With a record $28 billion in profit last year alone, big banks are continuing to profit while the average Canadian suffers the burden. We think there’s a better way and are working hard to bring you products that are alternatives to traditional banking. But we can’t disrupt this massive and entrenched industry on our own. We need startups attacking the problem from all angles. Our CEO David Feller is featured over on Huffington Post Canada today talking about the huge opportunity we have to change the consumer finance game for the better. It’s up to startups to bring new solutions — solutions that will benefit consumers and not the big banks. Head on over to Huffington Post to read his full commentary.
If you’re anything like me, the notion of attempting to get your personal finances in order is scary as scary can be. Like many young Canadians, I never learned about the nuances of finance in school (side note: shouldn’t we be teaching our kids this? I would like to see a personal finance class overtake those stupid CAPP career classes we were all subjected to in high school. I took about ten personality tests that all said, “writer/teacher/creative-type” when I could have used some lessons about investment, RSPs, even simple savings! Grr!). So now that I’m an adult, in most senses of the word, it’s become extremely difficult for me to handle my debt, and to even understand basic things like interest (seriously, and I know I’m not alone in this). Recently, I was chatting up a rather financially well-adjusted friend of mine—he even has a mortgage! Whoa!—and he told me, in ten minutes, more than I’d learned in ten years. Another friend of ours who was there agreed that she’d learned a lot in that brief conversation. Which got us to thinking: hey! If we did this once
Money: you can’t take it with you when you die, and it can’t keep you out of jail when the judge swings the gavel. Straight up billionaire and hedge fund manager, Raj Rajaratnam, is heading to prison for 11 years after being convicted of insider trading – for those of you scoring at home, that’s the longest insider-trading sentence ever laid out in the United States. In addition to the 11 years of jumpsuit time, he’s being fined $10million and giving up $53.8million. I mean, the guy can probably find that kind of money in his luxury leather couches, but I don’t think he’ll find 11 years under the cushions. What is insider trading? Rajaratnam has been convicted of using a series of informants that work inside other companies to inform his trading. Tipsters at consulting firms, IBM and Intel are listed amongst his information-givers. Basically, Rajaratnam would know what a company was going to do before that became public knowledge. This made it possible for the funds he managed to either buy while stocks were cheap, or sell while they were high. This is 100% illegal. The wheels of justice took some time
As I told you last time, getting a store-bought Halloween costume can turn into a sweaty, expensive, candy-coated mess, so here are 10 nearly free costumes that are either: • easy • awesome • cheap • kind of funny • all of the above As you’ll see, this list doesn’t cover everything, but hopefully you’ll be able to find something in there to boost your Halloween trick or treat cred. 1. Sexy _____ Girls have this one locked down. You can turn ANYTHING into a sexy version for Halloween. Other than Arbor Day, Halloween is easily our most provocative holiday. 2. A Formal Apology This one is sort of high-level. You wear that black suit you drag out of your closet once a year and you dress as formally as you can. Then you have a sign that says ‘I’m sorry’. Boom. FORMAL APOLOGY. English nerds will love it. 3. Robots What’s more fun than taping together cardboard boxes and spray painting them with silver spray paint? Nothing. (similar, and awesome: these lego men costumes). 4. *Last year’s Halloween costume* Chances are, no one remembers what you were last year. Dig that thing out, take
I plan Thanksgiving dinner around the leftovers. As I mentioned before, I’m really doing my best to not ruin Thanksgiving this year. Whether it’s a success or not, will probably come down to how much wine we have at the table. Realistically, it should just be an easy dinner with my folks and wife – what I’m really concerned about is the post-Thanksgiving leftovers. I doubt I’m alone here, but I prefer the leftovers-experience to the actual sit down dinner. I’m the same with cold-pizza. Since I’m in charge of the meal, that means I’m leader of the leftovers. Here’s the attack plan I’ve got setup to make the most out of the week long feast I’m planning*. Sandwich central When I’m carving the turkey, I lay out three different piles: light meat for the table, dark meat for the table and light/dark meat for sandwiches. With a big enough bird you can have choice meat for your late night snacking and week-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches laid out with proper meat proportions. You don’t want to be stuck on Tuesday at noon with white meat only. Don’t let it
