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Is G2A Safe?

G2A: Real, Legit and Safe – How Does It Work?

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G2A.COM - Is It Safe And How Does It All Work?

Real - Yes. Legit - Yes. Value - Unbeatable! It was a few years ago I stumbled across G2A.com and found that the digital downloads they sold were much cheaper than buying direct from Steam or UPlay. Naturally, I felt like asking the question: Is G2A safe, legit and how does it work? 

The website acts as an online marketplace, an eBay for Game/CD keys. Sellers avoid unnecessary costs with traditional brick and mortar stores and can sell digital downloads direct to consumers. The grey area is where these keys actually come from. 

Sellers like World_of_games above are rated by people that have previously purchased games, much like how you would rate a merchant on eBay. From the seller above, out of 896767 rating 99% were positive. I actually found a merchant selling the key for slightly cheaper and went ahead and ordered. Within seconds of processing the payment via PayPal I received the following email:

Once I clicked "Get your key" I was redirected to my G2A account and completed a verification. My game/CD key was displayed. I entered that into UPlay (Ubisoft's versions of steam) and viola! All works as intended, no issues whatsoever. G2A is legit and that's how it works!

Something to note: Some games/CD Keys are region specific meaning you can only play them in certain countries. Look for the symbols and confirm before purchasing if you are buying for the right region. If the game shows no region it means the key can be used and played anywhere. If in doubt, G2A has an online chat function to guide you through the process.

What's G2A Shield? 

You do have an option to pay for G2A Shield which protects you as a buyer in case the key you receive doesn't work for some reason. As the buyer had such high ratings, I opted not to pay the $4.24 protection. If you still have reservations about using G2A.com, you can opt for this protection where they will refund you a game where the key does not work. If you find the product online cheaper elsewhere, they will match the price when choosing G2A Shield.  

Why So Cheap?

How can G2A be safe and legit when games are so cheap? Lets face it, I could have bought Rainbow Six: Siege PC for $69.99 form the Ubisoft Store, instead I bought it for only $23.14 from G2A.com. It's unclear why the games/CD keys are so cheap but with a 100% guarantee by G2A.com with their "G2A Shield" you can't go wrong. 

With endorsements from PayPal & Razer you can be sure G2A is safe and legit.

Free Credit Score Canada – Get Yours Now!

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Finally, A Free Credit Score In Canada (Without Snail Mail!)

Historically, Equifax and Transunion have been the ONLY way to obtain your credit score. Both companies required you to pay a subscription to access the true score, but gave a credit history report for free via snail mail; you can read more about some tricks to get your score for the lowest cost here.

There's a new guy in town

Borrowell is ​a safe responsible new way for Canadians to obtain three and five year fixed-rate loans at low interest rates that reward your good credit score. And since your credit score is so important to managing your financial life, we’re also a secure way to get your credit score—for free. - According to their site.

A credit score is often overlooked by most people; knowledge of where you score among others allows you to be empowered when it comes to negotiating rates on your next loan, whether that be a mortgage or car loan. 

Featured on The Globe And Mail and Global News, Borrowell has earned a great reputation as a trusted source for a free credit score to Canadians. Over 100,000 Canadians have obtained their credit report for free with great reviews so far. 

Credit scores are very important. They shouldn't be hidden behind a subscription and everyone should have access to know where they stand. Borrowell is changing that and now you can get your credit score in Canada for free now​.

Have you used Borrowell? How did you get on? Let me know in the comments below! 

Cheapest Deal Battlefield 1 Canada

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Battlefield 1 Deal For Only $63.99

Only a few days away until release (21 Oct) and I have a great deal to share with you. There is a lot of information about the best deal on Battlefield 1 for the US but how about the best deal for battelfield 1 in Canada?

Battlefield 1 takes gamers back to World War 1 putting them in bi-planes, on top of horses, and on battlefields that stretch from Italy to Africa. And like all Battlefield titles, it’ll feature tons of destruction and wide open maps that encourage creativity.

One deal is through is through Origin/EA directly: It's Origin Access or EA Access and is a subscription service. It allows you to play 10 hours of Battlefield 1 among other games in the "vault" as a trial. The great thing is that you get 10%off most of EA games instantly! 

