Bank Nerd http://banknerd.ca Visa Credit Card :: Canada Credit Card :: Credit Check :: Canada Bank :: Loans :: Mortgages :: Mortgage Rates :: Bad Credit Loans Tue, 14 May 2013 14:30:06 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2 Your Closing Costs Explained http://banknerd.ca/2013/05/09/your-closing-costs-explained/ http://banknerd.ca/2013/05/09/your-closing-costs-explained/#comments Thu, 09 May 2013 18:17:11 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14148
There’s a lot more to buying a home than simply signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Not only will you need to put enough money aside for your deposit and down payment, you’ll also want to budget for your closing costs. Many homebuyers make the mistake of not putting enough money aside for these

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There’s a lot more to buying a home than simply signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Not only will you need to put enough money aside for your deposit and down payment, you’ll also want to budget for your closing costs. Many homebuyers make the mistake of not putting enough money aside for these costs and are left in a situation where they have to come up with the extra amount fast, in order to close. By understanding where these seemingly hidden costs come from, you can better prepare yourself for closing day.

What are Closing Costs?

As you probably already know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch in finance. Similar to buying mutual funds, there are transaction costs involved in buying real estate. Most people don’t realize closing costs can amount to 1.5 to 4 per cent of the purchase price of a home. If you’re buying a home in one of Canada’s more expensive markets, like Toronto or Vancouver, these costs can add up fast. And if you’re only making a 5 per cent down payment, when your budget is already stretched to the limit, not budgeting for closing costs can easily push you over the edge.

If you’re still not convinced about the importance of budgeting for closing costs, let’s run the numbers. Let’s say you’re the proud new owner of a beautifully renovated two-storey detached house in Toronto. The purchase price is $725,000, which you’ve been pre-approved for by your lender. To finalize your purchase, you first need to come up with a down payment (a 5 per cent down payment is $36,250). Then, you’ll need to fork out anywhere from 1.5 to 4 per cent extra ($10,875 to $29,000) for your closing costs. It’s not chump change, is it? Let’s find out what that money could be going.

The Most Common Closing Costs

It’s easy to forget to save for closing costs, especially if you’re new to real estate. Many first-time buyers save for their down payment and don’t consider all of the additional costs that will come up on closing day. And if you’re left scrambling to come up with the extra cash, it’s not as easy as just asking for your lender for more money or a bigger mortgage. Here’s a list of what you should prepare to pay for:

  • Home Inspection
  • Deposit
  • Land Transfer Tax
  • Legal Fees and Disbursements
  • Title Insurance
  • Prepaid Utilities
  • Prepaid Property Taxes

Not all of these closing costs will apply to every purchase, but it’s important for buyers to educate themselves on the property they are considering and budget for any cost that will be associated with it.

So, what happens if you don’t budget for your closing costs? If you don’t have the extra money in your savings accounts, you could end up having to borrow from your family, your friends or your lender. And the last thing you want to do is start your journey of homeownership by being house poor and on an even tighter budget. By budgeting and saving for your closing costs ahead of time, you’ll avoid the stress of trying to come up with any extra money on closing day, which will set you up for a successful start in your new home.

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Scotiabank and American Express – Bringing You Meaningful Travel Faster http://banknerd.ca/2013/04/11/scotiabank-and-american-express-%e2%80%93-bringing-you-meaningful-travel-faster/ http://banknerd.ca/2013/04/11/scotiabank-and-american-express-%e2%80%93-bringing-you-meaningful-travel-faster/#comments Thu, 11 Apr 2013 13:43:40 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14141
Several months ago I wrote about the new partnership between Scotiabank and American Express, which resulted in Scotiabank launching a suite of three new credit cards. We worked out a partnership with Scotiabank for us to get a trial run with the Scotiabank American Express Card and I have to say, these new credit cards

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Several months ago I wrote about the new partnership between Scotiabank and American Express, which resulted in Scotiabank launching a suite of three new credit cards.

