My Favourite Things

This page has affiliate links; but not all the links. In every purchase using the links, I’ll get a commission that can help in maintaining the blog and maybe a cup of tea (that I haven’t tried before). Here’s the deal. I only recommend products that I used myself or about to use like AirBnB.

We all have favourite things we love to share because sharing good stuff creates happy hormones and it’s a way of telling the world how lucky you are to stumble upon something worth sharing.

It took years of trying, loving, hating, and occasionally sipping tea for me to come up with my favourite things that I would love to recommend for a lot of sensible reasons you’ll soon find out so read along.

You’ll find things that you are probably using already. (Good taste!) Or discover something that could help in managing a busy routine.

Let’s get started. Enjoy the good stuff!

Online Deals

1. Amazon.ca – When it comes to online shopping, my first stop is Amazon.ca because of the great deals and free shipping if the order cost over C$35.00 which is an easy thing to do by adding a friend order. Don’t forget to use the Amazon.ca Visa Rewards card to earn 2% cash back per $1 spent on Amazon.ca and 1% cash back per $1 spent anywhere else.

2. RetailMeNot Canada – Before I buy or renew a domain on Namecheap, I make sure to search for coupon codes. You can find all sorts of coupon codes from different stores so before you checkout stop by at RetailMeNot to get a few dollars off the regular price. If you can’t find a store, try retailmenot.com for more merchant selection.

3. Airbnb – As I mentioned before, I have yet to try Airbnb once I go back again in Vancouver, British Columbia. and go beyond the free tourist attraction of downtown Vancouver. By skipping hotel accommodation, I can have a side trip to Victoria and Seattle. Have you been to Vancouver and stayed in a Airbnb home? Please . . . please . . . share how was your stay.

Personal Finance

1. PayPal – Before I started blogging, I found an online side hustle. It’s a quick way to earn a few dollars and get paid through PayPal which is also a convenient way to shop online. Even now that I have a credit card, I still use PayPal to send remittance to the Philippines. Who knows I might use it on my own e-commerce site someday.

2. Transferwise – For a long time I am searching for an online money remittance company as an alternative to PayPal because I want to get a high exchange rate for every Canadian dollars converted into Philippine peso. Then I found Transferwise which has the lowest fee compare to other online money services.

3. XE Currency Converter – What else to do before sending remittance to get the best exchange rate? I check the XE currency converter app on my phone or go to its website which I rarely do. With the app, the main currency in several currencies at the same time. Drag a currency on top to change the main currency or add more currencies. The exchange rate between two currencies (eg. 1 CAD = 40.7690 PHP) is displayed which is convenient for someone who likes to do theĀ  math and compare the rate with the different online money remittance companies.

4. Tangerine – I’ve been saving and not paying anything for an online chequing account since I discovered Tangerine. This is what I used to pay debit when I opened a PNB account in Canada. The chequing account is best use with the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. Earn 2% cashback reward that falls into the selected categories and 0.50% on all other purchases. If that’s not enough then have a look at the next credit card.

5. Rogers Platinum Mastercard – Because I love to shop online to spend less and save time (I don’t like driving to the store), I decided to sign up for Rogers Platinum Mastercard which is also great for small business owners. You can shop on the website of foreign or local companies and gain cashback reward that you can use to pay for Fido bills or gadgets.

6. Questrade – For DIY investor an online discount brokerage is the way to go. Newbie investors can buy ETF (exchange traded funds) consisting of index funds:

  • 60 Canadian companies
  • Entire Canadian stock market
  • Canadian or foreign bond
  • International or US stock
  • Sector focused stock (financial, oil, REIT etc)

The investment is sheltered in a TFSA or RRSP to use the dividends or gains in investing rather than paying the tax. (It’s a bit tricky but possible.) The Canadian Couch Potato helped me to start investing in Canadian stock market through ETF.

Blogging

WordPress is my favourite content management system (CRM). From Blogger (a free Google platform) I moved to WordPress and need not look further. My websites are hosted on SiteGround (including PwedePadala.com) and used the Genesis Framework for a responsive theme.

You can click HERE to find out all the blogging tools I used. Find out how to start a blog and gain more success by starting with my highly recommended WordPress plugins.

Productivity

1. Udemy – When I started blogging, I hardly knew what I am doing. But with constant learning, I am doing the right thing most of the time. (I still make mistakes occasionally with little damage.) On Udemy I learn just about anything that I could think of that I have to step back and establish a direction instead of picking random courses.

2. Lynda – Another website I could get lose in with wide selection of courses is Lynda. If I’m not on Udemy then I’m definitely spending my weekends on Lynda. I love learning the photography and WordPress courses or anything related to blogging. Well such is a blogger’s life. Writing. Learning. Binge watching on Netflix. (Everyone has to unwind with whatever movie/show that fits one’s liking.)

3. LibreOffice – If you are looking for an MS Office alternative to avoid paying an annual subscription or want to try something new then I recommend LibreOffice. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. If you’ve been using a word document or spreadsheet for a while then using LibreOffice is a no-brainer for newbies.

4. Dropbox – Who doesn’t love to keep notes and files? I’ve been using Dropbox’s app to access notes, ebooks, photos or anything for reference. The free Dropbox Basic account includes 2 GB of online storage to backup photos and content of other apps in a mobile phone.

More to Come

I still have a lot of things to add on the list so keep on checking the site. At times, I may find a better alternative for a product so what’s the best thing to do but to update the page.

Let’s keep on trying new things. It may work or not. The important thing is knowing the result (good or bad) and not wondering with a lot of “what ifs” occupying the precious space in our head.

Didn’t find your favourite tools? Share yours and feedback then I might give it a try and add it on the list.