Many families and households simply do not realize how much money they waste on a daily and yearly basis. A good financial management plan and savings plan can help your household save money which you can channel to investment options or investment vehicles which will give you returns in the long run.
If you have been wasteful thus far and have never kept an eye on the growing debts that you have trapped yourself into, it is not too late to change your ways, but the time is now. Being thrifty doesn’t mean cutting down on all the fun activities or sending your children to bed hungry every night. It just means that you cut down on the waste and the extraneous stuff that you can do without while still leading a comfortable life. Reading up on money saving ideas is vital for a Canadian family. Save money as a family today so that you can be prepared for emergencies tomorrow.
There is no guarantee that the job market will trend up anytime soon. There is also never a true guarantee that inflation curbed to a slow rate. Hence, you would find some money saving tips for families useful in these trying circumstances.
Ways to save money in Canada:
- Use any financial bonus to cut down your mortgage or debt: One of the best money saving tips for your family is to use any extra income like a raise or bonus or a financial windfall like a lottery win, etc. to settle a portion of your debt. Many people don’t realize that they spend a lot of money in interests, rollover fees and late fees.
- Carry out your own property assessment to identify the real value: Carrying out property assessments periodically (say after every 7 years) is a great way to save money, especially at places in Canada where property values have sharply depreciated in the last few years. This will reduce payment in taxes and maintenance.
- Stop buying new when you can use old: You can get great used books and furniture from local book stores and flea markets respectively. There are also numerous online e-commerce sites that provide a platform to second-hand sellers. You can buy toys and second-hand bikes for your kids. Even buying a used car which returns moderately good mileage and needs infrequent maintenance, could offer more value than a new car because there will be a much lower depreciation rate.
- Use public transport: Although it is a well-known fact that one of the primary reasons for the explosion of private cars on the streets is because of inadequate public transport in Canada. But, if you are serious about saving energy and consequently money, try to use public transport. Also use a car pool for office and walk or cycle whenever you think it’s feasible.
- Save energy: One of the best ways to save a lot of money is by saving home energy. Most places in Canada have low temperatures or extreme weather conditions throughout the year and having heaters, ACs, wind purifiers, electric water heaters, etc. is necessary. So, even though doing away with these may not be practical, you can still follow some best practices to reduce energy consumption. Use smart equipment like an energy efficient thermostat and auto-off water heater. Use low-flush toilets and save water while taking baths. Switch to LEDs from high power halogens or fluorescents and you can save a lot of electric energy and also increase longevity. Turn off faucets, lights, heaters when not in use. Teach your children about the importance of energy consumption.
- Use your cell phones sparingly: Choose a data plan and a call plan carefully. Don’t go for a very expensive package if you don’t need it. You could also take a phone from Petro Canada and although there is an initial investment, you make up for it real quick as the tariff is extremely low.
- Stop eating out and start cooking at home: One of the most common ways of splurging is on food. You can cook much cheaper and more nutritious food at home and you can keep your family healthy while saving money.
- Try to enjoy at home or go for local sightseeing tours during vacations: You don’t need to go on exotic foreign trips every time your children get a vacation. Visit interesting places nearby. Stay at home and have small parties just for your families. Organize treasure hunts and go for educational trips. Take your food while going to local fests and museums. You will save a lot that you splurge on airfare and expensive hotel accommodations.
- Save money in non-taxable bank accounts, government bonds and pension schemes like RRSP: If you search online, you can collect details about a number of bank accounts in Canada which are non-taxable and have low processing and monthly fees. Choose one such account. President’s Choice Financial is a good option. You can also move your account to banks which pay for signing up or opening new accounts. Choose secured government bonds and park your money in such instruments. Open an RRSP account for saving additional income.
- Manage your own investments: Start reading up on financial investments in your spare time. That way you can do away with the services of financial advisers and mutual fund advisers and save a lot of money annually.
Saving money should be turned into a habit. You need to love doing it. Try out this new way of living and see the joy you feel when you are debt free or see a substantial amount in your bank account. Don’t look at it as a sacrifice. Look at it as an achievement!