Category Archives: Lifestyle

#OrangeScarf: ING Direct becomes Tangerine

In November 2013, I was asked by ING Direct to join them as they revealed to their employees, their customers and the public the new name for their bank starting in 2014.  Not many people know that ING Direct was purchased in 2012 by Scotiabank and as part of that purchase, they are required to change their name within 18 months.

ING Direct Ambassadors with CEO, Peter Aceto

ING Direct Ambassadors with CEO, Peter Aceto

The first stop for this event was an opportunity to network with fellow ING Ambassadors from across Canada during a tour and dinner at the bank’s new offices on Steeles Avenue in Toronto.  We were also treated to dinner with members of the ING team at the employee restaurant that was prepared for us by their in-house Chef.

Over breakfast the next morning at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Andrew Zimakas, Chief Marketing Officer at ING Direct, shared the process that had been used to source potential new names.  He talked about breaking down the process and the methods his team used to ensure that the name they selected would reflect the bank, the brand and the “Forward Banking” principles that customers had come to love.  This process also involved the help of outside resources and customers to make sure that they were staying true to these guide posts throughout the process.

One thing that was emphasized by both Andrew and ING Direct CEO, Peter Aceto was that Scotiabank wanted to ensure that the ING Direct identity stayed the same.  This meant the new name had to stand alone and represent the core attributes that ING Direct had come to reflect.  Changing a name for a business is never easy, especially when you have a very loyal customer base.  The mantra of the day was that the name of the bank is changing; Everything else is getting better.

After a group “Cooking on a Budget” session, our final stop of the day was back at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where we joined the ING Direct employees for the official announcement of the new name for their bank.  This event was fun, lighthearted and suited the bank perfectly.  There was even a surprise visit from their former spokesperson (who many thought was their CEO for years) who led all of us in repeating that famous line, “Call 1-800-ING-Direct and Save.Your.Money”.  That was a nice touch and a highlight, for sure!

The new image is revealed

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore

Walk Off the Earth on-stage

Walk Off the Earth on-stage


Once Tangerine was announced to everyone, the event turned into a big party!  First we were entertained by Walk Off the Earth, who had partnered with ING in May 2013 to help them promote their Canadian Super Star Saver Search.  Following their performance, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were welcomed to the stage!  Let’s just say that this took the party to a new level, that continued into the early part of the evening.

I was expecting a “bigger swing” at the name and branding for the bank with the name change.  That said, the range of “colour” options that they had available (most main colours are already taken by competitors) was limited.  At the end of the day, when I sat back and thought about what ING Direct, soon to be Tangerine meant to me as a customer, I decided that the name of the bank really doesn’t matter.  It’s the people, the processes, the products and services that they offer that matter.

During my time with the ING team at their offices and at the official launch of Tangerine, it was very evident that the people who work there are passionate about their company and their brand.  No matter what name is on the door, that won’t change if they won’t let it.  I didn’t get the impression they will.  Not on Peter’s watch.  I am looking forward to what 2014 is going to bring for ING Direct/Tangerine and some of the new products and services that they are hoping to introduce to us, including a credit card which ties to their principle of saving money.

Employee Orange Rally

Employee Orange Rally

The party is ON!

The party is ON!

CEO, Peter Aceto prepares to announce the name change

CEO, Peter Aceto prepares to announce the name change


As always, if you are interested in Saving. Your. Money, feel free to make use of my Orange Key and we both will get a kickstart to our savings!

Money Challenge for 2013 – Week #6 – Standard Method Benefits

Total Saved to date: $21
Balance in ING Savings Account: $21.01

Week #6 is drawing to a close and suddenly there is over $20 in our account!  Still seems like a small amount, but when you consider that we had $10 saved at the end of January, we have come a long way in just 2 weeks!  Are you starting to notice a difference in your spending habits to allow you to have the funds to save at the end of the week?  Hasn’t been too difficult yet, but we are rapidly getting to $10 and more per week.

This week, I am going to start a 3 post series looking at the benefits of using the different methods of saving and how that affects interest earned by the end of one year.  By looking at the Standard Method, The Reverse Method (which I discussed in the week #4 post) and a new idea, which was to divide $1,378 by 52 and save an equal amount each week, I hope to see if there is an interest advantage to one of the methods and whether it is worth considering other options.

