And we all, at one point, said to ourselves, “I want to save more money.” Well, maybe not all of us, but I’m sure a related thought has once crossed all our minds at the very least. Well, if you’ve had that thought, now you can learn ways on how to save money in Canada.
But you either stumbled upon this article because a) you’re looking for methods to save you some extra dollars or b) you’re curious about the different methods I have to display.
Either way, I welcome you to reading this article in full. I’ve spent some time thinking about some of the different methods I have indicated and believe them to be realistic ways to save money in Canada.
Of course, you’ll probably find some typical methods to save money that you’ve already heard or thought of. However, I did try to think of some different techniques that you may not have typically thought of or have heard of from other sources.
Regardless we will dive into the how to save money in Canada.
Note: I am not a financial advisor. You are trading at your own risk and should consult a financial advisor for any investment decisions. Do your own due diligence when considering investing, and this information is for education/informational purposes only. The article “How to Save Money in Canada: (10 Methods Plus a Bonus!)” serves as educational content, not investing advice.
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Day to day expenses:
If you’re trying to save money, it’s crucial to look at your day-to-day expenses. You may question why but allow me to explain my position on this.
When I’m referring to day-to-day expenses, I do mean such costs that arise during your day. But I’m not necessarily worried about maybe the gas you spend in a day, although you know if you can use carpooling to your advantage, that would save you fuel. Then if you can carpool, you may want to track your fuel expenses and determine the amount you could save.
But what I’m focusing on for these costs is the money you spend on iced coffee, breakfasts, or any other fee that you continuously spend regularly that’s more of a want than a need.
You may think to yourself that iced coffee only costs you, for example, $3, which isn’t much money compared to spending more on an extra-large, flavoured ice coffee or whatever extra things you can add to it.
A different way to view this scenario is from a different perspective. Let’s say you’re earning $15 an hour. So, before you work every weekday, you buy a $3 iced coffee from a popular cafe. When you look at it, that three dollars represent a fifth of your hourly salary. We’re not going to argue with that.
Instead, that means while you’re paid for every 60 minutes of work, you specifically work 12 minutes just to be able to purchase that iced coffee you crave.
All right, well, what’s the significance of that? Why even bring it up in the first place?
I’m bringing this up because maybe in this case, where we’re using the example of an iced coffee, and it costs you a small amount of money and a small amount of your time to be able to purchase it may not seem necessary. Yet, it’s essential when we consider the larger expenses. Hell, it’s even crucial when you look at the cost of your wants per year.
Let’s say every day you get an iced coffee, it’s the same price, and you get at the same place. So, as a result, if you spend $3 over 365 days of the year, that’s going to equal $1,095. Of your total time spent working to purchase that iced coffee, you spent a whole 4,380 minutes. These full minutes equals 182.5 hours. And we’re just talking about a year.
So now, let’s look at it over the course of 20 years, and maybe you’re thinking to yourself, this is not good, and this is where I’m trying to get my message across to you. It’s this very point that can hopefully make or break your day-to-day spending where you start spending less on some of these little costs that you initially think are cheap, but in the long run, they add up.
Over 20 years of spending the same amount on an iced coffee at the same frequency at the same place, you will pay a total of $21,900 alone. If that does not scare you, you spent a total amount of time working at the same job or at a job that pays the same rate of 87,600 minutes. It would take you about 3,650 hours to fuel your so-called need for iced coffee.
I can present specific information to you that can question your spending habits, maybe even your lifestyle, but I cannot force you, nor would I want to force you to change these habits or lifestyle.
As we continue along with this article, you’ll find other tips, but to me, this is the most important one because do you want to spend 3,650 hours just to buy an iced coffee and lose out on $21,900 that could go to your investment portfolio?
Do not let me discourage you from enjoying certain things of life, like an iced coffee. Instead, let me highlight such information to you to seek ways to decrease your day-to-day expenses and encourage you to find new cheaper alternatives to your costs.
