Do you have trouble saving money? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Canadians are struggling, with a shocking 47% of us fighting to cover the cost of living.
If you’re wondering how to save money in Canada, then you’re in the right place.
Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to penny-pinch and live cheaply, or miss out on life’s experiences. Below, I’ll share over a hundred tips and tricks that you can start saving money and living your best life.
Get Into A Saving Mindset
People can get stuck in the mindset that saving money limits their freedom and fun. But I’ve found this is the opposite.
Saving money has provided me with the freedom to work and travel anywhere and take chances with my career.
You’ll have to get into the right mindset to succeed at saving. Here are some mental tricks that I’ve found to help me out with this:
- Ask yourself this one question before buying something expensive: Will this purchase improve my life in the long term? This tip alone has helped me drastically cut down unnecessary spending. Often in the past, I bought things that didn’t make me happy, which kept me from meeting my financial goals. It made me sit down and come up with a list of things I wanted to spend on that made me feel fulfilled, such as travel, relationships, health, career advancement, and hobbies.
- $100 rule: If I’m spending more than $100 on something, I will do proper online research on the product. I make sure it’s not an impulse buy that I will not regret later. This is especially true if I’m spending more than a few hundred dollars.
- Think about spending your money as time: Calculate your real per-hour earnings. For example, you make $30 an hour, but after tax, it’s likely closer to $22/hour. You might think twice about impulse buying a $100 online item if you realize it will take over four hours of grinding away at work to afford it.
- Knowing that money saved today will multiply with time: $100 saved then invested today at a 7% rate of return per year will be worth almost double that amount in ten years. It will make you more likely to save if you think about this.
- Track your spending: Countless research has shown that if you track your expenses, you will become a better saver. I like to use an Excel spreadsheet at Squawkfox, or you can also use a mobile app like Mint.
How Much Should You Save?
Goal setting is crucial to saving. If you don’t have savings goals to aim for, you’ll rarely hit them. Here are some possible goals you can set for saving:
- Pay off high-interest debts: This should be your saving priority number one if you have any credit card balance or debt.
- Emergency fund: If the 2020 pandemic has taught us anything, having an emergency stash in a savings account is of utmost importance. Aim to save three to six months of living expenses.
- Use a rule of thumb: The 50/30/20 rule is popular, where you spend 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and save 20% of your income.
- Percentage of income: Set savings goals as a certain percentage of your income, starting at 10% and increase that amount as you earn more money.
- For a large purchase: You can set a savings goal for a large purchase like a down payment on a house, wedding, or vacation.
- Saving for retirement age goal: For the long-term planners out there, you can work out a retirement age goal and see how much you’ll have to save each year to hit this goal. The 4% withdrawal rule is an excellent goal to aim for.
How To Save Money In Canada: 105 Ways
Aside from opening a savings account, there are so many different ways to save money. I’ve split it up into different categories for you:
Save On The “Big 3” Expenses
The three biggest expenses you can have are on your housing, transportation, and food. If you can start saving money in these areas, you’ll have a lot more financial breathing room.
1. Negotiate when re-signing a lease: If you have a good relationship with your landlord, try to ask for a discount the next time your lease is up for renewal. This is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to save money.
2. Take your time and shop around: Make a list of at least four or five different units to take a look at, and spend some time inside each of them.
3. Get a roommate: Your rental costs will decrease by a lot if you have a roommate to split all the expenses with.
4. Live further from the city centre: Downtown rent is usually much more expensive than suburbs, so consider moving outside of the city centre.
5. Watch out for hidden costs: See what utilities are covered and if there are any move-in fees for booking an elevator if it’s an apartment.
6. Look for a new place in the wintertime: People hate moving in the cold winter, so demand will be a lot lower. It’s easy to find great bargains during this time.
7. Sublet your place: Going away for more than a week? Consider subletting your place while you’re gone to cover some of your costs. Not only is this one of the easiest ways to save money, but it can also help you earn money as well.
8. Negotiate better mortgage rates: Look beyond big bank mortgage rates, which are usually high. Contact multiple mortgage brokers and get the best prices. They have access to hundreds of lenders, much more than your average banker. They also work on commission, so they are motivated to get you the best deal.
