Practical Savings Tips

Practical Savings Tips for People of all Ages

Although some of us are better savers than others, most of us could still use a little help. As we grow and mature, so do our financial needs. It goes without saying then, that our savings plans should change with us.

Check out these practical savings tips for people of all ages and all stages of growth.

Tips for the Student

Besides the obvious ones – quit impulse shopping, hide the credit cards and give up (or cut back on) your bad habits (cmon… you know you have them) – here’s a list of quick tips to help you become a financially savvy student.

  • Borrow books, CDs and DVDs from the local library instead of renting or buying them
  • Buy machine washable clothing – dry-cleaning bills can be costly
  • Invite friends over and stay in more often – limit going out to once a week
  • Don’t worry about staying on top of the latest trends – your education is more important
  • Look for bargains – check out kijiji.ca and craigslist.ca for cheap or free items
  • Sign up for WagJag, Groupon and ethicalDeal – they can save you a bundle on entertainment costs

No matter what you’re studying in university, one of the biggest lessons you’ll learn in school is how to live frugally. Be wiser with your money and it’ll go much further.  Then remember to take those lessons you learned when you enter the ‘working world’ and continue to count your pennies.

Tips for the Young Family

It can be difficult for young adults to make the financial leap from life as a young couple to cash-strapped parents. The very first thing parents should do is cut spending. Think about your automated spending habits – that $3 latte you grab on the way to work every morning, for example, may no longer fit into the budget.

Here are some more helpful tips for managing the family budget:

  • Set financial goals – if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? (Set goals for individuals, as well as the entire family)
  • Track expenses – it will give you an accurate estimate of how much you spend (and what you spend on)
  • Make a plan – Make a plan for of the categories for which you plan on spending money
  • Stick to that plan – There’s no point in throwing together a plan if you don’t intend on sticking to it
  • Evaluate the plan – Is it working? Were parts unrealistic? Revise the plan, if necessary
  • Plan for emergencies – life doesn’t always carry on flawlessly
  • Start your long term savings – If you have any extra cash put it towards retirement planning or an education fund for your children.

Since your plan is for your family and not just you, it definitely needs to be more focused. Follow it carefully and you will be able to reach your financial goals.

Tips for Singles

Single men and women are part of a social structure that emphasizes spending
money, which makes saving money a challenge for many of them. These tips will help
singles to save money, while still having fun.

  • Reassess your living situation – you really don’t need much more than a small bachelor pad or a small space shared with a roommate
  • Lower monthly costs on services, including cable, internet and cell phone bills (how much are you really at home to justify the land line?)
  • Learn to cook – it will save you a ton on dining out costs
  • Entertain at home, rather than heading out to the club – going out is much more costly than bringing the party home.
  • Make a plan to pay of your debt – credit cards and students loans – as quickly as possible
  • Save on monthly gym costs by exercising at home or outdoors

Tips for Older Couples

Many of us assume that the older people get, the better they are with money. Believe it or not, older couples still fight about money.

  • Work with a financial planner to get the most out of your money and too make sure your retirement plan is solid
  • Look into life insurance
  • Be open – don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about their spending habits
  • Form a budget and stick with it
  • Downsize – the space you needed before is likely too much for you now
  • Sell items that you no longer use
  • Cut back on unnecessary monthly costs

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