Thanks to rising food, energy and housing prices, many Canadians struggle to keep up with the cost of living. In fact, the National Payroll Institute’s annual survey of working Canadians found that 26 percent of respondents are living paycheque-to-paycheque.
We’ve identified some of the best ways to save money in Canada, from establishing better daily habits to making smarter shopping decisions.
These money-saving tips cover everything from utilities to groceries, enabling you to protect yourself against rising living costs and allowing you to put some extra aside. Start saving today!
How to save money in Canada
Saving money requires a multipronged approach, so here is a list of strategies to save money in Canada.
Budgeting and saving tips
1. Pay yourself first
When you don’t have money after paying your outgoings, sometimes you need to change it up a bit. Paying yourself first means you allocate a proportion of your paycheque to your savings before paying your bills.
This way, you have at least some money to put away, and you are forced to make savings elsewhere.
2. Consider using the 50/30/20 budget rule
The 50/30/20 rule simply divides your money between needs, wants and savings.
When you implement a 50/30/20 budget, you are allocating your take-home pay based on importance:
- 50% goes to needs, like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, healthcare, transportation and bills.
- 30% is allocated to wants, such as eating out, entertainment, buying new clothes or luxury items.
- The remaining 20% goes to savings.
Examples of needs vs wants
Everyone has different needs and wants, and it can be difficult to distinguish between them.
Consider whether an outgoing is a necessity and whether you can eliminate it:
- Do you need the fastest Internet connection or multiple streaming services?
- Your rent is a need, but can you reduce your costs by downgrading?
- Is your car affordable, or would you be better off using a cheaper car or public transport?
Does the 50/30/20 rule work?
This 50/30/20 rule depends on your income; not everyone can make these numbers work. Your income might not allow you to save 20%, and you may find that you have to reduce this to a lower amount.
Don’t despair if this applies to you; just try to save whatever you can. If you have no room to save, use a few strategies in this guide first.
And if you have debts with high interest rates, it makes sense to prioritize these first to pay off your debt faster, saving money on the interest.
If you have a high income, you should adjust the amount you save to a higher percentage.
3. Use a money app
Use a money or budgeting app to review your spending habits and save a lot of money.
- Mint – one of the most popular free personal finance apps.
- You Need A Budget (YNAB) – a popular budgeting app.
- Wally – offers group budgeting and different currencies.
- Cleo – entertaining AI chatbot with a variety of unique features.
These apps are easy to set up and allow you to link your financial accounts, such as your bank account, credit card and investments. Many apps will even save money automatically without having to lift a finger.
4. Change your buying mindset
Before making a purchase, be less impulsive. Do research, read reviews, and consider different options rather than being overly loyal to one brand or product.
Recognize your financial constraints; many spend their wages within 48 hours of getting paid. Before making a large purchase, sleep on it.
5. Plan for a major purchase
Always wait for sales if you plan to make a significant purchase like a car, furniture or an appliance. Do your homework before you buy; you don’t want to get the wrong vehicle or find out that you paid too much.
6. Leave your cards at home
Leave your debit and credit cards at home and carry as much cash as you need. This will help you stick to your budget and avoid impulse purchases, saving money on credit card fees.
7. Review your statements
Go through your banking and credit card statements line by line for the last 3 months to see if there’s anything you can avoid paying next month.
8. Use a money-saving jar
If you have leftover coins lying around, start saving them. Take your extra coins or money jar into your bank and deposit them straight into your savings account. Not all banks will exchange coins, so check with your bank.
9. Have a no-spend day
A good way to understand where your money goes is to implement a strict no-spend day, which means you cannot spend any money for an entire day. You can choose to do this once a week or as a one-off, or when things have gone off the rails.
10. Make it harder to spend
Ask your bank to restrict online access to your savings account to make it harder to spend your savings. When you visit the bank to withdraw money, it becomes more real, and you’ll think twice.
11. Pay off your debts
Clear your debts before you even consider saving. The sooner you pay your bills, the more money you can put toward your savings. Prioritize debts with high interest.
