As a concerning new report sheds light on the pressures facing Canadian consumers from the surging cost of household bills, this personal finance educator is sharing tips on how you can reduce your monthly budget.
Kelley Keehn, from Money Wise Workspaces, spoke with Merella Fernandez on CTV News Channel’s Top 3 Tonight about steps you can take to slash your expenses right now.
REDUCE YOUR EXPENSES NOW
This doesn’t just mean “forgoing your coffee,” according to Keehn, but taking a deep look into your monthly costs and seeing what can be cut or renegotiated.
Keehn suggests looking at the interest you pay on your credit card and seeing if a new product from your bank offers a better rate. She also recommends “shopping around” for your home or auto insurance.
“These things that can save you a significant amount each year.”
CAN YOU BRING IN MORE MONEY?
Keehn says if you’re struggling with expenses, looking for a “side hustle” can be a strategy to offer some immediate relief, buy daily essentials or to start building up emergency savings.
What should you be looking for? Keehn says anything can work –“dog walking or service delivery… that’s going to bring in a few extra hundred dollars per week.”
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “FREE” MONEY
Millions of dollars are being “left on the table” according to Keehn, who also suggests making sure you’re taking advantage of wellness packages offered at your workplace and “leaning in” to any offer of “matching programs” offered by some employers.
“I get it when people are stressed,” Keehn acknowledged. “They’re not thinking about creative ways to bring in more.”
KEEP AN EYE ON MONTHLY FEES
Keehn cautioned that many Canadians are making interest-only payments on credit cards and lines of credit, which have led to huge payment spikes as rates rose.
“If you are finding yourself in that situation, you’re just surviving right now,” she warned. “You definitely want to sit down with your banker or financial planner… to come up with a plan.”
Watch the full one-on-one interview by clicking the video at the top of this article.