Article submitted by EQ Bank
The holiday season is over and that means it is time to assess your finances and set some goals for the year.
Here are five ways to start saving and improve your financial well-being.
1. Get serious about budgeting
Get a true picture of where your money goes today by keeping track of your monthly cash flow — your income minus your expenditures. Creating and sticking to a budget can stop you from spending unnecessarily. Set a spending limit for different categories of expenses and try not to stray too far from this budget.
The way you create your budget is up to you, but one thing’s for sure: you need one. Use the new year as an excuse to get your budget in place and revisit it often to make sure you’re spending within your means.
2. Pay off your credit cards
The annual percentage rates (APRs) for credit cards can be as high as 15% to 17%. This means that if you’re used to making only the minimum monthly payment, you can rack up a whole lot of interest. Aside from putting even more money into the pockets of your credit card company, you’ll make it even harder to pay off your next monthly bill.
If you can afford it, it’s worth it to pay off your credit card bills as soon as possible. If you put it off, you can eventually end up paying double the cost of your purchases. (Remember those awesome boots you bought for $250? They’ll end up costing you $300–$400 if you maintain a balance for a few years.)
3. Move your paychecks into a savings account
If you have your paychecks going into a chequing account, chances are you’re earning little to no interest. Switching your direct deposit to a high-interest savings account with extra features can offer greater returns and more flexibility when managing your day-to-day finances.
For starters, you’ll earn interest on every dollar from the moment your paycheck is added to your account. This means your hard-earned money is growing even if it’s sitting there for only a few days (because sadly, we all know that credit card payment due dates wait for no one).
4. Start grocery shopping
Eating out can be a major drain on disposable income. Not only does cooking for yourself turn out to be a healthier lifestyle choice, but it can help you save hundreds a month by cutting down your restaurant and takeout expenses.
5. Cancel subscriptions you no longer use
A monthly subscription fee of $9.99 may seem like a steal (especially when you compare it to what you used to pay for cable). But if you have a bunch of these subscriptions and don’t really use them anymore, you could be spending over $100/month for no reason.
To avoid paying for services you no longer use, keep a close eye on your credit card bills. If you catch unnecessary recurring purchases quickly, you can potentially save lots of money.
And where should you keep those savings?
EQ Bank has created one best-in-class account that has all of the features you need for your day-to-day banking, while also building your account balance with great interest rates. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account has it all – the services you need, the interest you want, and unlimited transactions* with no monthly fees.
Article submitted by EQ Bank
EQ Bank is the digital banking arm of Equitable Bank, Canada's 9th largest Schedule I Bank. EQ Bank is able to pay higher interest rates than other savings accounts because it doesn't have branches and is entirely online.