Most people are singing up for $5 and then buying Battlefield 1 with 10% off ($72) and then cancelling EA/Origin Access right away. For the effort you'll save $3 but still get a month's access to EA/Origin Access.

​Now lets get to the juicy part...

​OK so it involves signing up to Amazon Prime for $79 per year. Already have it? Even better. Amazon are offering 20% off certain game pre-orders and will honour orders already placed. Amazon will also apply 20% discount for up to 2 weeks after release!

Amazon Prime offers many benefits in addition to 20% some games. You also benefit from:​

  • Free express delivery on 1000's of items (now offering same day delivery in some Canadian cities such as Vancouver, BC)
  • Unlimited photo cloud storage
  • Additional discounts of family products such as 20% Pampers diapers 

So that's the cheapest deal on Battlefield 1 in Canada at only $63.99 for Xbox One / PS4 / PC

Know of any other Battlefield 1 deals in Canada? Let us know in the comments below!

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26 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

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Here Are 26 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

26

Tips to help you improve your credit score and get in the green! 

1. Ask your lender/creditor for your credit score

They won’t supply you with a full report but you may be able to find out your credit score. If you are about to apply for a loan or finance you can ask your lender/broker nicely if they’ll tell you what your credit score came out after they conducted a credit check.

I’d only suggest this if you are actually about to apply for credit as every credit check that is carried out will negatively affect your credit score.

2. Don’t use all of your credit

As a credit score considers payment history and credit utilization making on time payments is the best way to improve your credit score.

30% Credit Utilization

If you have a credit card with $1000 limit try to keep the balance below 30% for maximum credit score boosting effectiveness. This shows to lenders that you aren’t ‘maxing out’ your credit card all of the time meaning you are more responsible in handling credit.

3. There are two major credit reporting agencies

There are two credit reporting agencies in Canada: Transunion Canada & Equifax Canada and it is very likely they will both have a different credit score for you.

​Why? Well, both agencies have thier own secret scoring criteria so even if they have the same information about you the credit score can still be different. Which brings me on to my second point; your credit score depends on what is reported to the respective agencies. Both Equifax and Transunion may not receive all of your payment history or credit information.

You should be checking your report and credit score with both Transunion and Equifax; this is because when applying for credit some lenders will only use Equifax over Transunion or vice versa so you need to know you’re in the good books for both agencies.

If your Equifax report is error-free that doesn't mean your Transunion report is. Check both credit reporting agencies to ensure your credit file has no errors.

4. If you’ve separated, divorced or split up make sure you’re financially separated also

That goes for joint bank accounts, lines of credit and mortgages. Anything with both your names on generally means you are both financially responsible for the credit. For example, if you have a car loan in your name that is a gift to your now ex, but he/she pays for it, if he/she stops paying guess who’s credit score is affected? Yes, yours! This should be done sooner rather than later for obvious reasons!

5. Error on your credit file? Default you had no idea about? You need to fight it!

Support your case

Gather all receipts, emails, letters and other documents relating to the error. You'll be asked for this when you submit to Equifax Canada or Transunion Canada. You want as much evidence as you can gather.

Contact the credit reporting agencies

Fill out the forms for Equifax Canada and/or Transunion Canada

Before they can make any changes, the agencies will contact the lender or company and check to see if there is an error. If the lender agrees there is an issue the error will be removed and your credit score should increase as a result.

Contact the lender or company

You may be able to expedite the correction by contacting the lender or company that has incorrectly noted the error on your credit file. The company may not be able to do much but at least if they noted you called it, could speed up the process.

Ask for the formal complaint procedure

Still no luck? You can work your way through their, sometimes lengthy complaint procedure. It might take a while but it’s worth it. Anything that can boost your credit score is always worth it. If in the end you’re still not happy, you can make a complaint with the relevant consumer affairs in your province/territory.

Add a ‘consumer statement’

It’s free of charge and allows you to provide details about an item on your credit report. You can write up to 100 words (200 in Saskatchewan) to explain the error. Even though lenders can read this, the majority of automated credit scoring systems that lenders and companies use will automatically decline you based on a low credit score; therefore they may not get a chance to read your statement. As a last resort though, at least it’s something.