We worked out a partnership with Scotiabank for us to get a trial run with the Scotiabank American Express Card and I have to say, these new credit cards have been built for the travel enthusiast!

What has made this credit card stand out for me?

amex 2 picture 11 Scotiabank and American Express – Bringing You Meaningful Travel Faster

The fact is, the Scotiabank suite of American Express-branded cards was designed to allow Cardmembers to increase their travel rewards through accelerated earning at various retailers. In the case of the Scotia Standard Amex Card that I’m testing, I earn 2x the points on everyday purchases in categories that are highly relevant to me (gas, grocery, dining and entertainment). With the Scotiabank Gold and Platinum American Express Cards, that accelerator increases to 4x the points on purchases in those categories.

Scotiabank’s tagline is “You’re Richer Than You Think” – and with this credit card in your hand and the accelerated rewards system, you really do become richer. In no time you can accumulate a large amount of reward points, especially when you are making purchases at the stores that help accelerate your rewards!

Just to recap, the reward system for the Scotia AmEx cards is as follows:

Reward StandardGoldPlatinum
For every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment:2x Scotia Rewards Points4x Scotia Rewards Points4x Scotia Rewards Points
For every $1 spent on all other purchases:1x Scotia Rewards Points1x Scotia Rewards Points1x Scotia Rewards Points
First Purchase Bonus (until March 31, 2013):8,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards Points20,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards Points40,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards Points

How do I plan on using my rewards?

With all of the rewards points I expect to accumulate in the months to come, I plan to use them towards a family vacation. The fact is, my entire family will be celebrating my Grandma’s 80th birthday in the Caribbean. My goal is to make use of all of my reward points to book the flight.

amex 2 article Scotiabank and American Express – Bringing You Meaningful Travel Faster

I cannot wait to relax on a beach, and enjoy a vacation with my family and friends.

You may recall that with the suite of Scotia Amex Cards, there are no blackout datesand your entire ticket can be covered using your reward points – even your taxes! It’s comforting knowing I have nothing to worry about when it comes to using my reward points for my upcoming trip.

I am also comforted by the fact that my card gives me comprehensive travel insurance coverage, so have nothing to worry about other than having a great time on the trip. The fact is, I will be saving money on travel insurance and, with the accelerated earnings of reward points, I will be well on my way to covering the cost of my trip.

If you‘re interested in trying out any of the Scotiabank American Express Cards  for yourself, consider applying. You will fall in love with the perks as you rack up the points!

This series has been sponsored by Scotiabank, one of the world’s largest credit card companies, providing its clients with outstanding service and products. Using Scotiabank American Express credit cards allows you to connect to millions of merchants around the world.

 

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The NEW Scotiabank Gold AMEX Experience! http://banknerd.ca/2012/12/05/the-new-scotiabank-gold-amex-experience/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/12/05/the-new-scotiabank-gold-amex-experience/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 19:55:47 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14110
Almost two months ago, Scotiabank made an announcement that was very exciting for those of us who are passionate about travel – they announced their partnership with American Express and launched three brand new credit cards. The new suite of credit cards are for the travel enthusiast in all of us. This was a great

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Almost two months ago, Scotiabank made an announcement that was very exciting for those of us who are passionate about travel – they announced their partnership with American Express and launched three brand new credit cards.

The new suite of credit cards are for the travel enthusiast in all of us. This was a great expansion, in my opinion, and after going through the credit cards in this new line-up I was sold on what they are able to offer consumers.

Over the past month, we have worked out a partnership with Scotiabank for us to get a trial run on this brand new credit card. I, for one, am very excited to further increase the potential travelling I will be able to do!

The credit card I will be using for the next few months is none other than the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card!

img amexgold details en 300x227 The NEW Scotiabank Gold AMEX Experience!

Why is this card good for me?

As you know, I love maximizing my points collection for any credit card I have. Unless you are holding a balance, then you should be looking at what perks you can get from credit cards (especially when they have a annual fee attached).

