1. Focus on eliminating interest
    It’s very difficult to save when you’re in debt. Hard earned cash is going towards hefty interest rates and it can put a serious strain on your efforts to save. Focus on paying those credit cards off first and foremost.
  2. Set a budget
    The only way to create a budget is to assess your current spending. Determining where your money is going identifies which areas you need to streamline. Make it your mission to cut the amount spent in these areas by half.
  3. Set up automatic transfers
    Set your online banking up to automatically transfer a designated amount of money to a savings account every payday. By using a hands-off approach, you won’t even notice the difference.
  4. Move to more modest living quarters
    Think moving from a two bedroom to a one bedroom. Or if you are really serious, find a roommate or even move home temporarily. Rent is a huge expense that could add up to a substantial savings in no time.
  5. Sell or downsize your car
    This isn’t practical in more rural locations, but take advantage of public transit, carpooling and biking when possible. This saves fuel, maintenance and wear and tear. Alternatively, you could sell your car and downsize to a smaller vehicle that’s more fuel efficient and lower in insurance.
  6. Put away every unexpected money you receive
    Think a bonus at work, tax return or rebate. Don’t look at this money as a reason to spend. This is an added bonus that you aren’t relying on to pay the bills. Tempting as it may be to treat yourself, sock it away and keep that goal of home ownership in mind.
  7. Save your money in a TFSA or your RSP
    A TFSA is a tax-free savings account and just like the name suggests, you can earn interest on your savings without having to pay any income taxes on it. With a Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) the amount you contribute to it each year is deductible from your taxes. This helps you save money by reducing your taxable income for that year, which allows you to pay less tax now. And RSPs aren’t just for retirement – the Canadian government allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 per year from your RSP to put towards your first home!