Saving Money 101: Basic Tips to Keep More Money in Your Wallet

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Your mom always told you to “put something away for a rainy day”. But putting the old adage of saving money into practice can be challenging with all of life’s various responsibilities. However, it isn’t impossible. Here are three simple ways that will help you to keep money in your wallet, bank account, under your mattress or wherever you want to keep it.

Budget

I know, I know, it’s like the oldest advice in the book. But that’s because it works. Creating a budget doesn’t have to be a complex process with formulas in a spreadsheet. It just involves figuring out what your income is and what your expenses are. Once you have that, it allows you to look for ways to reduce your expenses or increase your income.

To take it a step further, if you keep track of what is coming in and out of your account on a weekly basis, for example, you will be able to see how much money you are spending on, let’s say, eating out or shopping. Actually seeing the transactions as they happen (rather than looking at a statement at the end of the month) may also help to keep spending in check.

Plan your grocery store trips

A little planning can go a long way when those aisles of delicious snacks you don’t really need start calling your name. Leanne Brown is the author of “Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day”. She recommends a few different methods. For example, thinking weekly will allow you to buy staples (think grains and beans) to have a base to work with for a range of recipes.

Meanwhile, thinking seasonally is cost-effective because local fruits and vegetables that are in season are plentiful and, therefore, cheaper. Another tip, she writes, is to make use of your freezer to avoid letting food go bad. Not only does it help save money but also stretches your cooking efforts out over days or weeks.

Review your bills

Tom Drake, a Financial Analyst and writer, offers a range of easy tips and a few of them focus on your bills. For example, when it comes to credit cards, he says you shouldn’t be paying an annual credit card fee as there are many cards without these fees that still have warranty extension and travel insurance.

Additionally, he says, getting a quote on your home and auto insurance can go a long way because, despite loyalty discounts, other insurers might still have better deals you are unaware of.

Drake also says the end of your cell phone contract could be an opportunity to save, as the retention department of your provider will likely be willing to give you unadvertised deals to ensure it keeps your business. Speaking of electronics, if you haven’t already ditched your cable package in favour of online options, Drake says you should review the channels you actually watch to ensure you aren’t paying for ones you never view.

If financial planning is a challenge that you welcome, you may be suited for a career as a financial analyst or planner, investment advisor, personal banking officer or mutual fund advisor. Centennial College has the program to get you there. Its Business Administration – Finance offering examines areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, information systems, human resources, production and operations management to get you the know-how you need to succeed.

By Izabela Szydlo