Take advantage of debt forgiveness programs. There are student loan forgiveness programs, including the Repayment Assistance Plan, provincial programs and formal debt solutions.
There’s also federal student loan debt forgiveness for some medical professionals. If you have tax debts, there are CRA debt forgiveness options available too.
12. Improve your credit score
Your credit score affects how much money you can borrow and whether you can get a mortgage or rent a house.
13. Set up an emergency fund
An emergency fund is a sum of money put away to cover surprise expenses that may occur, such as:
- Job loss.
- Home or car repairs.
- Medical or dental emergencies.
- Unplanned travel expenses.
These unexpected events can be stressful, so it helps to have money to cover them. You will save money on the interest you would have had to pay if you had to borrow the money.
Saving money on groceries in Canada
14. Buy store brands
Grocery stores charge more for big brand names, so opt for store-brand instead.
Shortages and supply-chain disruptions have caused us to turn to private-label goods, with many being high-quality, and cheaper options. For example, Walmart carries a wide selection of products under their Great Value brand.
Another simple approach to saving money is to ditch the major supermarkets altogether and do grocery shopping at multiple smaller stores.
15. Look for ‘Enjoy Tonight’ discounts
A great way to stretch your grocery dollars is to look for items with the ‘Enjoy Tonight’ sticker on the package. These marked-down items are cheaper because it’s close to the expiry date.
16. Save money on online grocery delivery
Third-party grocery delivery apps are expensive, and the deals on the weekly flyer are not included.
We compared the prices of ten products on the weekly flyer feature at Walmart.ca with the exact same items on Uber Eats, and we found that Uber Eats was $29.92 (36.6%) more expensive after delivery costs, service fees, and tips. 9 of the 10 items were more expensive on Uber Eats.
Competitors like Instacart also charge astronomical fees and excessive markups.
For online grocery shopping, visit the supermarket website. Going to your closest store is the cheapest way to shop as you don’t have to pay additional fees at the checkout.
17. Use bulk food stores
Bulk food stores like Costco offer great value on bulk items and household staples, and you’ll earn the membership cost back in no time.
18. Use dollar stores
Stores like Dollarama offer considerable savings on household products such as dish soap, detergent, cleaning supplies, healthcare products, kitchenware and candy.
19. Reduce meat consumption
Save money (and the environment) by eating less meat. According to a recent US survey, people on meatless diets spent an average of $23 less on food every week.
20. Buy imperfect produce
Imperfect or ugly produce refers to misshapen fruits and vegetables, which account for 10% of the $31 billion in food waste yearly due to cosmetic reasons.
The truth is there is absolutely nothing wrong with ugly produce. It’s not less tasty or nutritious; it looks different, but it’s the same chopped up.
21. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
Shopping when you’re hungry is a bad idea. You’ll only be concerned with what your stomach says and less interested in sticking to your budget.
How to save money on food and drink
22. Spend less eating out
Eating out at restaurants can be a significant drain on finances. A $13 restaurant meal is about 325% more expensive than a $4 meal you prepare yourself.
You can get more meals out of a recipe if you make it at home, and you can freeze the leftovers. Eating food at home is not only cheaper; you can ensure you are eating healthier, and your cooking skills will improve.
Look for coupons and daily deals when you treat yourself to a restaurant. Be aware of any potential discounts for children, students and seniors.
Know what to expect regarding sales taxes on food and beverages. Alcohol can quickly add up! Lastly, don’t forget to calculate the tip for your server.
23. Eat less in restaurants
To save money when dining out, share an appetizer. Most appetizer portions are large enough to be eaten as a lighter entree. Restaurants often offer a cheaper set menu at lunchtime, so why not go for lunch?
24. Use happy hour deals and special offers
Happy hour menus are an excellent opportunity to enjoy fantastic food and drink deals. You’ll generally find these offers between 2 pm and 6 pm, but it depends on where you live in Canada.
