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?


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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