Category Archives: contest

CONTEST: Win 250 Letterpress Business Cards from Jukeboxprint.com!

My favourite business cards are ones that use letterpress. There’s just something about how timeless and traditional they look, especially when combined with a new and modern design. It creates such an elegant feeling – perfect for stand-out business cards, wedding invitations, or special occasion flyers. :)

Last year I redesigned my personal business cards and once again used my favourite online print shop, Jukeboxprint.com. I think having beautiful, well-designed business cards are a really nice touch when networking or even on a job interview. And I love it when people ask where I got my cards from, and who designed them for me. :) So you can bet that when I create new cards in the next few months, I’ll definitely be trying out Jukeboxprint’s letterpress option.

Letterpress High Res

So in celebration of making a good first impression and having business cards you can be proud of, I have teamed up with my friends over at Jukeboxprint.com  to give away ONE (1) set of 250 letterpress business cards (40 pt cotton stock – one of their most expensive and premium stocks) with 2-colour output. This includes free shipping to ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!  

There are FOUR ways to enter:

  1. +1 entry: Tweet about the contest (copy and paste the following: “Jukeboxprint.com is giving away Letterpress Business Cards. Follow @Jukebox and enter now: http://wp.me/pPQjl-3Cp“).
  2. +2 entry: Follow @jukebox on Twitter.
  3. +3 entry: Comment on this blog post and tell me what you think of the Letterpress cards from Jukeboxprint.com.
  4. +1 entry: Like Jukeboxprint.com on Facebook.

Rules:

  • You MUST use Rafflecopter to record all of your entries.
  • I am giving away one (1) sets of 250 business cards.
  • Shipping is free worldwide.
  • Contest closes February 28, 2014.

Good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FlipBelt Review & Giveaway

In my seemingly never-ending quest for the best way to carry “stuff” while I run, I’ve tried lots of different things over the years – from a lightweight Arc’teryx running vest, to one of those dorky looking hip belts, to those bulky iPod arm bands – nothing worked.

You see, I like keeping my iPhone on me at all times – not to make calls or text while I run – but to feel safe. If I run into trouble (twist my ankle, get beaten up, etc.), I have a way to communicate. I also like it because I don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of gadgets around – it keeps me connected, plays music, and records my run through the Nike+ app.
2013-04-03 13.53.11Anyway, earlier this year, I came across something called the FlipBelt. It’s basically a stretchy band of material that fits snug around your waist, holding everything from your iPhone, to keys, to money/credit cards. And once I start doing longer runs, I might want to tuck a PowerGel in there as well. The FlipBelt looked minimalistic, and I liked that (because who wants to run with a fanny pack!?)… but I was skeptical. I kept telling myself that it was a gimmick, and wouldn’t really work. But I ordered one anyway …

… and I’ve been running with it ever since. I LOVE the FlipBelt. This is seriously the answer to all of my running problems. I can safely and comfortably tuck my iPhone into the band, without having to worry about whether it will get damaged if it’s raining out, or having my arm get tired of holding it for an hour. It doesn’t look dorky, it stays out of my way, and it stays in place. I don’t even know it’s there when I’m running.

flipbelt

Sizing: some people wear their FlipBelts around their natural waist – but I prefer to wear it snug on my lower hip. A small fits perfectly for me right now. It sits on my hip, doesn’t move at all, and I feel really secure that all of the stuff inside the FlipBelt is secured, and not moving around. If you’re feeling paranoid, you can also flip the belt inwardly to “lock” the items a bit better, but I’ve never felt the need to.

It’s also super easy to get stuff out of the belt while you’re running. Near the end of my run, I like to take my iPhone out so that I can use the Nike+ app, and I’ve never had to fumble or struggle, like I’ve done before with velcro, zippers, or armbands.

The FlipBelt comes in a variety of different sizes and colours, and I’m loving it so much that I’ll likely order another one – but maybe in a brighter colour. :) I think it’s perfect for someone who likes running, hiking, or walking, and is looking for a minimalistic approach to carrying a few things around while they’re out being active.