I have outlined what the rewards system is like on the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card in the table below:

RewardsRequirement
4x Scotia Rewards PointsFor every $1 spent at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment
20,000 Bonus Scotia Rewards PointsFirst Purchase Bonus

As you will see in the table above, the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card offers a 4x accelerated rate, not to mention a first purchase bonus of 20,000 Scotia Reward Points.

Now, as frugal as I try to be, there are times when you can’t help but spend money (especially when Christmas is just around the corner), and now I can take advantage of this and shop at retailers where I earn Scotia Rewards points at an accelerated rate on my new card!

What am I looking forward to most about this credit card?

What excites me the most about this card is not just the rewards program included, but the fact that there are no restrictions when it comes to travelling.

With no blackout dates, you are able to redeem even through busy travel seasons – such as Christmas!

Also, there are no booking fees involved, in fact even your taxes can be covered with your points.

I am also particularly fond of the comprehensive insurance provided with this credit card. You are given:

  • Travel emergency medical insurance
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation
  • And much more!

Now I know that a lot of people are probably looking at the annual fee and may consider it to be on the higher end at $99 for the Gold Card. But before you say anything, just review what the card is providing you with, and you will realize that you are receiving benefits not many gold (or even some platinum) travel reward cards offer. For example the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card is available at an annual fee of $120, but it’s insurance coverage only includes Flight Delay and Baggage Insurance, Auto rental collision/ loss damage insurance, and Common Carrier Accident Insurance. I will not go into depth in comparing these two cards, but you can see which one offers you a better travel insurance package.

If you are interested in trying out the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card for yourself, consider applying. Before you realize it, you will fall in love with this new credit card!

This series has been sponsored by Scotiabank, one of the world’s largest credit card companies, who provides its clients with outstanding service and products. Using the new suite of Scotiabank AmEx credit cards allows you to connect to a majority of merchants around the world.

 

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Frequently Never Asked Questions for your Travel Medical Insurance http://banknerd.ca/2012/11/26/frequently-never-asked-questions-for-your-travel-medical-insurance/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/11/26/frequently-never-asked-questions-for-your-travel-medical-insurance/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 16:51:21 +0000 lucas taylor http://banknerd.ca/?p=14047
So, you’re heading on vacation? More than likely you’ve been told to buy travel medical insurance “just in case”. The fact is travel insurance is just as important for you to pack as any item in your luggage. No matter where you’re headed to, ensuring that you’re ready for the what ifs of adventure is

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So, you’re heading on vacation? More than likely you’ve been told to buy travel medical insurance “just in case”. The fact is travel insurance is just as important for you to pack as any item in your luggage. No matter where you’re headed to, ensuring that you’re ready for the what ifs of adventure is exactly what travel insurance provides.

While every emergency medical travel insurance policy varies, I looked to the team at online comparison website, Kanetix.ca, to offer tips on just how to find the right policy. While we originally set out to solve the top travel questions from customers, the team at Kanetix instead offered a different angle, “why don’t we look at the questions customers SHOULD be asking but never do?” And so, without further delay, take a look at the top Frequently Never Asked Questions (FNAQs) on travel insurance:

shutterstock 98294339 300x197 Frequently Never Asked Questions for your Travel Medical Insurance

Top Travel Medical Insurance FNAQ’s

1. FNAQ: What is supplementary travel medical coverage?

Answer: Travel medical insurance will provide coverage for all, or a portion, of the expenses you incur during a medical emergency. It will kick in the money needed over and above what your provincial health insurance plan will cover while travelling outside Canada. Supplementary travel medical insurance varies greatly from company to company but can include coverage for such things as:

Emergency medical expenses like care received from a physician, laboratory tests and x-rays, and prescriptions.

  • Emergency dental care
  • Medical evacuation services such as a ground or air ambulance
  • Medical devices like casts, canes, slings, trusses, walkers, wheelchair rental, splints, etc…
  • Incidental expenses incurred while in the hospital
  • Hospital room accommodation

Some policies will even return your dog or cat to Canada if Rover or Whiskers was travelling with you when you became ill or injured.