6. Ordering your credit report for free

Having access to your credit report is vital if you wish to improve your credit score. Instead of paying Equifax or Transunion monthly you can order for free and receive it by good old snail mail. Follow these links for Equifax Canada and Transunion Canada to get your report mailed to you. However, you cannot get your score for free.

Instead of subscribing you can always sign up for one month, find out your score and then cancel. Wait a year and do it again, it’s not ideal but it’s better than paying $16.95/month for 12 months!

7. Pay insurance annually

Some insurers will carry out a credit check if you elect to pay monthly as they want to know if you’re able to pay on time. If you can afford it, pay annually to avoid such credit checks. After the first year they may let you pay monthly without conducting a credit check.

This also goes for new utility accounts (gas, electric etc.); some will allow you to have a hold on the account for a year (BC Hydro holds $250 for one year. As long as you’ve been paying on time it’s returned at the end of the year).

8. Ask for a ‘soft search’ when inquiring about a loan or credit card

This means the lender will receive less information than if they did a ‘credit check’ although it might be enough for them to give you a Yes or No without impacting your credit score.

Unfortunately there aren’t many lenders that have adopted this practice but it’s worth a try. If there’s doubts as to whether you’ll be accepted, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth the risk of potentially hurting your score.

Ask your lender the likelihood of being accepted for a credit application. If there is very little chance it may be better to wait and improve your credit score rather than get declined.  If you get declined you will have to wait even longer to reach a credit score high enough.  

9. Beware of store cards

Some offer cash-back in-store, others give you points that are later converted into cash redemption in-store while sounding great store cards can often have hidden dangers. Most store cards charge around 2.5% foreign transaction fee if you use the credit card abroad.

The advertised interest rate can also change if you happen to miss a payment or two with some store cards hiking the rate two-fold!

Store cards often have high interest rates compared to a major bank or credit union. If you are relentless in paying off your credit card bills in full each month or set up a pre-authorized debit then a store card can have it's benefits. 

10. Have a default? Try to mitigate the damage

A default is a big mark on your credit file and will cause your credit score to plummet. Usually, after 3 missed payments, and multiple attempts from the creditor or lender to contact you for payment, and you still do not pay, they will send you a letter notifying you that if you don't pay immediately then your debt will be passed onto debt collectors and you will have defaulted.

You MUST contact your lender/creditor ASAP if this is the case. If it has been added recently you may be able to re-negotiate a settlement without receiving a default on your credit file.

Otherwise, call your creditor or lender and see if you can negotiate paying them back directly so long as they wipe the default off from your credit file. You’ll usually have to speak to someone higher up in management and they could refuse but it’s worth a try.

6 Years Until Default Is Removed

If all else fails you can write a ‘consumer statement’ described earlier. Alternatively, wait 6 years and the default will no longer be on your file and your credit score will improve.

11. Are creditor’s reporting accurate credit limits?

I once had a cell phone plan with a large mobile communication company in Canada. My credit limit showing on my credit file was set at $500, however, my credit utilization was at $505 or 101% every month, for almost a year.

It looked as though I had been maxing out my credit limit with the company month-on-month for an entire year!

In actual fact it was nowhere near. I’d paid my bill on time each month at around $80 per bill, not $500! A long phone call later and It had been corrected on my report the next month.

To another creditor or lender doing a credit check, for example another mobile telecommunications company, it could be seen as risky and could result in a decline down the road.

12. Don’t have too many credit accounts open

You definitely want a long 'average credit account length' but having 5 credit cards, a car loan and a mortgage can also be bad. I know, this credit score business can be confusing! To lenders this can seem risky as you may have a high debt to income ratio.

A rule of thumb is to have only a maximum of 4 credit card accounts open at any time. Remember, you should always keep your oldest credit card account open along with other accounts that have no annual fee to raise your average credit account age.

13. Keep your long standing credit accounts open

A longer credit history shows to the lender or creditor you can manage credit well for a long period of time. You’ll want to keep some credit accounts open as lenders also look at your average credit account age so if you keep getting new credit cards every 6 months your average credit account age will be low; think about leaving one credit card active for a longer time, a card with a low or zero annual fee is best for this purpose.