9. Put down 20% to save CMHC insurance: If you put down over a 20% down payment, you won’t have to pay CMHC insurance.
10. Learn to use Airbnb: Turn your home into an income generator when you’re gone on vacation or even on short weekend trips.
11. Home renovations – Be wary of home renovations; they can end up costing way more than budgeted. Renovations usually don’t increase the value of your house by what you paid for it, so it’s not a great investment most of the time.
12. Start a business: You can write off a portion of your property tax, insurance, and utilities if you have a home office that you use to generate income.
13. Save on utilities: Go green by buying energy-efficient appliances. Rework your insulation, clean your filters, and change your light bulbs to more efficient ones.
14. Negotiate insurance: If you live in a privatized insurance province, negotiating a better insurance rate is one of the best ways to save money on your car ownership costs. There’s a big difference in car insurance prices with each company and savings could be significant.
15. Become a One-Vehicle Family: If you have two vehicles in your household, switching to one can be a fantastic way to save money. You can alternate on a daily or weekly basis on who takes the car to work. The other person can use public transport or carpool on their off day.
16. Buy used, and look for good deals: The average new car loses 20-25% of its value in the first year alone. Look at buying 2-5 years old, which I think is the sweet spot for used vehicles.
17. Avoid buying premium fuel cars: Premium fuel is super pricey now! If your car needs premium fuel, your costs will be much higher to operate the vehicle.
18. Beware of upsells: Be wary of when you are going to talk to the “finance manager” at a car dealership. They will try to upsell you on overpriced warranties and add-ons that are mostly unnecessary.
19. Calculate your cost per kilometre of driving your vehicle: For example, in BC if you own a used SUV, it would cost around 63 cents per kilometre driven, with fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs factored in. If you’re making a 30-kilometre round trip for a total of 60 kilometres, that trip is actually costing you around $37.80. You can check your vehicle cost per kilometre using this estimator tool.
20. Get active: If it’s not too cold out, consider getting active by walking, biking, skateboarding, or running. Not only is it free, but you’ll get in shape and see more of the city
21. Ease up on your lead foot: Avoid fast starts off red lights and excessive speeding to minimize your fuel usage. It could cut your fuel costs by up to 30%.
22. Buy smaller: Smaller cars usually mean it will cost less, consume less gas, and are less expensive to maintain. Plus, it’s easier to park!
23. Public transportation: Get to know the various forms of public transportation in your city. During rush hour in several cities, it can be even faster than taking a car.
24. Don’t buy a vehicle at all: In today’s busy world, many people choose not to have a car at all. You can use rideshares like Uber and Car2go as a substitute for owning a vehicle without missing a beat.
25. Electric for the win: Not only is it a cheap way to get around, but it’s super fun to try on a nice day. Electric scooters, longboards, and unicycles have been growing in popularity around the nation.
26. Learn to maintain your car by yourself: Be able to do minor routine work like oil and filter changes, and you can save on regular maintenance costs.
27. Meal prep – If you don’t mind cooking, meal prepping is one of the easiest ways to save money on food throughout the week. Prep meals for a few days at a time, or even longer if you decide to freeze them. This will make it super convenient to grab food and go. You will save money and probably eat way healthier also!
28. Use Costco or a similar bulk grocery store: Costco is hands down the cheapest way to get ingredients for food. If you hate cooking, there are many fantastic pre-made meals you can buy at Costco for very cheap.
29. Figure out your per-meal costs: Making your own food using ingredients from a grocery store or Costco should cost about $2-5 a meal on average. At a restaurant, with taxes and tip for lunch or dinner is at least $18-20 these days. Fast food is around $7-12 a meal now. Cut your food costs by making your own meals.
30. Replace the social aspect of eating at a restaurant: Eating out is great because of the socializing you do with loved ones. You can host barbecues or potlucks at your place instead of going out to eat, save on money costs, and still socialize.
31. Have fun cooking: Look up new fun recipes to make, take a cooking class, cook with a partner or host cook-offs with friends.