Although sometimes limited, OpenTable offers fixed-price customized dining experiences such as tastings, classes, special menus and happy hours.
25. Bring leftover food home from restaurants
If you have leftover food at a restaurant, take it home. Just say, “Can you box this up to go, please?” and your server will bring you an empty food box. You paid for it, so why waste it? Plus, you are saving money on lunch the next day.
26. Use a slow cooker
A slow cooker can save you money. Not only do slow cookers use less energy than an oven, but they also save you time cooking. Just throw your ingredients in the pot, turn the slow cooker on low, and you’re done until it’s time to eat.
Slow cooking is also ideal for turning cheaper, tough cuts of meat into a juicy, tender dish. You’ll find it less tempting to eat out when you have a delicious slow cooker meal ready to eat when you arrive home.
27. Start batch cooking
If finding time to cook is hard, and you want to make cooking more economical, then try batch cooking.
Batch cooking is when you prepare lots of meals in advance and freeze them in portions that are easy to defrost later. Cooking this way saves time and money, allowing you to stockpile healthy home-cooked meals.
A good time to batch cook is on weekends, in the evening, or any day when you have no distractions. Simply cook a bunch of food, freeze them and take them out when needed.
For some batch-cooking recipe ideas, try these easy freezer meals.
28. Waste less food
Everyone has a role to play in reducing food waste. According to research on household food waste by Love Food Hate Waste Canada, 63% of the food we throw away could be eaten.
Fruit and vegetables represent nearly half of all produce that goes to waste, so buy them in smaller quantities.
Extend the life of your fresh produce by creating high and low humidity refrigerator drawers. Some fridges have drawers with preset humidity levels, while others have a humidity control setting that opens or closes a vent in the drawer.
- High humidity drawer: wilting vegetables, such as lettuce, carrots and cucumbers.
- Low humidity drawer: fruits and some vegetables that rot, such as apples, avocados and peppers.
Always check your fridge, freezer and cupboards before shopping, so you don’t double up on ingredients. Plan out your meals with the ingredients you have, understand portion size and be mindful of the best before dates on things like meat and seafood to avoid waste.
You can freeze practically anything to extend its shelf life. If you try hard to use everything you buy, you’ll save a fortune.
29. Grow your own vegetables
Grow your own vegetables and herbs at home to save money. Check out this beginner’s guide to growing vegetables indoors.
Ways to save money at home
30. Switch Internet, TV and home phone
Switch to a cheaper Internet, TV and phone bundle. Look for better deals and promotions from suppliers such as Bell, Rogers, and TELUS, which could save you hundreds of dollars annually.
Evaluate what you need: If you predominantly use your cell phone, do you need a home phone line? If you primarily use Netflix, why not cancel your TV service altogether?
31. Get rid of cable TV
There are lots of cheap cable alternatives in Canada. You can pay a fraction of the price with services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crave, Disney+ and Sling TV.
Sportsnet Now offers two plans for accessing NHL, MLB, and NBA games. The standard plan costs $14.99 per month and includes regional NHL blackouts. The premium plan costs $34.99 per month and includes more NHL games plus access to WWE, Bundesliga, IndyCar, and more.
32. Switch your cell phone plan
While it’s true that Canada pays more for cell phone services than most of the world, many plans allow you to share data across multiple devices without incurring overage charges.
33. Switch as many of your bills as possible
Why not switch to a cheaper provider if you can do so without sacrificing service quality? There’s always a better offer, and you might even receive a bonus or incentive for switching.
34. Adjust your thermostat
Use a programmable thermostat and adjust the preset temperatures to save 10-20% on your heating bill.
On average, you save up to 2% for each degree you lower the thermostat. Most people won’t notice these small changes, but they can significantly reduce energy costs.
Lowering your thermostat when you are not home during the day and while you sleep at night saves the most energy.
Did you know? Using a smart thermostat can help you save nearly 8% on home energy costs.
35. Reduce your hot water usage
Hot water is your home’s second-highest energy expense; most homes use 225 litres of hot water every day.
