A Little Research May Save Your Textbook Budget

Aug 21 2014 - Saving, School


Out of all the costs you can predict when heading back to school, unfortunately textbooks isn’t one of them. Until you know your book list, it can be difficult to budget for this back-to-school essential. I can recall one semester where a single class alone ate up almost $700 of my savings. It seemed almost hard to fork over that kind of cash when I approached the counter to pay – but it’s a reality. Some students are even going as far as illegally downloading textbooks and risking being charged with copyright infringement– yikes. .

The good news is, if you think a little outside the box there’s lots of options that may help you reduce the financial burden of buying books and keep you on the right side of the law.

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The B-word Every Student Should Know: Budgeting

Aug 7 2014 - Saving


As summer begins to wind down, young people across Canada are getting ready to go back to school. When you’re a kid, parents take care of everything from new sneakers to a fresh new supply of pens and paper (those were good times). But once you set off to post-secondary education, back-to-school is a whole new ball game.

It wasn’t so long ago that I myself was a student, and I learned a lot about what it means to control your own finances during my time at college. Over the years I figured out that being proactive with my budget allowed me more financial freedom and security while at school. After all, you won’t have a lot of disposable income trust me. This week, I’d like to share with you some ideas that can make life (and your wallet) a lot more enjoyable at college and university.

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Low Fees, No Fees Makes More Cents

Jul 31 2014 - Saving

A Businessman Putting A Coin Into A Pink Piggy Bank Isolated On Grey Background

When I was little, at the end of a visit with my Grandmother, she would call me over and hand me a $2 or $5 bill. It was a small gesture of her love (her biggest being food of course), but to me that was a huge amount of money. I would use the car ride home to daydream about all the things I could spend it on (usually candy) and never once thought about putting it away for a rain day..

Nowadays, although I’m pretty thrifty, $5 bills and other small transactions still seem to float in and out my hands without a second thought. I use a spending journal or various handy mobile apps like Mint to keep track of these tiny financial indiscretions, but I recently discovered another way to save a few dollars (or more!) every month.

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Why a Credit Union Feels Different

Jul 23 2014 - Saving

iStock Photos - friendly teller service

 Have you ever wondered why credit unions are different from other financial institutions?

I know that I used to question the difference, but as I have become more financially literate, I’ve found that while banks and credit unions have similarities in product offerings, they each have a unique way of conducting their operations, providing service and engaging with their communities.

Since I became a credit union member, I’ve noticed that a credit union feels different because I am a Member, not a customer and I actually own the place! That’s right – with a credit union you own where you bank. And when you are an owner, you get to have your say. As the Millennial generation, we are prone to wanting to break the mold and change things to align with our values. Previously, as a bank customer, I didn’t feel as the company I entrusted my finances with truly cared for me. Sure, maybe they knew my name, but it was more business than it was personal. Plus, I didn’t really have a say in order to drive change, because the bank was more looking out for the interests of their shareholders.

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Banking for Millennials Means Technology and Personal Service

Jul 18 2014 - Saving

I have a secret to tell you. I may have seen the future…of banking. And it’s beauti iStock_000012753789Smallful.

As I come from a bloodline of technologically un-savvy people, I think I do okay for myself. Heck, part of my job is to write this fine blog and engage on social media. As our generation increasingly lives, works and socializes digitally – why wouldn’t banking come along for the ride?

When it comes to apps, 47 per cent of Canadians said that they use weather apps the most, which given the winter we had doesn’t surprise me. But a close second, 33 per cent of Canadians said they use a banking app the most, which tells me that Canadians love managing their money while on the move. FirstOntario is where I obviously bank and I love the FirstOntario Mobile App, which is great for checking your account balances, paying bills, quickly finding a branch or ATM and transferring funds (I use it daily), but sometimes you need just a bit more human interaction – then again I love people and can become quite a chatter box when the mood is right.

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For 75 years, We’ve Been Banking on Local

Jul 10 2014 - Saving


In the summertime, I can’t help but be amazed at all the local produce our region grows. Around here, who hasn’t gone for a drive just outside city limits to see what’s available on farm stands or enjoyed an amazing sundae during the Winona Peach Festival? Everyone seems to be heading out to the farmer’s market this time of year to grab the best from close by and almost every day I hear of a new independent shop to explore. Where we live it’s so easy to eat and shop local, but what about banking local?

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