2. FNAQ: Can’t I just rely on my provincial health insurance to cover me?

Answer: It’s not advisable. Provincial government health insurance plans will usually cover emergency care but only for as much as that service would have cost in your home province. As a result, you are responsible for the difference in cost. Further, the difference between the actual cost of out-of-country emergency services and the amount you’re covered through your province’s health insurance can be significant.

In the words of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada you should “not rely on your provincial or territorial health plan to cover costs if you get sick or are injured while abroad. Out-of-country health care can be costly, and your health plan may not cover any medical expenses abroad.”

If you are planning to escape winter in its entirety (hello, Snowbirds), keep in mind that most provinces have a minimum number of days that you must reside in the province each year to maintain eligibility for coverage under your province’s Health Insurance Plan.

3. FNAQ: I have travel medical insurance coverage through my credit card so that will be enough, right?

shutterstock 63197617 300x225 Frequently Never Asked Questions for your Travel Medical Insurance

Answer: Maybe and maybe not. Read all of the information that comes with your credit card’s emergency health insurance coverage. You might be surprised to find out that if you only go with your credit card coverage, you could leave yourself open to major medical bills. Watch for:

Eligibility requirements, including any restrictions.

  • Coverage limitations, specifically the maximum they’ll pay.
  • How many travel days per year you are allowed.
  • Trip length limitations on individual trips.

Don’t forget you might have to pay for your trip with the credit card in order to even be covered by that card’s insurance offering, so if you’re relying on your credit card’s travel insurance coverage make sure it’s in force before you leave. And, don’t assume you can simply rely on the benefits/coverage offered through employer benefits either, as they too may not offer sufficient coverage

4. FNAQ: Can I buy travel medical insurance after I have left for my vacation?

Answer: Unlikely. Most Canadian travel insurance providers will not sell you travel insurance while already on holiday. While there are likely a select few insurers that could provide coverage it very likely would only be restricted coverage. Make sure you get it before you leave!

5. FNAQ: If my plans change after having already purchased a policy and I leave early to go on my vacation, or am late to come home, is my travel insurance policy affected?

Answer: Yes, in both instances you will not be covered. However (in better news!), usually this can be addressed with a simple call to your travel insurance company requesting they start your coverage early, or extend it. Make sure you make this call though prior to your early departure or before your policy expires to ensure that you are covered.

6. FNAQ: Will I still be covered if I decide to travel outside the country I originally said I was going to vacation in when applying for my emergency medical travel insurance?

Answer: In general it is somewhat irrelevant where the customer is travelling to – to a point. Generally rates are based on either ‘Travel Within Canada’, ‘Travel Within USA’, or ‘Travel Outside USA’. Insurers will ask where the primary destination is (where the majority of the trip will occur), and will base the rates on this destination. Typically, there would be no restrictions on visiting other countries, given there were no travel bans, etc.   Example, one travelling South-East Asia, would most likely be free to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.

7. FNAQ: Can I get treatment from anyone, for anything, if it’s an emergency and be covered by my travel medical insurance?

Answer: No. When you buy your coverage, your travel insurance provider will give you instructions on how to get treatment along with a toll-free number to their service centre. It is the role of this centre to help you manage your medical needs. The centre will have a list of preferred hospitals and physicians and will give you a referral. Even with this, you should get authorization for medical care or treatments proposed to you. This is because your insurance company may not recognize and cover you for some medical, laboratory and diagnostic procedures they deem not needed in your particular “emergency”. If in doubt, call (or have someone trusted call) the toll-free number and check with them first before you get the procedure done.

Make sure you get detailed receipts for all the work you get done.

8. FNAQ: What is NOT covered by my travel medical insurance?

Answer: This is one of the most important questions you can ask. Every policy is different, which is why you should read over your materials carefully.