If that’s confusing, let me provide a brief example again. I’m going to continue talking about iced coffee.
Instead of going to this popular cafe and purchasing an iced coffee, instead ask yourself how you can make it entirely from home. While you do your research, you may have found a particular recipe that tastes better and cost significantly less, let’s say 80 to 85% less than the price you would pay for an iced coffee.
If you can make these changes, find cheaper alternatives, and even where applicable, cut back on your day-to-day expenses, I think that’s the most critical saving tip I can provide you.
You see, the change can be drastic. But most times, we focus on the smaller picture; therefore, we’re focusing on the day in and day out. Sometimes, we need to consider the larger image, the amount we are spending in a day or even in a week, and spread it across a prolonged period.
Honey and Rakuten:
An additional way to save money is to use coupons or receive cashback whenever you’re doing online shopping. With how big online shopping is today, it’s sometimes hard not to purchase something, especially when it’s marked down to an incredible deal.
This is where Honey and Rakuten come in to play.
Let’s start with Honey. You might have heard about Honey before, whether it’s through reference by friends or advertising that the company has produced.
Honey is a browser extension that you can use whenever you’re shopping online—Honey partners with select retailers in Canada, among other countries, to help you save money with your purchases. They partner with a total of 30,000+ retailers.
This extension will extrapolate coupons from all over the web and find the best ones matching your checkout items.
As well Honey offers its loyalty program where you can earn Honey Gold with select purchases. With this Honey Gold, you can purchase gift cards for popular retailers such as Amazon, Indigo, Hudson’s Bay, among the 4,500 other retailers partnered with Honey’s reward program.
It takes 900 honey gold to redeem a $10 gift card from the retailer of your choice.
There is nothing sweeter than earning some extra rewards for your online spending. There’s no fee to sign up for Honey, so that means you can start saving money online today. And by using our referral code, you can earn 500 gold today.
The other option you can use is Rakuten.
If you haven’t heard of Rakuten, it is similar to Honey. Rakuten will also search the web to find you the best coupons, promo codes, and discounts available at hundreds of stores partnered with its platform.
The most significant difference between Honey and this tool is that Rakuten will offer you cash back on select purchases. Rakuten does not provide any points on purchases meaning you do not need to earn a minimum amount of points to redeem it for gift cards as Honey does.
All you have to do is just shop online and find if your items are eligible to receive your money back and see any coupons available for you to save some additional dollars.
Over time as you continue to spend and use Rakuten, the amount of cashback you earn can increase. Whenever you are ready to receive this lump sum of money, you can do so through different methods, mainly noted through cheque in the mail or your Paypal account.
While you may not earn 10% cashback necessarily on select purchases, the money you do make can pile up over time, allowing you to use it on anything else.
Like Honey, Rakuten is available for free to anyone willing to sign up for a profile with them.
So, whether you use either platform, why not sign up for something that is not only free but can earn you cashback, gift cards, and discounts on items you were regularly going to search and pay for anyways?
Maybe you’re trying to save more of your income to help with bill payments, pay off excruciating amounts of debt, or invest more in a TFSA or RRSP. No matter the situation, a great way to save more money is to earn more money.
Although maybe this doesn’t particularly meet the definition of saving money, in most cases, if you’re looking to save money, it probably means that you’re looking for extra money to have to put towards something. Therefore, if you feel like you’ve stretched out of your possible savings by switching up your lifestyle significantly, maybe you should look towards earning a secondary income or passive income even.
Now you must understand that earning more income is going to take up more time. If you’re going to make a secondary income by applying for another job, know that your free time will significantly be reduced.
Even if you’re trying to earn some passive income, understand that there’s usually a fee, whether it costs you money or time. However, if you’re able to build a reliable secondary income, then it can support you to achieve your financial-related goals faster.
For some inspiration on different ways, you can earn additional income to check out my article on 14 ways to make more money. I have included sections based on earning money in person as well as earning money online.
