1. Do you feel bogged down by little payments? Consider refinancing your mortgage to include all the little payments such as credit cards and smaller loans. Your overall monthly payment obligations can drop significantly which in turn frees up your cash for your TFSA, RRSP or other savings vessels or even using those savings to pay down your mortgage faster instead of paying interest. It can improve your financial health.

paying interest

2. Consider changing your payment frequency on your mortgage. Though most of us prefer to pay monthly, going from a monthly mortgage payment to a biweekly accelerated mortgage payments will save you 2.4 years off your mortgage and thousands of dollars in interest. Failing that, consider the power of adding even $100.00 extra to each mortgage payment which is the minimum lenders will accept. In a year that is $2,700.00 if applied monthly which is $13,500.00 over five years. This cuts your mortgage down to 19 years and 4 months with a savings of $34,274. Small changes really add up. Saving over $13,500.00 is also make healthier of  your financial health.

Money saving

3. Saving money is a discipline which is not contingent upon your level of income. If only the very wealthy could afford to save? There are people who earn six figure incomes yearly who among those who file personal bankruptcy in Canada every year. There are people making very low incomes who have come in with larger down payments than people making a lot higher incomes and having investment portfolios which greatly exceed those earning six figures a year. So all that being said, find yourself a professional financial planner and set a monthly automatic withdrawal. It’s way easier to save when it does not feel like a horrible and painful choice.

4. Call your credit card companies and get the best card you can. The annual fees on some cards can be quite high so you need to ensure you actually need the ‘perks’ the card gives you. If you carry a balance then you should make sure to ask for the lowest rate available. The difference between 19.99% and 12.99% adds up really quickly. While you have them on the phone and are negotiating like a boss for the best card possible, opt out of paper statements. Most companies charge you $2.00/month and it’s a nice little step you can take for the environment.

5. Get realistic with your spending. There is a terrific app brought to you by the makers of Quick Tax called MINT.com. You enter you banking and credit card info into this very secure and very free site and every time you make a purchase this app tracks it and allocates it to the proper category such as food etc. You can set a budget for every part of your life and receive notifications when you are nearing the limit you have set. It can be very eye opening to come face to face with your spending reality.

6. It’s a great idea annually to make sure your will is up to date. Life changes quickly and the last thing you want to deal with during this time is an incorrect will.

7. Another item for annual review is your insurance. Do you have enough or too much coverage? Are the beneficiaries reflected correctly? Are your homeowner and auto policies up to date and do they give you the coverage you want? Is your home protected with a mortgage protection Insurance? People usually say that they have insurance at work or have enough but every liability should be protected in the advent of death or disability. Ideally you will need two thinks for your family’s lifestyle to continue should either one of these tragedies occur. Could your family survive without your income? One hour a year should be enough to give you piece of mind.

mortgage

8. And finally, where could you save even more? Is your bank offering a better, all-inclusive plan to cut down on monthly fees? If not then maybe it’s time to look at your options. $25 a month per account really adds up. Is your cable cost efficient? Your cell phone provider remaining competitive? Are you opting for paperless statements to avoid unnecessary fees? If you saved even $50 between all of the above, that my friends adds up to $600 a year which you could put right against your mortgage in fact!

There you have it, some pain free ways to keep your money. It is your money after all.