Balance in life is essential for well-being. Since finances are a number one stressor for most Canadians1, how you manage your money plays a key role in finding and maintaining that balance.
We've curated some savings tips to help ensure you can enjoy your life now while also saving for your future.
A budget is the best tool to help you achieve financial balance. It's essentially a transparent summary of your income and expenses for a given time. A budget helps you identify needs versus wants, manage spending, and adapt your spending as life changes occur. You could create either a monthly or yearly budget, but it needs to be tailored to address your ‘right now' needs, simple to adjust as required and robust enough to meet your long-term goals.
Track your spending for a month or two to discover your budget busters. This process will give you insight into your spending habits and empower you to make smarter choices and boost your savings.
Plan to Save
By making "savings" a budget expense, you make your future a priority. Decide what you will set aside from each paycheque, treat it as a non-negotiable expense and take pride in watching your savings grow.
Essentials like groceries and gas are costly. Those who are "money smart" look for deals. Comparing prices, using coupons and taking advantage of cash-back options may yield a lot of rewards. Everything you save will improve your overall budget. It's also always very satisfying to know you've found a good deal.
Remove your savings account(s) from your debit card. The money will still be accessible if you need it, but this will make it much harder to spend on a whim.
Pay Down Debt
When interest rates are rising, debt costs more. Paying down debt means reducing high-interest payment expenses so that these funds can accumulate in your savings account.
Bank and credit card fees add up. Inquire about lower cost bank accounts and credit cards. You could even call your credit card provider to negotiate a lower interest rate. Even a slight interest rate reduction could save you a significant amount over time.
Purchase things before you need them if they are on sale. Whether it's gifts, seasonal items, non-perishable groceries, or bigger ticket purchases, buy when the price suits your budget.
Adjust at Home
Energy efficiency at home can save a lot of money. From adjusting the thermostat to changing lightbulbs, savings on energy bills can add up over time.
If you're living within your budget and contributing to your savings consistently, you're achieving financial balance. Pat yourself on the back and keep going!
Finding balance means knowing how to adjust as situations change. These tips may give you some insight into how to do this, but there's support available.