14. Pay on time - duh!

Sorry to state the obvious but it’s one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. Pay all bills, loans and mortgage payments on time. Consider setting up pre-authorized debit to ensure that bills are always paid on time.

Sometimes credit card bills can be hard to keep track of, but if you set up a pre-authorized debit from your chequing or savings account then you can rest assured your credit card bill will be paid each month, so long as you have a balance in your regular account of course.

A missed payment will lower your score. Before paying the bill and getting frustrated with yourself, call the lender or creditor and explain the reason you didn’t pay on time and kindly ask if they can remove the missed payment from your credit file, it will help improve your credit score in the long run.

15. No credit? Low credit score? Try a secured credit card

When first moving to Canada I had the problem of having no credit history so I opened a secured TD Green Visa credit card account.

Basically, you pay a refundable deposit of the credit limit of the card and once you have demonstrated you can pay your credit card bills on time and are responsible the bank will refund the deposit.

The TD Green Visa has no annual fee, has a respectable rate at 19.99% APR and has a credit limit of $500 meaning you only have $500 of your money frozen. If you opted for a secured credit card with a $2000 limit you would have to pay a deposit of $2000 and so on.

A secured credit card can improve your credit score when you have little options for obtaining credit in the first place.

Other options include: Scotiabank Momentum credit card which has an APR of 19.99% and offers 1% cashback on grocery, gas station and drug store purchases, as well as 0.5% on all other purchases. This card has no annual fee and a credit limit of $500. 

16. Prevent a credit check by providing your own

Think about providing your lender or creditor with a copy of your up to date credit report from Equifax or Transunion.

When you obtain your credit report from Equifax or Transunion your credit score isn't affected.

I’ve personally used this tactic when applying for a rental property. This prevents a credit check which will negatively affect your credit score.

17. Make sure your addresses are up to date

This often gets missed and can affect your credit score. When you get a copy of your credit report ensure that all open credit accounts have the correct address for you on file. Having multiple ‘active’ addresses can confuse lenders and creditors when they do a credit check and could even lead to a declined application and thus negatively affecting your credit score.

18. The rejection cycle

You apply for some credit, let’s say a credit card. You really want the 25,000 bonus Aeroplan miles and you get rejected.

You then think you’ll try applying for another credit card that gives you 10,000 Airmiles  instead and then you also get rejected. The cycle continues, and with each application your chances of approval are getting less and less, all while lowering your credit score each time.

Credit Score Rejection Cycle

You can quickly lower your score by 100 points just by applying for numerous credit cards all within a short space of time. This goes for cell phone contracts as well; if you’ve been declined from Telus then it’s unlikely that you will be approved by Bell. You have to ask yourself if it’s worth another attempt as all inquiries remain on your credit file for six years.

Unfortunately most lenders do not publish their scoring criteria so if you’re rejected by X you still may be approved by Y. If you wish to try another lender or creditor you must check your credit file for inaccuracies before hand.

Applied for a credit, be it a cell phone plan, credit card, loan and you’ve been rejected?
Stop before hurting your credit score even more

Check your credit file with the credit agency that the creditor or lender used to check your credit file before you do anything else. It's worth asking but usually you won't be told why you were rejected, however the answer might become obvious upon checking your credit file. There may be an error on your credit file that could lead to multiple declines on future credit applications. 

19. New immigrant? Have proof of residency

If you’re new to Canada and are struggling to get credit you should try to have a cell phone contract in your name or even better, a utility bill such as gas, electric, water etc. This will then show up on your credit file when you apply for credit increase your chances of an approval.

You should also look into a secured credit card as explained earlier in this article. ​

20. If you can’t pay your debt or bills contact your lender/creditor

Contacting your lender may help. I know it has helped people in past and instead of defaulting or missing payments you can agree special payment terms for a period of time. This is great if you lost your job and need some breathing room. If you just don’t pay the bills then your credit score will be affected. 

21. Don’t waste credit applications

Applying for credit within a short period of time can result in your credit score decreasing as lenders see it as you are rushing to get hold of a lot of debt. Aim to apply for only 2 per year, whether that be a cell phone plan, a new car lease or a credit card.

