Freebies - Free is usually good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | | 0 comments »

Freebies are promotional items that companies give away for free. You should always be careful when signing up for items but if you smart and disciplined then you should be able to take advantage of the corporation.

Bad Freebie
Free pen for signing up for a credit card.

You see sales representatives for credit card companies everywhere. There are in the malls hallways, in the big department stores, at Canadian Tire. Beware that their freebies are not worth it. When they sign you up for a credit card they usually sign you up for extras like purchase insurance or some other sort of free. You first credit card bill will be more than that $1 free pen.

Good Freebie
Shampoo sample packet by mail.

You go to a company's website and sign up with you address and answer a few questions they will send you a sample to try. The hope is that you will continue to buy their product. You gain by getting a freebie.

Some of you might say that giving out your name and address to these companies would be an invasion of your privacy. I would not be too worried about that. The amount of information that corporations have about you is enormous. I don't even know why the government bothers to do a Census when they already have all of the information about you that they ask for. - Knows everything about you and your friends that you have willing allowed them to know.

VISA - Knows you name, address, age, financial status, where you are (when making a purchase) and what you eat, drink, wear. - Using your IP or better if you are logged into iGoogle, reads your email, knows all of the websites you visit and what you search for.


Free Movie (or Concession Combo) at Cineplex

If you haven't signed up for the free Scene Card from Cineplex, now is the time to do so. The card allows you to collect points that can be redeemed for free movie tickets or treats at the theatre (like popcorn, malt balls, twizzlers, nachos ... whatever your fix is). Just by having the card you will always receive a 10% discount at the concession stand. It takes 1000 point to get a free movie or free concession stand voucher.

And how do you get these points? Well, one way is to use promo code 1070721 when you sign up or log in to your online account - you'll get 1000 free points, worth a free movie, or a free concession combo (large popcorn, large fountain drink, small candy)! Free, free, free! Or save up and get 2 adult admissions, 2 regular drinks & 1 regular popcorn for 2500 points. Just take your card with you to the theater to redeem the points.


Have you ever wondered how much your car costs you every year? The Edmunds Inc. True Cost to OwnSM (TCO) calculator will figure out how much you really spend on your car. These are American costs which are cheaper than Canadian cost.

In Canada you will pay more in taxes, fuel and insurance.

Watering Your Lawn

Friday, November 09, 2007 | , , | 0 comments »

It is the summer and you want your lawn looking green just like the neighbours.

Watering your lawn using a sprinkler uses 10 litres of water every minute. If you water your lawn for the one hour every three days for the three months of summer you would have used 18000 litres of water.

The average price of water in Canada is about
86¢ for 1,000 litres. At that price keeping your lawn green during the summer will cost you $15.48 per year.

There is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly solution. You could use a rain barrel. The modern rain barrel is a plastic container that collects rain water from your down spout. You then use this water to water your lawn.

The average cost of a rain barrel is $40 and each rain barrel holds about 200 litres of water. With two or more rain barrels connected to each other your should be able to water your lawn (as long as it rains) every summer for free.

Lotteries are a tax for the poor. Someone once told me that when the economy is in a depression the best stocks to buy are gambling stocks people will gamble more when they are desperate for money.

So what the chances of you winning. Of the two most popular lotteries (6-49 and Super 7) 6-49 has the better chance of you winning. Even for the smallest prize of 3 out of 6 numbers the chances are 2.9%. Remember the odds reset every time there is a new draw.

If you spend $2 buying tickets for one of the two lotteries from 18 to 65, a total of $4888 would have been spent.


13,983,816 to one

Super 7

62,891,499 to one.

Saving on Electricity

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 | | 0 comments »

Cost of Electricity

Let us use Toronto Hydro as an example. Most power companies in Canada use the same business model. The only difference being a slight difference in the price of the multitude of difference types of charges that they bill you for. Toronto Hydro which provides electrical power to more than 676,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers is one of Canada’s largest.

The current electricity fixed rate for residential consumers is 5.3¢/kWh/first 600 kWhs used per 30 days and 6.2¢/kWh/remaining kWhs used per 30 days. This means that is a two tier system. If you use the maximum 600 kWhs per month you will pay $31.80 per month for the cost of electricity.

