13 Easy Effective Money Habits

13 Easy, No-Effort, Effective Money Habits

Old habits die hard, and that should especially be the case for bad money habits. If you’re finding yourself with little-to-no savings and spending more money than you earn, then it’s time to ditch your bad money habits and work on building new money habits.

By building good money habits, you’ll be well on your way to gaining (or re-gaining) confidence in your everyday financial life. Good money habits help you budget, save money and pad your sinking funds, and work towards your most important financial goals, whether that’s your next hot and sunny destination or working towards early retirement. 

Sure, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and building good money habits (while dropping the bad ones) and improving your financial fitness isn’t something that usually happens overnight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get started right away. Below are 13 easy, no-effort, and effective money habits that you can get started with right away.

Money habit #1: Automate your savings

Automating your weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly savings contributions is what’s known as “paying yourself first” and is one of the best ways to make sure that you are consistently contributing towards your short-term savings, investments, and retirement funds. without having to worry about making manual contributions yourself.

By doing this, you’re eliminating both the time and the work that is involved, while making sure that you are always working towards your financial goals. 

P.S. Saving for a family trip, vacation with friends, home repairs, or birthday celebrations? Frugl makes it easy to automate saving for what’s important to you.

Money habit #2: Automate your bills 

Automating what’s coming out of your accounts is equally as important. By automating your regularly occurring bills such as rent, utilities, and cell phone payments, you’re making sure that your bills are being paid on time, which means you don’t have to worry about missed payments, late payment fees, or interest.

The other benefit is this; paying your bills on time is a sure way to build your credit score. 

Money habit #3: Set a phone reminder to check your bank account once a week

Regularly checking your bank accounts is a small but mighty habit that can give you a clear view of what’s taking place in your accounts; the good, the bad, and the ugly… well, hopefully just the good! 

By quickly checking in once a week, you’ll be making sure everything adds up and that you’re not being charged for payments you actually didn’t make! It’s also a good way to know exactly when money is coming in and when payments are going out. 

Money habit #4: Create a separate savings account for an upcoming big purchase, like a vacation!

Opening separate savings accounts are more than just a good idea; it’s a game-changer. When you create separate savings accounts for each of the different savings goals you have, you’ll reap many benefits including easier automation per account; easier goal tracking; increased motivation; and reducing your chances of easily misspending any money that’s pooled together. 

With Frugl, you can create separate, individual savings accounts for your goals in less than two minutes! Give it a try today 😉  

Money habit #5: Treat that ‘extra’ money with extra respect 

The next time you get a raise, have a great month with your side hustles or net that bonus you’ve been waiting for, do yourself a huge favor, and don’t go spending it all at once. Instead, take most or all of that ‘extra money’ and put it toward your savings goals.

We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s absolutely going to be worth it in the long run. Remember, a dollar saved is a dollar earned.

Money habit #6: Chat openly about your money 

Open and honest money conversations with friends and family is a great way to learn new money management approaches and money tips to improve your literacy. 

It’s also one of the best ways to get over any of your money fears and to help you take those next steps to start working on your financial goals.

Money habit #7: Use the Honey Chrome extension when shopping online

What if we told you there was an app, or rather a Chrome extension, that automatically looks for discount and coupon codes for you when you’re window shopping online? Well, there is and it’s called Honey

Getting started with Honey couldn’t be easier; Add the chrome extension and as you browse websites like you normally would window shopping online, Honey will automatically find working discount codes for you and apply the one with the biggest savings to your cart. 

It might be worth mentioning that we ONLY recommend using this when you’re already committed to making a purchase. 

Money habit #8: Skip eating out once a week

Guilty of eating out and splurging on lunches or dinners throughout the week? You could easily be wasting thousands of dollars each year. Even those small $5 to $10 food splurges here and there can add up and impact your ability to save for what’s important to you. 

Would you rather Mexican takeout on a Tuesday or actually eating authentic Mexican cuisine while in Mexico? I’ll go with the latter, thanks. 

Money habit #9: Don’t settle on the first quote you get

Taking the time to do your “research” and shop around for just about anything from everyday household items to financial products and services like auto insurance can pay dividends in the long run.

The best part is that by spending anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours, you’ll easily save yourself well over a few hundred dollars, as well as have more confidence in your purchase. 

Don’t settle on the first quote or price you see. There’s almost always a better price that exists. 

