11 Tips to Protect Yourself from Credit and Debit Card Scams

Most of us know someone who has had to deal with fraud — having to cancel a credit or debit card, not to mention other related hassles and stress. Fortunately, like most things, prevention can go a long way towards safeguarding your financial information.

Credit and debit card scams happen when someone steals your credit or debit card, card information or personal identification number and uses it without your permission to withdraw money from an automated teller machine or make a purchase.

11 tips to protect yourself from credit and debit card scams and fraud. #personalfinance

11 tips to help protect you from credit and debit card fraud

While new scams are emerging all the time, there are always basic precautions you can take, beginning with these:

• Check your account and credit card statements often. Make sure all transactions are correct and were made by you.

• Keep your PIN secret. Never share it with anyone, not even a family member or partner. Always memorize the code rather than writing it down.

• Change your PIN often.

• Contact your financial institution and change your PIN immediately if you suspect someone knows it.

• Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN so no one can see it.

• Keep your credit card in a safe place.

• Keep your credit or debit card in sight at all times when making a purchase.

• Take your debit or credit card and transaction receipt with you once you’ve finished a transaction at an ATM or business.

11 tips to help protect you from credit and debit card fraud

• Complete your transaction and retrieve your card before answering anyone trying to get your attention while you are at an ATM.

• Contact your financial institution or credit card issuer right away if your card is lost, stolen or stuck in an ATM.

• Report anything you think is suspicious about a debit or credit card device at a business or ATM to the relevant head office and your credit card issuer.

Find more information about protecting yourself from credit and debit card scams at canada.ca/money.

11 tips to protect yourself from credit and debit card fraud. • Keep your credit or debit card in sight at all times when making a purchase.


20 DIY Valentine’s Day Wreaths You Will Love

20 DIY Valentines Day Wreaths

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now is the time to spread a little love in your home with some cheerful Valentine’s Day decorations. Here are 20 DIY Valentine’s Day wreath ideas to get your creativity flowing. Most of these wreaths use inexpensive materials, some of which you may already have at home, so they won’t break the bank.

Valentine’s Day Felt Wreath – Creative Homemaking

Sweetheart Button Wreath – Crafts ‘n Coffee

Valentine’s Day Wreath – Tammilee Tips

Curlicue Heart Wreath – Mom Spark

DIY Valentine’s Day Door Wreath – Oh So Savvy Mom

Valentine’s Day Fabric Wreath – The Girl Creative

DIY Valentine Wreath – Oh Honestly

Paper Heart Wreath – Made to be a Momma

Burlap and Lace Wreath – A Mom’s Take

DIY Valentine’s Day Wreath – Faithfully Free

Valentine’s Day Fabric Wreath – Third Stop on the Right

Valentine Burlap and Yarn Wreath – Happy Deal Happy Day

Quick and Easy Heart Garland Wreath – Coffee With Us 3

Easy Valentine’s Day Yarn Wrapped Wreath – Merry About Town

Valentine’s Day Wreath – That’s What Che Said

DIY Valentine’s Wreath in Under 60 Seconds – The Kim Six Fix

Valentine Ribbon Wreath – Playground Parkbench

Valentine’s Rag Wreath – Sensibly Sara

One-Hour Scrappy Fabric Heart Wreath – Hey Let’s Make Stuff

Valentine’s Burlap Heart Wreath with Couple’s Monogram – Where the Smiles Have Been

Which wreath is your favourite?

How to Rock Your Budget in 2018

The new year is always full of changes. It is a clean slate, full of new beginnings. Make this the year that you are going to rock your budget and keep your finances in line. Your financial situation is always something you can adjust and improve upon. Think about it – no one is perfect with their money, but 2018 can be a fresh clean start. Use these tips below to find out how to rock your budget in 2018.

How to Rock Your Budget in 2018 | Saving Our Money

5 Ways to Rock Your Budget This Year:

1. Adjust accordingly

If you do not already have a budget, you will begin the year by monitoring your purchases and then setting goals for where your money will be going. What may be acceptable for your budget at the beginning of the year, may not necessarily work towards the middle or end of the year. Perhaps you have changed jobs or or maybe you have found yourself needing to make an unexpected vehicle repair. Regardless the situation, always be willing to adjust your budget when situations arise.

2. Weigh wants vs. needs

Do you really need that super cute pair of shoes that are on sale this week? Even though you already have three other pairs in your closet? The answer is most likely, “no.” Use caution when making spur of the moment purchases because that is how people often go over their budget. Identify your shopping weaknesses and resolve to change your ways. If you can live without it, that item is a wanted item, not something that you need.

3. Explore opportunities to increase your income

Whether it be asking for a raise at work, starting a new side hustle or part-time job, or trying new ways to earn money online from home, every extra dollar earned can be put towards helping you reach your financial goals.

4. Log your expenses

It is important to record each and every purchase you make. There may be a month in which you have somehow spent more than you budgeted for. Having records of your purchases, will allow you to look over your spendings carefully, and be able to pinpoint just where you went wrong. The following month you will be able to prevent making the same mistake again.

