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January 2011

January 31, 2022

Is Groupon changing what people are willing to pay?

With the rise of online coupon megasites like Groupon and LivingSocial – as well as smaller players like SwarmJam, Wagjag and TeamBuy – it seems that saving is easier than ever before.

Groupon_social_buying Even though it still has its proponents, gone are the days of scissors and coupon clipping around the kitchen table. Now all the best deals arrive in your inbox each day, generally targeted to your postal code.

Regardless of which site you choose, merchants offer a coupon on a city-specific basis that can be redeemed for a product or service, providing a predetermined number of customers buys into the deal. Users identify a deal and then spread information about it to their friends, so that they can collectively buy the item with a volume-based discount.

But will they all last?

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Grocery prices to see 'significant' jump in February: report

Lately, if you’ve been lucky, grocery stores near you have been serving up some tasty deals.

1071221_supermarket_pushcart At a No Frills near me not long ago, for instance, All Dressed Crispers were on sale for $1 a bag, which may or may not have turned me into a mix of Charlie Sheen, the Tasmanian Devil and an Egyptian protestor after having his Internet cut off.

And apparently, I haven’t just been seeing things. According to the Star, Canadian groceries have been very competitively-priced in the first weeks of 2011. Of course, the paper also reports a big Eff You is coming soon to your local supermarket.

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January 28, 2022

Would you ever walk away from $12M?

On most days, it’d be tough to find a reason to write about the Kansas City Royals in this space.

716944_stack_of_cash The team is a business, I suppose – in that it plays baseball games but also sells tickets and merchandise and makes a general effort to turn a profit.

But it also stinks, in spite of any attempt we can make to connect it to the goings-on at EverydayMoney.ca. So, why is the team appearing in mention here? Because one of its players just walked away from a guaranteed $12 million and set the whole world on fire.

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January 27, 2022

The best and worst jobs of 2011

It’s a tough exercise to measure what the top and bottom jobs in North America are because, frankly, most people will tell you their  job is the worst.

Istockphoto_9755883-job-search But we’ve been here before: yes, your job as a year-round construction worker in Canada stinks, though, surely, it’s not as bad as it gets.

If not, then what is? A new report from CareerCast.com gives their thoughts on that – based on duties and midlevel income, here are their choices for the worst, and best, jobs in 2011.

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Billions lost through tax loopholes and preferences: Report

In spite of the extensive free advertising the program received from suppliers like Home Depot and Rona, it seems relatively few Canadians took advantage of the much hyped Home Renovation Tax Credit on their tax returns last year. 

In a report outlining the billions of dollars Ottawa gives up in targeted tax credits, Department of Finance officials admitted that only three-quarters of the $3-billion set aside for the high-profile program ever got paid out.

Is it time to forget these types of tax credits altogether? Definitely, says Toby Sanger, senior economist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees

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January 26, 2022

How men respond to 'sexy' female news anchors

If you’ve followed CBC’s programming the last few years, you’ve noticed the meteoric rise of one of the network’s bona fide stars: Amanda Lang.

Ist1_10286549-television-anchorwoman-at-tv-studio Having excelled as the senior business reporter for CBC News, she’s now got her own, fantastic show – The Lang & O’Leary Exchange – alongside Kevin O’Leary, the resident Simon Cowell of the channel's other hit, Dragon’s Den.

What’s to attribute for Lang’s success? Well, no one’s exactly mistaking her for Rachel Dratch, which is to say, she’s not totally rough on the old peepers. Yet the 40-year-old has endured not because of her looks but her smarts, wit and palpable way of making geeky economists melt sitting across the news desk from her.

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Mexico's low costs make 'dental tourism' a growth industry

Most tourists won't even drink the tap water in Mexico for fear of water-borne illnesses, but it seems that doesn’t stop hordes of them from heading to Los Algodones, across the border from Yuma, Ariz., looking for inexpensive Mexican dentists to fix their teeth.

Dentist They make the trek from Alberta and other parts of Canada largely because their insurance, assuming they have any to begin with, requires them to pay a significant share of the costs of procedures beyond standard preventive care.

Needless to say, Canadians dentists suggest caution when travelling abroad for treatments because standards for training, licensing and care can vary widely.

But is it worth the trip? With more than 300 dentists in Los Algodones alone, how do you find a good one? And what happens when something goes wrong?

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January 25, 2022

Kate Middleton quits job, leaves public rep exposed

Like Princess Di, Michelle Obama and Justin Bieber before her, the world’s little girls may look up to princess-to-be Kate Middleton for years to come.

152415_buckingham_palace_3 But outside the mind of earth’s teeny-bops, Middleton’s April 29th induction into the Royal Family will preface her having to battle a reputation, deserved or not, that she’s spoiled silly.

Sceptics have been out since Kate and Prince William announced their engagement last November (Who will pay for the wedding? How much will taxpayers be stuck with?) but news today that Middleton resigned from her day job may give them more fuel to their fire.

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Thinner women earn bigger paycheques: Study

A new study suggests that employers seem to treat women exactly the way the fashion industry does – by rewarding very thin women with higher pay, while penalizing their average-size counterparts with a much smaller payday.  

Scale Skinnier-than-average men, on the other hand, cash smaller paycheques than their average-weight peers, according to the study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Thin women earned about $16,000 U.S. more a year on average. In contrast, thin men earned about $8,000 less than their more brawny male coworkers, a trend that tapers off only when the big guys’ weight hits the obese level, it seems. 

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January 24, 2022

Your stolen credit card details worth just $2 to crooks: report

If we’ve learned anything from the Ocean’s Eleven  movies, it’s that thieves on the highest level are quite sophisticated.

Istockphoto_240734-identity-theft Though, perhaps our notions that small-time crooks are just that – small-time – have been a bit misguided.

Because, a new security report offers some insight to the largely-unknown world of credit and debit card fraud, and you’ll never guess how efficiently (and how cheap) your banking details are sold for on the street.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...