Getting More Value For Your Money

opinionandcommentBy Steve Marks

December 6th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When you’re young, you have this idea that once you’ve got the job you want, you’ll be financially stable. If you’re lucky to earn more money than you need, you’ll never have to worry about finances ever again.

Unexpected expensesWhat we don’t realize is that the more money we get, the more we spend. And, perhaps more poignantly, we tend to spend our entire salaries. Which means that when an unexpected expense comes along, we have to dig deep, take out loans, or use a lot of credit.

But if you’re just managing to live on what you’re earning, what’s the solution? A promotion or raise might be the ideal scenario, but chances are you have no control over that. Your income is going to stay the same, and so are your expenses.

There are some very useful ways to get more from your money. If you do the following, you might find yourself in less debt, or even with a bit of extra cash at the end of the month which you can save.

1. Shop online

There are many reasons people still don’t shop online. You may be wary about buying fresh groceries that you can’t pick out yourself. You may enjoy the process of shopping, using it as a way to take some time out of work in the office or at home. You may simply not want to change what you’ve been doing for so many years.

Shopping on lineHowever, there is one very good reason to shop online that should change your mind. You end up saving money. This is, for the most part, for two reasons. The first is that you’re not going to be tempted by things you don’t need while walking down the aisles. The second is that you can compare prices easily, without having to do more work than most of us are ready to do at the store.

Better shopping habits are one of the best ways to make the most out of your money, and online shopping makes it much easier.

2. Take advantage of credit card deals

If you’re stuck with credit card debt, it might feel like you’ve got an endless mountain to climb. You keep paying money into your credit card and it keeps getting eaten up by interest. However, if you take advantage of credit card deals, you can go a long way towards wiping out that debt.

Some of the best credit cards in Canada will take on your debt at 0% interest for the first year. This provides a great opportunity to make your payments actually count. Also, look out for rewards deals which, if you make good use of them, will actually save you significant cash.

3. Use budgeting apps

Budgeting is incredibly important, as you need to be able to see how much you’re spending against how much you’re earning if you want to change your habits. Many of us aren’t cut out for budgeting, however, and do a half-hearted job of it at best.

Telling money where to goThe good news is that budgeting apps now do the hard work for you. They categorize your transactions, showing you exactly what you spend on, making it easier to figure out what you can cut down on.

Get budgeting, and you’ll soon find you may not need to use your whole salary every month.

Steve Marks is a finance consultant who focuses on the development of best credit management practices for young people.

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