A)

StudioTax makes it a bit easier than GenuTax Standard to iterate how much to transfer from a student to a parent on a T2202A form but only if you know where to look.

Why It’s Worth Eating Out for Lunch and Why It’s Not

What things are worth more than their cost to you?

Testing GenuTax Standard 2013 for a Student and a Parent Claiming Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts

GenuTax Standard 2013 can be used to calculate taxes after transferring some or all of the Education amount from a student to a parent. It’s not perfect when a parent only needs to receive part of the Education amount to reduce their taxes to zero. The program also doesn’t warn you about one potentially upsetting circumstance if the student elects to carry forward the Education amount to use in future years.

I Doubt I Will Ever Fully Understand Fixed Income Investing in Bonds and GICs

Does anyone else but me wish that someone would write informative articles on what’s happening in the Fixed Income investing world? (Apparently not.)

Charitable Tax Receipts

Here’s a list of some of the charities using e-receipts and why it’s worth rummaging through your old email messages to find them.

How to Use StudioTax 2013 for a Simple Retired Person’s Tax Return (T4AOAS, T4AP, T4A, T4RIF, T5)

I tested using StudioTax 2013 to calculate an income tax return for a retired pensioner who receives a work pension, CPP, OAS and some investment interest. Here’s how it did.

Oops! I Just Agreed to Increase My Home Insurance Rate

2013 was not a great year for homeowners. Parts of southern Alberta including Calgary experienced devastating floods. Much of southern Ontario including Toronto suffered from a major ice storm. Ontario also experienced some flooding as well. Many homes were damagedaaa

Book Review: Managing Alone: Your Trusted Advisors’ Guide to Surviving the Death of Your Spouse

Reading this book made my spouse nervous but I promise I really did buy the Datura seeds for the garden.

Investing for Beginners: Don’t Buy Stocks, ETFs or Mutual Funds in a Non-Registered Investment Account Unless You Know How to Calculate an ACB

Please don’t set up a DRIP for a non-registered (not RRSP, not TFSA) investment if you don’t understand what an ACB is.
or
T3 and T5s Lull Unsuspecting Investors Into Expecting a Tax Form for Everything

Budgeting for Retirement: Reduce How Much You Must Pay on a Fixed Schedule

Are you eliminating monthly bills to reduce how much you are required to pay on a fixed schedule?

How to Get Back Your Old Bank Balance from a Forgotten Account

Did you ever misplace a traveller’s cheque before you cashed it? You might be able to get the money back: from the Bank of Canada.
Or for you ET viewers, do you know this celebrity who can’t be bothered to claim his own money back from the Bank of Canada?

How to Get the GenuTax Standard 2013 Program to Do your Canadian Income Taxes for Free

It’s that lovely time again when we get to fill out our Schedule 7 and 11s from 7 till 11. Here’s how to get GenuTax Standard 2013 downloaded and ready to key in those T-slips.

Why Doesn’t PC Financial Make More of an Effort to Work Like a Real Bank (and Issue Proper T5s)?

In which I move up 7 levels in Fruit Ninja in order to get no where fixing my PC Financial T5.

How Does Naming a Beneficiary for Your RRSP Save Money?

Why I’d suggest if you inherit a RRSP that you ask the Executor for a copy of the federal tax Clearance Certificate before you spend any of the money; and other RRSP beneficiary facts.

Everyone Cheats on Their Taxes. Don’t They?

How many people do you know who will report the 38 cents interest they earned last year on their bank account?

Tracking Your TFSA Contribution Room Can Save You From Harsh Fines

Do you know what the penalties are for over-contributing to your TFSA? Do you use this method to avoid over-contributing?

How to Get StudioTax 2013 Software to Do your Canadian Income Taxes for Free

It’s that jolly season again when we have to sharpen our pencils or limber up our typing fingers to complete our 2013 tax return forms. For those looking for a free program to use to do the math and to NETFILE the answers, here’s how to download StudioTax 2013.

What Canadian Blue Chip Stock is Paying a Dividend Only Yield of 17%?

Do you have any stocks paying amazing dividend yields? How “real” are those yields? Can you live off them in retirement?

Why Would Someone in the Snowbelt Pay $200 000 or More for a House and Not Buy a Snowblower?

I have nothing against healthy exercise unless it’s a 4 a.m. in a raging blizzard. That’s why I invested in a snowblower 14 years ago and still think it was a great decision.

How We Replaced Our Cable TV with an Over the Air Indoor Antenna to Save Money and Go High Def

What is that sheet of paper hanging in our living room window and why is it worth $40.50 or more a month to us?

Why We Need a Withholding Tax on the CPP Death Benefit Now!

Please read this and consider sending a note to your MP or the Minister of National Revenue. Grieving people should not have to cope with this added stress.

Testing the Best Buy Reserve Online Pick Up In Store Option for a Sony Smart TV

In which I cash out a mountain of Petro-Points and brave the Best Buy Boxing Week brouhaha all in the name of watching Captain Sparklez in HD with friends while seated in a collection of comfy chairs. Sheesh, the things parents will do for their offspring.

How Can I Check Whether My 2013 Tax Software Is OK with the CRA and NETFILE?

Do you have an odd nagging feeling that your ultra-deep-discount 2013 Tax Return Program by “Two Broke Guys Take on TurboTax” might not be fully certified? Here’s where to check what the CRA thinks.

How Long Does It Take to Transfer a TFSA from ING Direct to BMO InvestorLine?

Do you think the market is going to drop 25% early this year? Is your cash waiting in the correct account ready to buy, buy, buy? Don’t miss the market by having your cash lost in limbo between banks while the market rebounds. Tidy up any transfers today.

Faster Receipts for ING Direct RRSP Contributions in the First 60 Days of the Year

ING Direct (Tangine.ca) has been coding to improve their services again: this time to permit instant tax slip printing for RRSP contributions–but did it work?

Redeeming Petro-Points: Fast, Easy and Effective and I Score a New TV

Last week thanks to Petro-Points we upgraded from a cathode-ray tube pseudo-flatscreen 24 inch RCA–does this mean my Tandy 1000 TL/2 should be getting nervous?

