Category: Savings

We all like to have money on hand for the proverbial rainy day. However, it seems like it’s getting more and more difficult to put money aside. Here are some tips that will help you to save at least a little extra cash each month:

  • Adjust your spending habits. This is the most basic one and yet, it is also an area where most of us fall short. Keep track of what you buy every week and then study the list. What can you do without? What can you spend less money on? What do you buy every day that you can cut back on (e.g. coffee)? The amount you have left over can go right into savings.
  • Set savings goals. If you have something specific in mind for the money you save, that can act as real motivation to add to that savings account. For example, say you want to go to Hawaii by next winter and you need $5000. Thinking about the wonderful experience you will have on that trip can help you to spend less money on things that merely provide fleeting distractions.
  • Get professional help. No, we don’t mean find a therapist, but seek out a financial planner. These men and women make it their job to find ways to help clients grow their money, so they will have a number of ideas on investments that will be within your price range, while also helping to meet your savings goals.
  • Consider a second job. Most people are reluctant to do this because of the added stress. The key is to find something that you already enjoy doing. Do you have a hobby that can be financially leveraged? Doing what you like as a back-up job could prove so successful that you end up shedding the primary job that is far less fulfilling for you.

 

Money Savings

For people on a tight budget, dollar stores have been a godsend. No, not everything there is worth even that low price, but if you are having trouble staying on budget, a trip to Dollarama or Dollar Tree can help make ends meet.

Not sure what you should or should not get at the dollar store? Here are some items you can feel safe grabbing there:

Plates and Mugs. If you are just in the market for basic, functional dining room plates and cups, the offerings at the dollar store should fit the bill. Exam each piece to make sure that it is molded properly and does not have any obvious imperfections.

Plastic Kitchen Containers. Speaking of food, dollar stores usually offer a multitude of plastic containers for food storage that are safe and worth the small investment. However, do not put these in the microwave as the heat will cause chemicals to leech out of the plastic and into your food.

Wash Clothes and Towels. Some of the colours might be a bit on the garish side, but these are usually fine and will suit your needs. However, we would advise not washing them with whites as the dyes sometimes run.

Party Supplies. You won’t find anything for that party you planned to impress the boss, but if you are in the market for kiddie party frills, the dollar store has them by the ton. They’re fun, they’re garish, and they’re so cheap, you won’t mind when they inevitably get destroyed.

Junk Food. Chocolate bars, chips, candy…you will find them all here and often a lot cheaper that what you would pay at the corner store. However, you might see some odd brands that sound like a major candy bar, but are slightly different. In any event, if Halloween is coming up, getting your treats here will save you a lot of money. Check the expiration dates before you buy.

Michael Barera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Money Savings

There are certain necessities in life you cannot do without. Unless you plan to spend your life working in a nudist colony, you must devote at least a portion of your income to clothes. However, if you are on a tight budget, there are effective ways to meet your clothing needs for home and work without ending up in the poor house.

Here are some ways that you can save money on clothes:

  • Sales. Seems obvious, right? However, most of us are not keeping an eye out for sales. When we stumble across one, great, but you really should start devoting time to finding them. This can be done through occasional online searches or actually looking at the flyers in the mail box before you toss them.
  • Pay a bit extra for quality. Stores like Walmart offer items for noticeably lower prices than you would typically pay in a department store. However, in most cases, there is a reason for that: they are not as well made and the materials used in their creation are not as good. As a result, they will have a shorter lifespan. In the end, if you can afford the upfront cost, it is a better idea to go with a more expensive, better made item. That doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank; just consider spending say 50% more to start and compare the lifespan of that clothing vs the discount items you have tried in the past.
  • Avoid trends. Decide on your style and stick to it. Don’t let your friends or social media trends cause you to spend money on expensive clothes that do not really suit you or your budget.
  • Clean your clothes properly. As you may have found out the hard way, not all clothes can be cleaned in the same way. Be sure to follow the laundry instructions on tags. If they say that the article of clothing must be dry cleaned, then it must be dry cleaned.