Think of them as tokens, you only get 2 per year and spend them wisely.

You also want to prioritize your credit applications. A new car lease can lower your credit score initially, even if you are accepted. This is because you have now taken on $1000s of debt/credit. Over time however your score should increase to more than it was previously as long as you make the payments on time and in full.

However, if you are about to apply for a mortgage only 4 months away you should leave some space between your last credit application and your mortgage application. It raises your chances of being approved and getting a better rate.

22. Time it right

Problems such as a default on your credit file, 3 missed payments or anything else drastically affecting your credit score stay on your credit file for 6 years. If you’re only 1 year away from them being purged, it makes sense to wait until they have cleared and then apply for credit, you’re chances of acceptance will be much higher.

23. Beware of the payday loan

Often advertising “$200 loan, first month free” can be very dangerous. In Alberta, the government is proposing to force these lenders to reduce interest rates so they are more affordable. Unfortunately, most people that require these loans are on low income and therefore a $100 loan could end of costing you $1000s if you do not repay. Currently charging 59.90% APR, one payday loan company's interest rate is at least double, if not triple most credit cards.

24. Know your rates

Each credit card has an Annual percentage Rate (APR%). An APR is the annual rate charged for borrowing or earned through an investment, and is expressed as a percentage that represents the actual yearly cost of funds over the term of a loan. It's important to know the APR as the higher it is, the more interest you will have to pay. This could lead to increased debt and if you cannot afford the interest that you'll have to pay, your credit score could take a hit. 

Line Of Credit
Bank Or Union
Store Cards

25. Never pay a credit score repair company

According to the Office of Consumer Affairs, there is no company that can fix your credit score in addition to what you can already do yourself. There are no loopholes, and it will end up costing you money that you don’t need to pay. If you follow some of the steps in this article then you will be able to do it yourself.

26. Keep it steady. Consistency matters

Lenders prefer homeowners over renters. Full-time employed over self-employed. They also prefer if you have been at the same address or workplace for a few years. If you’re renting and moving property every year, this can make getting credit slightly more difficult than someone that owns a property. There are some exceptions to the rule; it is possible to have never owned a property but have 10 years of solid credit history, and also have an impressive credit score that only some homeowners could dream of. 

Try to keep the details consistent on each application: Phone number, address, job title. Always be honest. Just bear in mind, stability is something lenders do check when looking up your credit file.

Why Are Canadians’ In $1.94 Trillion Of Debt?

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Canadian Debt

With the US $1.33 trillion and the UK at £0.82 trillion, Canadians' have some of the highest debt at $1.94 trillion (figures have been adjusted inline with population). 

There are numerous reasons as to why consumers get in debt. Car loans, mortgages, lines of credit are all ways most people get into debt at some point in their lives. Now not all debt is bad debt, if you're hoping for the perfect credit score that is. 

So why do Canadians' have so much debt? Check out the infographic below: 

Infographic Why Are Canadians $1.94 Trillion In Debt

What do you think? Is Canadian Debt as bad as it sounds or is it part of the Canada's growing population? Post your comments below or hit share on the bar above!

Want More? Enter Your Email Below:

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Ultimate Travel Guide – Luxury On A Budget

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Your Ultimate Travel Guide - Luxury On A Budget

It’s been a long week, the back yard needs work and to top it off you have to go and visit your in-laws - you need a vacation! I can feel your face turning green with envy while you're at home slugging away and your friends are relaxing on the beach or atop a mountain. Follow some of the tips in this travel guide and you'll be the one turning them green! (especially when you tell them the cost ;))

I’ve got your back 🙂

Let’s dive right in! By that I mean beach getaways. Yes, the ultimate lay on the sand and drink cocktails all day type of vacation. We all need them once in awhile or maybe more? You can get some of the cheapest vacations by booking all-inclusive this way.

hammock on the beach between two palm trees

This travel guide will tell you how: So a luxury beach vacation with all-inclusive unlimited cocktails on a budget that won’t burn a hole in your wallet - yes you read that right. I can get, for 2 adults and 2 children - optional ;), a 7 night stay at a 5-star hotel, all-inclusive for only $2120 total including flights for October. 3½ stars? OK then it’ll be $990 (from Canada to Mexico).