How to Get Your Tax Slips (T5s, RRSP Contribution Receipts) for your PC Financial Accounts

Once more ING Direct beats PC Financial for convenience and timeliness.

How to Get Your Income Tax Slips (T5s, RRSP slips) for Your ING Direct Accounts

It’s easy to get your tax slips for your ING Direct (Tangerine) accounts but keep an eye on them. I found two accounts were not reported and one account type is reported in a way that doesn’t suit the CRA. A bit more worrying was the fact that the ING Direct (Tangerine) representative was wrong when they informed me how our joint USD account’s interest was being reported.

For Love or Money

A roundup of some readings on love and money.

How Can I Best Use my Petro-Canada Petro-Points?

If you fill up at Esso or Shell this probably isn’t the post for you. But for those who don’t still curse PET’s name and who are willing to fill up at Canada’s Gas Station (not to be confused with Canada’s Tire Store), here’s a rundown on how to squeeze the best mileage out of your Petro-Points.

If I Find a Mistake in My Equifax Credit Report What Should I Do?

After reviewing your free annual credit report from Equifax you may find you have to correct an error. Here’s how.

I’m Not Sure What to Do with My RRSP Money—What Should I Do Till I Decide?

It’s open season for banks angling to land your RRSP dollars. If you don’t want to be hooked like a Sucker on spring migration, instead of rushing into a RRSP investment, you may want to park your contribution in a short-term investment. Here are a few factors to consider and options to evaluate.

Why Do Companies Issue Stock Splits Especially When a Stock’s Price Rises to Over $100?

TD and the National Bank are splitting their shares soon. Should you buy in? Isn’t the answer “intuitively obvious?”

Why I Own a Stupid Fridge: or Beware of the Hidden Hacker Dangers of a Smart Fridge!

Who knew that by investing in a Stupid fridge I would save my family from cybercriminals? Is your butter safe?

What’s In a Free Annual Equifax Credit File Report?

I’m a bit uneasy about ordering my credit report from Equifax now that I know that the vulnerable letter they send me by regular mail contains this information.

What Is a Locked In Retirement Account and How Do I Get One?

Here’s an introduction to the LIRA for those readers who haven’t already suffered through a layoff, down-sizing, right-sizing, diagonal-slice, outsourcing, or other employment indignity.

How Do You Watch TV Without Cable? Tuning In to Some Info on Antennas

Does using OTA mean you can only watch reruns of the Beachcombers on the CBC in whichever of our two national languages you are least comfortable thinking in?

Another Near Year End Job: Check Your Credit Report for Free from Equifax

Do you have to give your SIN and credit card number to get an annual free credit file report from Equifax?

How to Optimize Hallowe’en: An Economic Parable

Imagine the cost savings, improved security, and economic efficiencies of replacing door-to-door Trick or Treating with candy pickup from an unmanned treat distribution lockbox facility!

An Exploration of the Many Ways of Giving

Have you ever been the bully, the bullied or the bystander during a United Way campaign? Read on for this and other articles about charity and volunteer contributions.

Which is Better ING Direct or PC Financial: Part Two Cheques, Interest, Overdrafts and Chequing

If you keep between $30,000-60,000 in your chequing account, needs lots of free cheques and write some big ones occasionally that ricochet like a super-ball, you’ll probably prefer one of these two chequing accounts. Which one?

An Emergency Only Cell Phone: Pros and Cons of Petro-Canada Mobility

If you need to initiate the count-down sequence to launch an asteroid-blasting rocket this might not be the phone plan for you. For other emergencies, it might be worth a look.

Is It Worth Joining Swagbucks and How Do I Do That?

If you want to get a kickback of some of the money you spend online shopping at stores like Amazon, TigerDirect and Walmart, this is one option to check out.

Who Pays the Income Taxes on the Interest and How Can My Children Cash Their Canada Savings Bonds?

In which I reflect on income attribution rules, the benefits of bricks-and-mortar banks, and wonder just when *are* those retina scanners going to be ready?

How to Buy Units in a High Interest Savings Account Fund at RBC Direct Investing

Is anyone else skittish about investing quickly into these high-priced stock markets? While I’m dithering, I tested parking some cash in a HISA fund at RBC Direct Investing. There were a few differences compared to doing the same at InvestorLine and Investor’s Edge that surprised me.

Should You Save For Your First Home in your TFSA or your RRSP?

Where you should save depends in part on where you have to live. Here’s some interesting math for those who need to live in ghost towns in northern Ontario.

Why I Won’t Pay a Fee to Shop at Costco

Costco has many great qualities; I just don’t feel they’re enough to justify paying $55 a year. What about you?

Can I Use My TFSA as Collateral for a Quick Loan?

Why borrowing against a TFSA might make more sense than borrowing to fund a TFSA and other loan-related facts.

Retirement Planning: What Rate of Inflation Should I Use?

What was our personal rate of inflation for 2001-2012? And will budgeting for natural gas inflation properly score me an extra rutabaga or cost me a clementine?

How Old Must One Be to Open a THRIVE No Fee Chequing Account with a Debit Card?

Why removing cursive from the Ontario curriculum was not the best idea.

TFSA Tips from Gordon Pape: A Review of How TFSAs Can Make You Rich

Gordon Pape answers questions like “Can I use my TFSA as collateral for a loan?” in this new book. Would I recommend reading it?

How Much Can I Contribute to My TFSA? I Turned 18 or Arrived in Canada after 2009

Not everyone is 22 or older nor has been a Canadian Resident their entire life. If you’re a recent immigrant to Canada, a visa student, or you’ve just turned 18, you can check your TFSA contribution limit here if you’ve never made any contributions to a plan.

Friday’s Financial Reading: Furnaces Are Heating Up All Over Canada

A few heated articles to read while you crank up the furnace.

