Setting up financial details

Von Totanes and I are at the TD Canada Trust
at Bay and Bloor to set up accounts. I’ve decided to finally go for
the secured credit card so that I can establish a credit history,
which will be handy later on.

I’m going for the CAD 1000 limit credit card because I find myself
occasionally needing to book a flight. It’s still not going to be
enough to book a flight home, but that’s okay: we need to start
somewhere. Two options:

  1. Open a checking account and maintain a minimum daily balance of CAD 1500 in order to avoid monthly fees of CAD 3.45.
  2. Secure the deposit with CAD 1000 in a 1-year GIC with 3.75% interest, freeing up CAD 500 to put into, say, my 4% savings account. Open the checking account and pay monthly fees of CAD 3.45, but avoid keeping a minimum balance. EARN: 57.50 SPEND: 41.40 NET: +16.10

Approach 2 earns me CAD 16 extra per year, compared to the opportunity
cost of tying up CAD 1500 in a non-interest-bearing account. For the
purposes of simplifying my life, however, I don’t mind giving that up
for now. If I were here for longer, I might’ve secured it with a
longer-term GIC, maybe even get up to 4%.

To simplify matters, I’ll probably also do most of my banking at TD.
The savings account offers 3% interest with a minimum balance of CAD
5000.

The savings account has a maximum of two transactions per month, so I
can’t do the kind of financial juggling I’m doing with PCFinancial,
but I guess it’ll work out better in the long run. The account’s
actually a better deal than my previous PCFinancial savings account,
but I’m on the 4% savings account at PCFinancial now, so I’ll need to
think about that for a bit.

I think I’ll start off by just using the checking account at TD for a
while, using it to autopay my credit card and transferring more money
into it once in a while. It’s handy because it’s another way I can get
cash; their daily withdrawal limit is higher. I’m going to need to be
more careful managing my accounts and making sure I’m keeping track of
everything.

I’ll close my Scotiabank USD account, at least. I’ll keep the
PCFinancial savings account for the extra 1% (which is still quite an
amount), move most of my current account to TD, and keep a checking
account at PCFinancial for bill payments, checking, and the occasional
debit transaction. I can use the TD account to pay rent every month in
order to make sure the account is active, and I’ll use scheduled
transfers to make sure the money is there each month. I’ll also top it
up right after I charge something, treating it as a charge card.