Electricity Costs

Type of Charge

Cost (kWh)

Type (Fixed/ Variable)

No Usage Cost (0 kW/ month)

Average User Cost (600 kW/ month)

Above Average User Cost (1200 kW/ month)

Electricity Rate <601






Electricity Rate >600 kWh/h






Transmission Charge






Distribution Charge






Customer Charge

$12.68 / 30 days





Wholesale Market Operations






Regulated Price Plan Admin Charge

25¢ /30 days





Debt Retirement Charge






Total Cost




% Change




Regardless of how much electricity you use there will be a fixed monthly cost of $12.93. You can turn of all of the power to your home and live in the dark for a month but the power company will still charge you $12.68 for having the privilege of being their customer. You will also pay a charge of $0.25 for administrative fees.

Most hydro electric companies state that the average residential user uses less than 600 kWh per month. This number used to be 1000 kWh per month but on May 1, 2007 this number was reduced to 600 kWh. It would be fair to say that there was a cost reduction for this first usage tier. The cost per kWh was reduced by 0.2¢. However there was an increase in the Distribution charge of 0.01¢/kWh and an increase in the Customer charge of $0.25. This meant that the effective decrease in the cost of electricity was 0.15¢ for the first 600 kWhs. If you were a consumer that was using up the former limit of 1000 kWhs per month the cost of electricity actually increased by 0.55¢/kWh for the 400 kWhs difference.

Reducing the Cost of Electricity

You would think that the goal of any business would be to increase their profits. Simple logic dictates that the more a business sells, there greater it’s revenue and therefore an increase in the profit it generates.

This holds true except for power companies. The problem that power companies face with the standard business model is that an increase demand in power usage but its consumers, regardless of the fact that they are willing to pay for the increased cost, would result in a failure in the infrastructure that supplies power to its consumers. In simple terms, the power company does not have enough electricity for everyone if demand increases. The power company is not able to discriminate who gets electric power and who does not so it actively spends millions of dollars every year providing advertising and incentives asking its consumers to use less.

Rules of Life

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 | | 0 comments »

Benefits are no good if you don’t use them.

You have a dental plan from your company, you have medical coverage from work or through a government plan (eg. OHIP), you have sick days which are paid for. All of these are benefits are worth money. It is important that you use these benefits. Failure to use these benefits might result in costing you more money in the long run.

Don’t lend money and don’t borrow money.

When money comes between friends it always tends to place a strain on the relationship. It is easy for people to borrow money from you but hard for them to pay you back. Tell anyone asking you to lend them money that you do not do so.

There is always a cheaper and better alternative.

Economics states that if Company A is selling Item X for Y dollars then there will be another Company B selling Item X for Y-Z dollars. As a consumer you are looking for three things when it comes to purchasing an item. You are looking for Quality, Delivery and Cost. Quality is how reliable is Item X. Delivery is how soon you get Item X. Cost is how much will you spend for Item X.

Think of cost as a matter of percentage.

If Item X at Store A costs $1 and Item X at Store B costs $2 then Store B is a 100% more expensive then Store A. Every dollar counts and it is you money. Never settle for pay more. If Store B is selling for the same item you know that the markup at Store B is at least a 100% profit.

Time is money and your time is yours for free.

Everyone has heard the saying that `Time is Money`. So naturally you do not want to waste time. However remember if you are not spending your time making money, then you should be spending your time saving money. Do it yourself. Why pay someone to do them for you?

Did you know that there is no law in Canada requiring police to respond to a home alarm?

The average response time for police to a home alarm in 2007 in Toronto is 20 minutes to half an hour.[1]

The Toronto Star stated that "
In interviews, several current and former members of police alarm units across the GTA also said that attending the small number of valid alarms they're called to rarely yield a burglar's capture.

Toronto police's Barkley said his force doesn't keep statistics on how often they catch burglars as a result of an alarm, but admitted it's not often."

Home alarms have a monthly monitoring fee of about $30-$50. Don't pay for the service. Have re-enforced doors and windows installed. Have home alarm stickers installed on all first floor windows and doors. Install security bars on your basement windows. Lock your backyard gate from the inside. This will mean that you will have to go through your house to unlock the gate.

If you have a home alarm system turn it on when ever you leave your home. Though it is not monitored it will sound and this should be enough to drive away the buglers and alert your neighbors. Always lock your doors and windows.

Well, I finally got around to creating a blog about what I have been talking about with all of my friends. The subject of this blog will be how can you save money in your day to day life.

I honestly believe that if I was given the chance I could show most people how to save 20% off their weekly expenses.

That would be an extra 20% in their savings account.

It should not be an extra 20% that they can spend on something else. It would not be savings then, would it?

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