Switching banks, switching phone plans, starting fresh.

Isn’t it funny how people are so resistant to change that they’ll stick with the same thing even if it’s unnecessarily costly? I know because I’m one of them. For years and years I’ve stuck with the same bank because I was lazy. As a result, I’ve become a loyal CIBC patron by default. Similarly, I’ve become a loyal Rogers patron by default. Now let me just be clear: neither of these institutions has particularly wronged me in the past. I simply think that shopping around to get the best deals is something I need to become more proactive with.

PC Financial

After reading Shawanda’s post, I realized that I’m throwing away too much money on banking fees. Although they have been negligible in the past, as of late I’ve been paying $8-10 per month for a minimal amount of transactions. Whaaa?! I’m pretty sure the only activity on my account is four direct deposits per month, one bill payment, and a cash deposit. For the most part, under ten transactions per month. It truly makes me wonder. I will walk for half an hour in heels while holding an awkwardly large vase in order to save a $10 cab ride but I sit around watching the same amount of cash vanish from my bank account every month simply for having a fairly inactive account.

…but no more! President’s Choice Financial is wonderful and boasts a no fee bank account that will let me transact to my little heart’s desire. Sure I won’t get the convenience of going to a physical bank but I rarely do this anyway. I finally made my way over to a pavilion this past week and a nice man helped me open an account. Sweet! Speaking of sweet, the trip ended with a coupon for free PC ice cream! If anyone hasn’t tried PC ice cream shop flavours, they are delicious.

Before picking up my ice cream, I made my way over to Joe Fresh and picked up a new dress. At $30, it will pay for itself within three months of saved bank fees!

Wind Mobile

Now that I’ve dealt with my banking situation, I will soon be moving onto phones. Unfortunately my phone contract is not over until November, but I’ve decided to switch over to Wind Mobile. I have heard mixed things about reception with this provider, but at $40 for unlimited talk, text and data, I’m willing to deal with a smidgeon of inconvenience as I barely use my phone. Oh, if you haven’t heard, I’m also the last person on Earth with a not-so-smart phone. This will all change with my new plan! I pay about $35 for no data right now, so $45 (w/ tax) won’t be a huge stretch. The downside is I’ll have to buy my phone outright, but I also won’t have to deal with the inconvenience of being locked into a contract.

Do you shop around for the best deals or are you guilty of sticking around simply for the convenience of not switching? Anyone use Wind or PC?

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13 thoughts on “Switching banks, switching phone plans, starting fresh.

  1. Wow that were expensive monthly fees you were paying at CIBC. I use Royal Bank and they waive my monthly fee because I have enough of their ‘products’. It did force me to get one of their credit cards which I never use. For my cell phone I’m a bit over $30/month with no data on my not-so-smart phone. That Wind Mobile plan sounds pretty sweet though. When I finally upgrade phones I’ll have to look into that. Some other people were recommending PC Mobile too.

    • Hmm thanks – I’ll look into PC Mobile as well! I know, my fees are so high and I’m not sure why I didn’t switch earlier. Wasted a lot of money. I just got my cheques in the mail so I’m going to start switching over all my direct deposits and then I’m DONE with my old bank!

  2. I need to switch to PC Financial too! TD makes me keep $1,500 in one of my accounts or else I get charged $3.50 a month. Highway robbery!

    The Wind Mobile plan sounds awesome but I used Wind before and their reception was terrible. I was constantly dropping calls! 😦 I have Koodo now and although they are more expensive, the reception is way better!

    • I thought that if I kept a minimum of $1,000 the fee would be waived too but either I was wrong or they changed it because I still get charged a boatload! Even $3.50 is too much compared to $0. Wish I did it earlier.

      Good to know about Wind :/ I know a few people that have it and haven’t had problems so I’m just going to wait and see and look into Koodo too. Thank for the tip!

  3. I have to agree. I was on auto-pilot for years regarding fees; paid them because I thought that was what one does.

    But since paying off debt and starting saving, I have enough money to keep minimum in accounts to avoid fees. But I got to hate them nonetheless, so changed some banks to avoid them.

    Cell phone. Dont have smart phone, just a cell phone. I’m not in Canada. Found a cheap plan (MetroPCS). Now I pay US $25 per month for unlimited talk and text, no contract. Had to buy the phone, but only after a few months the savings begin.

    Refinanced the mortgage. With rates real low, was really worth it. I’m now at 3.00%. I scheduled it all to pay off in five years.

    It’s worth the effort to wake up and change. Thanks for your blog.

    • You’ve made some amazing changes! I was always too lazy but its definitely worth it because all the small changes add up. And $25 per month is a great deal for a cell phone.

  4. Way to be proactive! I understand why people become loyal to their banks but, especially for those us in debt, I cannot understand why anyone would be willing to throw their money away on fees.

  5. I use PC an TD Canada Trust for my banking. I love that i can use an unlimited number of transactions with PC and I’m not big on actually stepping into banks so it works well for me. I still have my TD account ecauae I have a visa and student line of credit with them. Thankfully at the moment the bank account doesn’t cost me money as its a student account but come September it will start costing me. I’m not sure what I will do then I guess it depends on the fees associated with it.

    • I remember turning 18 and the bank sending me a ‘Happy birthday and guess what, your fees begin!’ Sometimes its nice to be a student isn’t it? I’m like you and still have an LOC and credit cards (with CIBC). I don’t mind it but at some point I should further simplify I think.

  6. I’m dealing with this now. Have to buy out my phone for $275 but I’ll get a way better plan if I can do so. I love that Wind mobile is making all of the cell carriers make better deals !

    • Yeah for sure! We need some healthy competition in our telecom landscape – it’s been monopolized for too long! Woot! I hate having to buy out my phone but I think it will definitely be worth it, as I’m sure is the case for you! Let me know how the transition goes. I’m not looking forward to it 😛

  7. For me it depends on the service. For the longest time, I had an old school flip phone and then got a smart phone mainly for emailing. Stayed with Rogers, cause I’m too lazy to switch. I’m paying about $67 (inc tax) for 1GB data, unlimited text, 200 daytime minutes, voice mail, call display, unlimited evenings and weekends, starting at 6pm. I only have a PC mastercard which I use to get free groceries. I’m with CIBC for banking and have been since I started university. I was with TD prior to. Only switched cause the university only had a CIBC on campus. I used to have wind for internet and was playing $29 + tax/month. Recently switched to TekkSavvy for $25+tax/mo and its sooooo much faster.

  8. Pingback: Finance Fox Weekend Recap – 12 Awesome Reads You Might Have Missed This Week! - Finance Fox

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