What Else?

Not everyone has $2000 lying around so let’s look at other ways you can save.

You’re strapped for cash but you just want to get away, right, well you can always go on standby. Some airlines will allow you to effectively sit in the sidelines until they give you a call and you’ll have to grab your things and head over to the airport, and FAST.

You usually only get a few hours notice but this depends on the airline. They are effectively filling up the empty seats with passengers that can go whenever they want. This option is great for people that run their own schedule as you can save a ton of money on flights which is often the largest cost of a vacation.

Some advice from Ross at Digital Nomad: If you're not checking in luggage , you can often find a multi-leg flight and depart earlier (only for single ticket holders). For example it can be cheaper flying to Dubai via Ireland with Emirates as opposed to taking your original flight.

Before You Go

Destination, destination, destination...

Mexico is cheaper than US, India is cheaper than Spain. Check out Skyscanner's post on some of the cheapest destinations for 2016. Note that the cheapest destinations in terms of value for money are not always the cheapest to fly to.

On That Note: Flight Comparison Tools

Most of you may already use the features of the flight comparison tools, Skyscanner and Kayak but there are a couple of tricks to save even more money. 

Skyscanner search

Start off with Skyscanner here. They allow you to search "Everywhere" so input your departure city and they'll give you a list of the cheapest destinations to fly to. If you're flexible on dates ensure you select "cheapest month" to find the cheapest time of the year to go. 

You'll end up with something like this:

Skyscanner list of cheapest destinations from toronto

Using this example from Toronto, Canada, lets say we want to go to the US. After briefly searching I found a flight in September to New York for $198 return. Not bad eh?

skyscanner prices TOR to NY

But we're not done. 

Lets head over to Kayak here and check we've got the best deal. So we've found the cheapest month and now the cheapest flight in that month. We'll cross reference that with Kayak using flexible dates. 

Kayak search

And that gives you a beautiful graph-like display of prices:

kayak search TOR to NY

So as we can see, the same date (depart 7th Sep, return 14th Sep) is the cheapest on Kayak, shown in a darker green. However this price is $25 more expensive. 

A few things to keep in mind when searching for flights:

  • Travel when it's off season. Go to Europe in Fall/Spring rather than Summer. 
  • Be Flexible. If you can find a vacation that's a really good price, but returns on Sunday at 4am, take it. Just make sure you arrange for some strong coffee on that Monday morning!
  • If you're having trouble finding a cheap flight with the tips above, try searching for last minute deals during the shoulder or off-season. For example, just after school holidays. 

Have good credit? Check out MyTravelTools post about using credit card points to travel even cheaper

There you go! You just saved $25 per person for spending a few minutes checking out different flight options. These are just two flight comparison tools but in my experience have consistently been the cheapest and are both easy to use. 

Hotel? Vacation Home? Log Cabin? 

Holiday Homes

Vacation rentals are not always expensive mansions, they can save you a lot of money if you’re travelling on a budget but still want a flair of luxury. When checking out your next destination type in google “[DESTINATION] Vacation Rentals” and see what comes up.

For example, a quick search on google came up with this. A 3 bed Villa in Jamaica with an entire oceanfront and staff of 4 for average $140 a night. Granted that’s not budget per se but if you have 2 families that want to team up it could be a great way to save. A little more searching and I found another villa for only $125/night. Now this is luxury on a budget. 

Airbnb

Airbnb is another option to help save you money on vacations. If you haven’t heard of it before I suggest you check out my other post here. Effectively, it’s an online marketplace where owners can rent out their rooms or entire properties to travelers like you. It’s a very trustworthy platform and I’ve used it at least 3 times in the past year. 

The thought of staying in a house where I’d never met the owner was at first very daunting, but now I’ve made some lifelong friends from it (hey Terry and Ping if you’re reading this!). Click here to get $40 travel credit from Airbnb.
House-sitting Or House-swap

A great recommendation from Thor at WorldWideWinther is house-sitting or a house-swap. It's pretty self explanatory but a great way to visit impressive locations and houses for very little money. 