Saving money can be expensive! Your paycheck is automatically deposited into your account, months come and go – and many of us don’t keep close tabs on what it does while it’s in there. It’s probably been years since you established your bank account and agreed to the terms and conditions. Do you eagerly read all the updates and emails that your bank sends you? If you’re like most of us, probably not. Here are some tips for spotting banking fees, getting them cut down, and getting the most out of them. Check the records Online banking is great for keeping track of your money – even when it’s been months since the transaction took place. Sort through your account debits to see which have been charged by your bank. With monthly fees ranging from $3 – $15.99 (or even more!), those expenses can really add up. Get rid of them! Now that you know how much you’re paying in banking fees, you know how much you want to get rid of. Call your bank to discuss the fees. There are plenty of free checking accounts out there, so to get your fees to $0, you
At the end of any given month, a few extra bucks always help out – so here is another quick tip from Mogo that will only use 10 minutes of your time to save you at least $10. We all know that staying home to watch the game can save big bucks over hitting the arena or sports bar, but here are 4 more ways to save $10 with your butt on the couch! Cook for the crew instead of ordering in Making a pot of chili or lighting up the BBQ is a great, cheap way to feed the fellas. Canned ingredients for chili or hot dogs are a great way to fill up on Sunday afternoons and are much easier on your wallet than calling your favorite delivery company. Get rid of the channels you don’t need So you feel like you have a million channels without anything on? Cut a few channels. I made sure to get extra channels on my cable package because I’m a big sports fan – but I was also able to cut a few that I don’t watch to make up for it. There’s no sense paying for what you
The Smart Spending Blog at Mogo is your home for the best in personal finance strategies on saving, spending, budgeting and deals. We get a lot of questions on budgets, the best ways to do them, and the easiest steps towards financial success. Here are some of the most popular budgeting posts – including some that have saved our readers hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars! Dig deeper into each article and see why Mogo is here to save you bucks, and how we can help you do it! 1. Cash in hand budgeting Learn how you can save money by only using cold, hard cash. Ditch the fancy budgeting software and tough strategies – and look at how we recommend dealing with weekly and monthly budgets where cash is king. 2. Skip budgeting software, and crowd-source it Want another great tip for mostly-cash budgeting? Add the extra step of family involvement. Share financial goals and money-limits with the entire family. It’s a great way to get everyone on the same financial page – and definitely helps with weekly budgets and spending limits. 3. Getting ahead of the game Start saving now to make expensive times of the year much, much easier.
It’s time to get serious about back to school shopping. Sending the kids out there is a big responsibility, and an essential part of 18-years (or more!) worth of Septembers. Here is something to try this year that will make next year much, much easier. We’re all about planning for the future and making sure your money works hard for you. At the same time, we want to make sure you’re doing as little as possible – it’s human nature, we want to save on work as much as we want to save on spending. Try bulking up on the essentials for back-to-school. We’re not saying build an Office Depot in your basement or garage, but find out what you always need to pick up for the year and double up on the order. Things like binders, lined paper, pencils, pens and basic art supplies aren’t going to go bad – and are going to be standard issue school supplies for the rest of time (until we’re all taught by robots, typing on tablets). Buying in bulk gives you more purchasing power and takes an incredibly small amount of time – especially when you compare picking
Here is a great piece of budgeting software that will (positively) impact your financial life. What is it? Mint.com/Canada is a safe and secure way to monitor your spending, savings, debt and properties. It’s intuitive system lets you look at your finances from every angle. Set goals, budgets and more – and even receive email telling you when you’ve met goals, or are running low on funds. Mint talks to you in simple language, that makes for an easy, honest look at your money. Best of all – this is totally free. Is it safe? Mint has been available to Canadians since early 2011 – with over 30,000 Canadians taking the financial plunge in the first month of availability. Mint has ringing endorsements from The Globe and Mail, The National Post, TheStar.com and Money.com – and now Mogo. With Verisign, McAfee SECURE and TRUSTe certification, this site adheres to the tough standards of online banks and government informational security concerns. How can I use it? We always like to tell you that the biggest part of the financial battle is knowing what you have and knowing what you owe. We really suggest getting a (totally free) account