US/Canada Flag

A friend of mine is making preparations to leave on a big European adventure, and trying to get everything ready before she leaves. One of her recent questions on Facebook was regarding how to be paid as a US-based contractor via PayPal and not lose any excessive money due to currency conversion. This is actually a tricky problem for a few reasons. First, most banks in Canada only deal in Canadian dollars. If you want to deposit USD into your CAD account you can, but the banks usually tack on an extra 2-3% to the base rates as another way to make money from you. Only a $100 it’s not a huge deal, but when you’re dealing with $1,000s of […]

Tips For Traveling For A Year Or Longer

I’ve been a ‘world traveler’ for almost two and a half years now. Back then I hadn’t really been away from Canada for very long before, and the thought of spending multiple weeks, let alone multiple months, in a foreign country was a pretty strange idea. Now the idea of loading a backpack up and heading to a new country feels about as foreign to me as doing a load of laundry. If I saw a plane ticket somewhere for a good price, I could probably be at the airport in three hours, ready to go on a new adventure. One of the pains of being away for an extended period of time though is figuring out how to accomplish […]

I did a post a while ago detailing my plans to finally give up my no-fee bank account at PC Financial and move to a full service bank in preparation for my trip. How come, you ask? First, the idea of having a no-frills bank while in another country just seems far too risky. If I hit a snag, I definitely want to be able to pick up the phone and call someone for help. While PC Financial does offer phone service, in my experience very basic things like obtaining certified cheques or doing wire transfers are often a pain. While PC Financial is a subsidiary of CIBC, it’s still a small arm of it, so who knows how many […]

Giving It To The Little Guys

I tweeted about some rather recent banking problems I’ve been having, so I thought I’d tell the whole story. About five years ago (probably longer to be honest), I opened a business account at TD bank on Broadway in Vancouver. I was going to start doing a little consulting on the side while doing my master’s degree, so I thought having a business account would be a good idea. At the time, I also got a small mastercard as well. I never really ended up having time for the consulting, so the account kind of just sat there for a few months. Eventually I ended up cancelling that mastercard and (my recollection at least) was that the account was shut […]