5. Find other ways to reward yourself

Sometimes after a long and stressful week it is nice to reward yourself. Usually we do so by taking ourselves for a nice night out. You may normally choose to enjoy a night out with dinner, drinks, and maybe even a movie. Or you may even treat yourself to a weekend of shopping. Instead of rewarding yourself with activities that involve spending money, opt to stay in and reward yourself in other ways. Sit down and spend the weekend catching up on your favourite shows, while your housework sits, or invite a friend to go for a nice hike in the forest with you.

Rocking your budget in 2018 really comes down to having some self-discipline. How will you choose to change your finances this year?

8 Ways to Save Money When Buying a New Car

8 ways to save money when buying a new car. Savings strategies to save you money on your next car purchase.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Cars.com. 

When it comes to buying a new car, there are people who love the process, and there are those that dread it. Some people, like my husband, enjoy spending hours upon hours reading car reviews and comparison shopping, while others find the process a bit overwhelming and intimidating. Whichever camp you fall into, it’s best to follow these tips to help you make an informed decision on your next car purchase and get the best deal on the vehicle that’s right for you.

Tips to Save Money Buying a New Car:

Determine your budget and stick to it

Before you go shopping for a new (or used) car, you should always take a good look at your current budget to determine how much you can realistically spend without stretching your finances too far.

Consider how much of a down payment you have available, what monthly payments you can comfortably afford if you’re planning to get a loan or lease, and be sure to leave a buffer for unexpected repairs. Don’t forget to get a quote on car insurance for the vehicle(s) you’re considering as there can be quite a difference between different models and years of cars.

Do your research

With so many new and used vehicles to choose from, it’s important to do your research before you start shopping for a new vehicle. Cars.com is a great resource to check out when you are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle. In addition to featuring a huge variety of vehicles for sale on their website, the expert reviews and videos help you learn more about what vehicles might best suit your needs.

Shop around

Never before has there been so many resources and ways to buy a new car. The internet has made it so much easier to compare new and used cars available from a variety of car dealers and private sellers. Even if you think you have a great contact at a local dealership, it’s always best to comparison shop so you know what comparable vehicles are selling for. This information is invaluable in helping you to negotiate the best deal.

Compare new vs used

While you may have a strong preference for new vs. used, it’s a good idea to keep an open mind when you’re doing your research. Both offer pros and cons which you will want to consider in making your decision. New vehicles are more expensive, but the warranty coverage, lower maintenance costs and cheaper borrowing costs are definite benefits. On the other hand, it’s more likely you’ll be able to get a great deal on a vehicle if you’re willing to look at used vehicles. Even one a year or two old can save you a significant amount of money over a brand new vehicle. Insurance costs are likely to be lower as well.

8 ways to save money when buying a new car.

Take your time

Try not to rush into a purchase decision. Spend lots of time researching your options, test driving vehicles you’re interested in and shopping around for the best features to meet your needs. By taking your time in the car buying process you will know exactly what you are looking for and when you find a great deal on the ideal vehicle you’ll know it. You’ll be less likely to be pressured into making a quick decision that you might later regret.

Be flexible

You may have your heart set on a certain model or colour of vehicle, but if you keep an open mind and are willing to consider other choices you can end up saving yourself a lot of money.

Sell your old car yourself

It’s more convenient to incorporate trading in your existing vehicle into the purchase of a new vehicle, but you could be losing out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process. It’s best to keep the two transactions separate. Online listing sites like cars.com make it relatively easy to find an interested buyer for your old car that will be willing to pay more than a dealer will give you for it on a trade-in.

By using these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to find the best vehicle to meet your needs, and negotiate the best deal on it. You can be confident you’ll make a great car buying decision and save money on your new car.


Tutorial: Easy Salt Dough Ornaments for Christmas

The holidays can certainly be a drain on your wallet. From Black Friday shopping to expensive entertaining, it can be stressful trying to fully enjoy this season without constantly worrying about your bank account.

One simple way to save money and get in the festive mood is to do a Christmas craft. But if another run to the store isn’t in the cards, don’t worry. You may already have at home all the supplies needed for an easy and inexpensive craft.

Salt dough ornaments are an easy Christmas craft that’s fun for all ages. You only need three ingredients – flour, water and, of course, salt. Decorate the ornaments however you like. You can use them to decorate your Christmas tree, attach them to your gifts or pair them with a beautiful Christmas card as a thoughtful gift for family, friends or neighbours.

See below for a quick tutorial by Shutterfly as well as decorating ideas to spark your inspiration.

Easy Salt Dough Ornaments Tutorial:

Ideas for Personalizing Your Salt Dough Ornaments:

There are so many things you can do with salt dough ornaments, so get creative! Use different shaped cookie cutters, paints, glitter, buttons, ribbons, stones and other materials to make your creations truly a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Get creative with these easy DIY salt dough ornaments. Use them to decorate your Christmas tree, gifts or give them away to family, neighbours and friends.

For step-by-step instructions, visit How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments with Just 3 Ingredients.

Which ornament decorating idea is your favourite?