There are really two ways to save money. One is actually putting cash away (not spending it), and the other one is not spending more than you have too on what you do buy. This second way of saving is what I want to talk about. When you are looking for new furniture, a vacation, or a car, most people will drive around and go to different stores to compare the prices. You will scan the flyers to see which grocery store has the best bargains. Or you take the flyers and get the stores to price match. All of these are excellent ways to Save money.
Even when you’re buying a house you definitely shop around. But what I find strange, is that when it comes to Mortgages, Insurance, and Credit Cards, most people only go to one place. Usually the Bank they are dealing with right now. Whenever the topic comes up, I ask people why?? The answer seems to be, that most people don’t like talking about money, especially their own, in front of strangers. It can be very stressful to have to bare your financial soul to someone when you are looking for a mortgage. If it is difficult doing it once then who would ever do it several times??
The problem is that Mortgages, Insurance, and Credit Cards, are often some of the highest expenses we have. Way more than groceries, clothes, and furniture. I won’t include cars here because, today’s cars cost more than I paid for my first house. Cars are the only thing that we Historically shop around for and negotiate. Saving on these items is important. For example, a 1% saving on your mortgage interest, over the life of the mortgage, can buy you a car. The interest on Credit Cards, has a major impact on your Cash Flow every month. Insurance is forced upon us and the only control we have over rates is “Shopping around.”
For most things, especially travel, vacations, and cars, there are websites available to make the shopping easier. I’m old, so shopping online for a vacation or air flight, is OK. But shopping for a mortgage, Insurance, and a Credit Card online, I’m a little more hesitant. Besides I like talking to banks and mortgage brokers. But I’m different. The other day I was directed to a site (Canadian) where you can shop for these financially important items online. When I first went to the site I was pleasantly surprised. It was nice, uncluttered, and didn’t have the hard sell vibe that goes with many sites. I was also impressed with the amount of helpful information that was available. That is unusual. Many sites use up all the space for selling, not helping.
So I started to navigate around and see what they had. They actually give a lot of important information up front. Like the term, repayment options, whether the mortgage is Open or Closed, Fixed or Variable.
They even have a page where they explain the definitions of the terms. It was the same for the Insurance and the Credit Cards. Not bad stuff. But what about service? Were there actual PEOPLE behind this site. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable with a computer deciding if I qualify, or am worthy of a mortgage. I still like dealing with people. So I filled out my info (honestly) and hit the Email Lender button.
Well Surprise Surprise. The very next day I got a call. The person was very pleasant to talk to, and seemed quite knowledgeable. I felt bad telling them that I really didn’t need a mortgage at that time. That was only the first of a few calls. That to me was the proof that this site did what it said. They did shop around, because I received calls from several different companies. Since I didn’t need a mortgage, and I have just renewed my car/house insurance, and I don’t need any more Credit Cards, I didn’t get to see the next steps of the process. I’ll have to do that later when I actually need their services. The site is www.lowestrates.ca .
Please let me know if you use the site and what your results are. If you don’t like something, talk to them first. Companies need to know what they are doing right and especially what they are doing poorly. That goes for my site as well.