Recent Posts

5 ways to trick yourself into saving

When it comes to saving money, it can sometimes feel like you have to give something up in order to make any progress—but it’s hard to maintain motivation if you feel like you’re constantly depriving yourself. Luckily, “there are ways to save without feeling the pinch,” says Michelle Dagnino, Executive Director of the Jane/Finch Community & Family Centre, a United Way–supported agency. She works with families, many of whom are living on a low income, to help them find ways to save while still paying the bills. Here are her tips for making saving easier on all of us.

1. Thwart add-on costs

Dagnino often sees issues arise when people purchase big-ticket items that have recurring costs they didn’t factor into their budgets. “They think of a major purchase as a one-time cost, when, in fact, there may be additional associated fees attached,” she says. Think kids’ activities that require uniforms or equipment, or a new vehicle that needs insurance and gas. She suggests doing some research and making a budget that includes all of those costs. Ultimately, you may have to decide on a vehicle that uses less gas, or choose sports that have fewer add-on expenses, but then you won’t have to dip into savings when bills come due.

2. Start saving automatically

You can’t spend money you don’t have, right? So pretend that you don’t have it. Set up a savings program with your bank that automatically diverts a percentage of your paycheque to a savings account you can’t access with your debit card. Chances are you won’t even miss that spending money, and you’ll see your savings grow.

3. Pay down your debt

The old adage is true: it is important to pay yourself first. That is, unless you have significant debt. Accumulating interest can hobble your ability to save long-term, so it’s worth diverting funds to debt repayment. First you need a plan, which should include switching to low-interest credit cards. Once your debt is gone, set up an automatic withdrawal that deposits the money that would have gone toward it into your savings.

4. Learn what you don’t know

Think you’re financially savvy? You may be missing crucial information that could help you get ahead. And no, you don’t have to spend money to get educated. “Communities offer free resources that provide excellent opportunities for saving,” says Dagnino. “The library is a great place to start for courses on financial literacy.”

5. Shop smarter

Bad shopping habits can zap your savings. “Establishing healthy patterns around purchasing can help you spend less,” says Dagnino. Planning ahead is key. If you’re running out to the corner store because you forgot to pick up dish soap on your weekly grocery shop, you’re paying higher prices for convenience. Shopping around for the best prices will also help you save. For example, farmers’ markets or urban farms sell fresh, healthy, organic food without the high price sometimes found in big-name grocery stores. Case in point: Black Creek Community Farm at Jane and Steeles sells produce without the markup.

To learn more about some of the difficult financial decisions faced by people living on a low income, try our online poverty simulator and challenge your perspectives on poverty. You can also brush up on your financial skills or find additional support in your neighbourhood by calling 211 or visiting the Jane/Finch Community & Family Centre, an agency committed to advancing financial literacy through support services, such as income tax clinics and workshops.

  1. 5 surprising resources for young job hunters Leave a reply
  2. A tale of two Torontos Leave a reply
  3. How to help your young adult land their first job Leave a reply
  4. 3 ways to spend more time with seniors Leave a reply
  5. The benefits of eating together Leave a reply
  6. Ask the Expert: Can we end poverty? Leave a reply
  7. 5 tips for hosting a community supper Leave a reply
  8. How to host a refugee welcome dinner Leave a reply
  9. 6 things newcomers to Canada need Leave a reply
  10. How to become a mentor Leave a reply
  11. How to find affordable after-school activities Leave a reply
  12. Changemakers to watch: Jesse Thistle Leave a reply
  13. ICYMI: 3 must-read blog posts Leave a reply
  14. 5 community events you can’t miss Comments Off on 5 community events you can’t miss
  15. How yard-sharing can help feed communities Comments Off on How yard-sharing can help feed communities
  16. 3 reasons why workforce security is good for your business Comments Off on 3 reasons why workforce security is good for your business
  17. Would you pass the test? 2 Replies
  18. As convocation speeches go, this is one of our favourites… Comments Off on As convocation speeches go, this is one of our favourites…
  19. Ask the Expert: Why keeping seniors social matters Comments Off on Ask the Expert: Why keeping seniors social matters
  20. The workplace has changed… Comments Off on The workplace has changed…
  21. Discovering the “unsung heroes” of our community Comments Off on Discovering the “unsung heroes” of our community
  22. 3 tips for leading philanthropic change at your company Comments Off on 3 tips for leading philanthropic change at your company
  23. How to get mental health help for your child Comments Off on How to get mental health help for your child
  24. How to raise kids who give back Comments Off on How to raise kids who give back
  25. Changemakers to watch: Jesse Thistle Comments Off on Changemakers to watch: Jesse Thistle
  26. 5 reasons why employment reform matters Comments Off on 5 reasons why employment reform matters
  27. Federal budget: Crunching the numbers for our community Comments Off on Federal budget: Crunching the numbers for our community
  28. Changemakers to watch: Hadley Nelles Comments Off on Changemakers to watch: Hadley Nelles
  29. 3 women who inspire us Comments Off on 3 women who inspire us
  30. Why should we care about a strong social safety net?  Comments Off on Why should we care about a strong social safety net? 
  31. A love letter… Comments Off on A love letter…
  32. We asked our CEO these 3 questions… Comments Off on We asked our CEO these 3 questions…
  33. How to get mental health help for your child Comments Off on How to get mental health help for your child
  34. Changemakers to watch: Mojgan Rasouli & Amitis Nouroozi 1 Reply
  35. Ask The Expert: What happens when kids don’t get the best start in life? Comments Off on Ask The Expert: What happens when kids don’t get the best start in life?
  36. Who inspired us in 2016? Comments Off on Who inspired us in 2016?
  37. 3 things you might not know about poverty Comments Off on 3 things you might not know about poverty
  38. What is “hidden” homelessness? 1 Reply
  39. Coming together to build a stronger York Region Comments Off on Coming together to build a stronger York Region
  40. Ask the Expert: Can we end poverty? Comments Off on Ask the Expert: Can we end poverty?
  41. Changemakers to watch: Kofi Hope Comments Off on Changemakers to watch: Kofi Hope
  42. What can we accomplish when we collaborate for youth? Comments Off on What can we accomplish when we collaborate for youth?
  43. Are Community Benefits a roadmap for the future? Comments Off on Are Community Benefits a roadmap for the future?
  44. Ask the Expert: What’s the best way to equip youth for the future? 1 Reply
  45. Why Community Hubs matter 1 Reply
  46. How much do you know about food security? Comments Off on How much do you know about food security?
  47. Ask the Expert: Why keeping seniors social matters 2 Replies
  48. 3 reasons to step UP for our community Comments Off on 3 reasons to step UP for our community
  49. Changemakers to watch: Hibaq Gelle Comments Off on Changemakers to watch: Hibaq Gelle