TD Bank crosses banking borders

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(This interview is featured in this month’s Money Magazine, get your copy now on newstands and in Chapters Bookstores)

As the value of the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar continue to fluctuate on a daily basis and with the ever growing trend of online shopping there are more and more Canadians who spend money in U.S. currency.  If you have ever needed to exchange Canadian dollars into U.S. dollars you know that it can be a game of timing. If you exchange your money too early you may be hoping for a better rate down the road and if you wait too long to exchange your money you may be forced to purchase U.S. dollars at an unfavourable rate.  Trying to exchange Canadian dollars into foreign currency can not only be a hassle, but it can also be very costly in the form of transaction fees – until now.

TD Bank Group has recently introduced some very innovative cross border banking services that allow Canadians to exchange and transfer their money to the United States at preferable rates and without fees. Greg W. Quinn is the Vice President of the Cross-Border Customer Experience at TD Bank Group.  He says that Canadians will now have the same comfortable banking experience regardless of which side of the border they are visiting.  Canadians can expect the same great customer experience from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, as they have come accustom to from its Canadian counterpart TD Canada Trust.

TD Bank’s Cross Border Services

TD’s cross-border banking program has several products and services that can help Canadians manage their finances on both sides of the border.  The current cross border services include:

· Easy access to your money in the U.S. through over 1,875 TD Bank ATMs and over 1,300 TD Bank stores (branches)

· Simple and easy ways to transfer money between TD Canada Trust accounts and TD Bank U.S. accounts

· The ability to open U.S.-based accounts at TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank while in Canada

· Hassle free access to U.S. dollar personal credit products such as mortgages and credit cards

· Simplified access to both your TD Bank and TD Canada Trust accounts online through one sign on access

Different Country. Same Great Experience.

Quinn says the need to create cross border banking solutions was important to TD Bank Group because the number of Canadians who conduct U.S. dollar business has doubled in the past 5 years.  With TD Canada Trust’s new cross border services Canadians can get support 24/7 from anywhere within North America.   Canadians can move money across the border either in-branch or by the phone.

I am one of those Canadians who requires U.S. banking for business needs.  I often receive payments from U.S. employers and I often have to pay bills in U.S. dollars; the cost of exchanging my Canadian dollars into U.S. currency was becoming an expensive) and unnecessary) expense of doing business across borders. After researching several different banks in the United Stated I finally decided to open an account with TD Bank for the convenience of transferring money to and from Canada.  Admittedly the transition from the Canadian banking system to the U.S. banking system was a learning experience, but the friendly staff at TD Bank and TD Canada Trust have always been very helpful in answering any questions and suggesting products for my individual needs.

If you would like to obtain more information on TD’s cross border banking services please visit your local branch, visit their website or call TD’s Cross-Border Banking line 24/7/365 at 1-877-100-2913.

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A Second Chance at Financial Freedom

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Good morning everyone. Today’s post is the next topic in my “A Second Chance” series.  This series is all about improving certain aspects of your life and righting any wrongs; A Second Chance is a do-over for some aspect in your life that you want to correct or change.  Personal Finance is also one of the topics discussed in my upcoming book “A Better You” which is expected to be finished later this year. We don’t have to be the best, but we can be better. So keep reading and find out how to find financial freedom.

Almost everyone has experienced financial difficulties at some point in their life.  Whether you are a struggling student who lives on a budget, a single parent who is trying to do the best for your kids, or you are a young professional who is struggling to pay off your debts; the truth is that almost everyone can improve some aspect of their financial lives. Maybe you want to save more money each month, maybe you want to pay off your debts as quick as possible, or maybe you want to increase your monthly income.  Improving your financial situation doesn’t take much, but it does take dedication.

4 Easy Steps for Financial Freedom

1. Recognize the problem.  As with any personal problem the first step towards improving your financial situation is to recognize that there is a problem. If you are having difficulties making your monthly debt payments you have to realize that you can no longer afford your current lifestyle and pay off your debts at the same time. Making cuts in your monthly spending, allocating a larger percentage of your income towards debt repayment, or finding ways to increase your monthly income will all help you pay down your debts sooner and achieve financial freedom.

2. Find out how you got there.  Maybe you are in debt because you live beyond your means on a monthly basis, maybe you are in debt because you are a compulsive spender, or maybe you are in debt because you loaned a family member (or friend) money and they have yet to pay it back. Before you can achieve financial freedom you have to make the conscious decision to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them in the future.

3. Make an action plan. If your financial goal is to save more money each month you will have to make an action plan to achieve your financial goal which includes setting a target date, making a personal budget to determine how much money you can afford to save each month, as well as possibly determining where you can make cuts in your monthly spending so that you can save more money each month. Having an action plan with a defined goal and the necessary steps to take towards achieving the goal will make our dream a reality and our goal attainable.

4. Check in on your action plan regularly. There is really no point in making an action plan if you don’t check in on your plan regularly to make sure that you are staying on track towards achieving your goal. It is a good idea to break down your ultimate goal into smaller goals because as you achieve your short term goals you will be motivated to continue working towards your ultimate goal. It’s also a good idea to check in on your action plan on a biweekly or monthly basis to make sure that you are still on the right track towards changing your financial habits and achieving financial freedom.

What is your secret for financial freedom? Tell me on Twitter @TKBlogs.

Love Always,

This post was originally published on Credit Karma

Photo by borman

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Money Advice from 2 Broke Girls

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Nobody knows money better than people who don’t have any.  When you have money life is easy and when you have no money life can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun at the same time. 2 Broke Girls is on tonight at 9 pm on CBS. Each and every Monday night I look forward to watching the crazy things that Caroline and Max will do for money. So far we have seen them clean houses and stalk Martha Stewart, what’s next?

In case you haven’t seen it yet 2 Broke Girls  is a comedy series about a broke girl who has been living on her own and providing for herself since she was a teenager who becomes friends with a former rich girl who recently lost her fortune and her family. Through all of the funny characters (including a Ukrainian cook) and tons of great one-liners there are actually a lot of money lessions and life lessons that can be learned from the hit television show 2 Broke Girls.

Money Lessons from 2 Broke Girls:

- Money will not always be there.  Taking money for granted is one of the biggest mistakes that we can make in both our lives and in our finances. I know this first hand because I used to take money for granted when I was earning a six figure income. When I market crashed I had no idea what I was going to do, how I was going to maintain my lifestyle, and how I was going to survive.  I had to quickly come up with a plan and I learned that the key to financial success is to always be prepared for the worst case scenario.

- We can start over. Sometimes things happen in life that we can’t predict or control. When an unfortunate event happens such as losing our job or losing our income the only thing that we can do is pick ourselves up off the floor, focus on a new plan to move forward and never look back. Trying to move on from any personal for financial tragedy is definitely a struggle, but we can recover if we look into the future, make changes towards who we want to be and learn from our mistakes in the past.

- We can still be fabulous without money. So often in life we think that having money is what is going to make us happy; but that is absolutely not true. Money can make our life just a little bit easier  if we have “enough” money each month to support our lifestyle becuase it eliminates the stress of not having enough money to pay the bills. Of course the definition of “enough” money is different for everyone, but basically it means having enough money each month to pay your bills, stay warm and keep your belly full.

- Good Friends = A Good Time. 2 Broke Girls proves that life’s real treasures are our friends and our family members; we can have fun without money if we are with our family and our friends. Money can buy expensive jewellery, pay for luxurious vacations, and buy other nice things, but money can’t buy us happiness.

Love Always,

This post was originally published in part on Dinks Finance

Photo by jduncan

 

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