In general, an emergency due to a pre-existing condition is not covered; a pre-existing condition is one that has been diagnosed by a licensed physician (the length of time since diagnosis varies by company), the medical condition has not been stable prior to leaving for holiday, or you started taking medication or began treatment for the condition recently (again length of time prior to departure varies by company.)

You can get coverage for emergencies that arise due to a pre-existing condition-but only if the travel insurer knows about your pre-existing condition beforehand. When applying for coverage, you will be asked about any pre-existing conditions for which you will then have to answer a full medical questionnaire.

Along with pre-existing conditions, there are other instances that are typically excluded from your policy’s coverage including: self-inflicted injuries; pregnancy, childbirth or complications from either (if you’re travelling in the late stages of pregnancy); participation in contact sports or risky activities such as scuba diving; drug or alcohol abuse; involvement in criminal activities or acts of war; or simply travel to countries where a Travel Warning has been issued by the Government of Canada advising Canadians not to travel to this country, region or city. [BR1]

Finally, non-emergencies-like routine health care, elective surgery, investigative or diagnostic services-will not be covered by your emergency travel medical insurance policy.

9. FNAQ: What can I do if I have a dispute with my travel medical insurance provider?

Answer: Thankfully, you can take your concerns and travel insurance complaints to the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI). The CLHIO was incorporated as a separate and independent entity from the industry association.

Ready, set, shop!

Now that you’ve got the answers to our “Frequently Never Asked Questions” about travel medical insurance, you’re ready to shop for your coverage. Compare travel insurance quotes today from top Canadian travel insurance companies. At Kanetix.ca, you can get quotes from competing travel insurance companies, so you save money while getting the coverage you want — and need!

 

 


 [BR1]Need to confirm

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Affordable Condos Finally Coming To Vancouver http://banknerd.ca/2012/11/19/affordable-condos-finally-coming-to-vancouver/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/11/19/affordable-condos-finally-coming-to-vancouver/#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2012 19:29:44 +0000 Finance Bandit http://banknerd.ca/?p=14072
Buying a home in one of Canada’s booming real estate markets like Vancouver or Toronto can be depressing. Younger couples and first-time homeowners are likely to find that their options for living in the city just won’t happen. There’s a huge demand for affordable housing, but with developers getting the outrageous prices they’re asking for,

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Buying a home in one of Canada’s booming real estate markets like Vancouver or Toronto can be depressing. Younger couples and first-time homeowners are likely to find that their options for living in the city just won’t happen.

There’s a huge demand for affordable housing, but with developers getting the outrageous prices they’re asking for, there’s not much incentive to offer any.

That’s why there’s some great news from Surrey, BC developer Tien Sher. They’re planning on creating affordable condos that, according to their president, will be affordable to anyone with a $6,000 down-payment and an annual income of around $35,000.

Each unit will have all the modern amenities you’d expect: stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and a balcony.

The catch? They’re SMALL!.

Over half of the units in the building will be 305 square feet or smaller. That’s about 17’ x 17’.

What’s Life Like In Such A Tiny Space?

Make no mistake, this is a small area to live in. If you live by yourself, it can actually be surprisingly comfortable. There’s no room for clutter, but with a proper layout you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips (almost literally).

For a couple you’ll have to have a VERY good relationship. Units this size don’t have much in the way of privacy (or walls), and you’ll probably have to make some interesting arrangements for things like noise levels (get some good headphones for when you want to watch TV and he wants to sleep), and personal space. All of a sudden sleeping on the couch after you get into a fight doesn’t really accomplish anything, since you’ll probably be able to reach out and touch the bed.

shutterstock 61165087 vancouver Affordable Condos Finally Coming To Vancouver

Will It Work?

Of course it will work. It will work for the simple reason that it’s affordable. For anyone who’s given up ever being able to afford a property in their city, this is the perfect way to get their foot into the market. It’s easy to imagine these buildings offering more common areas to help with the personal space issue, and extra storage (available for an extra charge) for those who need it.

At the end of the day, many people would rather live in a tiny place that they own than a larger space that they don’t.