Get Ready to Die: Beneficiary and Successor Account Holder Forms for your Online Brokerage Accounts

Are you ready to die? Do you want to shout “hands off my money” at the government as you perish? Do you know the difference between a Successor and a Beneficiary and why it matters? If you’re not part of Canada’s Distinct Society I encourage you to read on.

Should You Save for Your First House in Your RRSP?

Why I disagree, rather vehemently, with Diane McCurdy’s opinion on whether you should save for your first home using the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan.

How to Report Your RRSP Contribution If You Don’t Want to Take the Tax Deduction Yet

Here’s which schedule to use and how to fill it in to report your RRSP contribution but defer using your tax-reducing deduction until another year.

Optimize Your RRSP: Contribute Now, Claim the Tax-Reducing Deduction Later

Were you on parental leave most of this year? Are you a recent graduate using tuition credits and moving expenses to reduce your taxes? Were you unemployed part of this year but have just started a great job? You may be one of the people who shouldn’t wait to contribute to your RRSP just because you’re in a low tax bracket this year. Here’s how you can optimize your RRSP contribution.

What’s the Right Way to Invest? TFSA first? RRSP first? Pay down the Mortgage? Non-Registered Account? Gold? Real Estate? Help!

There’s only one correct way to invest your money to succeed….Isn’t there?

Using Your RBC Direct Investing Account for the First Time

Finally, I have received all the numbers I need to use my RBC Direct Investing account. If you’re wondering how long that took, read on.

PC Financial Joint Accounts are NOT Joint: One Person Will Have All of the Control

PC Financial never ceases to amaze me: Unfortunately NOT in a good way!

Spooky! A Series of Financial Articles for Hallowe’en

Hallowe’en reading: some fun; some economic; and some downright scary.

Book Review of Fight Back by Ellen Roseman

Did I learn anything new from reading Ellen Roseman’s book, Fight Back?

Goodbye BMO US Dollar MasterCard, You’re No Longer a Good Buy for Us

After proving I have no negotiating skills, I decided it was time to cut up my MasterCard.

How to Make a RRSP Contribution Quickly and Easily Using ING Direct

If you want to contribute another $100 to your RRSP late one Sunday night in February, here’s how you can do it quickly and easily and even get your tax receipt immediately (if you have a printer.)

How to Buy Units in a High Interest Savings Account Fund in a CIBC Investor’s Edge Account

I’ve decided it’s time to sell my units in the “Greek Government Honest We’ll Pay You Back!” bond fund and move the money into something really exciting: a high interest savings account fund. OK, maybe this is just good information for temporarily parking your cash while waiting to pounce on a great investment.

When Should I Switch to a Self-Directed Brokerage Account? As Soon As It’s “No Fee”

When’s the right time to open a self-directed online discount brokerage account? In my case, about 1.5 years ago: Guess I’d better get cracking.

A Plea to Buy Canadian When Enjoying Life’s Little Luxuries

Sometimes sourcing goods internationally is the only sensible thing to do but when buying beyond the basics it’s worth supporting a local artist.

Ontario Hydro Rates Make Retirement Planning Pointless

What a surprise! Hydro rates are going up. You might find the percentage increase for 2013 off-peak rates “shocking” though.

Why an Ontario Pension Might be a Good Thing

I’d support an Ontario Pension scheme. Here’s why. (And if anyone can come up with a decent acronym for such a plan, PLEASE start using it now before we get stuck with something awful!)

How to Open a RBC Direct Investing RRSP Account Online

As I filled out my online forms to open a RBC Direct Investing account, I was left pondering questions like: Why can a Minister and a Priest open an account but not an Imam or a Rabbi? Why can I report I am a Homemaker but not a Pharmacist? What do they have against the Energy sector? Who in IT (or more likely “the business” thought it was a good idea to create a screen without a Back or Save button or the standard navigation toolbar? Will I get a personal phone call and a free lunch if I select an income of $10,000,000 and over?

Talk to Your Kids About Money: You Never Know. They MIGHT Be Listening

Who’d have thought they were actually listening?!

How to Deposit a Cheque by Taking a Photo Using the ING Direct App

Why I’m glad my husband won an iPad and what happened when I tried to use it to deposit a dividend cheque.

Is the ING Direct 2014 TFSA Kick Start Account a Good Idea and How to Open One

How does opening a TFSA help me pay for my dim sum fix?

How to Check Your Cashed Cheques at PC Financial

My husband has no secrets now that I can check his cheques online for free! (OK he probably does but he’s much too clever to get caught this easily anyway.)

It’s Time to Start Shopping for Christmas. Seriously! At Least if You Like to Give

Why does it matter that toothpaste and liquid soap are on significant sale three months before December?

How To Look at Your Cashed Cheques for Free! Using ING Direct

Ever wonder why you wrote that cheque for $47.21 or if you even did? With a THRIVE account you can see who you wrote it to and who cashed it–for free!

How to Sell a Mutual Fund in a CIBC Investor’s Edge Account

Why exactly are we holding $457.82 in a Global Bond Fund? It hurts too much to think about that so instead I decided to sell it. Here’s how.

Why I Have No Interest in Renting a Property as an Investment or Income Source

With my luck I’d end up renting to a Freeman who uses the basement as a personal nuclear waste disposal site and who gets me arrested by CSIS. Your mileage may vary.

How To Check My CPP Contributions Online at My Service Canada: Part Two: Using a GCKey

Here’s how to get a copy of your CPP Statement of Contributions online once you have your GCKey. You can use this report to check for mistakes and to estimate your future CPP monthly payments. It may also provide unexpectedly humourous reading like my husband’s did (as I mention in this article.)

How to Get a GCKey for My Service Canada After You Get Your Personal Access Code, PAC

Ok, now I’ve got my PAC in the mail from Service Canada, how do I set up a GCKey so I can access my CPP info online? (Yes, they really do make it this difficult and time consuming!)

Which is Better ING Direct or PC Financial: Part One Moving Money, Transfers and Holds

If you want to pick between online banks ING Direct (now Tangerine.ca)ING Direct Tangerine and PC Financial how they handle transferring your money between accounts and banks may matter. Here’s how they compare.