32. Invest in good Tupperware: If you’re going to be preparing more food for takeaway lunches and fast breakfasts, have proper containers ready for you to use.
33. Go to expensive restaurants for special occasions only: Going to a restaurant loses its appeal if you’re doing it every day. Try saving expensive restaurants for special times.
Related Reading: Average Cost Of Food For One Person In Canada
Ways To Save Money On Your Lifestyle
From clothing and fitness, here are some simple, straightforward ways to save money on your lifestyle costs.
34. Clothing: Canadians spend somewhere between 2.5% and 4% of their income on clothing on average. Learn to mend and sew so that your old clothes will serve you longer. Buy rugged clothing items, or buy second-hand and hit garage sales and thrift stores. Trade your expensive clothes at consignment stores. Buy when clothes are on sale and out of season
35. Accessories: Buy a few suitable quality accessories that last longer. Buying simple jewelry items and sturdy handbags that can go with most of your outfits and stand the test of time. If you wear a watch, invest in a rugged one that can weather the times with you.
36. Fitness: The cheapest gyms can cost you about $10 a month and about $40-$50 at the time of initiation. High-end gyms can be anywhere from $50 a month to hundreds. Better yet, set up a home gym from used items on Craigslist or Kijiji for a few hundred dollars.
37. Cut the cord: You can save $25 to $70 a month easily by getting rid of cable. Netflix and Youtube are all I watch now, so it’s only $10 a month I spend on media.
38. Bank fees: Are you tired of spending money on banking fees? Choosing a no-fee online bank such as Tangerine could save you hundreds of dollars every year in fees, all while giving you the same features a bank would.
39. Credit card choice: If you’re a travel lover like me, you’ll want to choose an excellent travel credit card that will give you access to lounges and travel points. There are also many no-fee credit cards and cash-back credit cards for those who don’t specifically like to travel.
Related Reading: 23 Frugal Living Canada Tips
Ways To Save Money on Groceries in Canada
An average Canadian family spends around $10,000 a year on groceries. Let’s see some ways to save money and reduce that amount.
40. Collect/Request Coupons: Subscribe for the online newsletter of the grocers/marts you frequently visit. Most grocery stores now accept mobile coupons that you can redeem every time you spend money. You can also find coupons and promo codes on some websites if you prefer to shop online.
41. Price Matching: It’s easy to save about 10% of your grocery expenses by price-matching and looking for retail stores that are selling the same items at a lesser price. Find a flyer of the competitor’s prices. There are also apps that offer price comparisons for different retailers in your area.
42. Grocery List: A study revealed just how much you could overspend if you don’t prepare a grocery list: up to 23%. If you know what you need to buy, you won’t be tempted to browse and to impulse spend.
43. Leave Kids At Home: Anyone with kids will tell you that it’s tough bringing them to the grocery store. However, it can also result in you spending money you don’t have. Studies have shown that you can spend anywhere from 10% to 40% extra if your kids tag along since they can have a hard time exercising self-control.
44. Hunt Down the Cheapest Grocery Store: Discounted or cheaper grocery stores can help you cut your bill by about 10% on every grocery trip as compared to the more luxury brands. Alternatively, shop at grocery stores that offer loyalty programs, so you can save even more.
45. Shop on A Full Stomach: Have you ever heard the phrase your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well, that applies to when you’re grocery shopping also. You are much less likely to impulse buy junk food if you shop on a full stomach.
46. Avoid Pre-Packaged Food: While pre-packaged food may be a more convenient option, if you instead buy raw or unprocessed food items, you can save up to 25% to 40% of the cost. So if you spend $4,000 a year on pre-packaged groceries, you could save about $1,000 to $1,600.
47. Choose Generic Brands: You will be able to find a lot of local and generic brands that are just as good in quality as the named brands, such as Kirkland at Costco or President’s Choice at Superstore. They will be much cheaper than the heavily marketed name brands.
48. Add more (Seasonal) Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet: Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often quite cheap, so look up recipes that have it as the main ingredient.
49. Stock Up On Sales: Stock up some of the most needed items at a lower price, and save on later grocery runs as well. Frozen and canned food items will last the longest.
