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  • Tips for Paying Off Student Loans Faster - DGI Direct
    little bit helps Even paying interest on your loan during this grace period will help you save money down the road 4 Tackle high interest rate loans first Now that you know which loans have higher interest rates make it a priority to tackle those first If you re forgoing your grace period to start repayment right away focus on the loan with the highest interest rate After your grace period is over you will need to make minimum payments on all your loans focusing your attention on the higher interest ones however will make the biggest impact in your debt repayment plan 5 Pay more than the minimum One of the most effective ways to eliminate your student debt faster is to make more than the minimum payment each month Any extra amount that you can put towards debt repayment even if it s only an additional 20 will go straight to your principal cutting down the length of your loan 6 Use your tax break If you ve claimed the interest paid on your student loan on your income tax return make good use of this extra money by putting it towards your debt repayment While it may be tempting to use the money towards a shopping spree or well deserved vacation some discipline now will help you become debt free that much sooner 7 Put that birthday money to good use A cash windfall such as yearly birthday checks an inheritance or a bonus at work can be used to pay off your student loan even faster Just like the money earned from a tax break this unexpected influx of cash is another way to boost your debt repayment 8 Keep living like a student for now Although you ve officially graduated if you continue living like

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/tips-for-paying-off-student-loans-faster/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Dorm Life 101: Tips for University Students - DGI Direct
    s always a good idea to make those around you aware of your situation before you lay down for the night Bring Comfortable Clothes Everyone wants to look good on their way to school But after hours is time for relaxation and unwinding Make sure you pack a comfortable pair of pants and a couple of sweaters to stay comfortable after class Remember a dorm room is still a room of your own Don t Skimp on Shower Supplies Unless you are lucky enough to have your own en suite bathroom be prepared to share a bathroom with several people Be sure to have a well stocked shower kit with all of your essentials Note shower gel is easier to transport than a bar of soap Flip flop sandals are also key to staying sanitary in shared washrooms Since multiple people are using the same showers keeping your feet clean proves difficult without a comfortable layer of sponge between your toes and the tile floor Feel fresh without having to tip toe across a wet floor after a shower Keep Snacks on Hand A fully stocked snack drawer and a fridge full of edibles ensures you remain fuelled long after the cafeteria lights go out for the night Whether a late night study session or just a late night having a small cache of your favourite groceries can make all the difference But remember to eat healthy Stay Organized Dorm rooms are as compact as they are small In order to avoid distracting clutter organize all of your things Start by sorting everything according to need and category Use boxes and compartments to put your stuff away Look for storage space in unconventional places For example a bed can be raised to make room for containers There are also hanging fabric organizers with compartments for storage which you can append to doors or in closets Do not wait until school starts to properly organize your dorm room get a head start before classes begin and you ll start the year on the right foot Staying organized also means keeping your finances in check Avoid overspending during this exciting time by creating a budget and sticking to it Scout Out Your Location In a building of several hundred people things can get cozy Invest some time walking around your dormitory to identify quiet or private areas for studying or lounging Touring the dorm also gives you a chance to identify where all your building s amenities such as washing machines are located Add Some Green Being around plants brightens our mood and makes us feel less alone So do not forget to add some flora to your dorm room Investing in even a small plant can make the darkest winter days a bit brighter Enjoy Your Stay Most university students only live on campus during their first year Make the most of your first year away from home and soak up some school spirit Sections Auto Insurance Home Insurance Pet Insurance