More RESP Ramblings, Insights and Articles

A collection of articles about education from saving for toddlers to booking hotel rooms for graduation. Enjoy!

USA Decides Not to Ease off on Quantitative Easing…Yet

I’ve been uneasy about the USA easing up on Quantitative Easing but now I can rest easy. Or can I?

Goodbye Canada Retirement Savings Plan, Hello ING Direct RRSP

Heavy-hearted I close our Canada Retirement Savings Plan accounts and rail against the government that abandoned them.

Where Should I Start a Self-Directed RESP?

There are many factors to consider when choosing where to open a RESP brokerage account, from annual fees (no minimum balance needed at this Big Bank brokerage!), to ETF commissions (some can be traded with no fees at this other Big Bank brokerage), to customer service and which grants can be accepted. Here’s some factors we considered while pondering where to put that hard-earned future-beer money.

Big Things For Which We Often Forget to Budget

Have you forgotten to include any of these big ticket items in your long-term budget? I’d forgotten a few unfortunately. If I’ve missed some others, please share them with a comment.

Why Do Rising Interest Rates Affect Real Estate Investment Trusts, REITs?

Did you know you can buy a REIT that specializes in self-storage units? Neither did I till I was researching this article. Maybe I should sell the REIT I have and buy into the lockers. Here’s why.

Real Estate Investment Trusts are Sources of Retirement Income

Why I find REITs appealing as part of a retirement income plan and how they work.

Part 2: I Know Market Timing is for Suckers, so Why Am I Trying to Time the Market?

How do you think I should exercise my SARs? All at once? A chunk at a time? How clear is the vision in your crystal ball? Mine seems to always pick up PBS when I’m looking for market insights.

Part 1: SARs: Not Just a Disease, Also a Worrying Financial Decision to be Made

I have SARs but fortunately not SARS. Here’s a little background on SARs that leads me to the dilemma I am facing about market timing.

How to Cancel a PC Financial Automatic Savings Transfer

If, like me, you’re no longer earning bonus high interest from PC Financial, it may be time to cancel an automated transfer of money into your account. Here’s how.

Is Public Education Free in Ontario? Not Where I Live

It’s important to budget for your child’s public school education because despite what the government may say, it’s not free. Here’s just a few examples of the costs you may rack up.

What is the Old Age Security Pension, OAS, and Will I Get It?

Who will get the OAS and why you should be happy if you have to give it back.

Low Income in Retirement: a Roundup of Articles about the G.I.S.

A collection of interesting articles about retirement and retirement planning for low income earners.

Thanks to a Special Financial Crooks Reader for the ING Direct Bonus Interest!

Thank you to a very kind reader!

What is the Guaranteed Income Supplement, GIS, and Will I Get It?

Who will get the GIS and why I hope you won’t.

Back to School and Registered Education Savings Plans

As we get ready around here for back to school and we cheer on yet another niece beginning her first year of university I spent some time reading up on RESPs. Here are some of the better articles I found.

When Should I Start a RESP?

We didn’t start a RESP when our first child was born. In fact, we didn’t start one for 10 years. Do we regret that?

Five Things I Forgot This Summer While on Vacation that Cost Me Money

I fell for the “my money is in the car” gambit again this year. If only I would learn these 5 rules, I could save some money on my next vacation. Something tells me, though, that I may never learn…..

Free Education Money for Low Income Canadian Families’ Children: Apply Today

Families can have a low income for various reasons. All of them can benefit from this federal government program to provide free money towards their children’s future education costs.

Should We Legislate an End to Unpaid Internships?

How do you live if you have to work 12-hour days but you don’t get paid? Is this a practice we should ban?

Mortgage Matters

Some interesting articles about mortgages including links to important information about collateral mortgages and how they can sabotage your ability to reduce rates and get loans in the future.

Learning About Mis-Used Credit and Soul Destroying Debt While Down in the Deeps

What does coal mining in Cape Breton have in common with credit cards and debt?

Sometimes Spending More is Wiser than Getting a Deal

Have you ever watched something on TV and thought “Oh dear. That one’s going to hurt.” because you can see where it’s going before it happens? Recently I saw an iPad ad that reminded me that using the same foresight can save a lot of pain even when you’re shopping.

A Better Bit of Bonds Banter

In which I seek solace from the internet as my bond funds gradually sink level with the waves and find both enlightenment and confusion.

BMO Gets A + for Customer Service

Once more I am an idiot but luckily BMO was willing to forgive my stupidity.

Joint No Fee PC Financial Accounts are Dis – Jointed

PC Financial seems to think we have one of those marriages where we discreetly ignore everything the other person is doing and share nothing but a house. Why else do they treat the joint owners of a bank account as if they never want to pay the same bills or earn the same interest perks?

Insurance: When It’s Worth It; When It’s Not

From mortgages to pilots’ lives, there are times when insurance is worth it and times when it’s not. Here are some articles by fine writers on the web discussing some common and uncommon insurance issues.

How We Cancelled Our Water Heater Rental and Installed Our Own Tank

It’s been 2.5 years since we bought our own water heater tank. Do we regret it?

Why Defined Contribution Pension Plans are a Pain: Fixed Income Choices or Lack Thereof

If bonds are going to tank and money market funds are re-writing the rules to allow “negative earnings” what am I supposed to invest my DC pension funds in for fixed income?

Financial Hot Water Tips

Some weekend reading about getting into and out of hot water.

Which of the Big 5 Brokerages Offer a US Dollar Side, Journal, Ledger or Sub-Account for an RRSP?

If you receive large distributions or dividends paid in US dollars it may be worth having a US dollar sub-account within your RRSP. Unfortunately only some of the Big 5 Bank discount brokerages offer this option. Here’s which ones.

Is Hot Water a Matter of Life and Death? If Not, Why Are You Insuring Your Water Tank?

If it costs $697 to replace the gas valve on your water heater tank shouldn’t you pay for monthly repair insurance?