How many people today do not have a subscription to a streaming platform or even a delivery service? I’m pretty sure that we could find maybe quite a few people. What we cannot deny though is how many new subscription models are being implemented in companies. Even the many subscription-based companies that are now being created are increasing.
On your journey to save money, have you ever considered cancelling any of your active subscriptions?
Maybe you haven’t. I understand the importance of subscriptions. If you use a delivery service like Amazon Prime a lot, it makes sense to purchase a subscription because of the total money savings you will incur due to not paying shipment fees. But what about the active subscriptions that you have and that you use very little?
I know some people will not use a subscription at all but continue to pay the fee. Why is that? Because it could be a hassle to go through the necessary steps to cancel the subscription. Plus, it may only be 8 to 10 dollars a month that initially doesn’t look like much money when you look at a specific subscription.
But if you look at the bigger picture and see that if it does cost you, let’s say $10 a month, then over the 12 months in a year, it cost you $120 for subscriptions that you hardly use. Then you might want to ask yourself can you use this $120 elsewhere. If you can, then obviously, maybe it’s time to cancel some of those subscriptions.
You may want to consider canceling a subscription, especially if you pay for satellite TV and have a streaming service such as Netflix. Do you regularly watch the television on the satellites and watch movies on Netflix, or do you heavily favor one over the other? If you prefer one over the other, then obviously, you can cancel the other that’s left out.
Even if you’re watching television for sports, let’s say, and use a streaming service like Netflix to watch shows and movies, it may be beneficial to look at sports streaming services.
Maybe you primarily watch the NHL, and as a result, it might be cheaper switching to the streaming service that the NHL offers versus watching it on satellite as it might save you a significant amount of money. Considering that hockey usually lasts until the summertime, meaning that you may not watch TV during the summer since hockey’s not on.
Once again, it’s all about looking at the bigger picture, similar to what I mentioned under the day-to-day expenses section when it comes to saving money. Initially, a monthly fee may not seem to be much money, but it does add up over a prolonged period like a year.
Seek lower interest rates:
I’m not sure but maybe this method is an obvious one. Our common sense tells us that the higher the interest rate, the more money we will pay on a particular type of loan or other debt.
If you were speaking to acquire a loan to purchase a home, it might be beneficial to shop around for different interest rates. On a loan, the principal amount that you owe may not have much flexibility. Usually, the principal amount of the loan is pretty set depending on the value of the home.
One thing that you possibly could change, though, is the interest rate. So it’s beneficial if, at the very least, what you do is in your local area speak to the mortgage advisors at different banks and financial institutions to see what interest rate they could offer you. If it does end up being that the bank you currently hold your checking or savings accounts provide the lowest interest rates, you can stick with that bank or financial institution.
However, by spending a bit of time searching around, you might have found a lower offer elsewhere. It may take you a significant amount of time because of the meetings you might have to hold with these advisors and whatnot, but all of that can make a difference in the number of monthly payments or weekly payments you will incur.
Some banks might even have a matching policy. This is where they match the lowest interest rates that you can find elsewhere at other financial institutions. If that’s the case, it saves you time and hassle from having to get set up with another bank versus already being set up with the one you currently deal with.
Even possibly with refinancing a mortgage or a loan you might be able to get a better deal on the interest rate, although that’s not always guaranteed. It’s vital that for any questions or concerns about your loans and other types of debts, speak with your lender or financial institution to see what adjustments can be made to lower the payments.
Grants/Student Loan Reduction:
So, I know that some of my readers are either currently university/college students or are recent graduates from these institutions. It’s fantastic to see those who are graduating and who have graduated and want to learn more about investing. Regardless of the age as well.
As you can tell by the subheading, I included grants and student loan reduction. There are various grants you can apply for, all stemming from home renovations, solar installations, and much more.