50. Avoid Impulse Purchases: US citizens cough up about $5,400 in impulse purchases in a year. Assuming that Canada’s situation is relatively similar and about 20% of these purchases happen when you are out grocery shopping, you can save about $1,000 by not giving in to your shopaholic impulses.
51. Go Green: Most places charge for plastic bags now. Save money by bringing your own grocery bags, and save the environment also!
52. Buy in Bulk: Buying in bulk can help you save a lot of money in the long run. For one, it will cut down on the number of grocery runs, saving you precious time and fuel. Secondly, buying in bulk is usually more cost-effective per unit of what you’re buying. My personal favourite for bulk buys is Costco.
53. Avoid Soft Drinks: Over half of Canadians spend anywhere between $1 and $15 a month on soft drinks. Ideally, you can cut that out entirely and increase your water intake.
54. Earn Cash and Scan Groceries: Cashback apps offer a great way to earn back money while buying stuff that you need anyway. You are effectively getting a discount on your grocery item when you get the cashback.
Related Reading: 31 Enjoyable Ways to Save Money on Groceries in Canada (2023)
Ways To Save Money on Taxes in Canada
Here are some lesser-known tax deductions that Canadians can make to save money. If you qualify, make sure you get these in when filing your taxes!
55. Save Money On Child Care Expenses: As a parent, you can deduct up to $8,000 a year for a child aged seven or younger. For a child between seven and sixteen, you can deduct $5,000/year. Claim expenses like caretaker, nanny, daycare, nursery, boarding school, and more.
56. Spousal RRSP Contributions: If you find yourself in a higher tax bracket than your spouse, consider contributing to a spousal RRSP. Your contributions won’t affect the available contribution room your spouse or common-law partner has.
57. Medical Expenses: Claim uncovered medical expenses on your tax returns to lighten up your tax bill. Claim expenses like insulin, hearing aids, prosthetics, insulin pens, eyeglasses, contact lenses, vitamins, and more. These may result in a larger tax refund.
58. Split Your CPP Pension: A CPP pension split only makes sense when you are 60 or older, and the income and tax bracket of one spouse is higher than the other. You can split your CPP pension by up to 50% with your spouse. The max split amount depends on how long you’ve lived together.
59. Transfer Tax Credits To Your Spouse: Certain federal tax credits can be transferred between spouses. If one spouse has excess tax credits available, they can transfer the credits to their partner.
Some examples of transferable tax credits include education, tuition, pension amount, disability amount, age amount, and caregiver amount.
60. Home Office Tax Credit: For self-employed individuals, home office expenses can be a big tax deduction at the end of the year. Claim the portion of your home used for your home office or business for expenses such as rent, utilities, property taxes, and more.
61. Employ In-House: Hiring your child and spouse can lower your overall tax obligation, as you can write off the salary of your employees. Be warned that this deduction is something that the CRA monitors closely, so it must be a real position that adds value to the company.
62. Incorporate: Once your business income grows beyond a certain point, it makes sense to get incorporated. You can defer your taxes at the lower business tax rate and pay yourself as needed with dividends.
Do careful calculations, though. If the cost of incorporating your small business outweighs the tax break you will get, it doesn’t make financial sense to do so.
Related Reading: 30 Practical Tips on How to Pay Less Tax in Canada
Ways To Save Money on Investing in Canada
Ok, so you’ve saved some money. Now what? It is essential to save money, but you have to know how to put your money to work. Here are a few of my favourite ways:
63. High-Interest Savings Account (online): When in doubt or for any short-term savings, save your money with an online high-interest savings account. HISAs provide the ultimate flexibility, and online banks can provide much higher interest rates than your average bank.
A high-interest savings account may offer up to 200x (or greater) APY on your savings than a traditional savings account.
I use EQ Bank to hold my emergency funds and short-term purchases, which has a very high-interest savings rate of 2.50% (Open a free EQ Bank account here)
64. Online brokers (DIY Investing): For the cheapest way to invest in ETFs and stocks, consider putting that hard-earned money to work with an online broker. Note that you will have to do your research and get no advice with this approach. I use Questrade to make all my ETF trades since the purchases are free.