Money habit #10: Use Value-Based Spending to guide your spending habits

Instead of spending with emotion or on impulse, use what’s known as value-based spending to help guide your spending habits. The premise is simple, only spend on items and expenses that bring value to you and that reinforce your financial goals. Anything else, it probably isn’t worth it. 

Value-Based Spending means that every dollar you spend should add significant value to your life and go towards helping you reach your financial goals.

Money habit #11: Remove yourself from email lists 

Out of sight, out of mind. Removing yourself from email lists is all about getting rid of the daily spending temptations that take over your inbox and do nothing but encourage you to spend your hard-earned money. 

Money habit #12: Create 3 SMART financial goals

Without setting financial goals, it’s almost next to impossible to track progress and celebrate milestones. When you’re considering your goals, it’s important to create everyone’s favorite acronym, S.M.A.R.T goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (or Realistic), and Timely. 

Make sure to set both short-term and long-term goals to keep you motivated while focused on working towards your financial future.

Money habit #13: Sign up for mobile alerts from your bank

Long gone are the days of having to wait for bank statements or account updates to know what’s going on inside your bank account. With bank alerts, you can get real-time updates about various types of account activity and use these alerts to better manage your finances.

While the types of alerts available vary from bank to bank, they’re usually free, and you can choose to receive them by email or text.

Out with the old, in with the new

Say goodbye to your bad money habits and hello to these 13 new easy, no-effort, and effective money habits that will help you save more money, reach your goals, and feel better about your relationship with money. Which one will you be taking up first? 

The Psychology Benefits of Saving Money

The Psychological Benefits of Saving and Practicing #FinancialSelfCare

We explore the relationship between your finances and mental wellbeing, the benefits of getting your financial plan in motion, setting up your goals and practicing regular financial self-care (and what that means).

After the year we’ve had (good riddance, 2020), there’s no doubt that personal finances and mental health are linked.

Thankfully, as a society, we’ve become more comfortable talking about mental health, which was once a taboo topic. But what about financial health? What about the day-to-day stresses of managing debt, of saving for the future, of living the life you want within your means?

While the impacts of anxiety and depression are coming to the forefront, money still remains largely a hush-hush topic for North Americans.

So, let’s talk about it.

The Link Between Mental Health and Financial Wellbeing

In a recent survey for an FP Canada report, 38 per cent of Canadians said that money is the leading cause of stress in their lives, beating personal health (25%), work (21%) and relationships (16%).

One-third of Canadians say that the stress related to money management has increased since the pandemic hit according to a national survey by CPA Canada. On top of that, 23 percent of Canadians reported that the COVID-related financial impact was the biggest contributor to their mental health — more than getting sick (16%), loneliness (6%) and even losing a loved one (20%) — according to a study for Morneau Shepell.

That’s a big deal.

More than ever tending to your financial wellbeing is crucial. And an imbalance in its maintenance can cause debilitating stress, loss of sleep, motivation and can put great tension on your relationships.

But how do you get to financial wellness? Saijal Patel, founder and CEO of Saij Elle, a financial consultancy and education platform, breaks it down. She defines financial wellness as a combination of financial literacy, level of confidence and sticking to your responsibilities and goals.

“’Financial wellness’ is achieved when people can apply financial knowledge confidently to manage their economic lives effectively,” writes Patel. “That includes making good financial decisions, spending within one’s means, planning adequately for emergencies and preparing for the future.”

“If any one of the pieces — knowledge, confidence or implementation are missing – financial wellness is at risk. And with that comes emotional stress, loss of sleep, a decrease in productivity and relationship tension.”

The Importance of Financial Self Awareness and Well Being

It’s one thing to understand basic economic principles (thanks, macroeconomics class) and to know the difference between an RRSP and TFSA, or a Roth IRA vs a 401K. It’s another to understand your own spending habits and know exactly where you stand on the personal liabilities versus assets scale.

Financial self-awareness (FSA) is how well you understand your own financial situation.

In a 2019 study by Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, they measured individual’s score FSA score based on a 19-point questionnaire covering everything from total net worth to the details of their life insurance policy.  

They found that a high FSA with associated with high self-efficacy. And trust us, you want high self-efficacy: heightened interest in activities, faster recovery after setbacks and better commitment to your life goals (which, at FRUGL, we are all about).

Those with high FSA scores were also better at committing to a repayment plan and tackle debt more efficiently, and they were more cautious in their spending habits and investments.

How to Practice Financial Wellness (#Financial Self Care)

The secret is to build habits that keep you astutely in the loop when it comes to your finances.