It would be too time-consuming for me to try to find a whole bunch of grants to include in this article. Instead, I will have to encourage you to do your research and check online or, where applicable, in-person to see if any grants are being offered that you can apply for.
However, I want to include some student loan grants to show my appreciation to those readers who are recent graduates or are continuing through school and help them find resources that could help with managing their loans afterward.
Therefore, I will be researching the different student loan reduction grants or even programs offered by provincial governments to help those with student loan debt. In addition, if I find any grants for student loans offered by the federal government, I will include them.
Please, if you know anyone who is a recent graduate, is graduating this year, or will be graduating in the future, provide these links to them to inform them of the resources available.
Questions about the criteria needed to be met to be awarded the grant or program should be consulted with the respective websites and government departments. Please visit the specific web page listed and view their contact page for any questions relating to the grants themselves.
- Newfoundland: https://www.gov.nl.ca/education/studentaid/repay/nl-debt-relief/
- Prince Edward Island: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/debt-reduction-grant-program
- Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/student-loan-forgiveness-program-certificates-diplomas/
- New Brunswick: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.200709.Repayment_Assistance_Measures_for_Student_Loans.html
- Ontario: https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal/en/A-ZListofAid/PRDR019256.html
- Québec: https://www.quebec.ca/en/education/student-financial-assistance/repayment
- Manitoba: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/msa/forms.html
- Saskatchewan: https://www.debt101.ca/student-loan-advice/q-a-saskatchewans-student-loan-aid
- Alberta: https://studentaid.alberta.ca/policy/student-aid-policy-manual/repayment/repayment-assistance-plan-rap/
- British Columbia: https://studentaidbc.ca/repay/repayment-help
- Yukon: https://yukon.ca/en/full-time-student-loan-grant#student-eligibility-and-eligible-programs
- Northwest Territories: https://www.ece.gov.nt.ca/en/services/student-financial-assistance/forms-and-applications
- Nunavut: https://www.gov.nu.ca/education/programs-services/financial-assistance-nunavut-students-fans
It feels like yesterday when solar energy stocks were rising at unimaginable heights. In fact, during last year, around the summer, I was looking into solar energy stocks and left them after a while to tend to other things. Boy, was I a fool for doing that because they skyrocketed.
Speaking about solar energy, renewable energy can be a great way to save you some money, especially on your electricity bills. Plus, some of the programs you can apply for will allow you to pay to own the necessary equipment to generate your power over time. Maybe even at the exact cost of your electricity bill every month.
Over time the cost of electricity has only gone up, so if there are ways even outside of renewable energy to help mitigate or reduce the amount that you will pay in electricity, it could be worthwhile. It is why if you get a renewable energy system, you may eventually be saving yourself money in the monthly payments you make towards the system versus your electricity bill. But of course, it will not always be the case that you will.
However, even though solar energy or renewable energy may seem like an intriguing way to save some extra money at the same time, you’re probably not going to look for these alternative energy sources if you do not own a home or building.
There is a calculator that can estimate the amount of savings that solar energy can provide you. These are just estimates, so there’s no guarantee that it will equate to the actual result of savings you will incur if you do switch.
Nonetheless, I decided to try it out just out of curiosity to see how much I could save under a specific measure. On the calculator, I put down the average electricity bill is $250, that I would be installing an 8 kilowatts solar energy system, and would buy the system for a little more than $19,833.
My total net estimated savings over 25 years equalled $19,634. That is pretty good if you do ask me.
The calculator is on SolarAssist Nova scotia’s website, which I will leave a link to here if you want to do your calculations or explore their website further.
Eating in vs. Eating Out:
We all know someone or several people, whether they are coworkers, classmates, or friends that like to eat out. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s always nice to go and grab a bite to eat while catching up with someone you have not seen in a while. But I mean, we know those who like to go out and eat consistently.
During 2019 the average Canadian household spent $2,775 eating at a restaurant for the year. If we divide this number by 52 weeks, we can see that the average Canadian household spent around $53 at a restaurant per week.
