Oct 142013

Some say Canadians are being charged too much for our cell phone plans 😯 I used to think the same 5 years ago, when Bell, Telus, and Rogers were the only options for most people. But not anymore 😉 Because today there are so many less expensive alternatives out there to choose from.

To compare, let’s look at what the “big 3″ are offering on their websites. (as of 10/14/13)

  • Bell offers $70/month for unlimited voice + 250MB data
  • Rogers has pretty much the same $70/month plan
  • Telus tries a different approach by breaking up their voice and data package, but with a $55 phone plan, and a 250MB data plan that costs $15, the total still comes to $70/month

Now let’s look at what some of the alternative wireless companies are offering. (as of 10/14/13)

  • Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) offers a 1000 min voice + 1GB data plan for $55/month
  • The crown corporation SaskTel offers a comparable plan for $45/month
  • Public Mobile offers unlimited voice + data for $40/month
  • Wind Mobile also has unlimited voice + data for $40/month
  • Mobilicity has a similar package for $35/month or $55/month for upgrading to their 4G network

I’m sure there are other companies I’ve missed but in general it appears for a standard voice + data package, the smaller wireless players offer a 43% discount over the larger companies (~$40 vs ~$70.) 5 years ago when I got my first cell phone I paid $40/month, and that was talk only with limited minutes 😡 But today, I can get so much more for the same price! According to fellow PF blogger Stephen Weyman, even when it comes to add-on packages for traveling to the U.S., the smaller players offer better value. So I think prices have gone down, not up 😀 My current wireless package is only $20/month because I have no data plan, just unlimited talk + text.

So it’s a bit perplexing when I read reports like this one by J.D. Power and Associates that claim in 2013, 49% of Canadian wireless customers who have data packages pay on average $86/month, and the other 51% who do not have a data plan (oldschool people like me) pay $65/month. Good heavens! (;゚д゚) Who is still paying $65/month for just talk + text? No wonder people are so upset 🙁 But don’t get me wrong, I actually like it when consumers pay more 😉 Here’s a look at how our telecom sector’s average revenue per user compare with other countries.


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Jun 222013

Guess what I found on Ebay. Money! But not just any money. It’s a 1923 one dollar bill. Spent $30 but I think it’s well worth it  (゜∀゜) I scanned both sides of it below right. Click to enlarge.

13_06_1923banknote1dollarThe face value is a dollar, meaning worth the same as a loonie if I decide to spend it. But back in the 1920’s $1 could actually buy approximately $13 worth of stuff in today’s dollars. Interesting to see the effects of inflation over many decades.  The market price of this banknote today is $38 according to one banknote pricing guide online. Since its value appreciates faster than inflation, this banknote is sort of a long term investment in a way 😀 Returns aren’t great but at least it’s tax free.

This is by far the oldest thing I now own lol. People over the years have exchanged this particular piece of paper for food, services, and other goods. It’s still in fine condition but the fact that it’s been well circulated gives it character 😀 During the economic boom known as the roaring 20s it could have been used to start a million dollar business. During the great depression when the unemployment rate was over 20% perhaps this dollar was used to buy food for a starving family so they could have something to eat that day. Who knows how many countless hands have touched this banknote, maybe even someone famous. It’s probably traveled around the whole country, and now it’s with me 🙂

The 1923 banknotes were eventually replaced by a new design in 1935 but during it’s time of circulation the world was a very difference place. Black and white movies like “Metropolis” were the pinnacle of cinema, even though they had no sound, lol. Jazz was the hippest music to listen to 🙂 And the first radio station to broadcast programs in all of North America was a Canadian station in Montreal. Women also fought and won their right to vote. Before this period in time women couldn’t even hold public office (appointed positions.) Here’s a look at what life was like in the 1920s. Continue reading »