I consider myself to be fairly good with money. It is in my nature to be frugal. I’m a saver. I will use this page to pass along the tips to saving money that have worked for me. I hope you find them useful too!
1) It is NEVER too late to start saving!
2) Every time you get paid, PAY YOURSELF. That doesn’t mean making payments on your credit card, although if you have a credit card balance, you should pay towards it every payday, not just on the payment due date. Paying yourself means contributing to a separate personal savings account, an Esavings Account, or a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account). It is easy to open any of these accounts online and if you do your banking online, its as simple as a click of a button. Even if you can only contribute $10 or $20 per paycheck, it will add up over time. Saving for a trip? Open a “Vacation Account”. Have kids? Open accounts for them. You can have as many accounts as you want. The main thing is to contribute to them whenever you can and payday is an easy one to remember. Calculate how much you will need to get through til your next payday. The rest should go into your savings account(s).
3) Unless you are educated in the world of finance, I suggest using a Financial Advisor that you trust. A Financial Advisor can manage all of your investments, life insurance, Education funds, etc. He or she should make you money. If you do not see growth in your portfolio, you should either have your Financial Advisor re-evaluate your portfolio or it is time to find someone new. It is my opinion that even those who think they understand the market very well, cannot navigate it as well as a Financial Advisor. I do not recommend investing through your bank as growth is generally less and it lacks the personal touch a Financial Advisor has to offer. To the bank, you are simply an account number.
4) Do you return bottles & cans to the recycling depot? If so, instead of spending it, bring it home and put it in a safe place. An envelope, a piggy bank, a safe, etc. Each time you make a trip to the recycling depot, put that money in your safe place. If we get hit with another Hurricane Juan or White Juan, you’ll have cash on hand. If you have to pay the babysitter but forgot to get cash from the bank machine, you have cash on hand. This is emergency money only.
5) Cook at home. If you are trying to save money, eating out at a restaurant should be a treat only and limited to once a month. When grocery shopping, watch the flyers for BOGO deals or sales but do not buy something just because its on sale. A meal plan is another great way to save (and something I have been working on myself). If your freezer is getting full, there’s a good chance there are items lost on the bottom that you have completely forgotten about. Check online for new meal ideas using the food you already have on hand. Most of us have pantries and freezers that are jam-packed. Use your imagination with what you have on hand. You just might find a new family favorite meal!
6) BUY LOCAL! Not only does this support your local economy, you are less likely to overspend at a small market, vegetable stand, or bakery than at a larger scale grocery store or supermarket. To illustrate, if you need a loaf of bread and you go to your local bakery, you will likely come out only with a loaf of bread. If you go to a large grocery store or supermarket for your loaf of bread, there is a good chance you will buy a lot more depending on what items you pass on the way to the bread aisle, what they have on sale, and what they have on display when you enter the store.