65. Robo-advisors: If you want to invest in ETFs but also need some advice and help in coming up with your asset allocation, turn to robo-advisors, a technology solution to your investing needs. Wealthsimple and Questwealth are my top two picks for the best robo-advisors in Canada.
66. Real estate: Canadians love real estate, so consider putting your money into a property. Don’t just limit yourself to Canada, though; in today’s connected world, you can invest in many places around the world. Read more about the best Canadian real estate investment options here.
Cut Subscriptions With Free Streaming TV In Canada
Cable and satellite TV are more expensive than ever and popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Prime Video have been steadily increasing their prices. The good news is that there are plenty of free streaming platforms you can use for entertainment instead!
67. Unwind and Relax With Pluto TV: Pluto TV is a lot like Netflix, except it’s 100% free. That’s right – there are no strings attached (except for paid ads). You don’t even need to give them your email or sign up for a free account. They have a huge library of free movies and hit TV shows as well. This is a great way to save money without eliminating your nightly entertainment.
68. Binge Your Favorite Anime With Crunchyroll: Crunchyroll is your source for all things anime, and the streaming platform has a massive amount of anime series and movies as well as free manga. They offer a free membership, if you don’t mind watching a few ads here and there.
69. YouTube Is Better Than Most TV: These days, I spend more time on YouTube than I do watching movies. Not only is there plenty of free entertainment and music, but there’s a lot of great educational content to enrich your mind. Everything is free too.
70. Watch Canadian Soaps With CBC Gem: CBC is one of the most popular channels in Canada. You don’t need cable to watch CBC, though. Instead, you can visit their online streaming platform, CBC Gem, to catch up on popular series and daily news.
71. Watch HGTV For Free: Looking for some inspiration? Why not head on over to HGTV’s site and do some virtual tours of million-dollar mansions and home renovations? There’s a lot of free DIY home and garden shows that will inspire you to make frugal improvements in your own home as well.
72. Watch CTV For Free: CTV is very similar to CBC, but they offer different titles, so it’s a good way to add some variety to your entertainment routine. You can catch up on your favorite dramas, daily news, and even watch a few ad-supported movies on their free website.
73. Get The Latest Financial News With Bloomberg BNN: Bloomberg is one of the most trusted names in finance, and their online streaming site keeps you updated on all the latest business and finance-related news. All of the content is 100% free and can help improve your financial literacy.
74. Explore New Ideas With Vice TV: Vice TV offers lots of free interviews, full episodes, snippets, and world news on their website. They have some really interesting content that includes exposés, travel vlogs, documentaries, and more.
75. Stay Up-To-Date With Politics With CPAC’s Free Streaming: CPAC offers unbiased political updates and live streaming of house and senate meetings. Everything on their website can be streamed for free, so it’s a great way to stay on top of politics without listening to biased commentary.
76. Stream TV Series With Tubi: Tubi is very similar to Pluto TV, but offers some different titles, so you can add some variety to your life. They offer hundreds of movies, documentaries, and TV episodes, all supported by commercials and ads. It’s like having free cable TV.
Related Reading: 30 Free Streaming TV In Canada Services (June 2023)
The days of cutting coupons out of newspapers and bringing a giant binder to the checkout register are long past. Today, you can quickly scan coupons and earn cashback rewards with free-to-use couponing apps.
This is a great way to save money on your usual monthly expenses.
77. Find Local Coupons With Flipp: Flipp takes the hard work out of couponing. You can use this free app to browse local circulars and publications that offer coupons for all of your favorite brands and grocery stores. Simply scan your digital coupons at the register and use them to earn cashback. It’s pretty much free money!
78. Save On Home Goods With Save.ca: Although the app isn’t quite as easy-to-use as Flipp, Save.ca has some great coupons for Procter & Gamble products. I’ve also found some great deals on everyday grocery items like milk jugs, eggs, bread, and other daily necessities. The savings are often just as good as the loyalty programs offered by grocery stores.