Well, $53 may not seem to be much money for some. It’s still all adds up, as we can see by the yearly total. So even if you can cut that down to $30 a week, you can see that you’d be saving around $20, and can equate to around a $1,000 savings yearly.
I know that eating out isn’t always the cheapest. Yes, you can go to a popular fast-food chain that offers a dollar menu meal, but it still adds up to be quite a bit of money if you do that consistently enough. And yes, sometimes food sold at grocery retailers can cost a significant amount of money.
However, if you buy a combo meal at least once a day throughout the week, then it maybe a good suggestion to you that if you are trying to save some money to cut back on the amount you spend eating out.
Yes, of course, there may be a hassle with having to prepare a meal the night before or the morning of that day, but it’s all a process that could end up being very rewarding to you.
Making meals at home can allow you to switch to healthier eating, which is significantly better than what you might find at a dollar menu at these vastly popular fast-food restaurants. If you can clean up your diet and focus on healthy eating, then ultimately, I’m sure you will start to feel better and have more energy if you’re lacking.
Don’t let me discourage you from wanting to go out once a week and get a meal at a particular restaurant. Or for those days when it’s just too busy, and you need something quick on the go that you rely on a fast-food restaurant. You should be able to enjoy yourself and enjoy times with friends and family and be social, which eating out allows.
However, there is a sacrifice when saving money, and there must be a sacrifice to reach your goal. That’s why maybe you may find it beneficial that you set a tiny budget for yourself weekly to spend out on a restaurant.
You can take money out of your account and set that aside for the week that can only be touched for eating out. You cannot spend any more, and of course, if you pay less, you can always redistribute it to your bank account, investment account, or even if you wanted to, for next week’s budget.
And cooking can probably be considered an asset, and according to Rich Dad Poor Dad, we should always try to acquire assets.
New vs. Used:
New isn’t always better. Especially when it comes to saving money. Typically, when I’m thinking of the new versus used debate, I tend to think about a vehicle as it’s the first thing that pops into my mind.
Today, in general, you’ll find many people purchasing brand new yearly models of popular vehicles. Although it might be exciting and fantastic, how great is it if you’re trying to save money?
You might be better off buying a used vehicle. So much so that whenever you purchase a new vehicle, it depreciates 10 to 15% as soon as it leaves the car lot. It’s the truth. Usually, in the first year of only a brand new vehicle, it can depreciate 20 to 25%, which is significant.
That’s 20-25% of your money that cannot be accumulated back. Whereas maybe if you purchase a used vehicle later, it will cost you less. It is not always 20 to 25% less, but it will be less expensive, of course, depending on the vehicle’s features and other factors.
I’m not trying to convince you that used is always better either. When buying used, sure, you’re going to purchase something at a lower price typically, but what’s its condition like? Do you need to do any repairs or maintenance to the product?
These are questions that you need to answer. Usually, the previous owners of the product hopefully are good to provide details of its condition and any recent repairs. This stretches beyond just buying a used vehicle; it could be any product.
So, it’s essential to pay attention to things like if it’s needed any repairs in the past, how long ago those repairs were, how many kilometers or miles were driven, if it comes with new tires, etc.
If I can stretch outside of the debate between purchasing a new vehicle, such things like maybe clothing or sports apparel such as jerseys, among other things you could always buy used. The benefit is that it will usually be cheaper. As we know with sports apparel, the idea of it being cheaper over time can be a façade.
Even books as well. Of course, you are taking a risk in the book may be worn, have unintentional marks, or bent. However, you indeed can find some great deals at places like a yard sale, for instance.
It’s all about doing a little bit of research depending on the product and asking yourself would it be better to purchase the product new or used?
Haven’t we all fantasized about what our lives would be like if we had a million dollars? It doesn’t seem like that million dollars would get you very much in this day and age. So maybe instead, it would be $10 million or $20 million or $50 million. Lotteries are designed to help us live those dreams, but it doesn’t often happen to many people.