Why I’m Pulling the Plug on Cable TV from Rogers and Why Their Cancellation Policy Seems Illegal

Why I need a Power of Attorney to cancel our cable TV with Rogers; or
Why I think Rogers should win some sort of prize for most bizarre contract cancellation policy.

Update on Transferring RRSP Cash to an ING Direct RRSP Using a T2033 Form

Transferring some RRSP cash from my Canada Savings Bonds RSP to my ING Direct (now Tangerine.ca) RRSP went smoothly if not swiftly but there was one quirk with the dates that surprised me.

PC Financial’s Computer Can’t Believe My Husband and I Want to Share Our Joint Bank Account

What PC Financial needs me to do to link our joint chequing account to a joint chequing account at another bank — even after my husband has already linked the same two accounts–and why I won’t do it.

What to Watch for When Transferring a Stock to the US Dollar Side of an InvestorLine Account

Ok here’s an easy post to read and prove to yourself that you are much smarter than I am, although I doubt that was ever in question. AKA “Don’t do what I did when moving a dividend-paying stock to your US dollar sub-account.”

Testing a Sell (and Buy) of AAT770 in a BMO InvestorLine Account: Part Two, the Sell

The last time I tried to sell AAT770 I had to accept several messages warning me that the sale might be delayed. Do they still put up these worrying warnings, or has anything changed?

How Can I Move a Stock I Hold from the Canadian Side to the US Side of my InvestorLine Account?

Once more I sally forth (like the comic strip) to test how to do something weird in my InvestorLine account: This time my task is relatively benign as I attempt to move some, but not all, of my shares in a certain Canadian financial titan from the Canadian side of my RRSP account to the newly-minted US side. Once more InvestorLine makes mysterious entries into my transaction history and My Portfolio Holdings which I will attempt to de-code to see what has happened or failed to happen and when.

When Will I See My Dividend Payments in my CIBC Investor’s Edge Account?

I know when to expect dividend payments to appear in our InvestorLine accounts but when will they show up in our Investor’s Edge account? Will they be one day late, back dated? Or….? Luckily two good movies came out while I waited to find out.

How to Download Your Transaction History for an ING Direct Bank Account to a Spreadsheet

Downloading my daily banking transactions from ING Direct was a snap, although I still want to know who put the little joke into the bill payment line.

Why Do You Need a Credit Card?

Everyone needs a credit card: A credit card lets you pay for plane tickets, hotels, and vacations, get cash back and Air Miles and be cool. That makes one a necessity, doesn’t it?

How to Download PC Financial Transactions to Use in a Spreadsheet

While testing how to download my account history from PC Financial to my laptop I discovered a programming error that I wish was true.

What Do You Have to Do When Your Credit Card is Used Fraudulently? (Credit Card Misery: Part Two)

We thought our credit card fraud worries were over and done with but they weren’t. Here’s the second installment of our unexpectedly ongoing series about what happens when your card gets compromised.

Why Does Everyone Offer Me a New Credit Card and 10% Off my Purchase?

If I can get 2 cents off a litre, 10% off my total purchase, free groceries and cash back, why wouldn’t I apply for all of these amazing credit cards?

How to Transfer Cash to an RRSP at ING Direct from another RRSP Using a T2033 Form

The current federal government has essentially killed the value of investing in Canada Savings Bonds so it’s time for us to transfer out our holdings in the free Canada Retirement Savings Plan. This same method also works for any transfer of a cash RRSP to an ING Direct, now Tangerine.ca, RRSP. If you need to consolidate your investments at ING Direct, now Tangerine.ca, here’s how to do it.

I’m Rich; Are You?

Am I the only one who will admit to being rich?

Stocks are Falling: Buy, Buy, Buy!

A strategy for falling markets: Fling a Frisbee!

When School Lunches Go Bad

Do you really want to teach your child that they should buy an expensive lunch every day that is high in fat and calories, low in protein, vitamins and minerals but convenient? Do you want to teach your child that they should never enjoy the social aspects of eating or get to break the nutrition rules by indulging in something fun?

How to Set Up Automatic Transfers to a PC Financial Account

Setting up automatic transfers to your savings account or to your chequing account to pay bills can simplify your monthly banking chores. Here’s how to create scheduled transfers for your PC Financial accounts.

My Dividend Just Doubled for CU! Or Did It? Stock Splits and BMO InvestorLine

The dividend doubled overnight! The stock is up 2.7% in the first half-hour of trading! Should I buy more? Should I sell? Should I get a life?! Tune in and tell me.

Stocking Up on Dividends: a Roundup of High Yielding Articles

Has the CRTC had an impact on Bell’s dividend yield? Why is CU cutting its dividend in half?! Read on.

How Much Can We Take from our RRSPs for Our House? How the Home Buyers Plan Numbers Work

Sometimes buying a first home gets a bit confusing. Here’s the simple rules for the amount you can withdraw using the HBP.

How Can I Buy an Annuity Without Giving Away my Principal?

I haven’t found a true annuity that returns your principal at the end of its term but here’s a “reasonable facsimile” to consider.

Why the Government Should Say CPP is Failing and OAS Will be Ended

If CPP was failing and OAS was ending before you retired, what would you do differently now?

How to Transfer Money into Your PC Financial No Fee Bank Account

If you can get PC Financial to hook up your no fee chequing account with your bank account at another institution then you can transfer money in and out. Here’s how.

Never Underestimate the, er, Narrow-Focused Thinking of a Bank, Especially Online

In which PC Financial proves yet again the axiom that “Garbage In = Garbage Out” when it comes to computer programming.

Credit Cards Exposed: A Collection of Articles on (Possibly) Our Favourite Piece of Plastic

Some interesting weekend reading about the perks and perils of credit cards including tips on how to avoid an audit nightmare.

Reduce Your Risk Online Shopping with a Low Limit Credit Card

Here’s a simple effective way to reduce some of the risk associated with online shopping and donating.

What Happens When Your Credit Card is Used Illegally and Fraudulently?

Our credit card was charged almost $4000 for purchases we didn’t make. Here’s what happened and whether we lost any money.

