Four in 10 Canadians report that money is a daily concern for them, and one third of low-income Canadians admit to worrying about money almost constantly. With inflation at its highest level in more than 30 years, it’s more important than ever for us to become financially literate. Here are 5 money saving tips to help keep you afloat.
Build a budget
The first step towards financial security is to create a budget that you can stick to. Your budget should track all of your income and expenses, including food, housing, transportation and entertainment. If your monthly expenses exceed your income, you’ll either need to cut back on spending or find ways to bring more money in.
Cut back on frivolous spending
It’s become a bit of a cliché to advise people to stop buying takeout coffees to save money. And it’s true: with tax and tip a coffee can easily cost $5 to $10. But don’t make yourself miserable. If that cup of java is a daily indulgence that makes you happy, look for other small ways to cut back that can add up to big savings.
Avoid high-interest payments
Credit cards are a handy way to pay for things and can even earn you cash back or other rewards. But the interest rate on credit cards is very high, often 20 per cent or more. And, if you don’t pay off your full balance monthly, the interest is charged from the date of purchase.
If you can’t pay your credit card bills in full, see if you qualify for a line of credit. These have much lower interest rates so you can start paying down your debt.
Using coupons is a great way to lower the cost of staple items such as groceries, diapers, personal hygiene products or to splurge on an occasional fast-food treat.
In addition to the printed coupons that come in the mail or newspapers, there are numerous online resources for coupon clipping.
Shop on sale
Hold off on purchasing bigger ticket items until they go on sale. Most retailers have recurring sales promotions on certain items. A sales associate may be able to let you know when the next cycle will start. And make note of upcoming seasonal sale periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
ABC Life Literacy Canada’s Money Matters program offers free workbooks, activities and workshops to help Canadians better manage their finances. Learn more at abcmoneymatters.ca.