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/dorm-life-101-tips-for-university-students/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Your Guide to City Driving - DGI Direct
    it s wise to become acquainted with these so that you can navigate the city as smoothly as possible For example turning right on a red light is illegal on the island of Montreal and idling on main Toronto arteries during peak traffic periods is generally frowned upon Getting acquainted with local traffic rules can help spare you from a potentially dangerous situation or a traffic ticket Avoid Confrontation What s more urban driving confrontations are an unfortunate reality of driving in the city The best thing that you can do is to avoid confrontation altogether If a confrontation cannot be avoided keep calm and do not allow the situation to escalate Remember there are many ways to deal with aggression on the road without losing your cool For example if someone is blaring their horn behind you do not panic or react on impulse Stay calm and observe your situation carefully If at any point you do not feel safe pull over and let the impatient driver pass Observe Signage and Signals Successful city driving requires paying careful attention to signage for sudden changes in traffic rules Several key signs to look out for are Left turn restrictions at traffic lights Left turn or advanced green lights Exiting or turning lanes One way streets Parking restrictions Changes in speed limits When stopped at a traffic light look ahead to see if there are any changes or obstructions on the upcoming city block such as parked cars or construction Since a green light does not necessarily ensure safety practice extra caution before proceeding into an intersection Watch for Pedestrians As you get closer and closer to a city s centre you will inevitably encounter more and more pedestrians In Canadian cities rules protecting pedestrians are vast and must be obeyed at all times As a driver it is your responsibility to be aware of your vehicle s immediate surroundings and to maintain a high degree of safety this includes being aware of pedestrians in your near vicinity and driving at a safe speed Share the Road With Cyclists While all users of the road are expected to obey traffic rules accidents do happen When accidents involve cyclists consequences escalate exponentially Like pedestrians you should always be on the lookout for cyclists Not only do cyclists share the road with you but they do not have the added protection of being encased in a vehicle Things to look out for with cyclists In Ontario motorists must allow cyclists one metre of space between their vehicle and the curb Always check for cyclists before opening a car door If possible always push you mirrors in after parking Always check blind spots for cyclists before making lane changes or turns Just as there are bad drivers there are bad cyclists too Look out for cyclists who run red lights run Stop signs or who just are not paying attention Sections Auto Insurance Home Insurance Pet Insurance Online Quote Auto Property Postal Code Go

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/your-guide-to-city-driving/ (2016-05-01)
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  • 10 Back to School Money Saving Ideas - DGI Direct
    shopping means loading up into the car and heading to their favourite retailers The truth is limiting your shopping to brick and mortar may be costing you more than you think Don t forgo online shopping this back to school season many retailers offer the same back to school sales on their websites as they do in store saving you time and gas money What s more many also offer online only deals and even free shipping 4 Take Advantage of Sales Taking advantage of back to school sales is guaranteed to save you a bundle Keep an eye on your go to retailers websites and flyers and note which of them are holding back to school sales and when Then head to each retailer and make your way through that school supplies list 5 Then Stock Up on Supplies It might sound counter intuitive but buying more now may very well save you money in the long run Purchasing extra supplies during back to school sales will guarantee that your child doesn t run out of essentials and will keep you from paying full retail price when those sales disappear 6 Go Green Juice boxes and brown bags may be school lunch staples but they re also wasteful and not very budget friendly Instead of opting for paper bags or mini milk cartons invest in reusable sandwich containers washable sandwich bags and reusable beverage bottles Going green on your children s lunch will save you money and help keep all those one use plastic bags and bottles out of landfills 7 Swap Clothing Just because your child has worn it for a while doesn t mean that t shirt or pair of jeans has reached the end of its life Swapping clothing with other parents in your community is a great way to curb clothing expenses organize a clothes swap with family friends and neighbours and ask everyone to bring some gently used children s clothing that they d like to exchange Clothes doesn t have to be the limit either exchange books toys and other kids items and see your savings grow 8 Use Social Media Don t be shy with social media following your favourite retailers on Facebook and Twitter will help you stay on top of sales and get the scoop on great deals Many retailers even offer coupons for their social media followers use these in conjunction with sales to save even more Remember with a little extra patience and effort your savings could be substantial 9 Clip Coupons If your go to retailers don t offer coupons through social media all is not lost Clipping coupons might seem tedious and time consuming but it doesn t have to be Use coupon aggregator sites or smartphone applications to find all the best back to school deals in one place no scissors required 10 Set a Budget RetailMeNot s survey also found that 54 of parents are not setting up a budget for their back to