How to Order Cheques for a PC Financial No Fee Chequing Account

How to order more cheques from PC Financial, how to check the status of your order, and when to expect them to arrive. And if you really want the gold-embossed cheques with the image of Warren Buffet in silver leaf, there’s also information about how to order cheques that will cost you money to buy.

Pension Planning: What Happens If My Partner or Spouse Dies Young?

Do you know how much, if anything, you would receive from your spouse or partner’s pensions, including CPP, if they died before you? Did you know you could potentially receive none of their CPP monthly payment? Understanding what the survivor may receive is a key part of retirement planning.

Why Expecting Canadians to NETFILE Using Private Software is Unfair and Divisive

Private enterprise is great but there are limits to what the government should stop doing. The current system for tax filing electronically is creating two classes of Canadians which is unjust and costly.

Does the Label in Your Shorts Say Stanfields?

Buying Canadian is not always possible or desirable but it’s worth considering the merits of each purchase before pulling out the plastic.

How to Setup and Pay Bills Online from a PC Financial No Fee Chequing Account

In which I battle the Bell nemesis again to try to pay our telephone bill through an online bank. Who will win? The megalithic telecommunications company or the Stonehengian financial institution? Tune in for this week’s spine-tingling tale.

What If Tomorrow Never Comes? A Reminder to Seize the Day (but Perhaps Not Every Day)

What if the future collapses back to a handful of days? Will have you regrets?

How to Apply In Person for a Joint Chequing Account at PC Financial

Here’s how long it took us to open a no fee chequing account; when we got our debit card; what id etc we needed and whether we had to have a credit check.

How to Open a PC Financial No Fee Joint Chequing Account Online

How I applied for a PC Financial chequing account online: almost. And why I didn’t.

How Can I Check the Status of my 2012 Canadian Income Tax Return Refund?

Will baby be able to get a new basketball? And when? Inquiring minds needed to know so they went hunting on the CRA website to find out.

Sleeping Easily: A Money Management Roundup

You’re invited to browse through a haphazard collection of investing and money management articles at least superficially connected to sleep.

Why Do We Think We Can Own More Stuff than Our Parents?

When I saw this $1499 loveseat I thought of sinking but it wasn’t into the fluffy cushions.

How Fast Can I Sell my BMO InvestorLine AAT770 HISA to Generate Cash to Re-invest?

This is what I found out when I tested the speed of a sale of AAT770, BMO’s daily interest savings account no load fund, including the surprise perq on a 7-day investment.

GIC Rates at BMO InvestorLine April 16 2013

GIC rates flutter like laundry on a windy day. Here’s a snapshot of rates.

How to NETFILE a Tax Return from GenuTax Standard 2012 Online to the CRA for Free

After reviewing your income taxes you can send them to the Canadian Revenue Agency for free using GenuTax Standard 2012. Here’s how I did that.

How to NETFILE a StudioTax 2012 Return Online to the CRA for Free

Instructions for reviewing and filing your income taxes to the Canadian Revenue Agency for free using StudioTax 2012, including an important warning about commas.

Here Comes Retirement: Ready or Not

You’re invited to read some slightly unsettling stories about the dark side of early retirement.

Can I Claim a Charitable Tax Deduction Credit for a Donation Made Outside of Canada?

Curious about whether your charitable contributions to organizations outside of Canada can be claimed on your Schedule 9? Here’s some details I ferreted out, including whether you can claim your donation to the Palmer College of Chiropractic-West in San Jose or only to the Palmer College of Chiropractic-West in Sunnyvale. (Only one is eligible this year.)

Early Retirement. Be Very Afraid: It Could Happen to You!

Think you’ll get to choose when to retire? Think again. And plan now for how to handle a rough ride into retirement.

How to Activate an ING Direct THRIVE Chequing Account Debit Card

What’s the fastest way to activate your new debit card? And how long did it take to get the card in the mail?

How to Use the Free StudioTax 2012 Program for a Simple Business Income T2125 and Personal Tax Return

Please read how StudioTax 2012 handled a very simple business income (T2125) and personal income tax return. Includes who I think should and should not try using StudioTax. If you disagree, please speak up with a comment!

Using Free GenuTax Standard 2012 for a Simple Business Income T2125 and Personal Tax Return

Please read how GenuTax Standard handled a very simple business income (T2125) and personal income tax return including the few tiny quirks I encountered.

Checking into Chequing Accounts and Other Financial Curiosities

A roundup of articles and ideas about bank accounts and cheques. And a question about whether there’s a poltergeist loose in St John.

How to Order Cheques for an ING Direct THRIVE Chequing Account

How to order cheques for your ING Direct, now Tangerine.ca, THRIVE account so you can pay for all of those Scholastic Book Club orders, field trips and pizza lunches. Oh, sorry, I suppose you may have a life beyond parenthood: these cheques are also good for paying regular bills for utilities, (sport and otherwise.)

Why Paying by Debit may Help Keep a Small Business in Business

You can make a difference in whether a small business stays in business simply by choosing one plastic card over another at the checkout counter.

How to Setup and Pay Bills Online from an ING Direct THRIVE Chequing Account

How I managed to pay Bell online using my ING Direct, now Tangerine.ca, THRIVE account with only two phone calls and minimal cursing! Normal people (who do not constantly run into problems with Bell like I do) should find this a very fast, efficient, FREE way to pay bills.

How to Open an ING Direct THRIVE Chequing Account

If you are an existing ING Direct, now Tangerine.ca, customer opening a THRIVE chequing account just takes seconds and you score you 50 free cheques. For those of us endlessly writing cheques for pizza lunches, field trips and music books, every free cheque helps!

Why I Won’t Bother With Granite Countertops

Choosing what to spend your money on based on what really matters to you should help you live well now and save for the future.

Find out your TFSA Contribution Room Using the CRA Telephone Information Phone System, TIPS

The how, when, where and what to watch out for of using the CRA TIPs system to check your TFSA contribution limit.

Lookup your TFSA Contribution Room Online Using CRA’s Quick Access

Here’s what you need to quickly look up your remaining TFSA contribution room online using the CRA’s Quick Access program. You may want to check this if you think there’s any chance your brokerage has made a mistake.

