Good morning everyone! It’s Jennifer here from Team Jilly. I am so excited to share with you today some of my tips and tricks for helping you manage your money!
1. Create a budget
It can be overwhelming losing a job or owning a business that slows down. To help understand where you stand financially, create a budget. You can use apps such as Mint or YNAB or you can create a budget using excel. If possible, have a goal to save an emergency fund that can cover 2-6 months of minimum expenditures.
2. Consider your retirement savings and investments
Assess if you have cash flow to continue investing in your RRSP and TFSA to reach your long-term goals. The markets have been volatile in response to COVID-19 and you may be asking “are you sure I should be investing now?”. In my opinion, YES. If you have a monthly contribution to your RRSP or TFSA try to continue to make those contributions if you have the cash flow, job stability, and savings to do so. By investing over time, you are smoothing out the risk and taking out the guessing game of timing the market.
3. File your taxes
The government of Canada has granted extensions for tax return filings. If you are expecting a refund file now to receive it. If you have the time now, I recommend filing as per regular deadlines so you can budget any taxes you do owe. Even though extensions have been granted, if you have the cash flow and savings available, I recommend paying on time to allow our government to support those in need and to better manage your own cash flow.
2020 Tax tip – if you are working from home ask your employer to complete a T2200 so you can deduct a portion of your at-home office costs (cell phone, internet, etc if required as part of your work).
4. Utilize financial support if needed
See some of the support the government of Canada is providing during this difficult time here. In addition, some banks are offering mortgage payment deferrals. In this arrangement, interest will be accrued but the payments are deferred to the end of your mortgage term.
5. Meal plan before shopping
We are all trying to limit the number of times we have to go in public so maybe try to buy enough food to last longer. To save money and resources, meal plan before shopping (or online shopping) to ensure you have a plan to use all food purchased and reduce waste. Check out how much freezer and fridge room you have first and only allow yourself to buy a couple of splurge items! Okay to be honest…. I purchased fruit by the foot last time I was at Costco…yes the family pack size…
6. Reduce Discretionary Spending
Pull out your summer and spring clothes that you may have packed away for the winter. Try on your favourite items to fall back in love with the items you do have. Try to find a couple of items you haven’t worn and make a new outfit that you plan on wearing, even just around the house or to your next conference call!
After going through your spring and summer items, pick one piece of clothing or an accessory missing from your wardrobe that you can purchase.
Review any payments you are making on a regular basis. Are you using your gym membership? Is your phone or internet carrier offering better-priced plans? How was your energy consumption this year versus last year, what changes can you make to reduce your heating or cooling bill? Do you need Crave, Netflix, and DisneyPlus all the time? Pick one streaming service to subscribe to each month.
Use what you have
Instead of going out to buy your regular drink of choice have a date night in and use some of the beverages you might already have! Make a cocktail or try that bottle of wine gifted to you that you were saving!
Coupons and deals!!
- If you order food for take-out, see what kind of deals you can get! When ordering pizza always download the App – they often have online specials (Papa Johns, Dominos, Pizza Hut)
- If you live in the Okanagan, download the Get in the Loop App to check out local deals
- If you haven’t used an online delivery App get one of your friends to send you a link for a discount – they will likely get a discount on their next order too!
- Install Honey.com App on your browser, it will search for any coupons that apply to your online purchases
When you want to purchase anything over a certain threshold (let’s say that is $100), almost go through with the purchase then stop. For example, if you are shopping online, add it to your cart, proceed to check out so you can see the total of your purchase after taxes and shipping. Then exit the webpage….
You probably got all of the satisfaction of online shopping without actually spending money. Plus, you didn’t even have to leave your bed to get your credit card information!
If tomorrow you really do need that item, you will come back and complete your purchase – as a bonus, sometimes if you leave your cart full you’ll get an email with an extra discount.
There you have it, all of my tips and tricks for helping you manage your money! Let me know in the comments below if any of these tips worked for you.