Plan Ahead: My Best Financial Tip!

 Planning ahead is my best financial tip

November is financial literacy month and in honour of that occasion, Glenn Cooke over at Life Insurance Canada decided to organize a large group of personal finance bloggers to each publish an article on their best financial tip and this is mine.

Lack of planning is one of the biggest and inconspicuous drains on your personal finances there is. Think about it. A little bit of planning goes a really long way in almost every area where money is concerned. If you don’t do at least a bare minimum of planning, I guarantee you are going to overspend 99.99% of the time and most of the time it is 100% avoidable with just a little bit of extra work.

It Pays To Plan Ahead

There are so many way that it pays to plan ahead, but I always find that concrete examples help people understand things better so here are a few thoughts to open your eyes about just how much a difference this can make in your everyday life.

Plan Your Groceries

Adding a dash of planning to your groceries makes for one of the best financial recipes you could hope for! Taking a few moments to glance at the sales flyers for several of the nearby grocers and jotting things down on a grocery list will help focus your shopping trip so that you purchase mostly items that are on sale and that cost a lot less. After doing this for a short while you’ll get to know the regular and sale prices of the items you consume most so you easily spot what is a good deal on a particular food item and what isn’t. This will help you save even more as you hone your skills!

In contrast, if you just walk into the grocery store, you’ll likely just buy whatever looks good at the time and be oblivious to how much you could have saved through buying that product elsewhere for less or by neglecting to buy another product that is just as good for half the price. Even better, if you take a second to be smart and eat a good meal before you go to the grocery store, you’ll also have better self control to choose only those items that are on your shopping list and avoid the expensive indulgences your rumbling stomach tells you to buy that you don’t really need. Keep reading » about Plan Ahead: My Best Financial Tip!

Ultra Cheap Designer Prescription Glasses Tutorial (VIDEO)

Most people need glasses at some point in their lives and one thing is for certain, designer prescription eyeglasses don’t come cheap. Most glasses retailers that have an in-house optometrist will charge at least $400 a for mid to high end set of frames and lenses with the usual coatings on them. That’s why I’ve put together a video tutorial that shows you how to get these same designer brand glasses for a fraction of the cost, literally as little as $20 and almost always less than $50.

I’ve also included a picture of actual glasses I’ve purchased using this process along with a transcript of the video below for those would would rather read instead of watch. The video itself is about 10 minutes long and I promise it is worth the watch for the savings you will get!

Tutorial Video

Watch on YouTube!

Actual Glasses I’ve Purchased Using This Method

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The Best of Canadian Personal Finance

Canadian FinancesThere are so many personal finance writers in the wild these days flooding the internet with an abundance of words that it can be easy for the best personal finance articles to be lost in the clutter and never garner the attention they deserve. I follow most of the Canadian personal finance bloggers out there and read a ton of content every week. Not everyone has the time to do this, so my goal is to hand pick some of the best articles I read every week, both new and old, and compile them here for all to see.

As the list continues to grow, you can jump in any time and catch up with all the great content you’ve been missing! I’ll also point you to some of my own recent articles in case you happened to miss them. Kick back, relax, and enjoy reading these quality articles that will save you money and keep your life and finances on track.

October 26, 2012

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October 5, 2012

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The Best Hotel Deals I’ve Ever Had

The best hotel deals I’ve ever hadIfs you were to visit the websites of many upscale hotels you would see that their rooms are almost always listed for well over $200 per night and you have to ask yourself: how do they do it? How can they sell hundreds of these rooms every night of the year for such an insanely high price? The answer is, THEY CAN’T! That’s right, other than during the busiest times of the year or when major events are taking place near the hotel in question, a large number of their rooms would sit vacant if they were to try and sell every single one of them at those high prices.

Thankfully years ago I learned this little secret about the hotel industry: they are desperate to sell their rooms! Why? Because it makes very little business sense as a hotel manager to let a large portion of your rooms sit vacant every night. Some money is better than no money, right? On the other hand, hotels don’t want to damage their brand and the upscale image of their hotel by dropping their rates to bargain basement prices just so they can sell their remaining rooms either. The hotels especially don’t want their high paying customers to know that the room they just purchased for $300, they would actually be willing to sell for $50 if it meant that it wouldn’t remain vacant for the night!

So how do these hotels ensure that their rooms are occupied while at the same time protecting their reputation so that everyone doesn’t know that they are selling their rooms so cheaply? The answer is they sell off their surplus inventory of rooms through 3rd party discount travel providers like Priceline and Hotwire at massive discounts.

Try Priceline Now!

How Does Booking On Priceline And Hotwire Work?

Booking hotels through Priceline and Hotwire works slightly differently, but the basic concept is that they only provide a very rough description of the hotel and the general area where it is located without actually naming the hotel. The true identity of the hotel is only revealed after the person booking the hotel has already paid for their stay in full. They will also not be given the option to change or cancel their reservation meaning that the revenue from that sale becomes guaranteed for the hotel the instant that the room is booked. By doing things this way, the hotel’s brand is protected because their hotel is never publicly listed alongside the rock bottom price on their own website nor on any third party travel provider’s website either.

Related: Complete Guide To Aeroplan

I know, those are some pretty serious restrictions, but what if I told you that you could save up to 70% off the regular nightly rates for 3 and 4 star hotels in most major cities? Would it be worth it then? To me it definitely is and you’ll soon see why!

Here Are Some Actual Hotel Deals I’ve Scored

Based on my own personal experience, I have to tell you that staying in a hotel right in the heart of the city you are visiting with direct access to everything the city has to offer is much more enjoyable than paying more money to stay at a run down motel that is miles away. Here are a few of the cheap hotel deals I’ve managed to score by using Priceline and Hotwire over the past several years. Keep reading » about The Best Hotel Deals I’ve Ever Had