Even the government has noticed there’s a problem with all the bank fees and has now mandated that all big banks offer a no-fee option, but only for consumers they see as “vulnerable” such as students, senior citizens and low-income Canadians. Although this is a good start, there’s still a long way to go. What’s more, the no fee option only includes up to 12 free debit transactions, which easily adds up quickly if you are active in using your card. Considering the average Canadian has record debt levels of $27,000, Mogo believes it’s time everyone had a free option without any limits on the number of transactions. This is the thinking behind Mogo’s Prepaid Visa Card; it’s free and you get unlimited monthly transactions. Considering the banks just came off a record 2013 and are continuing to report record profits, I’m not sure we’re going to see them move to unlimited free transactions anytime soon.
Gifts are like compliments: Most of us are great at getting them but terrible at giving them. And if you’re shopping for someone of the opposite gender, it’s often just a struggle to know where to start. This time of year, it helps to be creative and cut to the quick. So—if you’re shopping for the man in your milieu, the dude in your district, the guy in your geographical area (your boyfriend or dad or male friend or whatever), may we suggest the following fun gifts under $25, and some even cheaper alternatives? Fund his future gift Lots of people got on board with this recent Kickstarter project to help fund the creation of a coffee maker that roasts, grinds, and brews your beans, all in one. Sure, you can’t buy it now, but you can donate to the cause on behalf of a caffeine loving dude in your life. Why not poke around for other projects to give to on his behalf? A short film? A new board game? A piece of proprietary tech? No matter what, it’s both a great present and an investment in his future happiness. See what I
Fun money is the best money. It’s the money that gets you onto the ski hill with friends, up close at your favorite concert or on a beach in the dead of winter. We’ve been sharing ideas about how happiness comes from experiences, not material items, and research shows that the more you focus away from money, the happier you’ll be. If you can avoid the sudden urges to purchase material items, you’ll be able to save your hard earned dough for fun experiences and be happier. Mike Tyson didn’t really need 3 Royal Bengal Tigers. Now he’s happy spending time with his family. But sometimes, there’s no money left after all the bills are paid. Money has this unique ability to vanish – literally. So, it’s important to keep your fun money separated from your bank account. Everyone loves knowing they have a little spending money set aside, which is why many of our cardholders are using their Mogo Card for fun money – smart thinking! Cardholder Cory V. getting down on something tasty. Oh and cute card Cory. #mogocard “As of today, I’ve totally given up on using my regular debit
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
Well, Canada, I’m not sure about the rest of you, but the last few days have really reminded me that summer is over. We’re getting a bit of rain in Vancouver (surprising, right?) and the temperature is starting to drop a little. While I bet we have some more summer weather hiding under those clouds, it is definitely time to start looking at home heating strategies that will save you bucks over the year! Here we go with some smart spender tips that will keep your house warm and your wallet nicely padded: 1. Use it when you need it While the temps are starting to drop, for me, it’s not heater time yet. Just because it’s a lot cooler than it was two weeks ago, doesn’t mean that you need to crank the heater at night. 2. Check your windows, seal the deal Think back and I’m sure you can hear your father saying, ‘I’m not paying to heat the outdoors! Close that window!’ Sorry, Dad! Check for open doors, windows, and cracks in your sealant. A can of caulking is cheap from the hardware store – and can save you a bundle
Kids across the country are back to school – and even if you don’t have a rug rat in the education system, there are some costs that flare up each and every September: extra traffic fines. During the summer months, rules can change near schools and school zones. In the best interest of keeping the kids safe, speed limits are lowered, no parking/stopping rules are in effect and more people are out on the road (particularly at the start and end of school days!). The speed limit in school zones is 30km/hour from 8am to 5pm. This isn’t a place where ‘a little extra speed is ok’. Police are quick to ticket – so skip the expense and stay under 30! Keep yourself and the kids safe by observing posted school zone signs, watching out for busses (and their flashing lights) and excitedly crossing children. As you’re driving your kids to school and dropping them off, remember that there can be severe restrictions on U-turns and stopping in certain areas of school zones. Keep the schools (and your wallets) happy by observing the rules, leaving with enough time to get there easily and keeping your eyes peeled.
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