Work in healthy routines the same way you would a skincare routine or yoga practice. Maybe you set aside a half hour per week, or ten minutes every other day. All that matters is that you set aside the time regularly to review your own financial situation.

Regularly check your bank accounts to track your spending and monitor for any suspicious activity. Review your bills and other payments (and make sure you automate as many of your bills as possible and set up alerts for any non-recurring payments.)

Review your financial goals and their progress each week. At least every month, review your budget.

Stacy Yanchuk Olesky, director of education and community awareness at the Credit Counselling Society, breaks down how to stay on top of your financial situation.

First, know where your money is going: a $5 a day coffee habit can add up quickly.

Second, Olesky recommends having several savings accounts. An account for unexpected expenses, a rainy-day fund, and accounts for different savings goals (think vacation or a new car).

And finally, live within your means. Know when and where you can afford to splurge – that is, once you’ve accounted for all the necessities.

The Benefits of Financial Wellbeing

Financial wellness is different for many people — you may want to feel secure in your retirement savings plan, or living comfortably within your means, or living debt-free.

First and foremost, you’ll feel a sense of control and shed those day-to-day anxieties (yes please!).

You can dare to dream big. Once you feel settled, as if you’ve gained control of your finances, you can start planning for some things that are more exciting than your RRSP and tackling debt. Start planning a dream vacation or a major splurge – heck, maybe a boat.

You can afford to take chances, you’re not as tied to a job you hate, for example. You’re also better set up to tackle life’s unexpected setbacks.

Finally, you’ll feel a difference in your self-esteem. Being financially comfortable and confident means that you’ll feel accomplished.

Ride that sense of pride that comes with feeling good about your finances.

(Psst: Check out our 21 ways to make 2021 your best financial year yet.)

SOURCES

  1. https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/the-cpa-profession/about-cpa-canada/media-centre/2020/october/one-in-three-canadians-concerned-about-covid-19-personal-finances
  2. https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/news/canada/2019-10-25-debt-health-impact
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-science-behind-behavior/201910/four-powerful-benefits-financial-self-awareness
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/a-thirty-minute-weekly-financial-self-care-routine-5070195
  5. https://www.hermoney.com/connect/confessionals/5-psychological-benefits-of-financial-freedom/
  6. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/globe-advisor/advisor-news/article-why-its-time-to-get-serious-about-financial-wellness/
Happy New year 2021

How to Make 2021 Your Best Financial Year (Yes, Really)

So, yes, 2020 was a dud on many levels: socially, mentally, financially. Here’s how to get back on your feet and feel good about your finances again.

We’ve scoured the internet so you don’t have to, from money magazines to personal finance blogs. Here are 21 ways to start the year off on the right foot and keep the momentum going all year.

1. Assess your situation (and be honest): create a balance sheet to assess your net worth 

Okay, so this is the scary but absolutely necessary part. Sit down and create a balance sheet so you can get a snapshot of where you stand financially. (You should do this every year). List all your assets — cash, investments, property, valuables, etc. — and liabilities: credit card balances, student debt, mortgage, car payments, etc.

Check with your bank — they likely have templates available online, or you can opt for a simple Excel doc.

2. Review your credit report and credit score

You’re allowed one free credit report a year from each of the three Canadian credit bureaus (check out annualcreditreport.com). Definitely take advantage.

It’s important to understand where your credit stands and what lenders may see. It’s also the first step to identifying any changes you may need to make to boost your score. Finally, read your payment history carefully to make sure it’s correct and report any activity you don’t recognize.

3. Tackle your “bad debt” as quickly as possible

Every financial expert will tell you to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. However, there is a difference between bad debt (credit cards and other consumer debt, usually with high interest rates and little pay off) and good debt (a mortgage or business loan, for example, which help build wealth or income over time). Prioritize paying off bad debt with the highest interest rates.

4. Create a budget and track your expenses

Yes, we know, another super exciting task. Essential, though. Here is where you take account of all your recurring bills, your expenses by category (entertainment and recreation), your weekly grocery list — everything that is coming in and out of your account. 

Use whatever tool makes you the most comfortable but will also make you feel accountable. Your bank likely has a template for you (TD, for example) or you may opt for a budgeting app such as Mint that will track and report your spending habits.