Let’s start by looking at the interest earned using the Standard Method.  For the purposes of my calculations, I used the rate that I am receiving on my ING Savings Account (currently 1.35%).  The chart below shows the total savings and the interest that should be earned each week.

Interest Calculations based on Standard Method of saving

Interest Calculations based on Standard Method of saving

The interest growth starts out very slowly for this method, since it matches the amount being saved. As the money in the account starts to grow, so does the interest per week and per month, which isn’t surprising. The total for the year looks to be $6.09 using this method (assuming that the rate stays constant for the year). That said, an extra $6 won’t hurt when the end of the year arrives, will it?

Next week, I will look at the interest earned if you use the Reverse Method and how it compares to the Standard Method. What sort of rate are you getting from your bank? Do you have any tips on getting a better rate? Drop me a message on Twitter or leave a comment here.

As always, if you like this idea, please feel free to share it using the buttons below.

Money Challenge for 2013 – Week #5 – Spend Wisely

Total Saved to date: $15
Balance in ING Savings Account: $15

How are your efforts going this week?  Have you kept up with saving? Week #5 ends this week, so that means that $5 has to go into the account.  That’s 1/2 of what you saved in all of January!  Now things are getting serious!

I guess that $15 doesn’t seem like much, but by next week, there will be interest added to our bank accounts and even though that won’t be much yet, it’s our reward for sticking with it!  My friends at ING always offer a decent rate on their savings accounts too, which is a nice perk!

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the money we spend and the money we save.  Part of the reason is that I have ventured into this effort and part of it is because for most of January, I have been packing to move by the end of February.  One thing that has become clear during the clean-up/purge stage of my move; I have a lot of stuff that I no longer need.  As I was filling a bag for garbage collection and another for the Value Village, I started to think that I really should think twice before I spend money.  Balance off the wants and the needs.  Most of the things I was getting rid of, were things I wanted at some point.  Most of them didn’t address a need.  There were loads of impulse buys that seemed great at the time, but after a day or a week, the item ended up on a shelf or in the basement collecting dust.  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to take the money and put it into a savings account and let it collect interest?  I likely would have had more vacations in the last few years and less stuff to throw out or donate.

If we all thought twice (or maybe three times) before we bought some of the things we have in our basements and on our bookshelves, would we make the same decisions? If we equated the item to the percentage of a vacation, if we saved those funds would we make the same decision?  What do you think?  What can you stop buying to help you save a few dollars for a bigger goal?  Message me on Twitter or leave a comment here with your thoughts.

Money Challenge for 2013 – Week #4 – What method are you using?

Total Saved to date: $10
Balance in ING Savings Account: $10

We are now finishing week #4 for this challenge and things haven’t seemed too difficult, have they? Have you been able to keep up with putting the funds into your account?  This month was relatively easy, only $10 for an entire month; That’s less than a coffee a day.  February is going to be the first big challenge.  Four weeks and $26 in a month.  Not crazy, but almost a dollar each day needs to be saved.  Will you save the loose change you receive each day in a jar and put that into your account? Will you use another method?

Since I have started talking about this idea, I have heard and discussed a number of ways that you can implement this challenge into your life.  Here are some of the methods that I have heard about, so far:

Method #1The Standard Method – This method is pretty straight forward.  You follow the chart, as set out in my last two posts.  Week #1 is the first week of January and week #52 is the last week of the year.  Straightforward and easy to remember.  It does have flaws, as Justin pointed out.  This method has you saving $202 and just under 15% (14.6%) of the goal in December, when savings is not usually a priority.

Method #2The Reverse Method – This method is the same as Method #1, but instead of counting up the weeks, you count them down.  That means you start with week #52 in the first week of January and end with week #1 at the end of December.  This brings the heavy savings to the start of the year (and also gives you interest on a larger balance as the year progresses) and requires you to save a total of $10 or just less than 1% (0.72%) in December.  That’s seems more manageable around Christmas.  I really think this method holds a lot of merit given that January and February tend to be “quieter” social months due to the weather.

