Fun

How To Save Money at Fairs, Carnivals and Exhibitions

How to save money at fairs, carnivals and exhibitions

One look at the price they’re charging for a hot dog – seriously, we’re all in the wrong business – is enough to make you think twice about coming back to a carnival or exhibition next summer.

But it doesn't have to be a painfully pricey experience to watch your child delight over the merry-go-round, watch a horse show, and pet a friendly goat…

Fairs, carnivals, and exhibitions can be wonderful places to spend time with your family – and they don’t have to cost you a kidney.

Here are a few tips that will make it more affordable to hit up your local fair, carnival, exhibition, or any other outdoor event that’s trying to charge $10 for an order of cold french fries...

Plan ahead

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How Much Is Reasonable to Spend on Alcohol Every Month?

How much is reasonable to spend on alcohol every month?

With all of the articles you see about the fact that millennials are spending more on coffee than they’re saving for retirement…

I’ve been waiting for the follow up article:

Millennials are likely spending more on alcohol than they’re saving for retirement, too.

And I’ve been waiting for that article precisely because, even as a person who enjoys the occasional (or, if we’re being honest, not-so-occasional) latte, my monthly craft-beer-and-wine budget often tops my coffee budget.

And based on what I hear anecdotally from friends? I’m not alone on this.

So if beverages are ruining millennial’s retirement, and if we’ve already talked lattes to death…

Let’s switch gears for a second and ask a different question.

Less “Will a $5 latte sink my retirement?”, and more:

“Am I spending too much on beer, wine and alcoholic drinks? And uh… how do I know if I’ve hit that point?”

The answer will likely be highly personal. Because alcohol itself is highly personal.

From your favourite type of wine, to the reasons you don’t indulge.

But here’s a look at why we’re spending so much on alcohol, and how to get a handle on your booze budget.

How did alcohol become such a big budget line item?

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$166 – My Cost For High Speed Internet, TV, 2 Cell Phones, Home Phone, Long Distance, And Movies

My cost for high speed Internet, TV, 2 cell phones, home phone, long distance, and movies

Canadians pay some of the highest costs in the world for their communications and entertainment needs.

These costs can do serious damage to your long term financial health because they silently drain your bank account every single month. They're even subject to regular rate hikes to maximize profits for your service provider, often outpacing the rate of inflation.

Knowing that, I try to review my service costs regularly and keep them as low as I can while not depriving myself of what I really need. Now that I have a home office, I need top speed and rock solid internet for example. I also need reliable cell phones with lots of minutes and data - whereas I used to be able to get by without that in years past.

Here's a breakdown of my current services for my household of 2 adults and 2 children - all prices include taxes and fees.

$85.04 – High Speed Internet (130mbps Down / 50mbps Up)

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Budget Travel Tips For Tourist Attractions

Budget travel tips when visiting tourist attractions

Sure, there are different strategies for saving money on tourist attractions…

But what it really boils down to is this:

Research in advance.

Exploring your options to see if there are any coupons, discounts or vouchers available for the attractions you are planning to visit can go a long way.

Timing is also important. Because buying your tickets in advance can end up saving both money and time.

Here are some strategies to consider before taking off to your destination.

Coupon Books

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How to Set - and Stick to - Your FUN Budget

How to set and stick to your fun budgetWhen people hear the word budget, they don’t hear “fun.”

Instead, they tend to hear one of two things.

“Booooooring.”

Or the ever-popular,

“So I have to stop going to the pub so much, right?”

But here’s the great thing about budgeting:

It can actually help you spend guilt-free on the things you really love.

And I speak from personal experience on this.

My Budgeting Journey

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How To Score Cheap Movie Tickets

How to score cheap movie tickets

I don't know about you, but I love going to the cinema to watch a movie!

It's a great way to get out of the house and enjoy a night out with family or friends. There's just something about the experience that makes it so much better than watching a movie at home, even if it is MUCH more expensive.

With the price of a single admission approaching $15 per ticket in some cities, it can cost a fortune to go out to the movies with your spouse especially if you include the insane cost of movie food. Add on a babysitter and you could be getting close to $75 or more for one night at the movies!

Fortunately, there are a lot of creative ways to score cheap movie tickets and I've put together a pretty comprehensive list:

Discount Movie Passes

There are actually a ton of ways you can advance purchase discount movie passes that makes getting cheap movie tickets a breeze. You can find these cheap movie passes at various retail stores, through certain membership programs, or sometimes even through your employer. Here are a few specific examples:

Costco Cineplex Movie Packages

One of the quickest and easiest ways to get discount movie passes is at Costco. They "Great Escape" Cineplex package for adults costs $26.99 when bought directly at the warehouse. You get 2 regular adult admissions, 1 regular popcorn, and 2 regular fountain drinks all for that one price. Keep in mind, it is $3 extra per person to upgrade to 3D. Depending on how you value the tickets and the refreshments, you could be getting a value of up to $45 there.

Costco also offers kids packages for about $10 which gives you an under 13 regular admission ticket and a kids pack from the concession stand (popcorn, soft drink, and small candy).

It’s worth noting that Costco.ca often has these same or similar packages at a slightly increased price so you can buy them even if you aren’t a Costco member - but they do go out of stock often. If you aren't a member, try convincing your friends who are to pick a few passes for you.

