Life and Work
How to Really Save Money This Year: 5 Expert Tips
Financial expert Sandra Hanna shares five strategies for smart saving (and spending). Read on for her tips on how to save money
Don’t Look at Numbers First
Those who are most successful at reaching their financial goals think first about why they’re setting their goals and what they are trying to accomplish. Maybe it’s the freedom of being able to travel debt-free or the pride of buying your first home. Whatever your goals, focus on the bigger picture rather than specific numbers. Write them down, make a Pinterest board, talk about them and make them real and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your goals and make changes for the long run.
Start a Money Group
Success loves company, and setting and sticking to financial goals is way more fun when you do it with a group you’re excited to be part of. Create a money group of like-minded people (friends, colleagues or even family) and meet up regularly to help hold one another accountable. When you talk openly about your financial goals, you’ll immediately feel relieved that you aren’t alone and you’ll benefit from one another’s experiences.
Spend Smart Every Day
Creating a spending plan and setting your financial goals doesn’t mean 2016 is the year of no fun. You can still have fun shopping; you just need to follow a few money-saving tips, such as looking for promo codes at RetailMeNot (retailmenot.ca) when making a purchase. Before you check out, take 30 seconds to search for a promo code to use and, over the course of the year, your savings could add up to thousands.
Set Up Your Speed Dials
Keep your credit card company and service providers on speed dial and call them monthly. Checking in with them regularly and asking questions like “Am I making the best use of my plan?” or “How can I save more or get more for my money?” can help you save more than $50 a month.
Automate, Automate, Automate
You’ve got a million things you’d rather do than plug numbers into a spreadsheet each month, so put your money on cruise control. Once you’ve got your goals in place, automation is your best friend. One of our favourite apps for automating is Mint (mint.com), which syncs up with your bank accounts and tracks your money in real time. Think of it as a personal trainer for your budget!
Sandra Hanna in a financial expert and founder of Smart Cookies.