Do not book a hotel in a tourist hot spot

This may already be too late and if it is, don’t worry. Just expect that the cost of items may be slightly higher, if not double in some cases. Look for hotels that are around residential dwellings. A good example is when I traveled to Tenerife with my family; we stayed in Puerto De La Cruz which was much less ‘touristy’ than the towns on the south of the island. It made for a much more enjoyable stay and you can really immerse yourself with the locals.

When You're There

So you scored a great deal on a flight and you’re one step closer to paradise. These are some of the ways you can save money at your holiday destination:

Go where the locals go

If you walk into a shop and they speak very good English but you’re in Argentina, this should raise your eyebrows. Don’t get me wrong, some people are just really great linguists but more often than not, if they’re all over you then they know you have money and will charge you for it! Go where the locals go.

Beware of taxis/cabs!

There are a few tips in this travel guide but this is a big one. Some countries, like Singapore, have a wonderful taxi service where all taxicab operators must charge the same rate by law, therefore you know you are being charged a correct and fair amount every time. However, depending on where you travel you may encounter some taxi drivers that will take you for granted. The key here is to ask a local how much a usual fare should cost from A to B, or ask hotel if they recommend a taxi service. Check for taxi/cab stands that have a printed list of prices, take a photo before your journey so you can show as evidence to the driver in the event of some confusion. Always make sure you know how much you're going to pay before you go.

Check out the bus/transit

OK so not exactly "luxury" but we're on a budget right? Yeah it might be in French, Spanish, Portuguese but they’re essentially all the same. In France from Disneyland, you can hail a taxi to take you for an hour drive to Paris city centre OR hop on the train that takes you there for a fraction of the cost and in half the time. Even if it’s not in English or your native language, you should at least give it a try.

There is most likely going to be an information booth somewhere in a train terminal, so worse comes to worse, just ask! Just don’t do what I did in Iceland - get on a bus for it to drive past my hotel and take me further than if I just walked in the first place!

Luxury On A Budget

Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, you want LUXURY.  You want to feel like Royalty - trust me, I hear you! The best part of this travel guide: some great tips to help you travel in luxury but still be mindful of those precious pennies in your savings account:

Food, Glorious Food

Walk the streets and you guessed it! Go where the locals go. Tourist eateries are going to be a lot more expensive than the local restaurant. Me and my partner once strolled into an Italian restaurant in Rome to find no one spoke a word of English! The rest of the night was spent waving our arms for service and pointing at reasonably recognizable words on a menu. Crazy I know, but it made for such an entertaining night for everyone. Even if you end up ordering something that looks like nothing you have seen before, try it! You are travelling to experience something different after-all.

Massage, Facial, Pedicure - All Three? 

Find a local spa. In Bali, Indonesia I found an hour massage for only $5 AUD! That’s over 10x cheaper than in Australia. Yes I gave her a tip, I mean who wouldn’t that would just be stealing! Oftentimes there will be dedicated spa's that charge similar to back home, the key is looking for local spa's.

Cruise in Style

Forget those big companies with their massive coach/buses! Travel in style in one of these: 

toyota avaza in bali

This lovely guy took all 6 of us wherever we wanted for the whole day for only $37USD! You could pay similar on a coach tour but our driver took us anywhere we wanted. We got to see almost all of the sights in one day. Do some google research before you go to see if there is anyone offering a similar service. I found this guy via Tripadvisor, and if you’re heading to Bali sometime, let me know and I’ll give you his phone number 🙂

Now Go And Enjoy Yourself

So there you have it, the ultimate travel guide for luxury on a budget. No more excuses, get out there, go see the world, you won’t regret it!

7 Ways To Make Money In Canada

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Sensible Money Saver is here to tell you the best ways to make money in Canada

Job Ad- "How to make $238/hour from sitting at home" - We've all seem them, but unfortunately most aren't true. 

​There are many ways to snap up (in some cases literally!) some extra cash alongside your usual job. We've crawled through the web to share with you some great, legitimate ways on how to make extra money in Canada.


