Author Archives: Teacher Man

Why I Automate My Finances

With the strike by Canada Post last year I have been asked by a few friends (we’ll be nice and call them the “technologically-challenged” crowd) to help them automate their finances.  I myself am certainly not a computer wizard, and most definitely no one would mistake me as an “IT guy.”  That being said, I think if you automate your finances to be ahead of the game, and within 10 years most people probably won’t have a choice, so you may as well get used to it now.

Lazy Is Good?

Automate your Finances

The whole motivation for me to automate my finances was laziness.  I don’t consider myself an overall lazy person, but I do tend to procrastinate smaller things in favour of trying to cover ground on pursuits I am more motivated by ( I like to think this is different from spending endless hours watching TV or playing video games etc).  As a direct result of this I was frustrated by getting mailed payments for every little service I use and then having to go through the whole process of writing a cheque, getting in the mail ASAP (since I live rurally you have to allow for a couple of extra mailing days each way) and so on and so forth.  I have accomplished the lazy man’s solution by automating my monthly payments, but I have also seen many other benefits, and consequently I am not a huge proponent of automating as many basic tasks as I can in life in order to free up the majority of my time to pursue more productive efforts.

Automate Your Finances To Save Cash

One great reason to look at automating your payments is that you save money on stamps and late payments.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it does add up over time.  With Canada Post employees looking for higher pay, look for basic postage to go up as well.  Even if you automate your finances and it only saves one late payment it will have been well worth your time.

Some people feel that by giving companies the ability to reach into your account and take money, that you run huge risks if they make an error.  The fact is that most basic bills will still get mailed to you, however instead of asking for payment they just explain that a certain payment will be deducted from your specified account on a certain date; therefore, you have notice if you want to dispute any charges or you feel that something wasn’t done fairly.Continue Reading

3 Ways Being a Recent Graduate Can Help You Beat the Taxman

Every student likes to believe that once they reach that light at the end of the tunnel known as graduation, their money troubles will disappear.  I mean if you survived on earning basically nothing as a student, getting paid in your new career should be a real windfall right?  Maybe it’s time to Treat Yo Self?  Uh… I hate to let you in on this secret but…

It doesn’t always work out that way.  In fact, today fewer and fewer students get to live happily ever after once donning the cap and gown.  Once you do start earning some real money you’ll quickly find meet the taxman and learn just what an expensive acquaintance he can be.  At the same time you’ll wonder where the heck all your money is going.  How can you possibly make $X a month and still have nothing left for savings at the end?  Well, you needed that new car right, after all, you had taken public transit the whole time you were a student.  You had promised yourself you’d go out to each a little more as a reward for all your hard work… And then there’s those stupid student loan payments that get taken out every month.

Raise Your Hand If You Pay Enough Taxes

Being a Recent Graduate Can Help You Beat the TaxmanThe bottom line is that if you’re like most Canadian students you’ll be able to use a hand up as you begin to establish yourself your first few years out of school.  If you want to delay meeting the taxman for a little while longer, you’re probably in luck.  Most recent graduates have a few left over tax breaks that they are eligible for.  Caution: Don’t continue reading if you’re against large tax refund cheques coming to your mailboxes. (I always wanted to try writing cheesy inbox subject lines just to see if it actually worked – let me know how I did!)

1.  If you have graduated recently and have had to start repaying student loans, provincial and federal tax credits are available for the interest you’ve paid on those loans.  Because of the tax-deductibility status of student loans, some smart people prefer to put their paycheque towards other endeavours for the first few years they work.  Paying back credit-card debt and lines of credit should definitely come before putting any extra money towards student loans.  There is also a solid argument to be made for beginning to save for a house down-payment, or even beginning retirement savings, as opposed to focusing on paying down your student debt.  This subject is much debated by finance enthusiasts, but they agree on one thing:  you’re crazy if you’re paying student loans and not getting the tax break designed to help recent graduates.  If you have to pay the government for lending you that cash you used to buy tequila shots with you might as well use it to your advantage.Continue Reading

Canada’s Best Data Plans Don’t Measure Up to Republic Wireless

I was lurking around my usual online PF haunts last week when an article titled, “$19 for an Unlimited Everything Smartphone Plan” caught my eye.

Surely this can’t be I thought to myself.  My $80+ phone bill could be reduced to a mere $20 every single month?!  How is this possible?!!!

Republic Wireless: Code for Saviours

Well, it turns out that a company named Republic Wireless operating out of the USA might be revolutionizing the way we use our smartphones.  The basic idea is that when you sign on with the company you have to use their particular Motorola smartphone (Droid operating system).  This allows the company to program the product in such a way that when you connected to WiFi (presumably at home or at a friend’s house) all of your data, calls, and texts will automatically go through the internet connection.

Related: Choosing a Student Phone Plan

Canada's Best Data Plans Don't Measure Up to Republic WirelessThe company banks on the fact that this will be the case most of the time and that you won’t use too much data when you’re out and about instead of at home. In extreme cases where people are constantly abusing the unlimited data condition clients have been asked to leave the program, but overall it looks like it’s going quite well.  It also makes pretty logical sense even to a techno-idiot like myself.Continue Reading

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