Follow these tips to save money on hot water:
- Take a five-minute shower instead of a bath (it uses half the water).
- Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.
- Wash your clothes in cold water where possible.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater to 52ºC for optimal savings.
- Insulate the first two metres of water pipes, but leave at least 15 cm of pipe wrap clear of the exhaust vent.
- Energy Star® certified dishwashers and washing machines use less water.
Source: Enbridge Gas
36. Use a clothesline
Electric clothes dryers use between 1.8 and 5 kWh of electricity, dependent on the load and cycle configurations.
But you can save money by air drying your clothing instead of using a clothes dryer. Hang your things to dry outside, or use a drying rack to dry your clothing inside.
37. Unplug unused appliances
Unplugging things you don’t use, such as lights, TVs and entertainment devices, can significantly reduce your electric bill, saving you money. Use a home energy monitor to track electricity use and costs.
38. Defrost your freezer
When too much ice builds up in your freezer, it’s time to defrost it. A frost buildup in your freezer increases the motor’s workload, thus using more energy.
39. Use smart power bars
Manage your electrical devices easily with the help of a smart power bar.
While traditional power strips use power when you’re not using them, smart power bars allow you to save energy by turning off power to devices that are in standby mode.
40. Use LED bulbs
LED light bulbs produce a lot of light while consuming very little electricity. They are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last at least 15 times longer.
Installing LED bulbs will help you save money on your energy bill with the added bonus of not having to buy replacement bulbs regularly.
41. Don’t overuse ventilation fans
Bathroom exhaust fans and ventilation units can use lots of energy if left on, so switch them off.
42. Apply for a greener homes grant
The Canada Greener Homes Grant helps homeowners make their homes energy efficient, with grants of up to $5,000 for retrofits, such as better insulation, windows and doors, smart thermostats and renewable energy upgrades.
43. Insulate your home
Upgrading your home’s insulation is a great way to save hundreds of dollars on energy bills. A Greener Homes Grant of up to $5,000 is available for retrofits.
44. Use solar energy
Reduce your hydro bill by using solar energy.
Solar power is a small but rapidly growing source of electricity for Canadians. Under the Canada Greener Homes Grant, you can receive a grant for installing solar panels and an inverter. After your initial investment, solar energy is free.
45. Set up a home gym
Save the monthly gym fee by exercising outdoors. Run, walk or cycle in the sunshine and fresh air, and you can cancel your gym membership.
Alternatively, buy cheap home gym equipment or use YouTube workout videos to lower exercise costs.
46. Cut your own hair
Cutting your own hair can save you a few hundred dollars per year.
During the pandemic, thousands of YouTube tutorials showed us how to cut hair at home, so there are plenty of videos to pick up the basics.
47. Make your own smoothies and juices
Many individuals drink smoothies and juices as an easy way to increase their intake of fruit and vegetables. However, they are expensive to buy on the go, so make your own using a blender or juicer to save a significant sum of money.
48. Recycle your clothes
Some fashion retailers have launched take-back programs, allowing you to recycle unwanted clothes and shoes. Some offer coupons and thank you vouchers, such as H&M’s Garment Collecting program.
49. Sell unused items online
Sell new and used stuff online at sites like eBay and Kijiji to declutter your home and make some extra cash.
Ways to save money every day
50. Make coffee at home
A grande latte at Starbucks costs $3.65, which equates to $949 per year if you drink one every working day.
If you cut back on coffee shops and prepare coffee at home, you might save thousands of dollars every year depending on your caffeine fix and whether you use a machine or not.
51. Save money on travel by walking
By walking instead of driving, you save money on petrol and parking. Plus, it’s good for the environment, good exercise, and is free. Alternatively, buy a bike.
52. Use public transport
Owning and maintaining a car is expensive, so pay a flat monthly fee for public transit instead.
53. Quit smoking or vaping
Quitting smoking is hard, but you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year on cigarettes or vaping equipment if you give up the habit. What’s more, if you quit smoking before you buy life insurance, you’ll pay less.
