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Giveaway!! Black Friday Ebay Door Buster Deals

entertain, self, Shopping Reviews, tech By November 26, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , 119 Comments

Did you know that 62 per cent of Canadians are planning to shop for themselves on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? UrbanMommies not only has the sneak peek at the Black Friday Ebay doorbuster deals on sale from 8am -11:59pm EST tomorrow, but we are giving away a $250 Ebay gift code!


Gifts that Sparkle

entertain, holidays, Shopping Reviews By November 25, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

It’s Day 6 of our 12 Days of Christmas Gift Guides and with US Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, our mood is incredibly optimistic!


Back to School Shopping Made Simple

Contests, Featured, GEAR, kids, Parenting, play, style, tech, toys By August 12, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 88 Comments

Those who know me realize that I search ebay almost as often as I scan Instagram. My searches generally involve antique china, rockabilly dresses and steamer trunks, but as autumn approaches I must be responsible and get the kids ready to go back to school.


Holiday Shopping that Puts Money in Your Wallet

Uncategorized By November 15, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

125 Bonus Miles Amex Air MILESI have a holiday shopping goal: to stay inside and relax where it’s cozy while truly enjoying the holiday season.  Between parties, baking, school concerts and festivals with twinkling lights, there is more than enough to keep me busy without adding a dreaded layer of stress and pressure from {gasp} shopping.  I’m usually the one buying each present in a store, wrapping with a flourish and rushing to the post office to ship the gifts in time.  Not this year.   Shopping malls with limited parking, checkout lines and wading through snow carrying heavy bags isn’t my idea of fun.  Nor is being upsold by salespeople or succumbing to those impulse-buys at the register that stop my heart when the bills roll in. 

I work with technology.  I feel comfortable online.  I’m creative and most of all, I know the shops I like and trust.  So this year I’m in control.  The plan is to find gifts online, have them wrapped and sent directly from the store to family and friends in other cities.  Twenty minutes ordering products online, followed by  an hour spent by a roaring fire while playing chess and creating memories with the kids..  Seems like a smarter way to go.

Since becoming entranced with my Amex AIR MILES Credit Card, I discovered Who knew?  Stores that I make a special trip downtown to visit are not only available online, but are also Amex AIR MILES Sponsors. Better yet, they offer promotions and the ability for me to accumulate twice the reward miles when I use my Amex AIR MILES Credit Card and AIR MILES Collector Card at these Sponsor locations.

Indigo, Apple Canada, Roots, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Bose and eBay (to name only a few) are all front and centre on Even is there – my family could get Amex FrontOfTheLine Nutcracker tickets and stay in a hotel afterwards!  Anyone else seeing a pattern of me avoiding driving and sitting in traffic?!

There’s a special section with stores that offer deals even sweeter than just collecting reward miles on your free AIR MILES Collector Card and combining them with extra miles that are rewarded with your American Express AIR MILES Credit Card.  (There are three different cards ranging from having no annual fee to the $299 Reserve card that gives you lots of extra benefits and protection.) – <link to first article explaining all of the differences.>

Right now, there is also an exclusive Amex AIR MILES offer incorporating that you won’t want to miss. Make a purchase at from November 12 – 19, 2013 with your Amex AIR MILES Card and earn 125 Bonus reward miles. Take a look here to learn more.

So, this holiday season,while you’re lounging in front of the fire in fleece pants, and giggling with your kids, you might just save enough time to make your holiday cards from scratch this year. (I’ll be expecting one.) Wink.

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this article, however, are purely my own.



10 Secret RESP Budget Tips

Uncategorized By September 25, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

10 Secret RESP Budget TipsJuly marked my tenth wedding anniversary this year.  All of our family members wanted to send a gift.  Do you know what we picked?  RESP contributions to our sons’ education funds. Want to know a few more Secret RESP Budget Tips?

Saving is hard.  Especially with groceries costing a fortune, kids wanting to enroll in activities and the odd shoe sale that gets our heart racing and credit card exercised.  While we all earn different incomes, have varying levels of expenses and manage finances differently, UrbanMommies has a few money-saving tips that will help you save sheckles (my Grandmother called them that) for the RESPs.  Because if you don’t save, you’ll be stressed, the kids may not get to attend the school of choice, they may graduate with debt, and (drumroll please) you will miss out on FREE money from the Canadian Government.  Yes, free money.  (The Canada Education Savings Grant will match up to 20% on the first $2,500 contributed annually. That could mean up to $500 a year, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200.)  i.e. You would feel like a putz if you skipped free money.

10 Secret RESP Budget Tips:

  1. Make it a game.  Develop a budget and see how far under you can come each month.  Split the leftover between a fun jar and an RESP jar.
  2. Once or twice a year, empty bags, purses and make a few forts with cusions in order to find spare change.  (And undoubtedly a few missing lipsticks too).  Have kids of any age separate the coins into piles – by colour, beaver, loon or Bluenose, and use the time as a math game.  Roll the coins and take them to the bank as a family.  Think: pigeon scene at the London bank in Mary Poppins.
  3. Do you have a talent?  Though I’m awful at piano, I can get my head around notes and theory.  I’m planning on committing a year to teaching the little ones piano myself instead of paying for costly lessons.  Maybe a grandparent has karate or swimming skills…
  4. If your kids are young and you receive the $100 per month, funnel all government allowances into their RESP.
  5. I worked for a man in finance once who was on a company benefit plan.  He paid for prescriptions and dentist bills and when he was reimbursed by the insurance company, funnelled all checks into the kids’ RESP funds.  Sneaky.
  6. Coupons.  And not your Mom’s spend-6-hours-clipping coupons.  Buy grocery items on sale and stock up on what you can safely store.  Check resources like the P+G Brandsaver and Cardswap in order to save on what you really need.
  7. Try to clean your house once per month using inexpensive vinegar and baking soda instead of costly brand-name products.  It’s safer for kids too.
  8. We’re the beneficiaries of several cords of wood.  This winter we’re going to try and turn down the heat in favour of real fireplace warmth.  It cleans out the yard, and at the end of the winter we’ll put the difference between what we spent on fuel this year to last into the kids’ RESP.
  9. Craigslist, ebay and Kijiji.  If you have a hankering for an air popper, travel stroller, bedframe or stand mixer, check these sites first.  And then sell the stuff you don’t need.  (We got most of our baby equipment on Craigslist and I sold it after 7 years of kids.  It cost us almost nothing).
  10. The next time you’re in a bad mood, call your cable provider, cell phone company, credit cards, insurance people, etc. and threaten to leave unless they reduce your fees.  You will be surprised.  And even if you don’t save money you’ve probably gotten rid of the bad mood and improved your negotiation skills.
UrbanMommies also interviewed Sandra Hanna, founder of Smart Cookies, who shared other cool ideas.

In terms of the scary world of finance and RESP stuff, get advice.  (RBC who sponsored this post is a great option). It’s easy to start. No need to be overwhelmed. You have the flexibility to use the RESP for university, college, apprenticeship, non-credit courses etc., and if your child doesn’t use the funds, you can use your contributions and earnings to fund your RRSP!

You can find more great tips on saving for your child’s education here:

Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.