8 Simple Money Moves Canadians Should Make Before the End of the Day
All right, Canada. We get it.
As a U.S.-based company, we talk about a whole lot of tools and personal finance hoopla that might not pertain to you.
But now it’s time to clean up your finances, Canadians. No, we don’t mean washing your money. (Yeah, we heard you can do that in Canada, and we’re 100% jealous.) We mean it’s time to manage it.
Before you become too overwhelmed — which happens when it comes to money — know there are a few simple, proactive steps you can take by the end of the day. This won’t mean you’re debt-free tomorrow, but it will mean you’re taking the right steps.
We have faith in our northern counterparts, so let’s get started.
1. Take a Peep at Your Credit Score for Free
Ah, yes. Checking your credit score is one of those tasks you’ve been putting off. We get it. That three-digit number can be super intimidating.
If you need, whisk up a glass of moose milk. Take a big sip…
Now, check your credit score for free through Borrowell.
Not only will you receive your credit score, you’ll also be able to study your credit report so you can see exactly which accounts you owe money on.
Pro tip: Make sure everything’s accurate! Credit bureaus make mistakes; after all, look at how many folks they’re reporting.
Borrowell also offers customized tips to help you take active steps to improve your score.
Sign up and see your score within three minutes.
2. Draw up a Budget
An integral part of managing your money is creating a budget. Ew, gross. We know. But it’s important to take a good look at what you’re spending and where.
If you’re not sure where to even start, we favor the 50/20/30 budgeting method for its simplicity. Here’s how it works
- 50% of your income goes toward essentials.
- 20% goes toward financial goals.
- 30% goes toward personal spending.
The key is to accept you can’t create the perfect budget in an hour. You’ll have to experiment to find what works best for you.
In the meantime, try to see where you can cut corners in your personal spending.
One of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you 10% cash-back on online purchases at Walmart.
Plus you’ll get a free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.
To earn your gift card:
- Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
- Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
- Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 Walmart gift card.
3. Map out Your Debts
After you check your credit report and sketch out a budget, you’ll be able to clearly see where you owe money.
Go ahead and incorporate these debt repayments into your budget and hash out a plan in as little as 13 minutes.
It’s important to take care of your debt before it spirals into never-ending fees and interest rates.
4. Set up a Stream of Passive Income
Unfortunately, “passive income” doesn’t mean you can sit back and embrace the lazy. You’re going to have to work a little at first.
If you want to fully understand the concept — and get some ideas churning — check out our guide to passive income.
We’ll go ahead and highlight one of our favorites: Airbnb.
If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.
Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.
Here are a few tips:
- Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events.
- Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
- Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.
(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)
5. Find a Flexible Source of Extra Income
If you need a more immediate source of income, consider searching for a flexible work-from-home job.
We put together a list of eight job-search websites that can help you find the perfect work-from-home opportunity in Canada.
(And, yes. Although work-from-home jobs are remote, they do have some location requirements.)
6. Start Building an Emergency Fund
Once you’re feeling more stable, focus on building an emergency (or rainy day) fund.
One of the best ways to do this is to trick yourself into saving. You can set your finances to autopilot by having a portion of your paycheck automatically deposit into your savings account or by setting up an automated investing app, like Mylo.
You just might be surprised by how quickly the change stacks up!
7. Dig up Extra Money
OK, we don’t mean go out to Prince Edward Island and start digging. We mean take a good hard look at your spending and see where you can find some savings.
The process will become easier when you map out a budget. We’ve found all those cringeworthy expenses bubble up when you’re forced to face them.
8. Think About Retirement
Your final step today is to study up on retirement — even if you’re 20 years old. The earlier you strike up a retirement savings account, the better.
Start by figuring out just how much you should be saving each month. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has some great resources for retirement planning.
Then, look into different types of investments — like stocks, mutual funds and savings bonds. The FCA has your back there, too.
You make it to the bottom of your moose milk? Don’t worry. You’ve got this. Just remember to take it day by day, penny by penny.
We’ve got faith in ya, Canada!
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.