5. Reduce bills and subscriptions as much as possible

Once you’ve had a good look at your recurring bills, remove any redundancies and scrutinize where you may be paying more than you have to. Maybe you and your partner both have your own Spotify account and can split a duo account instead. You may pay for Amazon Prime every month but hardly actually use it. You may be dishing out for an internet package that far exceeds what you actually need.

Skim out any extra costs, even if the savings seem minimal — they add up.

6. Get creative with cutting down spending

Take a good, hard look at where your money is going. Ask yourself if you really need to be spending that much. Instead of ordering books from Amazon, opt for a library card. Alleviate your uber habit with public transport. Make more meals at home and take out less. Opt for free YouTube yoga classes instead of paying for that studio you hardly go to anyway.

7. Take advantage of cash back and coupon apps for everyday purchases

There seems to be more cash-back apps, savings apps and reward programs then a person count. Do a bit of research to find a couple that suit your lifestyle and spending habits. Maybe start here.   

8. Review and adjust your insurance coverage every single year

Your needs change every year so make a habit to review all your coverages across the board. You may be paying for coverage that you actually don’t need (or not getting the coverage that you thought you were).

9. Build an emergency reserve (ahem, covid)

There was likely no better wake-up call around the necessity for an emergency fund than when so many of us were facing layoffs and sweeping uncertainty. If you don’t have one already, make this year the year you start saving toward an emergency reserve.

An emergency fund can also be used for any unexpected medical expenses or emergency repairs to your vehicle or house. Traditionally, experts suggest saving three to six months of fixed expenses, though the amount of debt should be factored in.

Money Sense does a good job of breaking it all down.

10.  Put away as much savings as you can.

Save, save, save. If your employer offers a pension plan with a matching policy to boot, use it. If you can commit a monthly amount into a tax-free savings account, do it. Anywhere that you can automate savings, go for it.

11.  Set clear goals for yourself this year and beyond.  

Want to take an epic trip to make up for the lack of travel in 2020? Finally want to make this year the year you are debt free? Want to put that money away for a down payment?

Take the time to sit down and make concrete, clear goals for yourself.

12.  Make saving fun by working in strategies that suit your lifestyle

Setting your goals is the easy part. Planning how to actually meet those goals is where it gets tricky. Obviously, making a commitment to save does mean cutting back but you don’t have to make major compromises. Choose saving strategies that fit with your lifestyle. (Psst: this is FRUGL’s philosophy. Learn more about saving strategies here.)

13.  Look into low-fee, high-interest accounts offered by online banks.

There’s no sense in letting your money sit there without earning interest. While you’re putting away as much money as possible this year, make sure you’re also earning as much as possible — look into online accounts that offer competitive interest rates.

14.  Stop the guessing game – set very clear amounts and timelines to reach your goals

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to achieving your financial goals is to underestimate how much you need to put away and for exactly how long. Carefully calculating the timeline and any factors involved (your income, total cost of the goal, any interest rates, etc.) will make you feel confident and increase your chances of meeting your goal.

15.  Contribute to your RRSP

Yes, RRSP contributions fall into the savings category, but the closer you can get to your maximum contribution, the more money you may get back come tax season. (And the more money you can put toward your saving goals!)

16.  Maximize your investments

Once you’ve made a commitment to contribute regularly to your RRSPs and have taken advantage of any employer matching program you may have access to, take a look at your total investment commitment. Are you investing at least 15% of your income? Is your investment mix still standing up to your long-term goals? You should reassess every year.

17.  Automate everything.

Your bills, investments, savings — take advantage of everything that you can set up to be transferred and paid automatically. Not only will this make your life easier and pay your bills on time, but it will keep you committed to your savings goals.

18.  Set yourself up for an easy breezy tax season

Think back on the year you’ve had. Any major life moments that will impact your amount owing? A new house, for example, or CERB collection? Make sure you understand how much you may have to owe come the deadline and start preparing (as in, saving).

And, going into the new year, even when the deadline feels ages away, make sure you’re always staying organized. Track all invoices proactively, organize deductible expense receipts in a folder, etc.

19.  Invest in your career

Make this year the year you take that class, learn that new skill, earn that certificate. With online learning more accessible than ever, now is the time to invest in yourself (and set yourself up to earn more in the future).

20.  Find a way to earn extra income.

Easier said than done, we know. But if you can, pick up a side gig. Work hard toward that raise. Sell some clutter on Kijiji. Anything extra that you can earn is money you can put toward this year’s goals.

