Category Archives: Smart Spending

Garage Sale Tips and Etiquette

Garage sale tips
Bargains await!

Garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, whatever you call them, they are now in season here in the Great White North.

Some people love garage sales, and spend every summer weekend cruising the back alleys. Others find the idea of buying strangers’ used items slightly odd, if not outright weird. Me, I’m somewhere in the middle; I love a bargain, but I am not infrequently surprised that people think there is any chance of selling three-decades-old bottle openers, extension cords with two out of three prongs missing, or dolls with one arm, no hair, and marker all over their faces. Still, the fun for me is in the hunt for a bargain.

If you are new to the world of garage sale-ing, here are some tips to keep in mind as you cruise for deals.

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Much Ado About Cell Phone Contracts

Cell phone contracts are evil
If you can’t afford to pay upfront, you can’t afford a phone.

The Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) recently announced that starting in December 2013, customers would be able to walk away from cell phone contracts after two years without penalty, even if they had signed contracts for longer terms. (The CRTC ruled on a few other issues, as well, but the two-year walkaway is the focus of this post.)

I know I’m probably not going to be too popular for saying this, but I think this is a case of the CRTC stepping in to save people from themselves, and it’s not going to work. People are going to get even angrier when the other shoe drops, which it inevitably will. At the end the day, consumers will (still) have no one to blame but themselves.

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Auto Insurance Game Changer

Auto insurance poison
If this looks familiar,
don’t bother reading this post.

A recently-introduced plan may revolutionize auto insurance in Canada. As is the case with many things, this technology has been around for some time in the USA, but it’s new north of the 49th.

Desjardins Insurance is introducing a technology called “Ajusto” as a way for good drivers to lower their auto insurance costs. Ajusto is a piece of hardware that plugs in to your vehicle’s OBD port. From there, it can monitor your vehicle’s use. If, in the company’s judgement, you are a safe driver, your insurance rates will be lowered accordingly. The reduction apparently doesn’t kick in until the second year, because they need a full year to determine just how safe you really are. If you are judged to be a safe driver, the savings can be significant.

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