78. Earn Big Coupons With Swagbucks: Unlike other couponing apps, which show you normal coupons, Swagbucks gives you the opportunity to complete surveys in exchange for coupons to big-name brands like Amazon, Nike, and more. Swagbucks coupons are often a bit better than what you’ll find in circulars since you have to work for them.
79. Search For Specific Coupons With Reebee: Reebee is similar to Flipp but has a really useful ‘search’ feature that allows you to search for specific coupons. This is great if you’re trying to save on some last-minute shopping. The app automatically compiles local coupons from Canadian circulars and magazines.
80. Earn High-Value Coupons With Caddle: Like Swagbucks, Caddle lets you complete surveys and watch video ads in exchange for high-value coupons. In my experience, Caddle is better for groceries and home goods coupons, while Swagbucks is better for retail coupons. You can also earn $1 every time you refer a friend to the app.
81. Earn Cashback With Checkout 51’s Receipt Scanning Feature: Checkout 51 takes the hassle out of couponing. Simply scan your receipts after purchasing, and the app will automatically apply eligible coupons to your purchase. Once you accumulate $20 in cashback rewards, Checkout 51 will mail you a cheque or gift card.
82. Get Flash Deals On Food: Every day millions of dollars worth of food is wasted by grocery stores, as they have trouble selling it before it expires. FlashFood is an awesome app that lets you save big on soon-to-expire food and offers new deals every day. It’s a great way to reduce global waste and save a lot of money.
83. Get Paid To Scan Grocery Receipts: NielsenIQ Homescan is a cool app that pays you $50 a year just to scan your grocery shopping receipts. They send this data to marketing companies. The only downside is that they only take a limited number of applicants, depending on your region.
84. Get Cashback On Groceries With KOHO: KOHO is a free prepaid Mastercard that lets you earn 1% unlimited instant cashback on all of your grocery expenses. If you sign up for their premium membership, then you can earn even more cashback.
85. Get Coupons and Cashback With Rakuten: Rakuten has over 3,500 brand partnerships with top retailers like Ulta, Nike, Wal-Mart, and more. The app makes it incredibly easy to save money while you shop online. Whenever you use the app to shop (or scan your receipts), you’ll earn cashback rewards that can be redeemed for Paypal credit.
Related Reading: 8 Best Coupon Apps in Canada
Are you ready to get your monthly expenses under control?
One of the best ways to save money is to manage your money. Once you see where your money is going, you’ll be in a better position to reallocate wasted money into savings, investments, or pay off bad debt faster. Here are some of the best budgeting apps to help you save.
86. Track Your Bank Accounts With Mint: Mint is a free-to-use app that’s owned by Intuit. It allows you to link all of your bank accounts (chequing and savings account) as well as debit and credit cards, allowing you to track all of your spending and automatically place your purchases into categories.
87. Set Saving Goals and Work Towards Them: You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a Canadian app that allows you to save money and set savings goals for yourself. Like Mint, you can then add your bank accounts, track spending, and the app will help you achieve your goals with alerts and helpful tips.
88. Keep Track of Foreign Currencies and Crypto: Spendee is one of the few budgeting apps that allows you to keep track of multiple accounts, track multiple currencies, and even lets you keep track of your cryptocurrency holdings. It’s a low-cost paid app that’s great for businesses that operate internationally.
89. Round Up Your Purchases and Invest: Moka is a simple but powerful app that lets you round up your purchases and puts your spending into a tax-free investment account. This is a great way to get started with investing, and the few dollars you invest every day add up in a big way at the end of the month.
90. Budget Accountability With Your Partner: One of the best ways to stay on top of your budget and save money is to stay accountable with a partner. The Wallet budget app allows you to create budgets, track spending, and share your reports with a partner to show them you’re on track.
91. Sync Accounts With PocketGuard: PocketGuard is similar to Mint and allows you to track your daily spending, create a budget, set saving goals, and categorize your spending into an easy-to-read pie chart. It also helps you figure out ways to reduce wasteful spending and divert it to your goals.
