Shrewd Spender

Spend smart. Save smart. Invest Smart.

Free Tax Software for Canadians

There are good reasons to file your taxes online.

If you are taking the plunge this year and filing your taxes electronically for the first time, or if you’re looking to try something different, you’ll be glad to know there are several free tax software options out there.

Four Reasons to File Your Taxes Online

Since two thirds of Canadians file their taxes electronically, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) decided not mailing out paper tax packages for the 2012 tax year.

If you usually file your taxes by mailing in a paper return, you’ll have to take the extra step to get a tax package this year.

But before you go through the trouble of getting a tax package, you should think about some of the benefits with filing your taxes online.

Should I Switch My Balanced Growth Portfolio Mutual Fund to Index Funds?

A friend asked me the other day:

I’m thinking of switching my CIBC Personal Portfolio Service Balanced Growth Fund into index funds. What are your thoughts?

Being a former active mutual fund investor myself and converting to an index investor after finding Couch Potato enlightenment, my answer was an emphatic, “Yes!”

But I didn’t just want him to take my word for it. I wanted to make a good case for him to switch to index funds. I decided to do a little research into the wrap mutual fund he invested in. I downloaded the performance report and did some digging.

What did I find out?

Best Kept Secret Cash Back Credit Card

I want to let you in on a secret.

There is a no fee, cash back credit card that doesn’t get a lot of press. This credit card is absolutely amazing when you’re in a foreign country or if you shop at a non-Canadian website. What credit card am I talking about?

The mysterious, under loved, but super awesome credit card I’m talking about is the Rewards Visa

Bye Penny: How to Round to the Nearest Nickel

Starting February 4, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the penny to banks across Canada. On that same say, businesses will start rounding prices to the nearest nickel.

Personally, I am happy Canada is getting rid of the penny. It costs 1.6 cents to make one. Eliminating the penny will save Canadians $11 million dollars a year!

Maximize Returns From Reward Credit Cards

I’m a big fan of no annual fee, cash back or cash equivalent reward credit cards. The credit card company pays you to use their credit card. What’s not to like about that!

Credit card companies are there to make money, but if we’re a little bit smarter with how we use our credit cards, we can maximize our cash back returns! What tweaks can we make to be smarter spenders with our credit cards?

Beginning Investing: First Investment

It’s really interesting to look back to my initial investments I made when I first started to save seriously. I probably made one of the most expensive mistakes novice investors make.