Best Loyalty Points Programs

Out of all the loyalty points programs we have today in Canada there are only 4 programs I use and constantly redeem.

PC Points

If you have the President’s Choice Mastercard it will be easy to rack up points (but not when you buy in the store) but to maximize this program is to sign up for the additional PC Plus program. This one like the Shopper’s Drug Mart one I will mention below you need to maximize the additional offers they will send your way that uses your buying habit history. Like for instance 2,000 points for every $10 sent on vitamins, $2.00 in points I can dig that. But to make it even better you will have to go to No Frills (especially if you live close to one) in order to save for. In the vitamin example I can save an additional $2.00 by getting it at No Frills vs Loblaws which is also nearby. You are going to get the equivalent of $0.10 to $0.20 in points, like my vitamin example with the PC Plus offers. Also to maximize the PC Plus check the flyers and in the store. Of course don’t get carried away and buy what you need. I recently logged into my PC Plus account and saw that since 2007 I have redeemed $320 in groceries and/or apparel.

Shopper’s Optimum

Like the PC Points program noted above this program’s credit card makes it easy to build up the points balance. To maximize this program without the credit card one will need to shop during the 20 times the points events. Also would need to utilize the offers sent in email. The additional offers that are sent are based on your buying habits and what you would most likely purchase. Some of these offers are 15 times the points on one product or a flat point amount. Like the Petro Points program below with each purchase of product you will receive points. It is equivalent to the tax that was paid. Better than nothing of course. A big drawback to this program is that it does take awhile to get to the points levels if you are not using the maximizers all the time.

BUT PC Points and Shopper’s Optimum are consolidating in February. The only thing I hope is that they will use the $0.10 or $0.20 per every $1 scheme, that way you know what you are getting for points. Also the minimum redemption for PC Points is $20 whereas Shopper’s is $10, which will they go with?

Petro Points

To really maximize this program you need to put in some effort doing some surveys.  I do not recall how I got enrolled in it but going to www.askingcanadians.com helps to accumulate those Petro Points faster. Some surveys can pay you up to $2.50 in Petro Points! I know right?! However if you don’t qualify they’ll still give you a nickel. Something is better than nothing at least. Last year between gas purchases (and instore indulgencies) and these surveys I accumulated over $40 in points. I maximize this by being able to convert these points into CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) dollars to pay for our annual CAA membership.

Chapters/Indigo Plum Points

The Plum Points program has a benefit to all the bibliophiles out there or to those who are buying educational toys. The trick with this is to use the x number the points events. Also there was a good promotion (do not recall if they have it any more) where you buy 3 books and get $5 in points. I save these points up for toys. This program is great that the minimum redemption is $5 but it seems like it takes a lot to accumulate points.

Walmart Rewards

I just received my Walmart Rewards Mastercard, of course it gives you higher rewards if you shop at their store, but the hook is if you sign up for paperless billing you receive $10 in rewards. The other hook is that if you make 2 purchases of $15 or more each (one at Walmart and one at another retailer) you receive $15 in rewards for each of those transactions. 1.25% rewards for all purchases made at Walmart and 1% for everything else. What I really like about this program is that the minimum redemption is $5.

There you have  it the best (according to me) loyalty points programs in Canada. Comment below with which is your favourite?

~B

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13 Month Debt Elimination Challenge

Today, December 1st I have challenged myself to by December 31st of next year to have any non-mortgage debt eliminated. The debt comes from you guessed it, credit cards and a line of credit. This is a tall order you see as I have $12k in debt almost $5k of that is remaining student loans that I should have had paid off years earlier. This is now out in the open in the world wide web so I have to do this.

So where to start…..

Write it down

A good first step is to write everything you have down. That way you have a really good idea of where to start. 

Here’s my starting point:

WIN_20171201_19_05_33_Pro_LI

Yes that is ledger paper and yes it does not look good at all, mainly because I took the photo with the webcam on my laptop.  So I highlighted my high debts as to show their importance. 

Stare at the list

In order to have the reality of your financial situation to give you a wake up call you need to examine it.

Stare at it often, several times of the day if needed. Look at it when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed. 

Come up with a realistic strategy

My strategy right now is to pay off the small debt first and work my way towards slaying the bigger debts. 

As you can see one of my small debts is almost gone. After that I will not use that card, ok I will solely use it for gasoline purchases. Which equal to about twice a month now and no more than $100 so that will be manageable and paid in full every month. Also I am done all my Christmas shopping so I get a one month head start on paying those off. 

Do not let points/rewards tempt you

So easy for this to happen, this is part of the reason I am feeding the debt monster. All the cards on that list have some sort of points or rewards attached to them. The programs lead you to buy things you don’t need. This is why I am going to stop until these are paid.

So I plan to update with the progress every month and let you know of any time I can get extra money to pay it down and any setbacks I encounter. The ultimate goal is to bump up the savings. Are you also coming to a point where debt is becoming too much?  I would love to hear your strategies, good luck to all of us!

