1. Have a Specific Goal
When planning to save money, it is helpful to have a particular goal in mind. Are you saving up for something? Do you want to put aside some money for an emergency? For holidays? Something for your home?
Once you choose your goal, figure out how much it will cost and how long you have to save. For example, if you are saving up for a train ticket, ask yourself how much it will cost and how many months you have to save for the trip. If the ticket is $200 and you have 5 months to save, you will need to save $40 every month.
Share your savings goal with close friends, family, and support system. Sharing your savings goal with those closest to you allows people to keep you accountable and for those closest to you to understand how important this goal is to you. A good support system will help you work towards a goal, not hinder you.
2. Create a Budget
Knowing how much money you receive every month and making a spending plan will help you feel more in control of your finances and ensure you do not overspend. Here are some helpful terms that will help you create your own budget:
- Monthly Income: Money I receive every month
- Monthly Expenses: Money I spend every month
- Fixed Expenses: Expenses I have to pay every month
Example: Rent, phone bills, auto insurance
- Variable Expense: Expenses I can change
Example: I can choose how much I spend on groceries or recreation
The goal of a budget is to make sure you do not spend more than you receive every month. This way, you will stay out of debt and you will be able to add to your savings! Everyone’s budget looks different. It is important to create a budget that is manageable and works for you.
3. Pay Yourself First
Save a portion of your income every single month. Add it to your budget and make sure that money goes into your savings every month, no matter how small the amount. Every dollar counts and will help your savings grow!
Important! Once money goes into your savings, do not take it out unless it is an absolute emergency.
4. Reduce Your Weekly and Monthly Spending
Cutting costs will allow you to have more money to save. Take a look at your bills, receipts, or bank statements to see how much you have been spending. Ask yourself if there is anything you can cut back on or any unnecessary spending. When you reduce your spending, you can put the extra money into your savings.
Grocery shopping is one area where you might be able to reduce your spending. Below are some helpful tips for shopping on a budget:
- Cook and eat at home rather than eating out. Ordering prepared food is expensive and often comes with additional fees such as delivery fees.
- Create a meal plan for every meal and a grocery list. Be sure to stick to the list and do not purchase anything that is not on your grocery list.
- Plan to go to the store once a week rather than making many trips for a few items. This will help you track your spending.
- Look for sales, coupons, and purchase generic brands rather than pricey name brands.
- Do not shop on an empty stomach. It can be challenging to say no to purchasing items that are not on our list if we are experiencing cravings.
5. Join SHIP’s Financial Support Program
A Financial Support Worker can assist you with creating a spending plan and help you save money. In this program, you will learn how to manage your money in the best possible way so that you can work to build confidence and independence! The Financial Support Worker can help you create a budget that works for you and helps you to reach your financial goals.
If you are interested in joining the Financial Support Program, speak to your Primary Worker. A Financial Support Worker will then contact you to set up an appointment to talk about your goals and create a plan to move forward.
Not a client at SHIP? Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog posts! We’ll offer plenty of tips and guidance to help you manage your money and reach your financial goals!
Services and Housing In the Province (SHIP) has operated as one of the largest non-profit supportive housing providers in Ontario for almost thirty years. Our organization has long been a champion of housing and is known as an innovative, responsive leader to support vulnerable populations in the housing, mental health and addiction sector.
Supporting the well-being of residents in our communities is the foundation by which SHIP guides further development of housing and services. Our strong community presence, responsiveness, varied housing and service options, commitment to diversity, quality and safety allow us to take a stance and has earned us credibility in the various communities we serve.