Method #3The Knock Out or Random Method – I tend to like this one too, although it does involve a bit of crystal ball thinking.  I feel it gives you the ultimate control to be successful.  In this method you list the weeks out and then select what you will save each week.  That way, if you get a bonus and have some extra money, get week #52 out-of-the-way.  If you have a sudden car repair and money is short, get one of the weeks between #1 and 10 out-of-the-way.  Knock them down so that the savings matches your life and what you have happening.  At the end of the day, just save each of the weeks.  The sooner the “Big” weeks are in the account the more interest you will earn, as well.  I really like this method and I may convert my attempt to this plan, just because it will help me be successful and that’s the key; To be successful in this effort.

Method #4The “What I Have” Method – Instead of letting the list tell you what to save each week, you can use a variation on Method #3, where you look at how much you have to save at the end of a week.  If the amount is $15, then you can either “check off” week #15 or week #7 & 8 or week #5, 4, 3, 2 & 1.  This way you are checking your wallet at the end of each week and instead of just blowing the money you have left at the end of the week, you are putting it into your goal for savings.

What method are you using and how is it going? Let me know on Twitter or leave me a comment below.  Please feel free to share these posts and ideas with your friends and encourage their comments.

Random Cups of Kindness

Did you get one of these??

Did you get one of these??

Has it really been a month since I was wandering around surprising people with “Random Cups of Kindness” courtesy of Tim Hortons? What a week that was!! I got to do something that I had talked about doing for a long time. I got to surprise random people with a small gift to help brighten their day. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done!!

For the past two years, a friend of mine, Jo and I had talked about doing exactly what Tim Hortons was doing for their customers. We had planned to go and buy a handful of gift cards with enough on each card to get a coffee and then proceed to hand them out to random people. We wanted to give back or as some say, “Pay it Forward”. Putting positive energy into the universe always seems to help. With everything that has happened in the world in 2012, we sure could use some positive energy, don’t you think??

Our friends at Tim Hortons contacted Jo and asked him to help them spread good cheer with an initiative called, #RandomCupsofKindness. Their initiative encompassed people in social media giving out gift cards, random people on Twitter being awarded a gift card and random people in their stores receiving their order “for free”. A perfect tie in for what Jo and I had been talking about.

By participating in this initiative, I was able to surprise many random people. There quite a few stories from the people I surprised.  Some of the highlights and memorable ones were:

– The Service Advisor at a garage I use. He was taking a lot of grief about an exhaust system from a customer on December 19. The guy was upset but also difficult and not pleasant. The Service Advisor stayed calm and positive and did his best to help the customer. I overheard it all and before I left I quietly slipped him a gift card.

– The person in line at Tim Hortons in Hamilton that was standing in front of me, consumed in their thoughts and frowning. When they stepped up to the cash, I stepped forward and offered them a gift card. The frown became a smile and they said, “It’s amazing how little things can brighten your day”. I later saw them with their spouse and children getting pictures with Santa. It felt good to help a young family at Christmas.

– The group of people who I surprised at Tim Hortons on Yonge St in Toronto, that I later saw in the Eaton Centre where they were still smiling, drinking their coffee and wishing me a, “Merry Christmas”!!

– The two police officers that I surprised, while they were working on a cold evening in Toronto, at the entrance to a construction site, directing vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

– The lady the was so startled by the kindness that she was sure I was up to no good. After a few reassurances, I convinced her that I was, in fact, simply being kind and the card was from legitimate sources.

There were many more instances and many more people who received a #RandomCupsofKindness. Even my friend, Julie, was inspired by all my tweets and posts on Facebook.  She surprised someone at a Tim Hortons in Grand Rapids, MI with a #RandomCupsofKindness!!

At a time when the news media was reporting on the #26Acts initiative taking place in memory of the victims in Newtown, CT, it felt good to be able to brighten a few days and help make the day a little easier at Christmas.

I was truly inspired to read about the Tim Hortons in Winnipeg, where over 3 hours, 228 people in a row treated the person behind them for a coffee!!  An amazing story that makes me smile even when I just think about it!!

I have to thank Tim Hortons, because with their help, I was able to do something I had wanted to do for a very long time. They also helped me see that even a small gift can make a big difference sometimes. It is something I will definitely do again. Probably before Christmas is here again.