So now for the fun giveaway. You can win your very own FlipBelt! Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Remember that if you don’t use the Rafflecopter widget, your entries won’t count!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. if you need to get your hands on a FlipBelt NOW, please feel free to use the coupon code GMBMFB10 for 10% off your order at FlipBelt.com.  :)

KANETIX.ca is offering a chance to win $5,000!

What’s your mortgage rate? Back in 2011 when I bought my townhouse, my mortgage rate of 3.74% (5-year fixed) was considered extremely good. Now? Not so much. I’ve run the numbers, and refinancing doesn’t work for me, but people looking to enter the housing market (like a few of my friends) can now get rates much lower than that.

In fact, KANETIX.ca is offering a Spring Mortgage Rate Special, offering customers a super low interest rate of 2.75% on a 5-year fixed! And to top it off, they’re offering homebuyers who secure a mortgage rate online a chance to win $5,000. Not only are KANETIX customers automatically entered to win the $5,000 prize, but they can also gain entries by connecting with KANETIX and sharing the contest via social media. If you’re the lucky one that wins, that’s a pretty significant chunk of change that you can dump onto your mortgage, or do a few renovations around the new home. :)

Until April 19th, customers in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland are eligible for a chance at the $5,000 prize. Sorry British Columbians. :) For more information on the Kanetix mortgage $5,000 giveaway, click here.

About KANETIX

KANETIX was one of Canada’s first online insurance marketplaces, and provides over a million quotes per year to customers looking to compare mortgages and and credit cards. Launched in the fall of 2012, the KANETIX online mortgage rates comparison service allows shoppers to secure rates online in minutes, without actually having to complete a full mortgage application – which I think is pretty cool. Customers will then have the option to complete the mortgage pre-approval process online, or through a licensed mortgage broker over the phone.

Taxes as a freelancer made easy (and a giveaway from H&R Block!)

Note: this guest post and contest is sponsored by my friends over at H&R Block. I’ve been filing my taxes as a freelancer with H&R Block for the past few years, and I can say from first-hand experience, it’s been a really simple process.

It is becoming more common to hear Canadians say “I am freelancing.” It may not offer job security but it can deliver flexible hours, a chance to work on multiple projects and, more importantly, the opportunity to be your own boss.

But earning income as a freelancer does mean more paperwork at tax time, since no one will be sending you a T4 slip. And trying to piece together receipts a year later is not recommended. If you are getting ready to take the leap into freelancing, here are some tips to make your tax return easier:

    • Every business receipt means less tax paid: Your business expenses are deducted from your business income. The more expenses you record, the less income on which you have to pay tax. Forgetting or losing receipts on a regular basis will impact your tax bill, so get receipts.
    • Your home office expenses may not total as much as you think: If you have an exclusive-use area for your office in your house or apartment, you can claim a portion of expenses like rent or mortgage interest, insurance, utilities and property tax. So if you use 10 per cent of your home as an office, you claim 10 per cent of the costs. For example, if you pay $1,000 a month for your apartment, you can claim $100 a month as a business expense.
    • Be reasonable: Claiming 90 per cent of your house as an office will most likely lead to a review of your return. You are allowed to claim reasonable expenses you incurred to earn your income.
    • Single connections: If you only have one internet connection or phone line into your home, you cannot claim the whole cost as a business expense. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) expects you to have some personal use of a single connection, so you may claim the percentage used for business purposes. If you have an exclusive-use business phone line or internet connection, then you can claim the entire bill.
    • No withheld tax, so expect to pay: How much you pay will depend on what other types of income and deductions you have. However, as a general rule of thumb, self-employed Canadians should save 30 to 40 per cent of their income for tax purposes. Do not expect your business expenses to eliminate your tax bill.
    • CPP payments: If you earn more than $3,500 in the year, you will pay both the employer and employee portions of your CPP premiums.
    • EI is an option: The government introduced an Employment Insurance (EI) program for self-employed Canadians but you have to register for it. And once you are in, you cannot opt out, so make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into.
    • Record your mileage: Contrary to popular belief, there is no flat rate mileage amount for self-employed taxpayers. You need to a keep a logbook to track your business kilometres. Based on the percentage driven for work, you can claim a portion of your gas, insurance, maintenance and registration as a business expense. There is a simplified logbook option but you have to have kept a logbook for at least one year before you can use this option.
    • Know how to calculate the GST/HST: If your total revenues from taxable supplies are more than $30,000, you will need to register, collect and remit GST.. You are allowed to claim the GST and HST you paid on your business expenses as Input Tax Credits (ITCs). These ITCs then reduce the amount you remit.
    • Don’t wait to start bookkeeping: Freelancing can be a scary prospect so it can be tempting to think you will spend money on bookkeeping once you get a few more clients. Even if you just keep a simple spreadsheet, you need to have a system set-up from the day you start working for yourself. Trying to sort out 12 months of receipts as the tax deadline looms will increase your chances of making an error or omission.