54. Cut back on hobbies
Hobbies can often help us live healthier lives by providing a feeling of purpose, contentment, exercise or stress relief. But if you need to save money or want to get out of debt, cutting back for a while makes sense.
55. Consider skill swapping
Skill swapping essentially lets you pay for items with your skill. If you know someone who can provide a product or service, why not exchange your skills?
For example, if you are a graphic designer and your friend or neighbour is a mechanic, perhaps you could offer to help with some graphic design work in exchange for car maintenance.
Both parties can benefit as there are no costs involved.
56. Negotiate a better deal
There’s usually flexibility when it comes to pricing. Revisit contracts and negotiate a better deal on your expenses. Follow these tips to haggle like a pro before you buy.
57. Start a side hustle
A side hustle is something you do to bring in extra cash on top of your regular job. Examples include starting a blog, driving for Uber or Lyft or becoming a virtual assistant.
Marketplaces such as TaskRabbit allow you to make extra cash through freelance work like house repairs and errands.
58. Save money on Uber & Lyft rides
If you don’t have a car and need a ride, you probably use Uber or Lyft. Both are cheap and reliable transportation options, but there are ways to save money on your rides:
- Check the cost of both Uber and Lyft before you ride. For example, in Toronto, Lyft is predominantly cheaper at peak times.
- Avoid booking during fare surge times, such as after a hockey game or concert. Wait for prices to drop or move a few blocks away and see if the price goes down.
- Share your ride using UberX Share or Rideshare with Lyft.
- Refer people with an invite code to get free rides on Uber or Lyft.
How to save money on credit cards
59. Don’t pay interest on credit card debt
Credit card companies make money on the interest they charge you if you do not pay off your outstanding balance on time each month.
The best way to avoid paying interest on your credit card debt is to find a 0% intro APR credit card. Do a balance transfer to this card to avoid paying interest for a fixed time while paying off the balance.
Set up automatic payments to avoid missing minimum payments and damaging your credit score.
Alternatively, just pay off your existing credit card, and you’ll save money this way, too.
60. Pay your credit card twice a month
By paying your credit card bill twice a month at a slightly higher rate than you usually do for the entire month, you can pay down your debt faster and save money on interest charges.
61. Use credit card rewards and cashback credit cards
You may have credit card rewards saved up that you’ve not used, or you might not even know that you have rewards available through your card.
You can earn thousands of dollars annually using a cashback credit card that rewards you with points or cashback incentives.
62. Consider paying some bills by credit card
If you can make utility and insurance payments by credit card without additional fees, you could take advantage of credit card rewards such as cashback or points.
But remember, pay the balance immediately to avoid interest.
How to save money on shopping
63. Earn cash back
Save hundreds of dollars annually using cashback sites and apps to get money back when you shop online.
Simply click on the link to the retailer from the cashback website, check out, and the site will reimburse a percentage of your purchase.
- KOHO: use their prepaid Visa card to earn 0.5% cash back on all purchases and up to 10% cashback when shopping online or in-store with selected partners.
- Rakuten: 750+ stores with up to 30% cashback.
- TopCashback: save money on online purchases with these cashback offers.
- Caddle: earn money by purchasing products, responding to surveys, watching ads and providing reviews.
64. Use discount codes
Discount codes are a combination of words and letters that you can enter during checkout to reduce the amount you pay.
There are discount codes for everything online, from 10% off to as much as 50%. However, not all of them work, and you may have to search for a while to find one that does.
Thankfully, many coupon sites offer a free browser extension that shows you how many coupon codes are available for that particular site.
They’ll even do the legwork for you by automatically testing the codes at the checkout:
Some of our favourites are:
65. Save money with coupons
Look at any coupons you receive in the mail from grocery stores and other retailers. You never know what you’ll find! You’ll often receive fast food coupons for McDonald’s, Domino’s and Subway, to name a few.