92. Sync Income and Budget With Your Spouse: Good Budget is one of the few budgeting apps that allows you to create a joint budgeting account with your spouse or partner. You’ll be able to track both of your spending habits, set goals, and plan accordingly.
93. Track Expenses By Scanning Receipts: Smart Receipts is a super useful app that lets you scan and upload your receipts. You can then categorize your spending to see where your money is going.
This can be useful when looking for tax deductions or a tax refund at the end of the year, and can help you identify an area where you can save money in.
94. Keep Your Whole Family Accountable: It’s all too easy to get carried away with online shopping and thoughtless spending. Splitwise is a cool app that allows you to track all of your family’s spending, which is a great way to teach your kids financial literacy.
Link cards, accounts, set budget goals, and categorize all of your spending to see where you can save.
95. Keep Up With Investment Expenses: If you’re an investor or day trader, your investment fees can easily add up over the course of a year, impacting your overall earnings. Wealthica lets you track your investment accounts, your net worth, and how much you’re spending in fees.
|Link to App
|Best Budget App for a Reloadable Visa Card
|Best Free comprehensive Budgeting app
|Android | iOS
|You Need A Budget
|Best Paid comprehensive budgeting app
|Free for 34 days | US $11.99 per month, US $84 per year
|Android | iOS
|Best Saving and Investing budgeting app
|The app is Free | $3 Flat investment fee
|Android | iOS
|Best iOS-only budgeting app
|US $4.99 (In-app purchases and subscriptions cost extra)
|Best group budgeting and expense tracking apps
|Free | US $0.99 per month or US $11 per year for Android Users | onetime $1.99 for Apple Users
|Android | iOS
Related Reading: Best Budget Apps in Canada
Ways To Save Money With Free Baby Samples In Canada
Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. However, it’s no secret that having children comes with added expenses. This is especially true with newborns, as everyday essentials like diapers and baby food can add up.
One of the best hacks for new parents is to save money is to take advantage of free baby samples. This way you don’t have to spend money testing out products that your baby may or may not like.
Here are some companies and initiatives offering free baby supplies and samples!
96. Get Your Free Babies R Us “Swag Bag”: If you’re an expecting mother or planning a baby shower, Babies R Us is a great place to create a gift registry. Once you sign up for their free registry, you’ll be rewarded with a “swag bag” full of baby essentials like pampers, wipes, baby oil, baby shampoo, and more.
97. Get Free Baby Vitamins and Supplements: Sobeys Pharmacy is a Canadian pharmacy chain. By enrolling in their “Baby Be Healthy” program, you’ll get a free nutritional consultation with a licensed pharmacist. You’ll also be given free nutritional supplements and cashback rewards on promotional items.
98. Save Money On Essentials With The Baby Box: The Baby Box is a monthly subscription box designed for new mothers and their newborn babies. It’s a great gift item to buy for your newborn, and helps you save up to 30% on essentials like baby clothing, blankets, pampers, and more. Plus, your purchase contributes to their charity!
99. Get Free Pampers and Wipes From Huggies: Huggies is one of the most trusted brands of pampers and wipes for babies. Their “No Baby Unhugged” initiative offers a free package of Huggies pampers and wipes to new mothers, mailed directly to your door.
100. Get Discounted Formula From Similac: Similac is one of the top baby formula brands in Canada. By joining the Similac Rewards Club, you’ll receive big discounts on formula, free samples, and even a free baby photo book. All of these perks total up to $400 in potential savings.
101. Review Baby Products (and Get Them For Free): Family Rated is a market research company that gives parents free samples in exchange for honest reviews and opinions. This is a great way to get free baby gear and essentials.
102. Win Free Baby Products: Family.one is a company that offers monthly prizes and giveaways to new and expecting mothers. You can win toys, gift cards, nutritional supplements, pampers, and more. Family.one gives out over $50,000 worth of freebies to Canadian parents every month.
103. Get A Free Baby Gift From Amazon: If you have an Amazon Prime membership and create a free gift registry, you can get a free gift from Amazon. Once $25 worth of items have been purchased from your registry, you’ll be eligible for a freebie from Amazon.