1. Airbnb

A treehouse in the forest you could rent on airbnb

Own a house? An apartment? Even an treehouse? You could be earning mega bucks from this unused space in your home. If you haven't heard of it before, Airbnb is an online marketplace that enables you to list, find and rent homes or rooms for a small processing fee. According to Wikipedia, Airbnb operates in 191 countries and has over 1.5 million listings! I've had first hand experience of using Airbnb and have met some great life-long friends along the way. If you have any spare rooms or properties you should seriously consider Airbnb

2. Shutterstock

photo of Athabasca Falls in Jasper Canada

Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park

Ever take a picture on your smartphone or camera and think "hey, this is really good"? Well don't leave it sitting on your phone to never be seen again, upload to Shutterstock and you will earn 25 cents per image download - not a lot right? Well, they have paid over $350 million to people like you and me so far. You don't even have to take pictures of beautiful mountains (like the pic I took above ;), even photos of food, pets and cars can get you downloads and more importantly, some extra money on the side. 

3. Ebates

Did you know you can earn money for your normal day-to-day shopping? Me neither until I came across Ebates. Basically, you get cash back on items you purchase via their link. For example: If you buy, let's say Purina One Smartblend dog food 31lbs for $43.19 you'll get $3.45 cashback. You have to be careful of some cash-back sites however, Ebates has a great reputation and I can say first hand that it works. They even have a Google Chrome extension that notifies you if you can earn cash-back on a site that you're visiting! Check them out here.

4. Global Test Market

person making money on a laptop

Multiple choice questions, the holy grail when it comes to exam time. If you like answering questions then why not get paid to do so. There are many paid survey sites out there but the only one I can vouch for is Global Test Market. How much can I earn I hear you cry? Well I completed one survey that got me 30 "marketpoints" which you redeem on their site, think airmiles/aeroplan. Now, it's 243 marketpoints to get $10 via PayPal so doing quick math; after you complete around 8 surveys you should have an extra $10 in your pocket. Not bad eh?

5. TranscribeMe!

Quick hands? If you're a steady typer then this might be for you. Over at TranscribeMe! you can earn up to $20 USD for every audio hour you transcribe, that's one of the highest around and with the exchange rate right now that's $25 CAD. In the medical/legal field? You can earn even more! It works by giving you access to multiple audio files ranging from 10 seconds to 1 minute long. Once all the pieces have been transcribed the file is checked by their Quality Assurance team and you get paid. According to TranscribeMe! average monthly earnings are $250 USD - that's a nice monthly bonus. All you need to get started is a good internet connection with a PC or Laptop and ideally a set of headphones so you can hear the recordings clearly, and you're set! Head over to TranscribeMe! to find out more.

6. Pawshake

dog and cats cuddling together

Our furry friends; we love them unconditionally,  even if they sometimes bring home an wanted surprise on our welcome mat! Ever thought about dog or cat sitting for people? Well with Pawshake you can earn money looking after other people's dogs and cats while they're away. Register on their site and create a profile, once you're set up you'll arrange a meet and greet with a pet owner to see if you're a good fit. If all is well you'll be sitting in no time. If you have some time spare and love animals (come on, who doesn't!), then check out Pawshake as a way to make some extra money, all while getting your pet fix. 

7. Turo

car keys of a turo owner to rent out your car and make money

Canada ranks number 12 globally with 662 cars per 1000 people. The Toronto Star even wrote an article about the explosion of cars on the roads. Like Airbnb for cars, Turo allows you to rent out your car to locals and travelers alike. I know what you're thinking, "what happens if someone damages my brand new BMW", well Turo covers you with their $2 million in liability insurance and each traveler is pre-screened so you can rest assured. I know of so many weekends where my car has just been sitting on the driveway, depreciating; why not let someone else drive my car and I can make a quick $80 while I'm at it! If you act quick, Turo is giving away $100 CAD credit to new owners who list their car until August 31, 2016 - As always, be sure to check the terms and conditions.

Free Tips To Save Money

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Helping You Sensibly Save Money

Welcome to Sensible Money Saver! Are you the kind of person that gets excited when you buy something and realize that it's on special? Then you've come to the right place. 

We're here to find sensible ways to help you save money: Home modifications, credit card deals and cheap flight tickets are just some of the ways we can help you save. 

Over the next few months we'll be updating you with the inside scoop on how to sensibly save you money - stay tuned. Or better yet enter your email in the box below to be the first to know.