5 Travel Apps to Save You Money (With Amanda Stancati)

May 8 2015 - Saving

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Spring may have just started, but summer is just around the corner – and that means its vacation time! So we turned to the vacation experts for some tips. Amanda Stancati at tripcentral.ca provided us with 5 travel apps designed to help you save money when travelling. After all, we could all use a little more saving on our getaways!

With these 5 travel apps that can save you some money, there’s no excuse not to download them onto your smart phone and review how they could help you wander the world for less. Budget for your trip beforehand, and while you’re there, hit up Broadway shows and happy hours, all while saving a few bucks.

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5 Key Steps to Starting Your Next Small Business (Featuring James Lefebvre)

Apr 30 2015 - Work

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Do you have aspirations to become Canada’s next “great start-up”? There’s a chance you have big ideas knocking around in the back of your head, and some of them are probably aching to come to life. You’re not the only ones: According to BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) as of 2014, there were over 1.1 million small businesses registered in Canada, and a recent survey found that even 46% of university students might start businesses after they graduate.

This week, we turned to one of FirstOntario’s Small Business Pro’s for some guidance. James Lefebvre is the Director, FirstOntario Business Services working out of the brand new FirstOntario Business Centre in downtown Hamilton. James brings years of experience in financial services with him from B.C. to right here in Hamilton, along with abundant enthusiasm. Named in Hamilton’s 2012 Top 40 Under Forty, he directs FirstOntario’s Business Centre where he and his staff deliver a full suite of banking products and services in a uniquely appealing environment.

James knows what it takes to start your next small business, and in turn has provided us 5 key steps to get started.

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5 Ways Volunteering Can Boost Your Career!

Apr 16 2015 - Work

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Final exams are almost over, and you have summer just ahead of you! For many post-secondary students, you may have finally graduated and this will be your chance to look for your first career. Landing one in this competitive job market will be a task! As you start your search, remember the benefits of volunteering and how it can positively benefit your career.

Here’s 5 ways volunteering can boost your career courtesy of TalentEgg (Canada’s leading job board and online career resource for students and recent grads).

Work Experience

If you’re just starting out, there’s a good chance you’ll end up applying for entry level jobs. Even those positions may ask for experience you may not have. That’s why volunteering is a great way to build that experience up! Depending on where you volunteer, you can gain experience in a variety of fields (even those you are applying to). Secondly, don’t overlook the soft skills you can build (team work, communication skills, adaptability, time management). Employers look for these qualities as well.

Update Your Resume

A fantastic way for you to build relevant experience on your resume is by volunteering in a field where you’d like to build a career. After all, a recent survey showed that 73 per cent of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.

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Choice and Affordability Coming to a TV near You!

Apr 9 2015 - Saving, Your rights

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For most young adults these days – Netflix seems to be the “go-to choice” for television entertainment. It’s affordable and entertaining. In fact, we recently wrote a blog about Netflix’s advantage for alternative TV. However, things have changed somewhat in the last few weeks. According to the Financial Post, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the next stage in the evolution of Canada’s cable and television industry. The CRTC has required pick-and-pay TV channels and basic packages with a $25 cap from cable providers.

What this means is that TV is about to give the consumer more “choice and affordability” beginning March 2016. In a previous blog, I mentioned that being a first-time home-buyer gives me little discretionary income to spend on luxuries like $80 satellite and cable. Expensive bundles can really add up!

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Recognize it! Top ten scams to watch out for.

Mar 26 2015 - Your rights

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It’s still March! Which means it’s still Fraud Prevention Month here in Canada. I recently saw a report by Global News that talked about the top ten scams to watch out for this month. Scams can come in all sorts of forms, so be on the look out to make sure you don’t become a victim this year. Equifax Canada suggests fraud accounts for 54 per cent of all cybercrimes reported to police, citing Statistics Canada data. Plus, Equifax reports that fraud-related crime costs Canada between $15-billion and $30-billion annually.

The following ten scams are believed to be the most pervasive of them all over the last year, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). So be sure to keep a close eye on these scams in particular.

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March is Fraud Prevention Month – How to protect your finances!

Mar 19 2015 - Your rights

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March is Fraud Prevention Month. It’s a great 31 day period to focus on making sure you’re taking the necessary steps to protect yourself.  Making sure your personal information is secure is important, it can protect you from fraudulent activity like I.D. theft which can lead to financial fraud. Fraudsters will target things like your social insurance number, any personal ID and even your home title, just to name a few. Plus, scams can come in all sorts of forms so be on the look out!

Don’t be a victim this year! Take the time this March to learn how to protect yourself and in what ways. Here’s 5 tips frequently informed by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to keep you safe from those fraudsters out there.

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