Rounding Up Info on 2012 Income Taxes

What do Donald Duck and a tax refund have in common? Read this week’s roundup and click the links to find out.

Using Free GenuTax Software to Calculate Your 2012 Taxes and NETFILE Online by April 30, 2013

Using a test case to try the free GenuTax Standard 2012 income tax software I identified a few strengths and weaknesses of the program. For more info on how long it takes to calculate taxes and who it is best suited to, please read on.

How to Download and Install Free GenuTax Software to Do and File Your 2012 Canadian Income Taxes

These instructions take you step by step through downloading and installing the free GenuTax Standard 2012 software to calculate and submit your Canadian income taxes online for free. This software uses an interview style to collect information from you to maximize your deductions and minimize your taxes.

Book Review Enough Bull How to Retire Well Without the Stock Market, Mutual Funds, or Even an Investment Advisor, David Trahair

This book provides useful advice for those who suffered through a market crash and those who never want to.

How to Use Free StudioTax Software to Complete your 2012 Canadian Income Taxes and File Online

Using a test case to try the free StudioTax 2012 income tax software shows a few strengths and weaknesses of the program. For more info on how long it takes to calculate taxes and who it is best suited to, please read on.

How to Download and Install StudioTax Software to Calculate and File your 2012 Canadian Income Taxes Online for Free

These instructions will walk you through downloading and installing the free StudioTax 2012 software to calculate and submit your Canadian income taxes online for free. This software will allow you to calculate taxes on Business Income and other quirks.

Retirement Planning: Don’t Invest Your Pension Primarily in Stock in This

What Nortel can teach us about over-investing, especially our pension funds, in one company or sector.

How Much Money Will I Get at Various Rates for GICs and Dividends

For those who were never fond of math, here’s how to calculate what you will get for your investments when you know the interest rate or yield. Also includes lookup tables for many common rates for those who find percentages perplexing.

How to Choose a Self-Directed TFSA Brokerage Account to Minimize Fees and Costs

Compare the fees, including transfer and closing fees, for self-directed TFSAs at brokerages to choose the best place to invest your money.

When is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate not Guaranteed: When GICs Get Risky!

The three scariest things I found when researching a Blue Chip market-linked GIC and why I do not recommend these products.

TFSAs or TFIAs or TFRAs by Any Name Should Smell Sweet

A selection of delectable TFSA articles to tempt your tastes.

How to Choose a Standard Bank Tax Free Savings Account, TFSA, with Minimal or No Fees

Compare the fees, including transfer and closing fees, for regular bank TFSAs to choose the best place to invest your money.

Maximize your TFSA First

With one exception I think most people should maximize their TFSA first, then their RRSP. Here’s why.

Why Charging for Mailing Paper Bank Statements May Cost the Banks the Big Bucks

Charging customers for mailing paper bank statements and trying to simultaneously reduce liability for transaction errors and fraud, especially for customers without computers or smart phones, is bound to backfire on the banks.

Retirement Roundup or Why I Won’t be Free at 55 Unless It’s for Lunch on Friday

Does StatsCan say we are working more years before retiring now or not? What happens when you pension split your CPP? What happens when people receive a large inheritance while they’re still young? Browse the answers in this Retirement Roundup.

What Is Dollar Cost Averaging and Why Is It Useful?

The Dow Jones set a record today which is why I’m considering using dollar cost averaging to invest my TFSA. If you’re not old enough to remember the Wealthy Barber, you might want to read this refresher on why dollar cost averaging is useful and when.

Are ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) Better than Mutual Funds?

What are the tax differences between ETFs and mutual funds and the differences in how they DRIP? These and other features are important to examine before making a purchase.

What Is an ETF or Exchange Traded Fund?

What ETFs are, how they’re priced, where you buy them, whether you have to hold them, what the minimum purchase requirements are and other fascinating facts.

Can I Cash My Guaranteed Investment Certificate, GIC, Whenever I Want?

One bank will let you cash your GICs anytime and still pay you interest. Most won’t though although you may be able to re-sell your GIC. Read on for details.

What Does It Really Cost to Eat for a Month?

What do you think you spend on month on food? Do you consider yourself a high or low food spender? If you have young children, have you considered how much it may cost to feed them in the teen years? Among other things, here’s an estimate of what it may cost to feed a teen male a no frills daily diet of home cooked food.

The Dubious Joys of Taxes

This roundup of posts about income taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes and notorious tax dodgers shouldn’t be too taxing to read.

Spousal Income Attribution Rules or How Best To Invest as a Couple in Canada without Blowing a Fuse

The labyrinthian spousal income attribution rules in Canada require an even more twisted, but legal, plan to avoid paying too much tax.

Book Review: I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi

This book includes practical detailed advice for people in their 20s to get a grip on their finances. It also had some good information for older investor’s. Read on to discover why spending $21,000 a year going out with friends doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

How to Evaluate Mutual Funds and Choose which Funds to Buy

Are you comparing apples and cows when you try to evaluate 2 mutual funds? How will a fund earn you money and how can you get your hands on it? Is it true mutual funds are named using a random phrase generator? And when did Australia become part of Asia anyway? Read on for these and other details about the murky world of mutual funds.

How to Cancel an ING Direct Automatic Savings Program (ASP)

Instructions for cancelling your monthly contributions from another bank to ING Direct using your ING online account.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Mutual Funds

Most of us know a few major drawbacks of mutual funds, but fewer of us realize they offer benefits too. Read on to discover how to maximize the benefits of mutual funds while fine-tuning your portfolio. And confirm your guess about what stock is trading up $1079 today.

The Types of Mutual Funds, Why They’re Good, and Quick Buying Tips

Mutual funds don’t just invest in equities. Here are 4 other types of mutual funds that you should consider buying.

If I Bought 30-Year Shingles Why Is My Roof Leaking After 10 Years?

Why we’re glad we kept calling till we found a roofer who could solve the mystery of our ceiling water spots. (Includes a mention of Alberta’s famous Rat Patrol!)