Technology And Living Small

One of the biggest issues with living in such a tiny space is storage. There’s barely enough room for you to move around, much less store all of your stuff. Technology is really helping us with the space issue. Not many of us have racks of CD’s and DVD’s anymore. Your old clunky desktop is now a laptop or an iPad, so you don’t need a large desk (if you need one at all).

  • Your TV fits on your wall, and your iPod speaker dock replaced your old stereo.
  • As more and more of our lives become digital, physical items in our lives become less prevalent.
  • With a greater demand for smaller living spaces, furniture and appliance companies will start catering to that market more.
  • Condo-sized sofas will become easier to find, and multi-function furniture will become more common-place.

Your clothes, on the other hand, are probably going to be a perpetual problem.

Expanding Trend

If projects like this one work, we can expect a wider variety of options in the future. Once developers see that people are more than willing to sacrifice size for location, truly affordable housing options will sprout up everywhere, giving a generation of renters the chance they’ve been looking for.

If your currently interested in buying a home or condo, we recommend shopping around for a mortgage and comparing the best rates. One of the best mortgage comparison sites in Canada is MortgageRates.ca.

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BMO System Wide Failure in Branches and Debit Cards! http://banknerd.ca/2012/11/02/bank-of-montreal-system-wide-failure-in-branches-and-debit-cards/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/11/02/bank-of-montreal-system-wide-failure-in-branches-and-debit-cards/#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 15:40:19 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14076
Bank of Montreal (BMO) account holders are probably having a tough morning. I have come across several people in my office who have attempted to use their debit card, but have their debit card rejected. The message read on the payment machine is: “Cannot Access System Problems”. I contacted BMO and inquired about this problem

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Bank of Montreal (BMO) account holders are probably having a tough morning. I have come across several people in my office who have attempted to use their debit card, but have their debit card rejected.

The message read on the payment machine is: “Cannot Access System Problems”.

shutterstock 77125048 300x204 BMO System Wide Failure in Branches and Debit Cards!

I contacted BMO and inquired about this problem people have been facing, and I was told that approximately 30 – 40 minutes ago the issue occurred, which was a System Wide Failure in both branches and debit cards. Ultimately, the error was with the network.

In an age of where plastic is king, and cash comes in second, this is a HUGE problem!

What is BMO doing about it?

My initial source for this news explained that BMO was allowing clients to withdraw money, however it was a limited amount.

Also, if they knew you as a client of that branch, the withdrawal amount was higher than if they did not know you. This goes to show that making a relationship with you bank can go a long way, especially in an unforeseen situation like this.

Upon contacting BMO, I was told that banks are handing out money, but as their systems are down too, the amount depends on the bank.

The branch that our source went to was in fact allowing “known” customer to withdraw a maximum of $500, while customer they did not know, could withdraw a maximum of $200.

Now realistically, the amounts are both fine (really who needs to walk around with $500) but the fact that BMO’s systems went down, and just because you are not known at the branch you walk in to, you are faced to suffer a lower withdrawal amount? Not a good idea in my opinion, it is valid, but in the end, they messed up, not the client.

When will this be fixed?

I was told over the phone that BMO expects it to be fixed in an hour (I spoke to BMO around 10:45) So the estimated timeline is soon. I plan on checking this out for myself at 11:50 and will update this article here.

Let us know how you have dealt with this system failure from BMO. We would love to hear your story!

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Mayonnaise Jar of Life Related to Personal Finance http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/28/mayonnaise-jar-of-life-related-to-personal-finance/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/28/mayonnaise-jar-of-life-related-to-personal-finance/#comments Fri, 28 Sep 2012 22:36:42 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14041
I recently had the chance of reading a story again, called the Mayonnaise Jar of Life, and it got me thinking on how this can be related to personal finance. Realistically, our spending can get our of hand at any age, especially when we are young. When we are young, we want to do everything,

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I recently had the chance of reading a story again, called the Mayonnaise Jar of Life, and it got me thinking on how this can be related to personal finance.