Virgin Mobile BOGO

Virgin offers buy one get one free (BOGO) movie passes to its customers several times a year. This is great if you are already a "member" or know somebody who is. The good news is that you can become a member cheaply when you buy a prepaid SIM card (about $5). Once you have that, you can insert it in any unlocked phone and use it to claim your BOGO code.

The downside is that your SIM card will expire in 120 days from when your balance reaches $0. The minimum top up is $15 and that lasts for 30 days. So you can wait 119 days after buying the SIM, top up for $15, then you should have 150 days before it is set to expire again. Keep topping up every 149 days to keep it active.

CAA

Being a CAA member can have its perks and one of them does happen to be cheap movie tickets! CAA offers a discount on individual Cineplex movie tickets and sometimes packages as well. The packages aren’t quite as cheap as they are at Costco, but still a reasonable deal if you can’t take advantage of the Costco deal. They also offer single admission passes at $9.83 each, which is something you can’t buy at Costco which is great for those people who don’t want over-priced food at the movies or don’t want to spend the extra money to get it.

Employee Discount Programs

Many larger employers offer employee discount programs for their employees to take advantage of. Typically the discounts given are of marginal value at best, but many such programs do offer decent discounts on movie tickets. For example, a previous employer of mine offered us single admission movie tickets for $2.50 off the regular price. Check with your employer to see if they offer a similar program!

Redeem Points For Movie Passes

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How to Watch Sports for Less

Tips on watching sports for lessI love watching sports. Especially LIVE in person...

In fact, I go to a couple hockey games per year. And then watch the rest at home.

The main reason comes down to this:

Money and time.

It’d cost thousands of dollars to attend all games during the year. Not to mention the time factor driving to and from the venue, finding a decent parking spot, and the hunt to find your seats.

Then there’s the snacks...And maybe souvenirs, if you’re really splurging.

YES - it’s a thrill to watch a game in person. But let’s face it:

There are cheaper alternatives...

Watching at Home

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Free Internet TV - A Complete Guide For Canadians

Free Internet TV - a complete guide for Canadians

When I first published this guide more than 5 years ago - internet TV in Canada was a primitive beast...

Canadian television networks were just starting to put full episodes online and it was only for the purpose of their cable or satellite subscribers to be able to catch up on recent shows they missed. The stream quality was often poor and laggy and few people actually knew the content existed.

Those that did know usually watched hunched over their laptops - not from the comfort of their couches using a remote control.

Times have changed.

There are now more than 30 Canadian networks (listed below) streaming full episodes of their shows online using top quality media players. Many of them even have mobile apps for viewing on your phone or tablet.

The best part is it is all free - supported by far fewer commercials that you have the "privilege" of paying to watch with cable or satellite.

When you're done reading this guide - you should be ready to cut the cord yourself. You'll know exactly where to go to get full TV episodes free and legally along with all the tools and equipment you need to make your internet TV viewing experience a pleasant one.

Ready to cut the cord? Download the PDF version of this step-by-step guide.

In This Guide

Can I Really Get TV For Free?

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The SAVE MONEY CHALLENGE: Crush Your Hidden Costs And Have Fun Doing It

savemoneychallenge.jpgSaving hundreds of dollars is both rewarding and exhilarating.

I want to make the process of learning how to save equally inspiring …

Because it can be!

That’s why I’m starting the SAVE MONEY CHALLENGE -- a quick challenge for you to join from time to time -- where you are free to try your hardest to save as much money as you can in one unique way.

There will be a new and different themed challenge every time. When you’ve completed the challenge, you get to brag and share your epic stories about how much money you’ve saved while teaching others how they can get similar results.

This will be a great way for us to learn and grow. If we all flex our save money muscles together, we’ll be on our way to being financially fit in no time.

Action is what drives us forward to get closer to our goals. You can master your money one challenge at a time.

Are you ready to start unloading those hidden extra costs that have been weighing you down?

Start living life on your own terms. Every time you complete a challenge, you show your money who’s the boss.

I’ve said before that I want this site to be valuable resource for you to make your dollar stretch. Not only that...

I’d love to provide a safe space where everyone can learn to be the master of their money and live a better life. My hope is that these Save Money Challenges will push you over the edge to take action towards better financial health.

Get Challenge Updates

Here’s How It Works

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Never Pay To Upgrade Your Computer’s Memory + VIDEO

Never pay to upgrade your computer’s memoryAt some point during the life of a computer, there almost always comes a time when it would benefit the owner to install more memory. If you find your computer is getting sluggish when you have quite a few programs running, then you are probably a good candidate for increased RAM (random access memory).

Even when buying a new computer, you should be wary about buying a more expensive model of the same computer just because it has more RAM. It is very common for the price of a laptop to jump by $100 or even $200 just because it has a little more RAM and maybe a slightly bigger hard drive. Please please please, don’t fall for that trick! Go ahead and buy the cheaper model and just upgrade the RAM yourself.

VIDEO: Don't miss the video near the bottom of the article where I walk you through the entire process of buying cheap RAM online.

Computer Memory Is Extremely Cheap

Computer memory is manufactured en masse these days and it basically all works the same way so companies that produce it are able to get manufacturing costs down very low. As long as you are looking for a reasonably popular type of RAM, then you won’t end up paying much. Keep reading » about Never Pay To Upgrade Your Computer’s Memory + VIDEO

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