21.  Make a resolution to practice regular financial self-care.

Undoubtedly, money can be a huge source of stress. Commit to including your finances in your self-care routine by regularly monitoring your spending and your goal progress. The more on top of your finances you are, the more confident you will be. And the more you’ll be able to concentrate on the things that are the most important to you.

[Sources]
The Everything Guide to FRUGL- A Money Saving App that Helps You Save Money Fast

The Everything Guide to FRUGL: A Money Saving App that Helps You Save Money Fast

Reach your financial goals quickly while you live your life. 

Want to finally pay off your student debt? Need help planning how to save money for a house or how to save money for a car? Looking to save for an amazing vacation? 

FRUGL is a savings goal app that will set you up for success and make you feel pretty darn confident in your financial future. 

Here’s why: Saving is the first, most important step to financial self-care. And FRUGL makes it effortless to budget and save money fast.

Forget fancy investment apps, credit cards with points and flashy cash-back incentives. While they have their benefits, your first priority should be paying off debt and accumulating wealth. 

The most crucial part of any financial plan is putting money away — money toward your student loans, your credit card debt, your TFSA and your RRSP, toward that new pair of boots that keeps popping up in your Instagram feed. 

And once you have your savings plans in place, you will feel good

That’s why we’ve created FRUGL. Our money saving app allows you to set up all your savings goals clearly — and plan the strategies to meet those goals — in one place thanks to our mobile-first technology. 

We’ve developed a system where you can choose ways to save that fit with your lifestyle, where you’ll no longer have to guess how much you’ll need to put away and for how long. You can monitor your progress easily in one place. You’ll even learn and adjust along the way. 

The first step: Set up your saving money GOALS

Once you’ve quickly set up an account using your phone number (for security only — we will never spam you), FRUGL will prompt you to set up goals that are important to you. 

Choose as many as you’d like. Think: debt payment, retirement, emergency fund, a dream vacation. 

Let’s say you choose a vacation goal (why not?). You opt for Thailand (why not?). You know you want it to be epic so you decide to save $3,000. Great. Set your GOAL’s profile pic to a palm tree and you’re ready to start planning how — and when — you’ll meet your goal. 

Before we jump to STRATEGIES though, let’s take you through some of the more, err, serious savings goals. We know how important it is to get the details of your end goal right. Whatever your goal, FRUGL will guide you toward choosing the right amount so you are set up for success. If you want to save toward your retirement, for example, FRUGL will ask you what age you want to retire, your income and with what amount. If you opt to add a debt payment goal, FRUGL will calculate the time it will take based on the debt amount and its interest rate. House down payment? Yup. We’ll take you through that process, too. 

Choose your STRATEGIES (the real secret to how to save money) 

Now, here’s where the fun starts. Every goal needs a solid strategy. So, we’ve tailored different ways for you to grow your savings that suit your lifestyle (and make it fun along the way). You can pick and choose as many as you wish. 

Cruise Control: Save the same amount every single month. (Ah yes, the ol’ tried and true.) 

Pay Yourself First: Save part of every paycheck you get — either an amount or percentage, up to you! 

Loose Change: FRUGL rounds up every purchase and puts the spare change into your savings automatically . (You’d be surprised how fast this can accumulate.) 

Treat Yourself: Choose a store you love to shop at (and that, consequently, makes quite a dent in your paycheck). Instead of cutting it out completely, match your spending at that store with automatic savings. Live your life and save at the same time.  

Skip your Coffee: Pick a few days a week to skip buying your coffee (don’t worry, you can make it at home) and put that money into your savings.

Healthy Rewards: Every time you hit a certain number on your step counter you commit to moving a specific amount into your savings (say, $10 every 10,000 steps).

Set as many of these STRATEGIES as you like — the more you choose, the faster your savings will grow and the less you’ll have to compromise your lifestyle. Then FRUGL will give you a projection on the timeline based on your choices. Feel free to tinker back and forth to adjust.

Once you’re satisfied, sit back and watch your savings grow and your goals get closer to reality. 

Save Money Fast and Securely through Automatic Transfers from your Bank 

Once your GOALS and STRATEGIES are in place, connecting FRUGL to your bank is easy and safe. 

Each of your GOALS has its own CDIC-insured high-interest savings account.. There are no sneaky fees, no limits on withdrawals and no minimum balance required. And you can easily monitor each transfer through the app. 

We’re not a bank, but we do work closely with banks and we use bank-level security (256-bit encryption). 