Realistically, our spending can get our of hand at any age, especially when we are young. When we are young, we want to do everything, regardless of the cost, and it can (and will likely) come back to haunt us in the future.

What is the Mayonnaise Jar of Life story?

Well you may have to bear with me, because this story isn’t actually meant for personal finance, but I plan on making a spin on it.

I am sure a lot of people have heard of the mayonnaise jar of life story; you haven’t? No problem here it is:

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, ” I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things in life. Your family, your children, your health, your beliefs, your friends, and your favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else, the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the garbage disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

It is a long story, but as you can see the point is that it addresses the important things in life, and of course there is no harm having a cup of coffee with a friend.

What is my spin on the story?

Well the fact is, although the story relates to taking care of the important things in life, how about we relate it to our finances.

The golf balls are the important purchases – the ones we have to make, tuition payments, rent, etc. Set those priorities first, well ahead of the pebbles – luxuries, and very much ahead of the sand – random spur of the moment spending.

Ultimately, you will be able to avoid getting in unnecessary debt by keeping this in mind. I am not saying it is not possible to get into debt with the basic necessities you need to have, but at least it won’t be for purchases you will regret in the future.

If you are able to do that, then you will find your spending to ease down, and not only enjoy life, but still find time to have a cup of coffee with a friend.

 

 

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Introducing the Scotiabank American Express Line-Up! http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/24/introducing-the-scotiabank-american-express-line-up/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/24/introducing-the-scotiabank-american-express-line-up/#comments Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:21:12 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14035
Today is a big day for Canadian banks (in my opinion), Scotiabank has announced today that they have launched a new line of credit cards – the Scotiabank American Express Cards. This marks a new strategic card issuing alliance between Scotiabank and American Express. The new line-up of credit cards are designed for travel enthusiasts

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Today is a big day for Canadian banks (in my opinion), Scotiabank has announced today that they have launched a new line of credit cards – the Scotiabank American Express Cards. This marks a new strategic card issuing alliance between Scotiabank and American Express.

The new line-up of credit cards are designed for travel enthusiasts as you can imagine.

Scotiabank has expanded their network very smartly in my opinion. As it stands, there are many people who love what AMEX has to offer, and now that they are linked together with Scotiabank, we can expect to see some pretty big things from them.

What are the new credit cards in the new Scotiabank American Express Card lineup?

The new Scotiabank American Express line-up includes 3 new credit cards:

  • img amex details en 300x227 Introducing the Scotiabank American Express Line Up!The Scotiabank American Express Card
    • Earn travel rewards, up to 2x faster
    • Earn a first purchase bonus of 8,000 Scotia Rewards
    • $39 annual fee
  • img amexgold details en 300x227 Introducing the Scotiabank American Express Line Up!The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
    • Earn travel rewards, up to 4x faster
    • Earn a first purchase bonus of 20,000 Scotia Rewards
    • $99 annual fee

Screen Shot 2012 09 24 at 3.40.45 PM Introducing the Scotiabank American Express Line Up!

  • The Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card
    • Earn travel rewards, up to 4x faster
    • Earn a first purchase bonus of 40,000 Scotia Rewards
    • $399 annual fee

These new credit cards will allow cardholders to earn points quickly, which will be turned into travel benefits.

As you can see, these 3 tiers of the Scotiabank American Express line-up holds an increased rewards rate as you use one of the higher cards – although there is an increased annual fee as well.

You may have noticed that the Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card has an annual fee of $399. That is the actual annual fee and although the travel rewards rate is the same as the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, the features are far from being the same (more info on this to come soon).

As it stands, I am liking what I have seen so far from the Scotiabank American Express Cards, and cannot wait to dive into it and see how they compare to the current travel credit cards on the market.

What do you think of the new Scotiabank American Express Line-up?