You will report your business income and expenses as part of your personal tax return by using Form T2125, Statement of Business Activities. You do not need to attach your receipts to the form but you should keep your records for seven years in case the CRA reviews your return. Without proof of the expense, the CRA will disallow the deduction, so every piece of paper counts.

Here is your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of H&R Block’s Online Tax Software!

Rules:

    • You MUST use Rafflecopter to record all of your entries.
    • I am giving away three (3) codes to file your taxes online with H&R Block. Each person who enters is only eligible to win one (1) prize.
    • Only open to Canadians.
    • Contest closes March 21, 2013.

ENTER NOW WITH RAFFLECOPTER!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Canadian Wealth Advisor newsletter

Recently I had a chance to take a look at the Canadian Wealth Advisor newsletter – an 8-page monthly newsletter published by Pat McKeough, a well-known portfolio manager, and an expert in stock picking and safe investing.

Throughout my twenties, my focus was on getting out of debt, establishing my career, traveling, and saving money. Now that I’m about to enter my thirties, I need to start educating myself on how to be a smart investor. Now, I’m not talking about trying to make a fortune… but I do want to learn how to invest my money beyond mutual funds (which is all that I have been investing in). My main concern is that I want to see my money grow, but I don’t do well with high risk.

Why subscribe to the Canadian Wealth Advisor

I really like how Pat McKeough is trusted by so many big names in the Canadian financial scene:

“McKeough has quietly emerged as one of the top investment letter editors on the continent.” —CBS MarketWatch

“Most investment newsletters fail to beat the market. But Pat McKeough is one of only four investment newsletter advisors who have made big profits for their clients over the long haul.” —The Wall Street Journal

When you subscribe to the Canadian Wealth Advisor newsletter, you will gain inside knowledge on how you can:

  • Discover the best ways to make the most of your Tax Free Savings Account, and put yourself in the best position to profit if the Conservative majority government follows through on its promise to double the TFSA contribution limit.
  • Safely generate a rising monthly income without investing in bonds with hidden risks.
  • Spot the real estate investment trusts (REITs) that can maintain — and grow — their distributions.
  • Zero in on the best exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for low-fee profits.
  • Enjoy significant returns in both bull and bear markets, with far less volatility than the overall market.
  • Invest in the conservative dividend-paying stocks that are likely to give you the most reliable combination of income and capital gains.

Your subscription to the Canadian Wealth Advisor will be delivered monthly (12x/year), and I think one of the most valuable benefits of subscribing is gaining access to all of the back issues of the newsletter.

Special deal for GMBMFB readers

I know a lot of you are in the same boat as me – wanting to learn more about investing, but can’t afford a financial advisor, and don’t have a lot of time to scour the internet to learn more information.

That’s why I’m super happy to say that Pat McKeough has offered to let you try the Canadian Wealth Advisor FREE FOR A MONTH. If you want to stay on past that one month, you will only pay $14.75 every 3 months – that’s less than $5 per newsletter, and a savings of $60 off the regular annual subscription price of $119.

If you want to check out the Canadian Wealth Advisor newsletter free for a month, click on this link to sign up! :)

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