104. Save Money On Diapers With The Pampers Club: As a new parent, you’re going to buy a lot of diapers. Joining the Pampers Club allows you to earn points on all of your purchases, which you can redeem for coupons and cashback rewards.
105. Get Free Used Baby Gear With Freecycle: Freecycle is an online community where you can get lightly used baby gear for free. The platform has over nine million users, and is a great place to find lightly used cribs, toys, strollers, and more. It’s a nonprofit company that’s supported by donations.
See the full list of the best free baby samples here
Pro-Tip: Save Money With A Tax-Free Savings Account
If you haven’t already opened a tax-free savings account (TFSA) to save money, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
TFSAs are an excellent savings vehicle, and allow eligible Canadians over 18 with a valid Social Insurance Number to set aside tax-free money throughout their alifetime.
Although TFSA contributions are made post-tax, the funds can grow freely and any profits realized within the TFSA account aren’t subject to income or capital gains tax.
Here’s how TFSAs work:
- Open a tax-free savings account through your chosen financial institution
- Contribute funds while remaining within your annual and maximum contribution limits
- The CRA typically increases the TFSA contribution limit each year
- The funds can be saved as cash (like traditional savings accounts), or can be invested
- Over time, your TFSA will grow and realize profits, which are tax-free
- You can withdraw from your TFSA any time, without penalties
One of the main benefits of a tax-free savings account is its flexibility. You can make contributions and withdraw money at any time.
Unlike a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), there’s no penalty to withdraw money, and the withdrawal amount is added back to your contribution room in the following year.
As much as TFSAs are great way to save money or build an emergency fund, they’re even better investment vehicles.
I would honestly recommend opening a tax-free savings account before opening a standard investment account.
TFSAs can hold income-generating assets, including:
- Mutual funds
- Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)
- Index funds
Each of these investments has its own perspective benefits and risks, depending on your financial goals and risk tolerence. This allows you to spread your risk by diversifying your investments, much like mutual funds.
Ultimately, TFSAs are a flexible, tax-efficient way to grow savings and genreate passive income for any purpose, be it education, retirement, a home, or a rainy day.
Canada’s New FHSA Program: Save Money For Your New Home
In April 2023, the government launched the First Home Savings Account program for first-time homebuyers. This program allows those who’ve never purchased a home before to save money in a tax-advantaged registered account.
This is excellent news, given the high prices of real estate in Canada.
The first year that you open a First Home Savings Accounts (FHSA), you’re allowed an annual contribution limit of $8,000. After your first year, you can contribute as much as you’d like.
The maximum lifetime contribution limit for an FHSA is currently $40,000, but this could change in the future, depending on changes in the economy or the real estate market.
Like TFSAs, FHSAs can be used to hold cash savings or investments like stocks, bonds, ETFs, GICs, mutual funds, and more.
Holding investments in an FHSA can help you reach your homebuying goal quicker, as your account can take advantage of tax-free compound growth.
How FHSAs are taxed
The best part about FHSAs is that all contributions are tax-deductible, which means that they can reduce your income tax liability for the years that you contribute to the program.
Additionally, when you withdraw money from your savings account is 100% tax-free, as long as the funds are used to purchase or build your first home. That being said, if you use the funds for anything else, then you’ll be required to pay tax on the amount.
Once you use your FHSA to purchase your first home, the account will be closed.
If buying a home is one of your short-term goals, I suggest contributing as much as you can to an FHSA. After you buy your home and the FHSA is closed, start contributing to a TFSA until you maximize your contribution limit.
Cheapest Places To Live in Canada to Save Money
Tired of paying insanely high rents in cities like Vancouver or Toronto?
Consider moving to a cheaper city to save money. Since it’s constantly changing, go here for the full list of cheapest places to live in Canada.
Conclusion – Are you ready to save money?
Whew, that was quite the list! If you made it this far, I hope you learned a few new neat tricks to save money. Start by getting into a savers mindset, and the sky’s the limit!
Saving money is one of the best habits I’ve formed, and it’s had such a positive impact on my life. I hope it can do the same for you too. Now that you understand how to save money check out this ultimate guide on how to make money online in Canada.