Money Savings

Food costs have been on the rise the past few years, taking an an increasingly large chunk out of the average Canadian’s paycheque. This reduces our ability to deal with other monthly costs, as well as knocking down the amount of money we can use for fun or save for a rainy day.

Coupons are an age-old way to reduce food costs, but that is just one tool in your arsenal. Here are some other ways you can save when heading out for your weekly grocery store trip:

  • Don’t shop while hungry. If you have hunger pangs, that increases the chances that you will buy more than you need. It also makes it more likely that you will indulge in comfort and junk food purchases.
  • Make a list and know how much you have to spend. The list will not only make your trip faster, it will help keep you on track because you won’t be guessing about what you are low on. Have you ever gotten to the grocery store and thought, “I need some peanut butter,” only to get home with a bottle and find two more in your cupboard? Also, if you know what your spending limit is, this will help to prevent you buying things that are not necessary.
  • Know how much food costs. Stores love to offer promotions where they make it seem like buying large numbers of a particular item will save you money. However, in some cases, you are really not saving much at all and ended up with more than you really need. Have some idea what your food usually costs and you can avoid this trap.
  • Use a basket instead of a cart. Ever notice how increasingly large shopping carts have gotten over the years? Well, the reason is that the bigger the cart, the more likely you are to fill it. Unless you really need to get a lot of things, use a handheld basket. That way you will not be able to purchase more groceries than you can carry.

Money Savings

Those in their golden years are among Canada’s most important citizens, but they can also be among the most vulnerable. As we grow older, our bodies and minds become more easily fatigued, our mental processes can become cloudy, and we do not always have the capacity to think things through as well as we should.

As a result, senior citizens are among those most often targeted by scam artists. Elderly people are often more easily confused and frightened; scam artists play on those weaknesses. Aggressive, but official sounding people often call seniors claiming to be from trusted companies or the government and convince them to reveal confidential data that can result in identity theft and major financial loss. Scam artists even use the old-fashioned form of snail mail to target their intended victims because seniors are more likely to read their mail.

Even if you are acting as power of attorney for a relative, take some time to educate them on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:

  • Advise the elderly people in your life to never give out personal information over the phone. If they receive an offer through the mail that requires bank account or credit card information, tell them to show it to you first.
  • If the senior receives a call stating that they have a won a prize and just need to pay the handling fee, advise them to turn it down and hang up. After all, why should you have to pay anything for something that is free?
  • If someone shows up at the person’s door offering to make some kind of repairs, they should be told to leave their card or a number and someone will get back to them. Do not accept offers from workmen you have not researched or requested to show up at the house.

Here is a good article that offers more tips and the best ways on how to talk to your parents about this subject.

Money Savings

We all understand the value in putting money away for a rainy day. But life can it make it very difficult to maintain a healthy savings account. Increased uncertainty in the employment market coupled with unexpected emergencies and unplanned expenses can take a real toll.

One solution is to make savings part of your weekly budget. Just as you put money aside for necessities like groceries, you can also allocate some money for your savings account. If you don’t trust yourself, set your bank account so that part of your paycheck automatically goes into an account that you do not regularly access.

You can also make a commitment to your savings. Even if you cannot guarantee to put the same amount in each month, at least putting something away helps to make it a habit. With that in place, it becomes less of a chore and just another part of your routine.

It is also wise to cut back on your use of debit and credit cards. When using conventional currency, you can look in your wallet and see how much you have (or no longer have, once you have purchased something). With so-called plastic money, there is not that tangible currency in front of your eyes, so it can be tempting to keep on spending even when you shouldn’t.

Also, try to reduce your expenses. Analyze your monthly bills and decide on what you can live without. For example, if you have a cable package that gives you 500 channels, but you never use more than about a dozen of them, call your provider and downgrade to a cheaper lineup. This may only be $20 less or so a month, but that adds up over the course of a year. Plus, if you manage to do this with a number of things in your life, the amounts can really add up.

 

Savings