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money matters

File photo of a house sold in Toronto.

The best of the web on money, markets and all things financial, as chosen daily by Globe and Mail personal finance columnist Rob Carrick.

How to plunder your RRSP to buy a house
I'm no fan of the federal Home Buyers' Plan, but it's very popular with first-time buyers struggling to build a downpayment. Here are five important facts about the plan.

And here's my argument for not using it.

Zen and the art of snowblower maintenance
How to keep your snowblower running well without paying a pro to do a tuneup. Pay attention, just in case next winter is as bad as this one.

I'll take my credit card rewards in cash, thanks
Travel rewards are the most popular in the credit card world, and certainly they're newsy thanks to the changes at Aeroplan and its allied banks lately. But cashback cards have their fans, too, even as some of the best cards have been discontinued or changed for the worse. Check here for a comparison of seven cashback cards.

The fine art of booking cheap flights
The travel website Kayak looked at the cost of flights from the United States to Asia, South America and Africa and found different pricing trends for each. My sense from travel in recent years is that similar patterns hold true for flights out of Canada. One thing's clear – waiting until the very last minute is not a good strategy.

More money
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