Dear Renters: Home Ownership Costs Plenty

dearrentershomeownershipcostsplenty.jpgMany people assume renters are only renting until they can save up enough money to buy a house.

Isn’t that the ultimate plan: to save up, put a down payment on a house, buy and eventually own the home over the next 10, 15 or 20-plus years?

It doesn’t have to be. Home ownership is not everyone’s dream. Far from it…

It’s not always the best financial decision either. Like any investment you should do the math.

You also need to consider if putting all your money into one asset (your home) is really a smart thing to do. Finally, you need to assess your lifestyle. Putting all these factors together, renting isn’t throwing money away. Renting might be the best thing for you or your family.

Let’s break it down using my lessons learned.

We Started Out Renting

Many years ago before my wife and I moved into our condo together, before we got married, we rented separate places. I never considered renting throwing my money away at the time because paying rent did one thing very well – it put a roof over my head. I was trading money for something I needed - shelter.

How much you pay in rent will depend heavily on where you want to live. Real estate pundits don’t chant location, location, location for no reason. My rent was modest in the city before the recent real estate boom in Ottawa. Renting in the city was also a lifestyle choice. Amenities were a short walk away. Renting offered freedom many years ago – freedom from any major house maintenance or repairs - more on that shortly.

What We Learned From Buying A Condo

Keep reading » about Dear Renters: Home Ownership Costs Plenty

Extreme Price Comparison - ALWAYS Find The Lowest Price

extremepricecomparisonalwaysfindthelowestprice.jpgI don’t know about you…

But, whenever I buy something, I’m always wondering if I got the lowest price. There’s often a lingering doubt that I could have found it cheaper elsewhere.

I don’t like that feeling - but I don’t always have the time or energy to make sure I got the best deal. And that’s ok!

When I DO find the time though - I can be pretty fanatical about it. In fact, I’ve developed a handy process that you too can use for tracking down rock bottom prices.

The best part is you can pick and choose those steps you have the time for and skip those you don’t. You’ll still wind up with a REALLY good price after all.

Here’s what you do:

1) Choose Your Product

Keep reading » about Extreme Price Comparison - ALWAYS Find The Lowest Price

$1000 Cash HUGE Christmas Giveaway 2016!

1000cashhugechristmasgiveaway2016.jpgChristmas and lack of cash ... two things that go together more than milk and cookies for Santa!

If you're already a Smart Saver, you know that we pony up $1,000 of our own money each year to help pad your Christmas cash stash.

Just like we did in 2013, 2014, and 2015 - we're doing it again this year with even more BONUS prizes than before.

Start dreaming about what you'd do with all that money right now so when you finish entering using the form below, you can leave a comment letting us know what you'd do with a little more green this Christmas.

And why not share the wealth - send a link of this contest to family and friends. Let's keep growing this community so we can all save smarter together!

The Prizes

Please take a minute to check out our donors as a way of saying thank you to them for their generous contributions. There's no pressure to buy from them, but I know they would appreciate you taking a look to see what they are all about. You can find links to them below along with the prizes they've donated.

Here's my $1K that's up for grabs again this year:

  • 1st Prize - $500 cash
  • 2nd Prize - $250 cash
  • 3rd Prize - $150 cash
  • 4th Prize - $50 cash
  • 5th Prize - $50 cash

Here's what's cooking from our donors:

  • 6&7th Prize - $250 cash (two prizes) from American Express
  • 8th Prize - $200 gift card from Borrowell
  • 9th Prize - $150 gift card from ModernAdvisor
    • ModernAdvisor is one of the lowest cost robo advisors in Canada making it easy to invest your money smartly. Try investing free for 30 days with $1,000 of THEIR money and keep the profits. Read my Q&A with their CEO here.
  • 10th Prize - $100 autographed cheque & limited edition hoodie ($50) from SimpleTax
    • Anyone can do their taxes FAST and FREE with SimpleTax. Once you see how much easier they make tax time for you - you'll want to drop a nice tip in their hat!

Total Prize Value: $2,000

Enter Here:

Keep reading » about $1000 Cash HUGE Christmas Giveaway 2016!

Save Money Challenge #3: Price Match Edition


Challenge Complete
This challenge is now over - congrats to those who did a successful price match!

Be sure to sign up for my emails by clicking the Get Challenge Updates button so you always get notified when a new challenge is starting. The comments for this challenge are now closed - I look forward to hearing from you in the next challenge.

If you want to see all the previous challenges, check out the main Save Money Challenge post.

It all started with that single price match deal I had at Staples more than a decade ago.

I was in my early twenties at the time. And I had no clue how that one simple choice would lead me to where I am today.

Here’s what happened:

Staples was selling the memory card I wanted for $150. But I found out that FutureShop had the exact same one on sale for $100.

Armed with the FutureShop flyer (my proof), I marched to Staples after having learned that they had a 150% lowest price guarantee.

The result?

Instead of the full $150, I walked away paying even less than the sale price at FutureShop.

I got my item at Staples for just $75.

Here’s the thing:

You don’t need to be a price matching Jedi to get a deal…

I was a young, inexperienced, nervous newbie when I started.

What got me through it?

It’s very simple…

I came prepared.

And so can you.

The Challenge

For this challenge, here’s your mission:

Take charge and price match a product - and save as much money as you can. Keep reading » about Save Money Challenge #3: Price Match Edition