Your odds to win the Lotto Max jackpot is approximately one in 33,294,800. Yeah, some of us are going to keep dreaming.
And how much do you spend per week on the Lotto Max jackpot? Is it five dollars? You know how that’s going to end up significantly over the course of the year. Have I heard that before (check daily expenses method)?
So yet, do you still have a chance to win something out of Lotto Max? Yes. A couple of dollars or a more significant portion of the money, and you might even win a free ticket! But even when you win once, how frequently do you win, and is it ever enough to cover the price you paid for the ticket?
I would probably say that if you’ve never won the Lotto Max jackpot or a significant portion of the money able to be won, your career in lottery tickets is not hall of fame worthy.
Besides, would you rather have the chance to earn a significant amount of money or build a plan that can make you a substantial amount of money? One does sound simpler than the other but reward comes with the process.
Bonus Method: Wants vs. Needs:
Non-necessity shopping is all psychological or at least, so it seems. For example, when you go to the mall with some friends and purchase new shoes, new clothing, or anything you don’t need but more so what you want because of peer pressure.
I do think it’s essential to learn the difference between something you need and something you want. We felt the impulse to buy something, whether it’s due to peer pressure or just this excruciating desire, because we envision what it would be like to own the product we want.
If you can distinguish between a want and a need and can put that exact product down because it is something you don’t need, I think that’s very powerful to help you save more money.
It would be best if you spent a little bit on things you want. Don’t constrict yourself too much. But be disciplined and never overindulge in these wants because if you do, then obviously, you’ll probably find yourself out of money depending on the amount of income you have weekly.
So, what’s the secret recipe for whenever you’re locked into this sort of situation to reach the escape? When you’re in that situation, the easiest thing you can do is ask yourself, “Is this thing a want or is it a need?”
If it’s a want, then clearly you don’t need it, and therefore, you don’t need to spend money on it. If it’s required to purchase, then, of course, it’s another story.
I often use this trick, and it is effective as I soon realized that I made the right decision by not purchasing a want. We are emotional beings and when we combine emotion with a vision that can turn into desire it’s difficult to let that desire go.
Because there are plenty of purchases that we have made that ended up being a regret, we understand where we can improve. All the overspending incurred could been possibly prevented by asking a single question. If you can use the question above the next time you’re out shopping with a friend or browsing online at retailers for something to do, I hope that you’ll find it compelling as I have.
Saving money sounds easy, but let’s be honest, it is not always is as easy as it sounds. It takes plenty of discipline and a dedication for change to save more money.
If you are able to save more money you might find that using a tax free savings account (TFSA), registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), or interest savings accounts as effective ways to store your saved money.
To even have the amount you need each week for your business or to build assets, you could always pay yourself first. For more information, I recommend reading the Rich Dad Poor Dad book and you can find the summary here.
I might also suggest (and this is an obvious one) that where you can, avoid credit card debt, and try to pay your credit card balance when due. Credit cards can be great, but they can be disastrous under unavoidable situations, crippling debt, or uncontrollable spending.
As I mentioned before, feel free to spend money on yourself, just don’t overindulge. It’s always nice to do a little shopping for some of your wants and go out and have fun. It just may be better if people transfer credit cards to you, hand you free mortgage life insurance, and a free credit score to serve as the cherry on top (but this is very unrealistic and don’t take myself seriously when I say this).
Jokes aside, I hope you enjoyed these money saving methods and tip.
What are your thoughts on this article? Specifically, what are some money saving tips that you can share with everyone else? I would love to hear them below in the comments.
As always, if you’d like to see a specific person or business featured on the Bank Breakers showcase, send me an email at [email protected]bankbreaking.com, or of course, you can follow us on Instagram @bank_breaking and message me there.
Thank you for reading this article and enjoy your week ahead.