1-Pay off Debt
Paying off debt is not only the wise thing to do but it is the best way to save money in the long run. Making minimum payments on your credit cards each month keeps you on a debt treadmill and is money you could be using to live each month. Schedule to pay MORE than the minimum each month. Better yet, pay something towards the bill each week or each pay period. Chipping away at the scheduled bill will keep you on track. Most importantly, take the card out of your wallet, put it away and stop using it. You can’t expect the debt to disappear if you keep using it.
2- Create an Emergency Fund
Life happens. Car’s break down. People get sick and lose a pay cheque. Relationships sometimes part and you have to carry the cost of living yourself. You need to have a cushion to fall back on if emergencies occur. Maybe you think you can’t afford to save. That’s not true. Everyone could save $1 a day. That doesn’t seem like a lot but that’s $365 at the end of the year which is a lot to many. Start by transferring $1 or $5 a day from one account to another as savings and do not touch it. Or set up an automatic deduction each pay from your chequing account to a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA). The next time something happens, you now have something to fall back on.
3- Cut Impulse Spending
Standing in line waiting to pay and tempted by treats in the display next to you? Walking by the coffee shop and convince yourself you deserve a treat? All that impulse stuff adds up over time. Give yourself an amount for impulse spending each week and stick to it. If your vise is the coffee shop, load up their coffee gift card for the same amount each week and when it’s spent no more mochas until next week. Try “dry buy January”. Plan not to spend anything in January unless it is for a bill. Take the credit card or debit card out of your wallet. Stop using Apple Pay. Small steps can create big changes.
4- Invest in Your Future
The future will be here faster than you think. Everyone should have short term (savings, TFSA) and long-term savings (RRSP, pension). Whether you start saving money at 20, 30, 40 or later, it’s never too late. Read. Do your own research. Ask questions if you don’t know the answers. Don’t rely on marrying rich, a family inheritance or winning the lottery as part of your retirement scheme. You could end up broke and disappointed. Instead create a
systematic savings plan and invest in an RRSP, TFSA or mutual funds over years and secure your retirement.
5- Say No
It’s so much easier just to say yes but it wrecks havoc on our budget. Take back the word no. Get used to saying it. Say no to impulse spends. Say no to a night out with friends when you can’t afford it. Say no when the kids are crying for a treat at the grocery store. Say no to the pop up ad for something on amazon. Say no to ordering takeout. I guarantee if you do this, not only will you save money but you will feel empowered because it took willpower. Saying no now means saying yes to more money for living expenses, more money to pay bills and more money to save.