Personal finances is one such area where everyone is looking to up their game.
With millennials and Gen Z ruling the roost of economy influencing purchase and travel trends across omnichannel retailing and click and collect shopping, the story takes a solemn turn.
According to a survey conducted by PwC in 2018, an average Canadian managed to spend $1,563 during the Holiday seasons, which is 3.7 percent higher than in 2017. Further, travel seemed to garner the lion’s share of spending during holiday seasons, which justifies the hunt for the best travel credit card in Canada.
Having said that, any debt incurred during the period could be the source of anxiety if one fails to get a grip on his personal finances as the year runs by.
Top Personal Finance Tips
Here’s a rundown on nine best personal finance tips in 2019 to get you sorted.
1. Get real about your debt issues
So, you owe money on your credit card, or maybe you are behind your payments on your utility bills. Recognize these debts as serious and start paying it off immediately.
Tally all such outstanding and divide the total amount by the number of months which you think will be enough for you to pay them off. Start with the highest amount that’s outstanding to save on paying huge interest. While you are at it, continue making smaller or minimum payments towards your other debts to keep things running.
2. Be ready for higher rates
Having to deal with a high rate of interest is perhaps the most prominent possible threat for the Canadian economy by the end of 2019. In such a scenario, it’s only natural to be worried about your existing debt.
Start calculating with the help of a loan calculator to find out how the rates will affect your liability when increased by at least 2-3 percent. That way, you can be better prepared for payback when the rates get implemented in the long run.
3. Let go of unwanted stuff
It might occur a little impolite to most people but holding on to gifts and other stuff which you never wanted in the first place is a total waste. With the second-hand market thriving at its best, it would be a good thing to take a few snaps of your unwanted gifts and lure in some buyers.
Alternately, one can also take it back to the very store it was purchased from and return the same for cash or a gift card, depending upon the purchase type.
4. Earn More through Diversification
Having a side hustle was once considered to be a thing limited to students and a handful of millennials. In a changed scenario, people from all walks of life in Canada belonging to multiple income brackets are now bent on scoring extra source of income besides their primary job.
Finding part-time jobs that demand you work once a week might be a good approach to earn some extra bucks to boost your savings. A remote working job from the comfort of home is fast becoming a catch-up trend to which most Canadians are reacting positively. As an example, you might become a virtual assistant.
5. Set a budget
In the words of Latimer, a budget is nothing but a mathematical confirmation of one’s suspicions. One needs to have a budget set right to gauge where the money comes from and goes.
Take a very close look at your income and determine whether you have enough money left at the end of the month to take care of your debt. If not, it’s time to cut down your expenses, which might include bringing about a change in your lifestyle and your spending habits.
Here are a few things that you can take to doing immediately:
- Eat out less at restaurants
- Compare prices for all articles before you make a purchase
- Use water and electricity efficiently to cut down on your water and energy bills
- Call off all unnecessary subscriptions for TV, magazines or gym
- Automate your bill payments to avoid being behind your payments
6. Automate your savings
It is no shocker that around 69 percent of Americans manage to save less than $1000 at the end of each year. The Canadian side isn’t impressive either.
As a fruitful measure to ensure you meet your savings goal, one can opt for an “Automated Savings Plan”, which is quite a popular feature these days with savings bank accounts. When you opt for an automated savings plan, a certain sum of money gets automatically saved to your account every month.
A host of popular savings plan in Canada includes Tangerine and Mylo, which also help invest your spare cash so that you don’t have to adapt to a drastic change to your lifestyle. Thus, automating your savings plan not only add to your savings but also inculcate a great habit of paying yourself first, before you can go for any purchases or other expenses.
7. Become a serious investor
When you dream of financial freedom, it’s worthwhile to consider starting to invest real soon. When you hear people say time is money, be lest assured that investing to build an impressive portfolio is also seemingly part of the plan.
In case, you don’t have any credit card debt that requires you to pay it off on an immediate basis, consider investing in money saving plans. Start by maxing out your contributions towards tax-free accounts like RRSP, TFSA, IRA, and 401(k).
8. Improve your credit score
Monitoring ones credit score is a full proof way to get ahead with your financial goal in 2019. Tools like Borrowell allows Canadian borrowers to check and monitor their credit score to check for any discrepancy that might hit your credit rating.
Besides, when you have a good credit rating, you stand qualified for credit at competitive rates, which in turn helps you save money in the long run. With Borrowell, you can access your credit report each month at no costs and without any hassle.
9. Aiming for cash back
When you aim for cashback on your purchases, you are contributing to your financial goals as well. One can choose from a list of cash back apps dedicated to Canadian individuals and offers as high as up to 30 percent cash back in some cases.
If you miss on signing up for cash back, you could be leaving out an opportunity to leave a good amount of money which can be yours easily. Some of the favorite apps for grocery include:
- Checkout 51– Offers $5 as a signup bonus as well as as high as 30% cash back.
- Drop: Similar to Checkout 51, it also offers $5 welcome bonus
- Swagbucks: Free $5 bonus on joining
- Caddle: $1 sign up bonus (for Canada only)
For general shopping, Rakuten and Savingstar are great options to try out.
Which tips did you find most helpful?