Sep 06 2012
Have you ever wondered why your fellow Canadian get so excited about crossing the border to visit American to go shopping? There are several reasons actually but one main trigger of this shopping-cart temporary migration is that every now and then the Canadian dollar (CAD) is on par with the American dollar (USD). This makes shopping in the US an extremely exciting and valuable experience. With the continuous evolution of e-commerce and online shopping, we are seeing something of a decline in this cross border shopping trend. Especially when you can get anything from cheap promotional mugs to discount Louboutin shoes on the internet, it is hard to envision that savings-savvy Canadians are still going to want to make the trip over – but still they do. We may have a little insight as to why:
Sometimes you can only get certain things in the US:
As great and as vast as Canadian shopping is, the fact remains that there are some US-only stores that exist that Canucks are very jealousy over. In the US there are some stores and highly recognizable brands that are Canadian-coveted and one such example is Target – or as it is lovingly referred to by raving fans, “Tar-jay”. Does it seem like a lot of effort to cross the border just to shop at Target? Maybe, but Canadians are hungry for savings and Target provides them with some basic essentials and even things for the home that are stylish, functional and affordable. Of course, we have discount stores here in Canada but the fact is that some of the goods are just not as fashionable or affordable, even after the exchange rate is factored in. another example of why Canadian cross the border is that certain stores that are available online like J. Crew, have brick and mortar operations in the US. Shopping directly in the stores allows them to enjoy deep in-store discounts and completely shirk the often sky high shipping costs that incurred to get items to their front doors.
Canadians do love a good bargain, and they can find good deals in the USA. To even get better bargains, consider coupon codes from answers.com to get the satisfaction of bargaining you’d like.
Many times you can get a wider variety in US stores than in their Canadian branches:
There are many US stores that have branches on Canadian land and while they carry some great lines, often times they don’t carry all of the lines or the lines they do carry are limited. A good example of this is the brand Anthropologie. With only one single store in Toronto, the Canadian line is very limited and doesn’t comprise all the offerings that are available to the American shoppers. For consumers this is very frustrating because when you see something online that you really like, you expect to be able to go to the store and purchase it – this is just not the case. For specialty items you may want to purchase you are confined to buying them online and as we’ve already discussed, shipping costs are exorbitant – they can sometimes be double the cost of the actual item itself! This is why Canadians are happy to pack up and make the trek to the US – value, variety and versatility!
Sep 05 2012
As everyday people, no one feels the sting of a shaky economy the way we do. Our vested interests in things like homes, cars, health care and education have rendered us basically indebted to and dependent on the financial institutions that surround us. It’s a dark place to be right now though when so often we read about smaller banks that have closed and bigger banks with hierarchies that jettison with our savings while still charging us ridiculous interest rates. Are there alternatives to what we’ve come to know as the banking industry? Yes, but these often come at lofty costs as well. While you can source funds a lot more quickly than the banks, these fast payouts often have interest rates that double and sometimes triple the amount you’re borrowing. The battle to secure money and to secure its value, at a domestic and personal level, seems never-ending – and those at the top, believe or not feel it too. The finance industry is not overwrought with misdealing as it may appear, there are those within it who do everything they can for the love of numbers, not the love of profit and they too are dealing with the fallout of a bad overall reputation engendered by their peers. Behind the banking scene there is an entire world that exists that few of us know about as we’re too busy dealing with our day to day money woes. Banks and financial institutions will never complete go away but the industry depends heavily on the help and guidance of a few select, integral and knowledgeable people to keep it afloat and thriving. How do they do this? Well, flooding the market with more money might seem like a way out but it takes careful and painstaking planning to develop financial stability and to maintain it as well. Creating and maintaining dollar value isn’t something that happens overnight and is certainly not the responsibility of the layperson – there are people who specialize in making sure our money remains useful to us and keep its value. Here are just a couple of them who do so today:
Brian F. Prince, President
Aozora Bank President, Brian F. Prince is one of those people who, while being at the top of his game, is still very visible and open about his goals and ambitions to make the financial world stable again. He has a very strong online presence and his reputation is transparent and open with the public. He is a beacon of integrity in an industry that so desperately needs good p.r.
John Griffin, Founder
John Griffin may not be a name with which you are familiar but this man is an extremely integral part to the financial industry, especial where equity is concerned. A well respected, highly esteemed and dedicated stock picker, he is the driving force behind the successful company, Blue Ridge Capital. When Griffin picks a stock option, people follow suit. He is infamously in tune with the market and makes smart, insightful decisions which reap rewards not only for his company but for his clients. His famous insight was most popularly displayed when he was one of the first people to back off of Discover and JPMorgan stock right before they declined.
Aug 01 2012
Nothing is more un-fun and un-exciting than being sick at home. We’re not talking about being home one day with a head ache or sore tummy; we’re talking about having to be at home for more than two weeks at a time. Dependent on what’s got you down and out, be it heartache, the flu or some highly contagious virus, chances are, you’re going to get cabin fever on top of it and the likelihood of going stir crazy is high. You may be confined to your bed or bedroom and in that case, you won’t get to move around as much – but there are still many things you can do at home to help the time pass quickly and productively! Spending time at home when you’re sick is part of the healing process; you need your rest and your mind and body needs to be in a relaxed state for your medicines to work and for you to get into a positive frame of mind. While you may not be a fan of too much human contact or interaction when you’re ill, there are still things you can do to flush the doldrums of being sick at home right out the door!
Here are a couple of things you can do while you’re at home that will not just make the time go by way faster, but help you get en route to feeling much better!
Make some thank you cards!
With just a sprinkling of your own imagination and supplies from an online fabric and craft store like www.beverlys.com, you’ll have everything you need to say “thank you” to the important people in your life. You can thank your mom for brining by that chicken soup to help nourish you back to health, you can make cards for your husband or boyfriend thanking him for keeping the noise to a bare minimum while you nursed your daily headache or you can even thank the entire family for putting up with your grumpiness while you’ve been ill. Just because you’re feeling unwell doesn’t mean you have to put negative energy out. It is a well known fact that when we do better, we feel better. Choose bright colors and interesting fabrics and materials to help build your thank you card collection – not only will they put smiles on the faces of your loved ones, but they will also help perk you up if you’re feeling particularly sullen.
Make some playlists for you iPod!
This is something that we always promise ourselves that we’ll do, but we don’t often have the time to get around to it. If you love music and you want to hear the songs you love in bunches, why not take this down time to organize your on-computer music collection? Go through the files and rename them correctly, sort them by artist or genre and start making playlists for your sick days and your well days too? Need something to help perk you up in the morning? Why not make a list of about 10 sunshine laden songs about how good your day is going to be? Need to put some spice back in your life, post quarantine? Now would be a good time to find all the sexy music you love and whip it into a romantic playlist for you and your sweetheart to enjoy!