Posted yesterday at 5:00 am
Buying a home is the largest investment of a lifetime for most households. Naturally, it is in this area that the potential savings are most attractive. According to the Canadian Consumer Finance Agency, 40% of the population had a mortgage in 2019, with an average amount of $200,000. A quick look at sites like HelloSafe that offer mortgage rate comparisons finds, at the time of writing, a difference of 0.8 percentage points between the best offer (4.34% on Nesto) and the least good (5. 14% at Laurentian Bank), for a five-year fixed-rate renewal.
The difference, for a $200,000 mortgage: $73 per month, a remarkable savings of $4,380 over five years. Between research, negotiation and signing, just four hours are enough to change financial institutions.
“A basic trick to negotiate your rate: check the rates offered by the market and ask your financial institution to do it better,” recalls the Autorité des marchés financiers in a document published in 2019. If you have the capacity, the provincial body also recommends pay off your mortgage in a shorter period.
Potential Salary: $1000 per hour
Do you believe that your insurance premium is based on immutable criteria shared by insurers? This is by no means the conclusion reached by the Autorité des marchés financiers when comparing car insurance premiums earned by 10 consumers in 2017.
Saving an average of $763 per year for just two hours of work is respectable. But let us clarify from the outset that the president of the Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurance du Québec, Jean-Pierre Tardif, finds this sum of 763 dollars exaggerated. While he believes it’s important to shop around for insurance, he cautions consumers not to rely solely on price.
You have to compare apples to apples. Often we see that our clients arrive with a quote and once analyzed, it is not the same product at all. We do not sell prizes, we sell protections.
Jean-Pierre Tardif, president of the Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurance du Québec
He has other saving tips. In housing, for example, we should increase franchises, “which have aged poorly.” “We still have deductibles of $300 or $500. I would go for more, $1,000, even $2,500. » Reforms, alarm systems and automatic water shut-off are rewarded. On cars, parts marking, which can cost up to $250, will earn you a discount of up to $85. Finally, by combining several policies with the same insurer, you will obtain up to a 10% discount.
Potential salary: $250 per hour
Whether by Internet, cell phone or cable television, we recommend contacting your provider once a year to negotiate a discount. Without changing anything, you can get almost fifteen dollars a month in less than an hour as a reward for your loyalty.
But there are tricks. “Providers establish an index of their customers, which allows them to determine if they have a good chance of leaving them,” reveals Nadir Marcos, CEO of PlanHub, which specializes in internet and mobile price comparisons.
How to make yourself more desirable? Coming to the end of a subsidized phone contract, multiplying calls to customer service and, above all, challenging the provider with a better competing offer. Don’t be afraid to switch to another company, says Johanne Le Blanc, budget advisor at Option consumers. “I could understand the hesitation when you had to change your phone number and pay a breach of contract fee. It is no longer like before, we are no longer tied down, there is more mobility. »
Potential salary: $180 per hour
According to Revenu Québec, only 39% of taxpayers file their own tax returns. Some obviously have complex tax returns and business or rental income that warrant the use of a professional. But for the vast majority, say a working couple with two children, software that costs as little as $20 can often replace an accountant that can cost upwards of $330. Three hours is enough.
“I think a lot of people could do it on their own,” says Julie Brissette of the Association Cooperative de Economies Familiares (ACEF) in East Montreal. But beware, not everyone is equally comfortable with the software and mechanics of tax returns. “In the ACEF we mainly see low-income people, older adults for whom technology is sometimes inaccessible, people for whom it is synonymous with anxiety. »
She points out that there are many organizations that offer tax clinics to low-income people, up to $45,000 for a couple. “Every time we serve more workers, the clientele is expanding,” she says. In addition to the ACEFs, some of which offer this service year-round, she points out that there is an unknown phone service, 211, along with a website www.211qc.ca, which lists all the community and social organizations.
Potential salary: $100 per hour
Did you know that a car traveling at 120 km/h consumes 20% more fuel than at 100 km/h? “Air resistance is less when you go slower and the engine also runs slower,” explains Jesse Caron, automotive expert at CAA-Quebec.
Let’s have fun calculating the hourly wage we could get from this economy. A car traveling constantly at 100 km/h will travel 600 km in six hours, the equivalent of Montreal-New York. The same car traveling at 120 km/h will mathematically travel the same distance in five hours. Suppose the car consumes 8 liters every 100 km driving at 100 km/h: it will therefore have swallowed 48 litres.
At 120km/h? 20% more, for a balance of 57.6 litres. Therefore, we will have saved 9.6 liters by driving more slowly. At $1.70 per liter, at the time of writing, that’s an hourly wage of $16.32, just above the minimum wage. Obviously we have not taken into account here the benefits for the environment, which are unavoidable but more difficult to calculate. And yet motorists are sensitive to it, notes Jesse Caron. “What I am going to tell you is extremely anecdotal. As I do Donnacona-Montreal every Monday, I notice that some people drive more slowly when the price of gas is higher. »
Potential wage: $16.32 per hour (plus environmental benefits)
three more tips
In Quebec, some 400,000 unclaimed items with a total value of $380 million, left behind after a move, job change or death, are stacked and recorded in a registry kept by Revenu Québec. Every year, $32 million is returned to its rightful owners. At the Bank of Canada, the treasury is even more impressive: there are 1.9 million unclaimed balances worth $742 million. A few minutes are enough for a search.
According to the latest Kijiji Index, presented by the Responsible Consumption Observatory of the University of Quebec in Montreal until 2019, Canadians had earned an average of $789 the previous year selling their used products. Old fashioned lamps, dusty furniture, clothes you will never wear again, almost everything can find a buyer on the many resale platforms such as Kijiji, Markeplace, LesPAC and the many specialty stores. Earnings obviously depend on the products offered for sale.
Nothing is easier than comparing the different credit cards on the market: the Financial Consumer Agency has put a comparator online that will allow you to choose a card based on the interest rate, the annual fees and the rewards. One piece of advice: “You have to pay your entire balance,” recalls Johanne Le Blanc of Option consumers. Even paying $99 on a $100 balance, interest in excess of 20% will apply on the full $100. »