- Wallet– I picked up my 7 year old leather wallet for $10 during Boxing Day sale. It is still going strong and I believe this would easily last another decade without any problems. Remember being frugal is different from being cheap. Frugal person buys high quality durable goods at reasonable prices expecting future benefit.
- Cash-Although I use credit cards as much as I can to accumulate cash back awards, I carry emergency cash of $40 for the most of time. Sometimes I expect a good cash deal from small merchants or restaurants where I can save 10-15% which is amazing. For those who do not know the power of cash, ask cashier or owner-manager at your regular restaurants before getting the bill at the counter “Do you offer cash discount?” You will be surprised how many of them would say yes and deduct 10-15% off of your bill.
- Debit cards– I have been using only TD debit card for years as they offered free unlimited debit transaction while I was at school. Currently I use it for only investment transfer purpose as they starting to charge me after I graduated. The TD card is connected to TD warehouse brokerage account which gives me some convenience of transferring fund and invest. I use President Choice financial debit card for the most of the money transfer, bill payments, cheques etc… as there is basically no transaction fee in this amazing card. Due to its partnership with CIBC bank, I can use their extensive CIBC ATMs network which is awesome. Their customer service is great as well.
- Credit cards– My main credit card is MBNA smart cash master card. There is no annual fee and gives 2% cash back on gas and groceries (up to $400) and 1% on others. This is recommended as the best money back credit card in Canada by me Haha. Click the MBNA above for more detail. I also have TD rebate visa card which is not used much but just keeping it in case the master card does not work. I also have Costco American express card which is only used in Costco, Costco gas bar and some few restaurants as it gives 3% cash back on participating restaurants. I have been getting about $300-500 in total of cash back every year. As you can see, all my debit and credit cards that I carry are no fee based.
- Rewards cards– I have aero plan and air miles cards. I used to travel a lot from my previous job due to its nature which resulted a few free trips from aero plan awards. I have been getting free groceries a couple of times from the Air miles as well.
- Miscellaneous cards– I carry my driver license, costco executive membership, Ontario health card and library card. Costco is one of my favorite store for fresh produce which seems always fresh as their turnover is very high. I go to library at least twice a month.
The key take away is every small savings add up. That’s it for me. What’s in your wallet?
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