How To Find an Apartment that Fits Your Life...and Your Budget

howtofindanapartmentthatfitsyourlife.andyourbudget.jpgI was a newly-minted university graduate…

Ready to take on the world and get a place of my own.

I had high hopes of finding somewhere that hit ALL of my criteria for a place to live, including the following:

  • Walking distance to my new job in a central, trendy neighbourhood
  • Within a five minute walk of groceries, Starbucks, restaurants and a major transit station
  • Close enough to everything that I wouldn’t need a car
  • Big enough to fit my queen-sized bed, dresser and a desk

Seems reasonable, right?

Here’s the kicker: my budget was $500. Tops.

So I set out to Kijiji with my must-haves in hand. Apartment hunting can seem like the world is your oyster… until you skim past the price on that dream listing a block away from work with the granite countertops.

Hello dreams, prepared for a crushing trip back to reality.

Against all odds - seriously, all of them - I found an apartment that fit all of my criteria, gave me the lifestyle I had been hoping for, and helped me stick to my new grad budget. So I know what I’m talking about when I say it’s possible to find a rental that fits both your lifestyle and your budget.

To get the same results, you’ll need to look at 3 main factors before you sign on the dotted line.

  1. Location
  2. Amenities
  3. Budget

Each one will have a few different factors that will influence your dream-apartment wishlist, so let’s get started! Keep reading » about How To Find an Apartment that Fits Your Life...and Your Budget

Are Robo Advisors Right For Your Retirement Savings?

areroboadvisorsrightforyourretirementsavings.jpgThis article was sponsored by ModernAdvisor.

Canadians don’t save enough money to comfortably retire on.

More and more Canadians are choosing to work into their golden years with most claiming they want to stay active. While I’m sure that is true for many, there are definitely others that simply can’t afford to retire in comfort.

Generation X and Millennials can no longer rely on holding down lifetime jobs with full pensions. Honestly, even counting on a decent retirement savings matching program from their employer is often too much to hope for.

Like it or not, we’re being forced into competently managing our own retirement savings without much help. Even people with an aptitude for money like myself are prone to making costly investment mistakes.

Going for generic advice from your bank can be even worse, often locking you into funds with enormous fees that erode your retirement savings right under your nose. Bank needs to “make bank” after all - have you seen their profits?

Robo Advisors, like ModernAdvisor - the lowest cost Canadian online advisor, provide another option that could be the right one to help make your ideal retirement a reality.

Robo Advisors vs. Mutual Funds

Keep reading » about Are Robo Advisors Right For Your Retirement Savings?

11 Ways To Lower Your Power & Utility Bills

11waystoloweryourpowerandutilitybills.jpgUtility costs are a fact of life.

Water and heat (like food) are non-negotiables…

But it doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to shrink this monthly expense now, does it?

There are plenty of ways to save money on utility costs. And anyone can do some of these simple changes.

Whether you live in an older, less efficient home or a new build - there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to save and lower your bills.

Let’s get started.

Minor Household Changes

Here are 4 minor changes you can make to your home to save on your utility bills: Keep reading » about 11 Ways To Lower Your Power & Utility Bills

Canadian Rewards Programs: Are You Loyal?


Rewards programs are meant to create loyalty…

Repeat customers and repeat business are the name of the game.

But my experience has been that it doesn’t pay to be loyal. Shopping around for both the best prices AND the best rewards bonuses and perks is 100% the way to go...

IF you’re willing to invest the time.

A quick check shows that I am currently a member of at least 30 rewards programs. I don’t use them all on a regular basis - I have my favourites just like anyone. (Don’t miss my top 5 below.)

Then, there’s other times when rewards programs just aren’t worth it.

But, I do try to keep my eyes open for amazing opportunities in any one of those 30+ programs. If they make me an offer I can’t refuse - then I’ll take it!

That said, it’s hard to know what’s out there and targeted specifically at Canadians. I’ve put together a pretty comprehensive list below - please add any I missed in the comments!

Cash Rewards For Shopping Online

Keep reading » about Canadian Rewards Programs: Are You Loyal?