 

 

 

 

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Win Cash using RBC’s Virtual Visa Debit Contest! http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/19/win-cash-using-rbcs-virtual-visa-debit-contest/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/19/win-cash-using-rbcs-virtual-visa-debit-contest/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 18:00:46 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14024
Several months ago the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) launched a Virtual Visa Debit. This product was designed to allow consumers pay for products online, over the phone or mail order purchases directly from their bank account. To me, this is an ideal product for someone who does not have a credit card. It is

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Several months ago the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) launched a Virtual Visa Debit. This product was designed to allow consumers pay for products online, over the phone or mail order purchases directly from their bank account.

To me, this is an ideal product for someone who does not have a credit card. It is also a pretty great way to shop online without relying on a credit card – some people may agree with me that a credit card can lead you down a path of debt you just don’t want to be on.

That said, RBC has launched a brand new contest where you can shop online for a chance to win $1000 in cash, and a grand prize of $10,000!

How do I enter this contest?

It doesn’t get any simpler than this; all you need to do is use your RBC Virtual Visa Debit!

Screen Shot 2012 09 20 at 2.11.30 AM Win Cash using RBCs Virtual Visa Debit Contest!

Every time you pay with your RBC Virtual Visa Debit between now and October 31st, 2012, your name will be entered in a draw to win the cash prize.

There will be five $1,000 prizes awarded every month through October, which means September and October provides you with ample opportunity to win some money!

All of your entries will also be included in the Grand prize draw of $10,000!

Not bad for spending money on items you were likely to buy anyways, right?

What makes a RBC Virtual Visa Debit worth using?

Outside of the fact that you are entered into this great contest, you also need to keep in mind that you are given the perk of shopping online, without an annual fee attached to it, or the build up of debt.

Realistically, if you are responsible to carry credit, then it is a good idea to do so. You earn rewards, and you build your credit score up.

However, this is a great alternative in my opinion.

Start spending soon, because before you know it the contest will be over!

 

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Introducing the TD Pump it Up Contest! http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/19/introducing-the-td-pump-it-up-contest/ http://banknerd.ca/2012/09/19/introducing-the-td-pump-it-up-contest/#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:44:21 +0000 Sensei http://banknerd.ca/?p=14021
A friend of mine published a new contest on Facebook being run by none other than TD Canada Trust. The contest is called “TD PUMP IT UP”. The prize of this concert as you may be able to imagine is 1 of 3 amazing concerts for your school. The performances will be by Steve Aoki,

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A friend of mine published a new contest on Facebook being run by none other than TD Canada Trust.

The contest is called “TD PUMP IT UP”. The prize of this concert as you may be able to imagine is 1 of 3 amazing concerts for your school. The performances will be by Steve Aoki, Dragonette or Young Empires!

The competition you are facing is other schools who are based into 1 of 3 divisions. This is all based on the size of your school:

  • Featherweight division
  • Lightweight division
  • Heavyweight division

The next question you must be asking yourself is “how can you play”?

How do I participate in this contest?

Screen Shot 2012 09 20 at 1.55.05 AM 300x205 Introducing the TD Pump it Up Contest!
Pump it Up is divided into 2 rounds of play:

  1. The qualifying round
    In each division, only the top 8 loudest schools, with the most votes will more onto the Tournament round. The higher you rank in the top 8, the better your school is matched in the tournament
  2. The Tournament round
    In this round you are in a full elimination tournament. Each school is placed head to head within each division. You will need to come back and vote for your school in each round of the tournament. The school with the most votes in each match up will then advance into the next round. You will be notified via email whether your school won or lost

How do I win?

This is where you take advantage of all social channels available to you. You need votes, so spread the word!

If you are looking for an increase in votes for each round, take advantage of the following 3 things:

  1. Answer the TD Canada Trust Student Bundle trivia questions correctly
  2. Use the TD Branch Locator
  3. Tweet about the TD Pump it Up contest

Remember, this is contest is all about the votes, so spread the word and who knows, your school may just get a free contest!a

Get voting today! the contest ends October 1st! The Tournament rounds are under way, be sure to vote for your school if you made it through the qualifying rounds!

 

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