Spenders: Learn to (finally!) manage your money


Getting a better handle on your finances will help you reach your goals faster.

Yann Fortier 

We could lecture you about retirement, RRSPs and TFSAs, with the same tone your dentist uses when they tell you how important it is to floss. Being a bit of a spender isn't so bad, though--as long as you own it and know how to take advantage of the right opportunities. 

Advice for your personality  
Before thinking about money, think about your goals and dreams. From there, you'll have a more concrete reason to save. Saving will become a stimulating challenge for you, a kind of game where, instead of collecting points, you'll accumulate dollars!

Remember, it's not how much you save, but how often. If saving for your retirement 20 or 30 years from now feels as far away as Mars, set short- or medium-term goals, like buying a car or condo or spending a year in Australia. 

Take advantage of your natural style 
Leverage your personality type to instantly save. The Hop 'n S@ve tool is usually less than 18 inches away (unless you're shunning your smartphone). No password needed--just click and save wherever and whenever you want, like when you're waiting in line for your coffee.

Want to take it even further? Set up an automatic savings program; every week a certain amount goes into a "separate" account dedicated to your specific savings goal, like "Car," "Iceland," or "Baby nursery." If you deposit $20 a week in this account, you'll have $1,040 a year from now. That's $10,400 in 10 years, not including interest! Some people prefer to calculate their deposit as a percentage, e.g., 5% or 10% of their pay that goes into a savings account.

One more tip: create a budget. We hear it all the time, but tools like My Budget help you identify and track income and expenses. Getting a better handle on your finances will help you reach your goals faster. Having a clear strategy and objectives will keep you on track!

Another good idea: manage your stress and risk of error by consolidating your accounts and finances in the same place

Too good to be true? 
It's not always rainbows and unicorns. You need to make some small sacrifices to fully appreciate the rewards. So whether it's a colourful tropical cocktail or a cottage on the lake for the weekend, the question you need to ask yourself is: do you really need it?

Most importantly, avoid accumulating debt, make payments on time and be as disciplined as you should about going to the gym. Because piling on debt will take you further from your goals. And, having a little something to fall back on will allow you to cover any unexpected expenses that arise. 

Finally, speak to an advisor. It's free and generally enjoyable, since you're talking about your goals and dreams, in order to establish strategies that will allow you to get the most out of life--and your money. 

Saving as a spender is smart for 2 reasons: every dollar you earn goes further. At the same time, you'll start to develop good habits, without changing your lifestyle too much. When you realize the actual impact, you'll get into the swing of it. Because enjoying life also means thinking about tomorrow!


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