66. Use rewards programs
The PC Optimum rewards program allows you to earn and redeem points at participating retailers such as Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills and Fortinos. For every 10,000 points you earn with PC Optimum, you get $10 off your next purchase.
Hudson’s Bay Rewards members get points for almost everything they buy in stores and online. If you have a Hudson’s Bay Mastercard, use this to double your points and receive cashback benefits at other stores.
For $29 a year, you can sign up for the Beyond+ program at Bed Bath & Beyond. You’ll get 20% off everything you buy online and in-store. You’ll also get free shipping every day of the year.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program lets you earn points for every dollar you spend on Sephora products. You can use these points for discounts on purchases. You’ll also get free shipping, end-of-year discounts, a free birthday gift, plus many other perks.
67. Comparison shop
Sites like PriceFinder and ShopBot let you compare the price of products before buying.
68. Price match
When a retailer agrees to match a lower price from a competitor, this is known as price matching. Many large Canadian retailers will offer to match competitors’ prices, so take advantage.
69. Leave items in your shopping cart
Log in to your account, add items to your cart and wait. You might receive a discount by email or a special offer to persuade you to check out in a few days.
You need to have an account with them and be logged in when you add items to your cart.
70. Get birthday freebies
If you are signed up for a rewards program or email list, you’ll often receive birthday offers when the big day arrives. There are tons of birthday rewards and discounts available.
71. Check your receipt
Many Reddit users will testify that cashiers often make mistakes. After all, they are only human, so always check your receipt to ensure you haven’t been incorrectly charged for any items.
Know the Scanner Price Accuracy Code
The Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code ensures accurate scanner pricing on behalf of its participating retailers, like Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Costco, Home Depot, Loblaws, Metro, Pharmasave, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobeys and Walmart.
If the scanned price of an item without a price tag is higher than the displayed price, you are entitled to receive the item free of charge if it is worth less than $10. If the correct price is worth more than $10, you are entitled to a $10 discount.
72. Scan receipts for money
73. Cancel subscriptions
It isn’t easy to track all your subscriptions. Whether it’s a streaming service, gym subscription, dating app or free trial you forgot about, cancel the ones you don’t need.
There are even apps that can help you trim down your subscriptions.
How to cancel PayPal automatic payments
PayPal automatic payments let you set up subscriptions and recurring payments that are deducted from your financial institution regularly.
You might have signed up for a trial subscription and no longer require it, or you might not even realize that some subscriptions are active.
To stop an automatic payment, follow these steps:
1. Log into your PayPal account.
2. Click the gear icon:
3. In the submenu, click Payments:
4. Click View beside the Manage your automatic payments:
5. A list of all active payments will appear. Select the one you want to cancel and click Cancel.
How to cancel a Google Play subscription
How to cancel an Apple app subscription
74. Take advantage of free trials
Use multiple email addresses and credit cards to take advantage of free trials, but remember to cancel before you are charged.
75. Buy second hand
Visit your neighbourhood’s garage sales and second-hand/thrift stores to pick up some real bargains. You can also find many nearly-new items on Kijiji or Facebook marketplace.
Saving money at work
76. Pack for lunch at work
Brown-bagging lunch is an easy way to save money, and it could save you over $1,000 yearly. Bringing your lunch to work is also a great way to eat healthier, eat less and reduce food waste.
How to pack a lunch for work
When it comes to preparing lunch for work, follow these simple tips:
- Shop once a week.
- Put time aside every week to prepare lunches in advance.
- Freeze meals in individual portions.
- Buy versatile food items that you can use in different ways throughout the week, such as salad ingredients, wraps, meats, fruits, vegetables and canned foods.
- Ensure you have good-sized food storage containers, plastic wrap or brown bags.
77. Work overtime
If you have the opportunity to work overtime, take advantage and make some extra cash. Working a little overtime each week can add up, and you might even be paid more to work on weekends.
78. Save extra money earned from work
Save the money you make on top of your wages, such as raises, bonuses, overtime pay and commissions. Put this money into a high-interest savings account. Because it’s extra money, you won’t miss it.
