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Customer Loyalty

When it comes to the exciting world of my money and the principles of personal finance I don't mind being called names. Take for example some of my favourites: stingy, cheap, crazy, and frugal. Bah humbug!

Let's talk about customer loyalty and how it can help you keep your hard earned cash in your wallet, or purse as it may be for you ladies in the crowd.

I for one have one main credit card that collects those wonderful Aeroplan points. Now if I buy gas then I get one Aeroplan mile for each dollar of gas. If I buy an item not normally related to being on a business trip and more of an everyday essential, such as at the drug store, grocery store, etc..then I now get 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every dollar. If I purchase a flight with Air Canada then I get Aeroplan miles for when I fly, and if I get the ticket online then I get even more. Plus let's not forget the fact that I'm also getting Aeroplan miles for using the credit card in the first place. I never use cash or debit cards. I put all of my expenses on my credit card and then I'm disciplined enough to pay it off each month in full. This strategy of customer loyalty to one credit card has earned me an iPod and at leat 8 free flights in North America over the last 5 years.

So now that I have my credit card attack planned out then my next customer loyal tip is for when you have to buy toiletries. I for one only shop at one drug store and I wait until they have 15-20 times the points. I would then go in the drug store, you guessed it, with my snazzy and jazzy credit card and then buy a months supply of goods. This gives me bonus points plus I'm still getting my Aeroplan points. This has allowed me to redeem my points for an iPod as a gift; pays for all my roadtrip materials such as snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc...; DVDs; and of course razor blades!

Folks. The moral of the story is that with price guarantees at most stores and comparable prices then why not be committed to one or two stores and have them work in your favour. It could even end up being like Cheers...where everyone knows your name, but you don't want to be known as the greasy guy that continually walks into Shoppers Drug Mart buying condoms, lube, and pantyhose!

Personal Finances -- Overdraft, and Instabank

Overdraft Protection

"From time to time, you may need the convenience of overdraft protection. Think of it as peace of mind for those times you need a little extra to cover a cheque or bill payment." This is from the BMO website.

During university I worked at one of the big 5 banks as a teller and I helped out with the processing of loan applications. I learned about the joys of determining your Beacon and FICO scores. Two of the main personal finance habits were learned while making $8.00/hr counting other people's money.

1.) Bank Overdraft -- Yes, they will protect you for those times when you may have forgotten to deposit your rent cheque or your cousin is two days late paying back your $50 loan. However, nothing is for free and the bank charges you interest on the overdraft amount each day. 9/10 you end up using the overdraft protection because you were either too lazy to get to the bank or you failed at planning your personal finances and you bought that new watch or the case of Guiness instead of Lakeport beer!

2.) Instabank fees -- Yes, most banks will charge you hefty service fees for using your own money. One big tip is to get out of the habit of withdrawing small amounts from the bank machine at one time. Each time that you make a withdrawl your account can get charged and if you are using another bank's machine then you're getting the 'ol double whammy of even more fees. Instead of taking out $10 each day throughout the week to buy your foot long sub combo at Subway, then why don't you take out $50 on Monday and budget it throughout the week.

It's the little things that make the world of personal finance in Canada go round.