Do You Really Need Car Rental Insurance?

doyoureallyneedcarrentalinsurance.jpgThis article was written in partnership with LowestRates.

Car rental insurance is ridiculously expensive…

… taking both the liability insurance and car damage or replacement coverage can easily double the daily cost of a rental.

The question is: do you need those expensive car rental insurance extras?

The answer is often no - or at least you can find much cheaper alternatives to get the same coverage.

You have to be careful though, because laws and coverage specifics vary from place to place and policy to policy. If you find yourself in a foreign province or country without the correct coverage, you could be on the hook for huge sums of money.

Use this guide as a starting point, then double check with your insurer and the rental agency to make sure you’re covered.

Vastly Different Types of Coverage

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You Only Live Once, So Don’t Blow It!

you_only_live_once_so_dont_blow_it.jpgTo save or to yolo? That’s the question.

Can the battle between frugality and “living life” cease to exist? And if so...

How do you strike that elusive balance?

Let’s examine “balance”, shall we?

It’s a soothing word to smooth over underlying conflict between two camps.

First, there’s work-life balance. A conflict of time spent between work and life outside of work.

Then there’s the balanced diet. A conflict between different food types. Natural food vs. junk food. High-fat vs. low-fat. High-carb vs. high-protein. And so on.

And not to be outdone…

There’s also the balanced budget. In personal finance, it’s taking the money we earn (after tax) and allocating chunks of it to: fixed and variable costs, savings, investments, debt payments, etc. A balanced budget is achieved when 100% of our money is properly allocated.

The conflict comes when we overspend in one area because it takes away from other areas.

Excess can be avoided with balance.

But - is balance just unicorns and rainbows?

YOLO Isn't a License to Blow Your Money

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5 Best Ways To Redeem Your Air Miles

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Air Miles may have decided to cancel their their expiration policy - but that doesn't mean you should wait to redeem your miles.

Why?

Because Air Miles was banking on huge profits from being able to take millions of unredeemed miles off their books and keep that money for themselves. Now they can't...

... And who do you think is going to foot the bill?

You'd be right if you're thinking they are going to try and make their collectors pay for their misfortune in some other way! They even admitted that much in a financial disclosure to their investors as reported by The Globe and Mail.

It’s time to stop 'dreaming' about a glorious future redemption and get real about what you can actually get for your points today before they’re worth much less.

Want to get the BEST value for your Air Miles? Download the PDF version of this guide - and read it anywhere when you want.

Your Options For Redeeming Air Miles

A big change to the Air Miles program, Air Miles “Cash”, was announced back in 2011. At the same time, the clock on this new 5 year expiry policy started ticking that has now been abolished.

If you chose to switch your points to 100% Air Miles Cash at the time, then you’re pretty safe. Just go to a participating Air Miles sponsor in your area - maybe a gas station or grocery store - and get part, or all, of your purchase for free.

With Air Miles Cash, your miles can always be redeemed at a rate of 95 miles = $10. That gives each single mile a value of 10.5 cents. This is known as the cost per mile or CPM and is an easy way of comparing reward value.

You calculate CPM by taking the real cost in dollars of the reward you are buying and dividing it by number of Air Miles required to redeem for that reward. I’m going to be using CPM throughout the rest of the article.

If you chose to stick with Air Miles 'Dream', then you have a much more difficult decision ahead of you. You can choose between a variety of rewards including travel, merchandise, events & attractions, and even sweepstakes.

Inside each one of those categories is a confusing array of additional choices. The bad news is that the selection of high value rewards has really dwindled since Air Miles Cash was introduced.

My go-to reward was always the free movie certificates because they gave a 30 cent per mile value, nearly triple the cash rate. Years ago that reward disappeared so I switched to car washes which also had a high value. Not long after, that one was gone too - followed by the great selection of gift cards they used to offer.

The good news?

There’s a few things left worth redeeming for and I’m going to tell you what they are.

Top 5 Air Miles Dream Rewards

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11 Signs Your Financial Advisor Is Robbing You Blind (And How To Stop It!)

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Investing your money is complicated at best. And downright scary at worst.

With seemingly unlimited investment options available and no formal training on how financial markets work, you naturally turn to a financial advisor for help. Seems like the only rational choice, right?

It is a good choice actually - the bad news is that many people cannot be trusted with your money, including so-called “financial advisors”. That term is completely unregulated in most of Canada and practically anyone can call themselves an advisor.

Many of these advisors, especially at retail banks, are just glorified salespeople that are given extremely short training. They are basically told to promote the bank’s own products whenever possible to give them the highest profit. Here’s one prime example.

Advisors that work more independently - like those at Investors Group, Freedom 55, or the investing arms of the big 5 banks - have a huge incentive to recommend high fee funds that pay them increased commissions. That doesn’t mean your advisor is doing that - but you need to be aware that they could be doing that.

Sadly, the low cost DIY approach to investing can be equally problematic - take a look at my own investing blunders for proof of that.

So what’s a Smart Saver to do then? Throw in the towel?

NO WAY ...

Instead, watch out for these big red flags that your financial advisor is ripping you off, start asking the right questions, and take action!

Warning Signs Your Financial Advisor Is Ripping You Off

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