~B

 

 

 

 

10 Pick Me Ups For A Bad Day

Who also had a terrible day today? Who needs a confidence boost and to get our of your head for a bit?

Here are 10 things that can hopefully get you back into a better head space of confidence and just feel better.

Have a facial

Now I don’t mean going to the spa, just do it at home. You can buy individual kinds at Shopper’s Drug Mart for $1.50 or buy them in bulk at Amazon. Whether it be a sheet mask or a regular type, those 10-15 minutes make a difference for your mood.

Read a good book

Something light and fluffy, a story you can get lost in but feel good that you expanded your mind by reading. This is why we have Chick Lit, thank goodness! Goodreads is a great place to start to find recommendations and to track what books you have read. So far this year I have read 38 novels. I have never been a big reader but for some reason this is the year that I am. 

Binge watch a show

Like above something light and fluffy. When I was going through the worst time I found solace in a show called Hart of Dixie this show had a mix of a great setting and characters. A good comedy melts any anguish you are feeling away.

Have a chocolate bar

Can be the good chocolate or just grab a bar from the dollar store. Savouring it just prolongs that feeling of making things better. IF you don’t want chocolate then some other treat that you can savour, preferably combine with reading a good book or binge watching a show.

Do a quick DIY project

The kind of quick DIY that I find makes a bad mood feel better are wreaths. Why? If you have a good base and a hot glue gun the possibilities are endless, just see the example below. I find that grapevine wreaths are the best to use. 

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CLEAN

Start small, maybe a sink. Then see how far the momentum will take you. Having one clean item makes the mood change. Also it leads to so many searches on Pinterest for cleaning hacks. My favourite has to be using a dish wand to clean your bathtub. 

Yard work

Let me tell you, if you have the right tool you definitely feel better when you are doing yard work. If you can afford it invest in quality tools from Lee Valley. I have a dandelion digger and a compost aerator best money spent. Especially the dandelion digger, those buggers are hard to get out! 

Exercise

Notice how I put chocolate bar ahead of this? It’s because I don’t exercise. Maybe I should then when I do have a terrible day I can go for a run or something instead of looking up new jobs on indeed. Like the two above don’t over do it because this list of items is to help you feel better not worse!

Dance

Dance like there is no one watching, crank up the Journey and Don’t Stop Believin’ until you are you a better mindset, until you crash from having an awesome dance party for one. 

Nap

As long as we are not constantly thinking before we go to sleep a nap will do wonders for your mood. Get your most comfortable blanket and pillow,  have a great couch nap. Drool is always a good indicator that it will be a refreshing one.

I hope this list will help take the edge off of a bad day. I know I definitely needed the chocolate bar.

~B

 

 

 

Hyperlink a File in Outlook

This blog post series is meant to be self help for those of us who have been told “hey do this” and really we don’t know until we consult another source or stumble through it ourselves. In my years of working with the Office suite I have definitely been relied on to provide any template or update. I have taken an Excel course to better my understanding and will try things out from it again for future posts.

When you’re reading this just know that this only works on networked systems, you can’t use your Outlook that you use as webmail. I tried, doesn’t work.

These will be primarily Microsoft Office related but we shall see where the wind takes us or where the Windows takes us rather. Could be some QuickBooks, wait and see…..

First in our series is something I had to do lately, which is insert a link to a file in Outlook so another user could access the file and put a copy of this link at the bottom of correspondence. When I googled this topic a lot of the posts were old and I did not think were relevant but they were so I followed their instructions. Guess I could have YouTube’d it but I am always worried about bandwidth.

This method of file sharing is really beneficial for saving space in your company’s email, especially if the sender and the recipient can both access the same network drive/share.

Now to the good stuff….

How to Send a Link to a file in Outlook:

New Email

Click the Insert tab

Hyperlink

hyperlink

Choose the file path to your file (preferably a share that everyone can access)

OK

Untitled

File link is inserted in email:

Send and away you go.hyperlink2

I am happy that I learned this because this could have been useful for many years. What I really want to stress here is that when you learn something new that makes your job a little easier make up instructions for it that will make sense and share it. Especially with your colleagues that may use it. Knowledge is a stress reliever some days and if you are facing a deadline having that with you is going to help you through the day.

Be The Dream

Why choose the domain bethedream.ca? Why choose this as the theme of a blog?

What is the one dream everyone has? To have a better life of course. We all have our own definition of what our dream is, who we see ourselves in these dreams. So how do we get there? What do we want to do to achieve these dreams? A lot of times we need to find and follow our bliss.

It will be rare for any of us to achieve our dream (like winning the lottery) but we can inch ever so close to it.

Enough about the above, thought I would justify why my domain name is the way it is. I just picked it because it sounded cool.

Anyhow let’s enjoy the ride and I hope you can find informative takeaways from this blog to use in your life.

B