Author Topic: Any Canadians out there?  (Read 19351 times)

amandamechele

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2014, 10:27:01 AM »
Great thread!

I am in Dundas, Ontario. I will be checking out all of the recommendations here...it will be interesting to see just how much my household can save on what I have always considered fixed expenses.

I am especially intrigued by the MBNA transfers.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 09:13:30 PM by amandamechele »

jasonw223

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #51 on: May 27, 2014, 12:09:09 PM »
I'm from Saskatchewan as well, and have a few responses for you guys...

1) Most mustachian cell phone plan = Koodo prepaid.  It's $15 a month for unlimited messaging, and then you can buy 'boosters' for minutes and data.  They DO NOT expire at the end of the month and last as long as you continue your $15 a month plan.  Plus they are sometimes on sale - I stocked up last boxing day when they were on for half price.  For me it works out to be 1.5 cents/ mb of data and 2.5 cents / minute across Canada calling.  All in all - my bill is under $20 a month for my normal phoning / texting / data.  Also - this uses the Sasktel towers so you'll have reception.

2) BMO has a free Club Sobeys account for banking which I use.  Just my preference.  PC / Tangerine aren't bad either.

3) My home insurance is through TD / Meloche Monnex and is $45/month for a $400k detached house.  Car insurance is all through SGI here, and I think I pay $60 a month.

4) Questrade is the best way to invest money in my opinion.  It's a bit of a chore to set up, but you can buy ETFs for free with them (and selling is cheap also).  If you set up a monthly transfer from a bank account for RRSPs, you can also use that and any daycare bills etc. to file a T1213a and pay less taxes throughout the year.

I am 100% VUN (Vanguard Canada's Total US Stock Market ETF) at the moment in both TFSA / RRSP, but will switch over to VTI when my RRSP is over 100k to reduce withholding taxes.   

MMMdude

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #52 on: May 27, 2014, 01:10:37 PM »
I'm in Alberta which is a plus given no health care premiums (which BC and Ontario have???) and also lowest marginal tax rate in Canada.  Yes, Canada is more expensive on most stuff than the USA but what value can you assign on free health care for any major illness?  Any decent plan in the US will set you back quite abit....this benefit must equate to $100,000+ in present value easily

As for specific recommendations

Insurance:  I've done well with TD Meloche Monnex.  $134 per month to insure 400K home and vehicle (granted it's a 2000 model year and has no collision on it)

Banking:  I have never paid a bank fee in my life.  I'm with Scotiabank/Itrade.  Once you have enough $ in savings account, they waive the fee.  I think it's $3000 or something like that

Utilities:  Sign up with Enmax (owned by City of Calgary) and get $100 off your bill in 12 equal installments if you have both gas and power through them.

Credit Card:  I use Scotia Momentum Visa.  2% cash back on gas, groceries and recurring expenses and then 1% on everything else.  There is a 2%/4% version but has $99 fee.

Credit Card Life Hack:  Was never really into AirMiles/Aeroplan, but there are a number of awesome bonus offers out there now.  Just signed up for Amex Aeroplan Gold card.  First year free and if you get a referral, 30,000 Aeroplan points.  That's enough for a free flight anywhere in North America and leaves you with 5,000 leftover points.  If you're not a flyer simply redeem the points for Esso gas cards and that will be nearly $300 in free gas!  Cancel the card before second year starts to avoid any fee.  Rinse and repeat in following year.  PM me if you would like a referral.

« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 01:12:40 PM by MMMdude »

totoro

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #53 on: May 27, 2014, 01:20:47 PM »
I just got the MBNA offer in the mail today! 

I really like it because we were waiting until next year to put in a new kitchen (for income tax reasons) and now we can go ahead and get it done and pay it off from next year's salary as planned.

homemadelatte

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #54 on: May 28, 2014, 08:10:40 AM »
I will be following this post! We are in calgary too and find it difficult to save a significant amount on things like cell phones, internet and groceries!


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Silverwood

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #55 on: May 28, 2014, 08:26:51 AM »
So I was discussing cell phone plans with a friend and he said if Rogers cut the cost of thier plans that you'd have a bunch of ppl laid off. So essentially you're paying that much to keep ppl employed.

Anyone agree with this?  He said we don't have the same number of ppl as the states so that changes things for us.

sleepyguy

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #56 on: May 28, 2014, 01:07:45 PM »
What a load of horse shit... they outsource so much to mexico/india as-is.  It's all about profits.

So I was discussing cell phone plans with a friend and he said if Rogers cut the cost of thier plans that you'd have a bunch of ppl laid off. So essentially you're paying that much to keep ppl employed.

Anyone agree with this?  He said we don't have the same number of ppl as the states so that changes things for us.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2014, 10:02:26 AM »
BC

Even within a city, it varies dramatically! See Zikoris' costs vs mine.

I have had the lowest rate for renter's insurance Cooperators would give me on my last three suites, and it's been $500/yr. This is in 450 sq foot multi-dwelling apartment units or basement suites, lowest coverage, no claim ever. I recently switched to Square1 and saved some, but it's still over $400/yr.

We can't get Novus internet, as it only serves specific multi-unit buildings. So, our cheapest at this point is $61 with Shaw. I'm looking at TekSavvy, watching our use over the months to see if we'd benefit by switching to that.

Many shares, houses, and complexes do not accept children, regardless of how well behaved they are, etc, so some cheaper housing is ruled out for us on that count. We're now on the waitlists for co-ops and other housing cheaper than $1100. Soon we'll be "high priority", which should help reduce the wait period. In the meantime, we have either paid the price for quiet, or shared with terrible noise for cheaper, taken temporary opportunities for reduced rent, etc.

Phone - No landline, eliminated data and daytime minutes on my phone and was able to get it down to $30/mo.

Our saving grace is that our new low-income makes us eligible now for municipal recreation passes, low-income food store, etc. Because I'm self-employed, we had to go without sufficient income *and* these for a full year. But as of our latest tax return, it's all coming together. For anyone "caught in the middle", looking into these kinds of supports is advisable. Gives you some breathing room so you have a chance to get back on your feet.

An awesome Canada thing is the RDSP for children and adults with specific disability effects. 300% matching contribution from government, etc.

Mr. Minsc

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Re: Any Canadians out there?
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2014, 11:36:13 AM »
I just crunched some numbers on my Koodo cell plan.

Currently I'm using the old Serving Size 100 Plan.  Here's what this gets me:

- 100 free daytime minutes a month
- unlimited nights and weekends
- 50 free sent messages a month

Tax included this runs me $23.60 per month or $283.20 a year.  Over the past year I used roughly 725 minutes which averaged out to 60 minutes per month.  25% of my airtime was left untouched, that's a sizeable chunk.

Koodo's base prepaid plan runs at $15/month for unlimited messaging with 500 minute talk boosters costing $25.  Doing the math, one years subscription to the base plan plus two talk boosters would cost me $262.20 (tax included).  This is a difference of $21 for the year in favour of the prepaid plan with the added bonus of call display, unlimited messaging, voice mail and unused minutes carrying over to the next year.  I'm seeing little reason to not go per-paid.