RRSP Strategies Part 3: Keep it Safe to Start. Use Cash, Bonds, and GICs to Build Your RRSP Base

Why you need to have a safe base for your investing pyramid, how large it needs to be, and what you can invest in for the best results.

RRSP Strategies Part 2 Move the Money Where You Want to Keep It. Choosing a Long Term RRSP Investment Account

How to choose a long term RRSP investment account, including bank accounts vs brokerage accounts, and how to transfer short term RRSP savings.

RBC Direct Investing Has a No Annual Fee RRSP Brokerage Account with No Minimum Balance!

RBC Direct Investing offers a self directed RRSP brokerage account with no minimum balance required and no annual fee providing this one requirement is met.

Questrade Has the Lowest Annual Fee RRSP Brokerage Account with No Minimum Balance: Or Does It?

Does Questrade offer the best RRSP brokerage account for investors with a small balance, or, after scrutinizing the fine print, does another brokerage have the best deal? The research results surprised me and may please you.

RRSP Strategies Part 1: How To Best Get your RRSP Money Contributed Before the Tax Deadline

The RRSP deadline is looming and this year you want to contribute but you have no idea how or where. What should you do?

When Commissions Clash With Customer Service at Banks and Financial Institutions

What happens when commissions are not comparable for different financial products?

Getting Cash in the Local Currency in Another Country Safely, Conveniently and Cheaply

While pre-ordering cash, taking travellers’ cheques, using a credit card for an advance, and taking prepaid cards can help manage cash flow abroad, one other way is often the best for obtaining local cash while abroad.

Quick Tips about Donations to Charity

What to do about unrequested gifts, which scams to be aware of, and how to keep florally slender.

Budgeting for Retirement: The Long Term Costs of Maintaining a House Must Be Included

Each year in retirement I plan to save this amount in my own personal “Reserve Fund” to pay for required replacements and repairs including a new roof, a new washing machine and a new fridge. What will you need to save?

Budgeting for Retirement Requires a Good Estimate of My Personal Rate of Inflation for 2012

Our surprising personal rate of inflation for 2012 and what factored into it.

The Secret Weapon of Stocks that Pay Dividends: Staying Power Support

How dividends can help bolster an investment strategy and cover the cost of inflation.

How Do You Decide What is an Ethical Stock or ETF to Invest In?

How to choose an ethical stock or ETF.

ATL5000 High Interest Savings Account Fund at CIBC Investor’s Edge Online Discount Brokerage

Review of how ATL5000 can be used as a high interest savings account for cash in a CIBC Investor’s Edge online discount brokerage account and how it compares to BMO InvestorLine.

How Can I File My 2012 Canadian Taxes Online in 2013 for Free Using NETFILE if my Income is over $35,000?

Which software packages are free and approved for NETFILE for 2012 income taxes in Canada.

Look for Oddball Opportunities to Give the Most to Charity for the Least Cost

Consider these less common ways to optimize donations and minimize costs of contributing to charity.

Optimize your Donations to Charity: Take Advantage of Taxes

How to take maximum advantage of the charitable tax credit and of the capital gains tax exemption.

Maximize the Benefit of your Donations to Charity: Helping Food Banks Feed the Most

What’s the optimum way to fund a food bank and why.

Why the Canada Savings Bonds Payroll Deduction Plan is a Good Choice: the Pros and Cons

The CSB payroll deduction plan helps almost a million people save. Here’s why it works, and how it could be improved.

Money for Nothing: 3 Good and 3 Bad Reasons to Rent Storage Space

Rental storage space seems like a great idea until you compare the costs with the benefits. Find out when it’s worth it, and when it’s a $3600 waste of money.

Why Would You Buy This instead of Contributing to an RESP, RRSP, TFSA or Mortgage?

A rant that explores the benefits of contributing to RESPs, charity and RRSPs instead of mindlessly spending on stickers.

How Health Spending Accounts (HSA) Benefit You and Save You Money

What is an HSA and how does it save you money on orthodontics, eyeglasses and other typical medical costs.

Gifts that Help Save for Your Child’s Future without Contributing to an RESP

An RESP is not the only present a doting relative can bestow on your child. These gifts are a combination of fun now and practical function later.

When Will My Pennies Be Worthless? Can I Still Use My Cents? Can I Melt Down My Pennies and Cents?

What to do with your pennies and when.

Four Overlooked Benefits of Charitable Donations and the Charitable Tax Credit

The tax credit for a charitable donation is well known, but there are some other factors to consider that increase the benefit.

How To Save Big Bucks on Buying Gifts for Birthday Parties

Tips to save money and time while buying presents for birthdays.

The 5-year GIC Ladder Strategy: No Longer a Scheme to Maximize GIC Returns

What a 5-year GIC ladder is and when it’s not the best strategy.

Maximize GIC Returns by Carefully Considering the Annual Rates Before Locking In Long Term

With interest rates at record lows is it time to think twice before locking in long term?

Investing in GICs at the Banks an Exercise in Anger Management to Optimize Earnings

Beware of two ways the banks minimize your GIC earnings.

It’s not the $2.26. It’s the Ripoff and the Garbage: How to Get a Refund by Politely Complaining

A complaint that politely presents facts about what is wrong and clearly states what would correct the problem can often resolve a problem.

Can I Earn a Referral Bonus for Getting a Relative to Invest with BMO InvestorLine?

Bonuses are a bonus. Can you get one for referring your husband or wife?

How to Get a Referral Number for your BMO InvestorLine Account and Maximize Your Referral Bonus

How to make the most money for your referral of a new BMO Investorline customer.

Comparing US Dollar Accounts from ING Direct, BMO, CIBC, Royal, ScotiaBank, and TD

A comparison of the fees, minimum balance requirements, interest paid and ability to deposit and write cheques for US dollar accounts from BMO, CIBC, ING Direct, Royal Bank, ScotiaBank, and TD.

Buy Your US Dollars at ING Direct

Why buy US dollars from ING Direct with examples of the rates and savings.