How to Save Money Today for an Awesome Tomorrow: Sign up for FRUGL 

We have goals too! We strive to be the top money-saving app in the United States and Canada, and we’re currently looking for early beta customers who will be able to use FRUGL completely free! We’ll be the best app for your saving money-goal — sign up today and watch your savings grow. 

Visit FRUGL and start saving today

How to avoid awkward money situations this holiday season

How to avoid awkward money situations this holiday season

There are so many wonderful things about the holiday season: the music, the cookies and cocoa, the lights, and of course, all of that time with your loved ones. But, the holidays also bring some pretty awkward situations, especially when it comes to money.

Let’s take a look at a few awkward holiday encounters that you should aim to avoid this holiday season.

You waited until the last minute

It’s no secret that 2020 has done a number on Canadians’ savings accounts and budgets. According to new statistics, 45 percent of Canadians surveyed said they plan to spend less on holiday shopping this year than in past years. So, family gift-giving may be particularly awkward this year if you have little room in your budget for extra spending.

One way to avoid the awkward situation altogether is to put aside a special savings account early for holiday gifts. You can decide how much money to set aside out of every paycheck, depending on your family’s size and how many gifts you will need to buy. Come the holidays; you can dip into your holiday account without worrying about going into debt or not being able to get Cousin Johnny that new Playstation game that he wants so badly.

Another tip to avoid an awkward morning under the tree is to set a family gift budget every year. Gifts are a huge part of the holidays, especially for the kids. But as our families grow, unfortunately, our budgets don’t grow with them, nor does every family member have the same budget. A family budget will ensure that you don’t gift cousin Drew a $10 gift card while he gets you a $300 pair of earrings. This allows an even playing field for all family members. If you have a large family and you can’t afford to buy gifts for 15 cousins and 20 nieces and nephews, consider a family Secret Santa gift exchange. You can set a dollar amount and stick within your budget by only worrying about getting a gift for one extended family member.

The bottom line is, setting a budget well in advance and putting money aside throughout the year will make your holiday spending a lot less stressful and a lot merrier. If you’re not sure how much you’ll need, there are online budgeting tools you can use. Then, you will be able to actually have fun with your holiday spending, knowing that you already have the money set aside and without worrying about going into holiday debt. Nothing ruins the Christmas spirit faster than a huge credit card bill that you can’t pay.

You keep getting pressured to donate to a charity 

With approximately 86,000 registered charities across Canada, and with so many ways to give, there’s no shortage of options for Canadians for charitable endeavours. Around the holidays, there is tremendous pressure to donate to charities.

Whether you can’t afford it, you’ve already donated to several holiday charities, you don’t believe in the charity’s mission, or you simply don’t want to, saying no can be awkward and leave you feeling like the Grinch. A survey by CouponCabin.com found that 34 percent of respondents said that being pressured to donate to a charity by a co-worker, family member, or friend is the most awkward situation.

Just like we recommend setting aside a special savings account for holiday gifts, you can avoid having to turn down your co-worker’s son’s charity donation request again by saving up throughout the year. Create a savings account, especially for charitable donations. You don’t have to add to this account as regularly as a typical savings account or your holiday gift account. But even throwing $20 in there every few months will ensure that you at least have something to give when the charities come calling this holiday season.

Then, if you go over your charity budget, you have a legitimate reason why you can’t donate.  

Someone asks to borrow money from you

The budget gets tighter than Santa’s pants for most of us around the holidays. But, it may be even tighter for your cousin Joey who lost his job this year. So, he asks you to borrow some cash. Awkward.  

Experts agree that you should never give money you can’t afford to lose. But if you can afford to help a family member and you are basking in the holiday spirit and want to do so, give them money as a gift, not a loan. The holidays are a great time to ensure that you are clear about the fact that it is a gift, and you expect and will not accept repayment.

Once again, if you are using a holiday savings account, you can take money from there to give to cousin Joey instead of scrambling to come up with the cash or having to say no. Another area where a savings account benefits in this situation is, if someone asks to borrow $1,000 from you, but you only have $500 in your holiday budget, you can tell them straight up that’s all you have in the budget without having to come up with excuses or seem heartless and deny their plea for help.

The bottom line to avoid awkward holiday money encounters is to be prepared ahead of time. That will ensure you always have at least something when holiday spending needs pop up, whether it’s gifts or charities. 

At Frugl, we’re committed to helping Canadians reach their full potential by providing a tool that makes saving money effortless and effective. Our mission is simple: to give Canadians confidence in their financial future. Learn more today.