79. Take advantage of workplace savings plans
If you contribute to a workplace savings plan, take advantage of the free money available. Many employers match contributions, which can significantly boost your retirement savings.
80. Use workplace benefits
Many workplaces have benefits and perks that you might not know about. Some benefits, such as health insurance, are required by law, but others, such as paid vacation, are optional.
You might be missing out on perks such as paid parental leave, staff discounts, dental insurance, flexible hours, childcare assistance and wellness programs.
Talk with your employer to see what is available.
How to save money on banking
81. Switch bank accounts
When it comes to banking, brand loyalty is dead. Switching banks could result in a cash bonus and other perks such as lower interest rates, lower fees and rewards.
Simply put, your money could be working harder elsewhere.
82. Switch to a no-fee bank account
You’ll pay no monthly fee with unlimited transactions if you switch to a no-fee chequing account. These are the best bank accounts because they won’t cost you a cent, and some even pay you interest on every dollar.
As a result, you don’t need to have a minimum balance in your account to avoid any fees, which means it’s not sitting idle, and you can put more of your money into savings or investments.
Lenders like Tangerine, PC Financial, EQ Bank, and Simplii Financial offer no-fee chequing accounts.
83. Understand pre-authorized debits
Pre-authorized debits (PADs) are a convenient way to pay necessary bills on time, but they allow a firm to take any amount of money from your account whenever they want.
If you must pay this way, check monthly to see if the money withdrawn matches up with what you agreed to. Tell them about a mistake or withdrawal within 90 days if they don’t.
84. Avoid NSF fees
The key to saving money is avoiding unnecessary fees and interest charges.
Non-sufficient funds (NSF) occur when money is taken from your bank or credit union using a cheque or pre-authorized debit, but your account does not have enough money to cover it.
Tips to avoid NSF fees:
- Monitor your account and keep an eye out for transactions that do not leave your account immediately.
- Set up automatic alerts to notify you when a transaction occurs or your account hits a certain amount.
- Add overdraft protection to your chequing account.
- Keep some additional money in your bank or credit union to avoid being overdrawn.
85. Use a high-interest savings account
For long-term savings, you want the best interest rate.
High-interest savings accounts earn more interest than traditional savings accounts. Because these financial institutions are exclusively online, they can offer these higher interest rates.
The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account is popular because of its 1.25% interest rate with no monthly fees or transaction fees. It also offers free Interac e-Transfers® and bill payments.
How to save money on insurance
86. Save money on home insurance
Save on home insurance by increasing your deductible and installing improvements like a sump pump to protect against potential flooding.
87. Save money on car insurance
You can find cheaper car insurance by using car insurance comparison sites such as Ratehub or LowestRates.ca. But some insurers don’t appear on these sites, so you’ll have to go direct for some quotes.
Some insurers will give you a better deal if you have an existing insurance policy, such as home insurance. This also applies if you are insuring a second car.
Don’t assume you are getting the best deal; compare car insurance quotes and ensure you are paying the lowest rate. You can save hundreds of dollars a year.
How to save money on car insurance:
- Drive safely with no accidents: some auto insurers use apps to track your driving habits, significantly reducing your car insurance premium.
- Lower annual mileage can reduce your policy.
- Pick a safe and affordable car that’s cheaper to insure.
- Increase your car insurance deductible.
- Pay your insurance annually to save up to 9%.
- Improve your credit score to lower your monthly car insurance premium.
- Ask about student discounts.
88. Save money on life insurance
Term insurance can be up to fifteen times cheaper than whole life insurance. Before you decide, learn the differences between whole life insurance and term life insurance.
How to save money on housing
89. Negotiate rent
Most people don’t realize that they can negotiate their rent. If you are a new tenant, perhaps you could offer to pay some money upfront or sign a longer lease in return for a monthly discount.
Having a good credit score to demonstrate your creditworthiness to any prospective landlord is advantageous.
Negotiating an existing lease can be difficult, but if you are a good tenant and have a good relationship with your landlord, they might be open to an agreement.