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/general-tips/10-back-to-school-money-saving-ideas/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Tips on How to Hire a Contractor - DGI Direct
    renovation plan A short conversation helps break the ice and gives you the opportunity to ask crucial questions such as Can they provide references from previous clients Can you inspect any examples of their work Are they familiar with projects like yours Who are their subcontractors Once a prospective contractor passes your initial phone test set up an in person interview Since you plan to allow this person into your personal space being comfortable with a contractor is paramount Set up your in person meetings at the location of the job to allow the prospective contractor to view and become comfortable with the worksite What s more this will also allow you to see and feel what it is like to have them present at the site 4 Follow Up Even though a prospective contractor seems to have all their tools in order looks can be deceiving Be sure to follow up on any references provided and ask to see some of their work preferably a project that they are currently working on This will give you the chance to examine the condition of their current job site 5 Talk About Money Ask your prospective contractors to provide detailed estimates of the job A more detailed estimate shows due diligence and demonstrates that your potential contractor is prepared for the upcoming project Be on the alert for any vagueness or lowballing as these could be signs of desperation or deliberate misdirection Once a contractor is chosen negotiate a concrete payment schedule Best practices advise spreading payments over the job duration as opposed to paying too much money up front or not enough Although most contractors have charge accounts with suppliers you want to make sure the both of you are happy 6 Put Everything Into Writing In addition to constructing a hard payment schedule other negotiations such as start dates or estimated deadlines should be put into writing and signed by both parties Be sure to check and see if your prospective contractor has liability insurance and is up to date on their worker s compensation payments Contract surety bonds also offer an additional blanket of financial protection 7 Keep an Eye Out For Red Flags Be wary if your contractor asks for money up front asks to be paid in cash is unwilling to break down their list of required building materials puts pressure on you to sign with them lowballs your project is uneager to provide references or show previous projects has no subcontractors is not registered with a regulatory body such as the Ontario College of Trades has multiple negative reviews online has multiple projects on the go is reluctant to commit to a hard deadline While the above warning signs may point to a poor contractor it is important to note that the contractor may actually have valid reasons for their business practices As always however it s better to be safe than sorry if you encounter one or more of these red flags bring it

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/tips-on-how-to-hire-a-contractor/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Essential Motorcycle Maintenance Tips - DGI Direct
    check your brake fluid regularly to keep your brakes working efficiently When fluid is low top it off according to your owner s manual Tires Make sure your tires are properly inflated the most common reason for a motorcycle breaking down is tire damage Over inflated tires wear our more quickly and if you re riding around with severely under inflated tires you run the risk of a blowout Keep an eye on your tires tread depth as well which you can check in the same way you d check a car tires tread depth by inserting a quarter between the grooves If you can see the tip of the caribou s nose you should get your tires replaced Oil Check your oil level regularly about once a week and keep it at maximum level Maintaining a regular oil change routine is one of the best and easiest ways to extend the life of your engine so change that oil and change it often especially if you have an older bike if you regularly ride long distances and if you frequently ride in a dusty or dirty environment and when to check it When it comes to proper motorcycle maintenance knowing what to check is not enough follow proper maintenance intervals so that you re not over or under maintaining Since recommendations vary from one motorcycle model to the next it s wise to follow your manufacturer s suggested maintenance schedule However as a general rule Before every ride check your lights indicators tires and brakes Every month check your chain tension and lubrication Every two months check your control cables and make necessary adjustments Every three months change the filter and engine oil inspect clean spark plugs and air filter check brake pads and brake fluid level Every five months check the front fork oil Every six months replace fork oil Every nine months change air filter spark plugs and transmission fluid Get geared up Before you get on your bike you need to be dressed for the occasion The right protective gear will help keep you safe on the road Make sure you re sporting A helmet with a U S DOT SNELL M2010 or ECE Regulation certification Full fingered leather gloves which will protect you against flying debris A full set of leathers including a jacket boots and pants or chaps Eye protection whether it s goggles or a full face helmet Get it tuned up by a pro No matter how dedicated you are no amount of maintenance can replace a yearly professional tune up Bring your bike into the shop at least once a year preferably at the beginning of riding season so that your mechanic can spot and address any issues that you might not have caught Prepare for the unexpected Keeping your motorcycle properly maintained will extend its lifespan and keep it in good condition Unfortunately no amount of maintenance can prevent an unexpected breakdown or accident carry a motorcycle repair kit with

