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Do you shop around for auto insurance?

A few years ago when I bought my new car, I just went ahead and bought all of my insurance through ICBC, because that’s what I always did. The idea to shop around for auto insurance never really crossed my mind, because really. How much could I actually save? But when I started looking into auto insurance quotes, I was shocked at how much I was over paying by sticking with ICBC! Just by switching over my extended coverage to a third party company, I would save hundreds of dollars each year.

Here’s what I was quoted for:

ICBC – $1,942 ($883 for basic + $1,059 for extended)

Quotes:
Coast Capital – $848 (total with basic = $1,731)
CDI – $691 (total with basic = $1,574)

I ended up going with CDI, which saved me $367 per year on my insurance. And when I bought my townhouse last year, I bought my home insurance through CDI as well, giving me a multi-policy discount. It kind of makes me wonder how much I could have been saving on insurance costs all these years with my other cars and my scooter. :| Actually, no, I don’t want to think about it.

My main concern with going with a private insurance company was the hassle of having to make a claim if I were ever to get into an accident. Well, when I was rear ended, it was so simple to get the claim processed. I just called CDI, and they took down all my information. Then I called ICBC, and I was done.

Now, I’m definitely going to be getting quotes on my car insurance from now on. It might take 30 minutes of my time, but it’s worth it to me if I know that I’m getting the best possible car insurance rates. The last thing I want to do is give my money away to someone when I can be getting the same service cheaper somewhere else.

If you’re shopping around for insurance is on your list of things to do, don’t forget about that multi-policy discount! My townhouse insurance for a year was only $220 because I have auto insurance with CDI.

There are now websites where you can find find vehicle insurance rates, such as Kanetix.ca. This company compares insurance products through top providers in Canada, giving users access to the most affordable rates possible – based on their needs. Check it out, and see how much you can save!

How has your experience been shopping around for car insurance?

Get over the Christmas blues by saving this January

NOTE: this is a post from comparethemarket.com

One of the best ways to get over all the money that you spent, and all the food that you ate over the Christmas holidays is to save – both money and yourself – in the new year.

January is usually the month in which many people try the hardest, because they’re trying to keep up with their New Year’s resolutions. If you want to be on the cutting edge of saving, you will take the habits that you form in January and duplicate them throughout the entire year. Once you get started on healthy financial and physical health, it is hard to stop!

Here are a few tips to help you along your way:

Use price comparison sites
One thing about saving is that it is much easier than before if you use the Internet. Many businesses have deals with price comparison websites. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just retail stores that do this. You can very easily find a great deal of credit card quotes comparison sites online which can get you access to a much wider variety of deals than is advertised on the more traditional media. Financial companies love to keep the credit card quotes comparison sites quiet because they know that by doing this, only a certain percentage of people will find them. This might be necessary to bring in the smart consumer, but they know that anyone who does not have this information will simply pay the prices that they have always been pain. Do not fall victim to the TV ads which say, “this is the best rate.” All you have to do is go online to see that that is not the case.

Improving fitness by taking preventive measures
One of the top expenses that most people have  is healthcare – most of which is preventative healthcare. If you prevent yourself from becoming sick, you will have much more money to save on luxuries and things increase your quality of life. Preventive measures include walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, standing more than sitting, and using swing doors instead of automatic doors. Each calorie counts, so make sure to use every moment that you have to expand on your new resolutions.

Stay in and cook
One of the best ways to save both money and fitness is to eat in. Restaurants have much more fat in their food and in the bill. Also, when you are at home and waiting for something to cook, you can have your mobile device or laptop ready, looking up credit card quotes comparison websites, saving yourself money at double the rate!

Make sure to save what you save
Once you start saving all of this money on fitness, food and credit cards, make sure to put what you have saved into a money market or savings account so that your money can start working for you!

How you can save on your monthly medication

NOTE: This post is brought to you by JanDrugs.ca

Saving money hasn’t always been exactly the sexiest topic among the younger demographic. Stashing cash for a vacation or a car makes it palatable in younger years, but building the practice of thrift into your lifestyle usually (but not always) comes with a bit more age and financial responsibility.

Interestingly enough, thrift and age often clash at the intersection of health care – specifically prescription medications. Age can bring ailments and ailments can sometimes throw thriftiness by the wayside. The price of prescription drugs can be an unexpected and sometimes lengthy financial burden for even the most prepared planners.

As a Canadian pharmacy, we see customers across generations that are mainly looking for a cost-effective way to get the medications they need to stay healthy. The truly thrifty have found even a few more ways to keep prescription medication costs low:

  • Understand Your Coverage – This is simple to say and sometimes difficult to actually do. Understanding how your health insurance covers prescription drug purchases can equal significant savings. Simply knowing what your co-pay is can prevent you from having to pay it if you don’t need to. In other words – if your prescription is going to cost you $10 and your co-pay is $20, cough up the cash and save yourself $10 by not using your health insurance. See? It seems like a no-brainer but many people have neither the time nor patience to really dig into their coverage terms to spot savings opportunities. Learning about your coverage can spur significant savings over the long haul.
  • Pill-splitting – Generally speaking, the larger the dosage the cheaper the prescription will be (per pill). Providing the pills are candidates for splitting (not gel caps or medications that are designed to release over time), you can buy larger doses and simply split the pills or tablets. Pill-splitters can typically be purchased at a pharmacy. Of course, your doctor will have to agree to prescribe the larger dosage in order for this to be an option. Always be careful with this option and make sure that you are ingesting the right dosage.
  • No Free Samples – Simple economics: The more free samples a pharmaceutical company gives out, the more likely they are to pass the cost of those free samples on to the consumer – you. Plus, you don’t want to get roped into using a particular drug for long-term treatment and have the free samples turn into a high-priced prescription.
  • Longer-term Prescriptions – Similar to the bigger-is-better notion behind pill-splitting, longer-term prescriptions often allow for savings. This tactic should only be used if you know you’ll be taking your medication for the entire length of the prescription, rather than a drug you might be able to stop using or use less of based on improving health.

For most, treating your prescription medication purchases with care might save you a few bucks a month. For some – depending on how many medications you take – it can result in a sizable savings. It is truly a component of living a more thrifty, financially responsible lifestyle.

Written by Lori Janeson. Check out .

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