Category Archives: Money

Fear of Making Money

It sounds almost impossible, but it’s true – some people are afraid of making money. They hide behind numerous excuses and find crafty explanations for their empty bank accounts. To them there is a certain kind of comfort in not having much.

There are many foolish associations that we grow up with, like let’s say that money makes us greedy, or evil. Money is a form of power and sometimes people abuse that power.

There is even a name for this fear – chrometophobia. This fear is based on emotion and not on any fact. Such fear can bring stress and anxiety.

So naturally we ask, if someone has a fear of money, how do you get rid of it? Let’s get down to the very root of the problem. Where did this fear come from? Usually it stems from our childhood, something that we heard our parents say. Closer examination of that may actually lead to the solution.

No more checks in from Google Adsense for Canadians

I was wondering when my next payment is coming, so I went to check Google AdSense and turns out they are discontinuing payments By check. My method of payment was showing as ‘none’ and I need to hook it up to my bank account now.

So Google already in 2007 announced its intention to discontinue paying AdSense publishers (bloggers, Youtube partners) by check. It applies to countries like Canada where electronic funds transfer (EFT) is available.

Google said “EFT payments are free of charge, less error prone, more efficient and the most environmentally-friendly payment method.”


Canadian Real Estate Market – 7 Reasons To Avoid It

In this video, Patrick Doyle, MBA, former investment advisor, discusses the Canadian Real Estate Bubble and describes 7 reasons it’s set for a crash. Should you think twice before buying real estate? He focuses mainly on Toronto, but that should apply to any city really.

Patrick says that Real Estate is a bad investment at the moment in Canada.  What happened 20 years ago doesn’t have any relation to what is happening today.


Reason #1 – The more you pay for something, the lower your subsequent returns are going to be. This is an economic fact.

Reason #2 – House prices are unsustainably high in relation to the incomes. Real estate growth is constrained by productivity and inflation.

Reason #3 – Over time, real estate can’t outstrip economic growth.

Reason #4 – Canadian debt loads are at unsustainably high levels.

Reason #5 – It’s cheaper to rent in Canada. Keep in mind that the first 14 years of mortgage payment are interest. Building equity by paying down a mortgage assumes that your house doesn’t drop in price.

Reason #6 – You can’t trust economists. Let’s say, CIBC says that owning a house in Canada is quite affordable.  They use a method called Ceteris Parabus which means that it is holding all other things constant. But nothing stays constant.

Reason #7 – The risk-reward isn’t there. Toronto will not become the next New York City.


P.S. Thank you for people on craigslist for pointing out a spelling mistake!


payfirma review customer service vancouver

Payfirma in Vancouver – Review

My first encounter with Payfirma was at a tech event. Their CEO, Michael Gokturk, talked about how their company helps people to build dreams, being authentic, thinking big at Payfirma. He finished his talk with ” if we inspired you, come and inspire us”.

I actually used their services for some time. The statements come in from First Data actually, that’s a company located in Mississauga, Ontario.

They are pretty good and they have nice customer service. They even had a $100 promotion VISA card to join and there is a referral program too. Their ethics are much better than of some previous horror stories I’ve got from previous providers. They really care to keep their customers.

One thing though that sort of didn’t make sense was that they charged interchange fees on some premium cards and I had no way of knowing that upfront. I even asked if they could tell me at least which specific transactions had those fees (which they should be able to, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to calculate them), but I was told that they can’t.

Rates that are charged are reasonable, but there is a small monthly fee. So if you are doing a lot of transactions, that’s good. However, since business to business transactions often involve premium credit cards, account for the possibility of those interchange fees.

The software itself needs some tweaks. It is not acceptable in my industry to ask for tips, but my clients every time would get a receipt on it stating “TIP – $0.00”, thus maybe hinting to them that they should have tipped me. I mean, tips in certain industries are not at all normal, so I’d rather have that taken out, but even though I addressed it, it still remained like that.

The best thing about this company is that there is no contract! Yes, that’s amazing. Contracts are terrible because their cancellation fees are usually very high.

My business is sort of seasonal, I may come back to Payfirma if I don’t find anything else to accommodate the seasonality of my transactions. In general I recommend their services, especially if you’d like to have a live person on the phone.

Their main competition in my opinion would be Square and Northpay.


Making Money with Craigslist

 Why use craigslist?

It is unbelievable what people manage to sell.  Once I sold 5 of my grandma’s old dresses for $20/each.  A photographer interested in vintage items responded to my add and bought them all at once.

There is a lot you don’t know.

With so many sections on that site, you may only be aware of a few.  But did you know that there is such thing as Craigslist Foundation? There are trainings and seminars available for free – online and at yearly workshops.

Also, to many people’s surprise, 25% of craigslist s owned by eBay.

Where’s the money?

The most income generating sections:

  • Community
  • Personals
  • Discussion Forums
  • Housing
  • For Sale
  • Services
  • Jobs
  • Gigs



cash in envelope

Cash in the Mail – would you accept?

It did happen to me a few times that people asked if they could pay for something with cash. They would put some money in an envelope, seal it, and send it. Every time I’d be in panic, hoping it wouldn’t get lost.

If you ever do this, ask for this envelope to have tracking. Another thing, ask for the envelope not to be thin or to wrap the money in paper. Lastly, inform the buyer that you are not responsible if the money gets lost.

I was in luck and everything arrived fine. But just to protect yourself, make sure you at least ask for tracking. If you can, ask for money orders or personal checks instead.  This is what USPS encourages people to do.

cash in envelope

Vancouver bitcoin atm

Is Vancouver the BitCoin Capital of Canada? First Bitcoin ATM is here.

More and more people are beginning to use Bitcoin.  While US government doesn’t fancy it, Canada seems to be open-minded and the first Bitcoin ATM where you can get real cash opened in Vancouver!  I am quite excited since I live in Vancouver and turns out so are many others – we even have a Bitcoin meetup group here.

Bitcoin is fast, frictionless, and it can move across borders with no fees.  It leaves the bank out of the picture, hence that’s why banks don’t want to even discuss it.  It may make it easier for fraudulent activities like Silk Road scenario turned out to be recently.

Vancouver bitcoin ATM processed 100,000 CDN in one week since its opening.  More and more local businesses are using this currency.  Are we on our way to something new?

There is of course a level of skepticism towards this virtual currency, as China banned their exchange, for example.  India recently followed.  Do you have an opinion about bitcoin?

Vancouver bitcoin atm

airline Westjet

Saving Money – how to find the cheapest flights?

Whether you travel for business or for fun, saving some money is still a nice thing to do.  There are some websites out there that can help you to find best and cheapest tickets.

According to an economist Makoto Watanabe, the best time to book your tickets is 8 weeks in advance.  But where to find the best price?  According to LifeHacker youtube channel, here is a poll for some ideas – Kayak, Hipmunk, Travelocity, ITASoftware, Priceline.

sites to book cheap tickets