90. Share an apartment
Finding a roommate to contribute towards rent and bills can dramatically lower your outgoings.
91. Negotiate a better mortgage rate
Traditional bank mortgage rates are usually high, so use a mortgage broker or compare the best rates online to reduce how much you pay.
92. Make a large mortgage down payment
When taking out a mortgage, a large mortgage down payment of at least 20% means lower monthly costs and often a lower interest rate.
You’ll also avoid paying mortgage default insurance, which is required for less than 20% down payment mortgages.
Additionally, a larger down payment means you have equity in your home, which may allow you to borrow against your home using a home equity loan or another line of credit.
93. Rent your house on Airbnb
If you own your property, why not rent your house or apartment on Airbnb when you’re on vacation or out of town?
How to reduce car costs
94. Find cheaper gas
Gas prices have soared recently, so use Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas in your area. Take advantage of the many gas rewards programs to get cashback on your gas purchases.
95. Reduce car fuel consumption
Save gas by keeping your tyres inflated, driving with your windows up, and avoiding braking aggressively.
Every extra 50kg your car weighs increases fuel consumption by 2%, so get rid of the excess weight in your boot and only carry what you need.
96. Buy a fuel-efficient or electric car
Consider buying a car with good fuel consumption to make massive savings every year. Better still, go for a hybrid or electric vehicle.
97. Buy a smaller car
Smaller cars cost less to run and use less gas.
98. Buy a used car
Buying a used car can help you save money while also allowing you to drive a better model than you could afford if you bought it new. A used car can also cost less to insure.
Before buying a used car, have it inspected by a competent, independent mechanic.
99. Use one vehicle
Cars are expensive, underused, and require gas, insurance and constant upkeep. If you have two vehicles in your household, consider getting rid of one to reduce your outgoings and save money. Take turns using the car and use public transit when you have to.
100. Rent your car on Turo
Share your car whenever you’re not using it to earn extra cash. Calculate how much you can make using Turo’s car calculator.
How to save money on taxes
There are many ways to save money on taxes in Canada. Ask your accountant or tax advisor about these tax-saving tips and common tax deductions that the average Canadian can use to save money:
101. Use an RRSP
When you put money into an RRSP, you lower your annual taxable income and may be eligible for a tax refund.
An RRSP is an investment account which doesn’t require you to pay income taxes on your RRSP contributions until you withdraw. If you are at a lower tax rate when you take the money out, you pay less tax.
You might also benefit from a spousal RRSP which may allow you to pay less tax as a couple.
102. Claim child care expenses
In Canada, you can claim childcare expenses on your tax forms, lowering the amount of taxes you pay.
At the end of the year, Canadian taxpayers can claim up to $8,000 per child for children under the age of seven and $5,000 per child for children aged 7 to 16.
You can also claim childcare costs for daycare centers, nursery schools, caregivers such as nannies, boarding schools and more.
103. Claim medical expenses
Claim medical expenses as a tax deduction, such as glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, home renovations for mobility, private medical insurance premiums and some dental expenses.
TurboTax Canada recommends having one spouse claim all the medical expenses for the entire family and any dependents you support.
104. Claim business-use-of-home expenses
If you are self-employed, you can claim expenses if you use part of your home as a workspace, as long as you meet the required conditions.
This allows you to deduct a portion of costs based on the workspace area divided by the total area of your home.
You can include expenses such as heating, home insurance, electricity, cleaning materials, property taxes, mortgage interest, and capital cost allowance (CCA).
105. Save tax refunds
If you receive a tax refund, put this money towards your savings. To find out more about tax refunds, speak to your tax advisor.
106. Check if you have an uncashed cheque from the CRA
Approximately $1 billion in cheques with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have gone uncashed. Follow these instructions to determine if you are owed money.
You’ve learned the best ways to save money
If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations on learning some of the best ways to save money in Canada.
It’s more important than ever to manage your money carefully. Be smart with your finances, don’t waste money and try to put some aside for savings.
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