Earlier this month I wrote about attending a Financial Literacy Month seminar with the lovely Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Going through my notes for this seminar I thought I’d share some of the tips I learned about getting and keeping a handle on your money.
- Do a spending analysis (at least 6 months worth) so that you know where your money is coming from and where it is going. You can’t build a proper budget if you don’t know the true ins and outs of your money. Visit My Money My Choices for a guide on how to do this.
- Comparison shop, only grocery shop with a list, use coupons and price matching. Ok, that’s like four tips in one, but they’re all connected. Always meal plan and go to the store with a list, and only buy what’s on that list. This way you avoid impulse purchases that blow your budget. Look for price matching, sales and coupons for things you always buy so that you’re always getting the best price for them.
- Plan purchases. If you know you’ll need to buy those never-ending Scholastic books from your kid’s school, put aside money in your monthly budget to do that. For that matter, at the beginning of each month, put aside a bit of cash for all those random school expenses that come up. $4 for pizza here and $8 for a school trip there really adds up and can throw your budget off if you haven’t planned for them.
- Save your savings. I have to admit I’m guilty of not doing this. If you’ve budgeted for something but get it on sale, take that extra savings and put it INTO your savings jar. That’s how you save without even trying. If you get a rebate check in the mail, if you cash in your Checkout51 account, put that money into savings. It adds up!
- Don’t be a money moron. That’s straight from Gail VO. Read her book Money Rules, there’s all kinds of smart tips in there. It will change your life. It changed mine. True story.
Now go forth and be smart with your money!
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To help Canadians overcome financial anxiety, Gail launched ‘Use Your Common Cents Day’ on November 4th to educate Canadians on better budgeting and financial literacy. Happening during Financial Literacy Month (November), Use Your Common Cents Day will empower Canadians to use their common sense when it comes to everyday spending.
Starting November 4, visit www.savingmadesimple.ca for helpful tips and advice from Gail on how to gear-up for successful savings. You can also join over 1 million Canadians and register to have access to print-at-home coupons on top brands, exclusive samples and daily inspiration every day of the year! Happy Savings!