Money spotlight: Time to get serious about saving


According to a recent survey, only 36% of Canadians are setting aside money for an emergency fund. Which got us wondering: what are some of the best ways to save – even just a little bit – for something unforeseen?

Here are a few easy ways to build up your savings:

  1. Delay gratification: Ever been in a store or online and just had to buy something? When that happens, step away, give it two weeks and see if you still have the urge. Very often, if you wait, the moment will pass and you’ll save on an unnecessary purchase.
  2. List it: If you have a habit of falling into temptation at the supermarket, make a list before you go and stick with it. Or, give yourself a $5 buffer for a treat you really can’t say no to.
  3. Eat in: If you live in an area with a lot of great places to eat, you may be finding yourself making a lot of excuses for not wanting to cook. That’s fine once in a while but eating out can get expensive – particularly when you add a tip as well as gas to get you there and parking.
  4. Have a heart to heart with your credit card company: If you pay too much interest on your credit cards – and frankly, any interest at all is too much – it’s time to give them a call and ask to negotiate your interest rate. You may also want to consider transferring your balance to a balance transfer credit card, which cuts out interest on monthly payments so your entire monthly payment goes toward paying down the balance.
  5. Spring clean no matter if it’s spring or not: Invade your closets, drawers and basement storage. Anything you don’t wear, don’t use or forget you had should get listed on Craigslist, eBay or letgo – or donate it. If you’re old school, have a garage or yard sale. Then take the proceeds and pay down any credit card balance you have.
  6. Automatic savings: If your pay check is deposited directly into your bank account, ask your bank to transfer a set amount to a dedicated savings account. Don’t touch it unless it’s urgent.
  7. Take the Shopper’s Voice survey: We don’t often plug ourselves on the Shop Talk blog but we’re making an exception here. If you’re not a member or you haven’t taken our survey in a while, join and we’ll send you coupons, samples, and free stuff.

What are your most effective ways to save? Share your tips with the Shop Talk Blog community forum!


Did you know: Start early but start anyway

If you set aside $20 a week from age 22 to 67, you’ll save more than $330,000. Even if you start late, you can still save a lot – so get to it! (Source)

24 thoughts on “Money spotlight: Time to get serious about saving

  1. When using coupons, save the money until the end of the year & use it to pay down credit or other debt. You can average $400 in a year

  2. Saving money is twice as hard when ur a single mom with 2 kids our favorite things are free activities there should be local ones in ur area.. it can even go as far as taking kids to park …if u find urself forever going out find something even low budget to have fun and learn dollars store are great!!!

    1. Save money if you have a swiffer. An old facecloth takes the place of the expensive cloths and can be washed and reused instead saving a lot of money.
      You can also use them for mopping up the floor spraying cleaner on the floor.

  3. Great tips on saving money, the most interesting on is talking to credit card company on having interest drop and put towards paying down debt

  4. before buying new items, discard or give it to someone ,which is a worth for that person. always keep in mind the space for that item before buying.

  5. I have always made a budget and pretty well stuck to it. Keep track of all bills and dates due and set against pay dates. Never let them go more than 85% of income cause then you are stuck when emergency happens. ALWAYS pay off all credit cards and bills in full. Either wise do not use credit cards and only buy with cash.

  6. I love coupons and loyalty rewards programs . Free/cheap meals and email deals are better ways to treat yourself without feeling guilty about it.

  7. A couple of years ago, I started saving $1.00 the first week, and increased it $1.00 every week for the 52 weeks. ( at the end, my weekly payment was 52 dollars. I was surprised at having over $1000 which I used to help my grandchild in secondary school…without even missing it.

  8. Surprisingly how many people do not recycle their bottles. When I was in dire need of cash due to family health issues, I had friends save their bottles for me. Most months I would get approximately $300. I was not embarrassed to pick up bottles in trash cans or wherever. Also put all my change in a piggy bank; before moving I had $635. My Dad comment “No sale is a sale if you don’t need it” . Makes sense. My husband would say I was so cheap, I squeezed when I walked. Important lessons learnt as a child I am so grateful for.

  9. Make weekly meal plan. Then make a shopping list and stick to it. This way it is easier to s
    Ok when you know what you are cooking. You use the things you buy because they are part of a meal plan, rather than what you think you need.
    Really does not take long. And the savings are substantial, as are the health benefits

  10. I’ve had lots of experience and am passionate about changing consumer attitudes (NOT leaving a large carbon footprint (have had half dozen recycling bins in closet for 2 decades!) and have dramatically reduced phosphate use for home and personal care (except for dishwasher — ONLY AFTER BIG, GROUP MEALS, NOW!); so I thought I may afford you some balance in your response demographic: why not have an ‘old guy who thinks young and still has most all his own teeth AND hair that would rather make a little money during ‘down time’ than watch TV.

  11. Always easier to keep what money you have than to make more. Translate purchases into how many hours they take at your wage rate. You will quickly decide what you really “need”.

  12. Hi! New to this forum. Thought this tip may help with saving a few $$ for some. Some banks will round up your debit purchases to the next dollar. i.e. you purchase groceries for 68.40 and will round it up to 69.00 and $0.60 will go into a savings acct. Same thing as going home and trying to put that same .60 cents in your piggy bank. Think about all of the debit purchases you make in the run of a year… soon adds up after a while! Just a thought.

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