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/essential-motorcycle-maintenance-tips/ (2016-05-01)
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  • How to Keep Your Car Cool on Hot Summer Days - DGI Direct
    your side windows and rear windshield 4 Install auto ventshades Cracking car windows creates airflow through a stationary vehicle but a sudden rainfall can leave your car soaked as a consequence By installing visor like auto ventshades at the tops of your windows you may leave your windows open without worrying about the rain 5 Cover your leather Leather in direct sunlight can heat up to temperatures high enough to burn skin Direct sunlight also causes expensive leather upholstery to dry out and crack The bottom line while leather seats may look great but these scorched surfaces won t feel so great against your skin To help protect your leather and your skin put a blanket or towel over your car s leather upholstery after parking The cotton serves to block the sun s rays and absorb their heat If you don t relish the idea of lugging around towels or blankets in your trunk you can also try fabric seat covers during the summer months 6 Use the water wipe down If exposed to the blazing summer sun any pieces of metal in your car s interior can become molten in a matter of minutes To avoid burning yourself on your clutch or seatbelt buckle upon entering your car wipe them down with a wet rag The water will absorb some of the heat and evaporate cooling down the scorched metal and saving you from a potential burn 7 Install a solar powered fan Inexpensive and easy to use solar powered fans are an excellent solution to the inevitable hot car problem Attach them to the tops of your windows after parking and the sun will do the rest After powering up the small fans begin drawing hot air from the inside of your car and blowing it outside

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/car-tips/how-to-keep-your-car-cool-on-hot-summer-days/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Your Guide to Apartment Hunting - DGI Direct
    to target check for listings within your budget Narrow your search down to five or six apartments and then contact the landlords Note the rent amount and remember to ask if there are any hidden fees that you should be aware of such as utilities Be sure to scout the addresses in advance to ensure they make sense for your commute or for more domestic tasks such as grocery shopping As winter is a North American reality picture every street covered with the snow of a fresh blizzard when conducting your transportation audit Make sure that any appointments you make to view the apartment are during daylight hours to ensure the rooms are viewed in natural light If a landlord is reluctant to show you an apartment during the day or wishes to show you another unit there may very well be something they are not telling you about the place This is especially important when scouting basement apartments Inspect the apartment and ask questions Don t be shy when inspecting a prospective apartment While you should ask permission first feel free to open closets assess cupboard spaces and scrutinize washrooms Furthermore you should take measurements of the apartment s dimensions to ensure your furniture will fit and be moved in with ease If you notice any cracks in the walls or other damage you feel requires attention prior to move in day notify the landlord before signing anything If the landlord agrees to fix the damage or promises to reimburse you for any improvements you make make sure everything is put into writing for legal purposes Here s a quick checklist of things to check during your apartment inspection Is there currently a tenant If an apartment has been vacant for an extended period of time find out why Is the washroom clean Is it big enough Why is the previous tenant moving out Ask about the neighbours How much does the current tenant care about the apartment Is there any evidence of bug or rodent infestation Look behind couches behind the fridge and in the backs of cupboards or drawers Strange musty smells can also be warnings of possible infestations Inquire about parking if you plan to use a car Inquire about public transportation if you plan to use it If you like what you see The apartment hunt is a harsh and cruel game If you find a dream apartment and simply must have it there is a high chance someone is lining up behind you to snatch it up in the event that you falter Before visiting an apartment always make sure you have all the paperwork necessary to sign a lease in order Don t let your dream apartment slip through your fingers because of a forgotten document After securing an apartment be sure to protect it s contents A tenant insurance policy will protect your possessions from damage or loss in a variety of situations like theft fire and vandalism When you ve found

    Original URL path: http://dgidirect.ca/home-tips/your-guide-to-apartment-hunting/ (2016-05-01)
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