How to manage finances in Canada
Just like any other part of the world, Canada is home to many people who struggle with personal finances. Whether it is money management concerning their hobbies, paying off Canadian finance debt, or even just trying to build up personal finance Canadian families can live off if something goes wrong; there will always be more to learn.
What are the best ways to try and improve your Canadian finance habits, and how can you make money management easier when you are already trying so hard to try and save? Here are some tips to make sure that you are not doomed to fail the moment you start.
Improving your Finances
If you want to save money, you need to be making money, which means that you will have to aim in the right direction. The right choices at the right time can give you short-term gains, but you should ideally be aiming for constant improvement, or at least setting expectations and creating plans that you can follow.
- Set Direct Goals
What are you aiming to achieve this year? If you are stuck with frugal living, you might want to try and bring in enough money to have easier access to the things you really need. If your situation is already stable, you might instead aim to improve certain parts of your personal finances or put more money towards long-term dreams. It could even be something as close as paying off a certain loan before the end of the year, such as one that you used to buy your car.
Break down your financial goals and figure out how that can mesh with the normal Canadian finance systems or your existing income stream. Are there things you could be doing daily? Weekly? Monthly? Is there anything that you would like to do by the end of the year, but not necessarily by a set date? If you can define a good timeframe for certain things, you at least know where you should be aiming or what kind of actions you might end up needing to take.
If you aren’t a disciplined person, this can seem even more difficult, but don’t worry! There are easy ways to motivate yourself, especially if you work it into your regular schedule. For example, maybe you skip getting a coffee in the morning every Thursday and Friday – it is not much, but it adds up, especially over the course of a year.
- Pursue More Income
Not happy with what you are making? You can always earn a little more if you have some spare time! Regardless of your age, there are usually easy ways to make a small trickle of extra funds without having to take on a full second job: renting out spare rooms, becoming a driver for a car-based business, making a blog with advertising systems built into it, or even just taking on a small freelance role like proofreading.
There will always be times where you could stand to earn a little more, especially if you are saving up for a short-term goal like a replacement computer or a major upgrade to your car, so use whatever skills you have to bump up your income ever so slightly. There are more ways to sell your skills and services online now than there ever have been before, and thousands of untapped markets still exist online.
Even better, since they aren’t like normal jobs, you can usually walk away at any time if it becomes too much for you. There isn’t always a contract or an obligation to take on new customers, so you can flip back and forth depending on your current situation.
- Fix Your Expenses
Money coming in just as important as money going out. If you aren’t using a paid service, you should cut it, especially if it is taking $10 or more from your account per month. That is over $120 per year for effectively nothing, and there are usually cheaper ways to get the handful of things you are still paying for. Even just shopping smart or going to cheaper stores can make a big impact, as can reducing the amount of electricity or water you are using.
It also helps to eat out less and make your meals more efficiently. It isn't that hard to make a decent meal for under $5, less if it is just meant to be a snack in the middle of the day, and you can save eating out for times where it is really necessary, or you have earned a break.
Once your finances are starting to shape up, you will want to try and keep it that way – especially considering that you never know what life will be hiding just around the corner. Get yourself into certain habits and build routines that will help you keep the money you are saving, and you will see excellent long-term results.
Learn DIY skills, even if they aren't immediately useful. For example, figuring out how to replace a light switch on your own or cut your own hair is a huge time-saver, but it also stops you from having to pay for a professional. There will always be things that you can't do, but the more you educate yourself on tasks that will probably turn up again, the easier it becomes to deal with them.
This doesn't just extend to physical things, too. Learning new math skills or becoming better at reading certain legal documents might be boring, but you never know when it can help you get a better understanding of whatever financial changes you end up stumbling into. The same can be said for skills like typing quickly, having a professional 'phone voice,' or even just committing certain important details about your financial situation to memory.
- Consider Investing
Investing isn't for everybody. It can be a risky form of money management, and many people lose their personal finances by dumping it all into a volatile company. However, it can sometimes help to save up a little bit and then try a few safe investments, even if you sell off the stock soon afterward – you might come away with a few extra dollars for essentially no work. It is not easy to learn, but it can be a great way to bump up your bank account and look like a professional if you have the time.
You don’t need human help to invest, either – “Robo-advisor” systems are ideal for people who don’t know much about the investment world but want to give it a try, taking a small commission in return for offering near-flawless advice about where to invest, when it might be a good time to sell stocks, or even just making sure that you are not investing more than you can afford.
From that point onward, what you do is up to you – everybody lives their lives differently, so your finances are your own to control.
If you want more advice on anything in this article, from investments to simple money-saving measures, then a site like Savvy New Canadians is a perfect place to start. It is accessible, straightforward, and contains a whole slew of content that will give you great ideas on how to turn your personal finances around.