Quit wasting money

We’ve come up with myriad ways to waste money that we should be saving for our futures because we’re lazy, stupid or can’t plan worth a damn.



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I talk about these all the time, and yet they are still some of the biggest money-makers for our banks. Hello! Pay attention this time.

1. Carrying a credit card balance:
If you have one of the over 68 million credit cards in Canada and you’re carrying a balance, you’re pouring money down the drain. While credit cards carry a variety of interest rates, depending on your credit history and how good a customer you’ve been, most come in at double digits, which is far more than you should be paying. Transfer your credit card balance to a line of credit and save a ton in interest payments so you can get that balance paid off faster and get busy building a nest egg sooner.

2. Using overdraft:
Once upon a time, going into overdraft was a sign that you couldn’t manage your cash flow worth a damn. Now people live in overdraft, barely making it into the black when their paycheques hit the bank. They pay a monthly fee for this service, and they pay interest on top of that fee. It’s worse if you don’t have overdraft protection because bouncing a cheque can cost you upwards of $40. To avoid overdraft, get yourself a notebook at start keeping track of what you’re spending. Then move $1,000 of your emergency fund into your chequing account to act as overdraft protection. Every time you use any of this money, you must make the $1000 float whole again before you can buy yourself so much as a single cup of coffee.

3. Using another bank’s ATM:
There are people who use ATMs like a wallet, paying $1.50 in fees for a $20 withdrawal. Some people pay more: $1.50 to their bank and another $1.50 to the ATM they are using. To avoid the ATM Fee Blues, only make withdrawals twice a month and make those withdrawals last. If you run out of cash, too bad! You’ll have to shuffle through your pockets and the couch cushions until your next scheduled withdrawal. Eventually you’ll get tired of having no cash and you’ll learn to manage it more efficiently.

24 comments on “Quit wasting money

  1. Don't save too much, it sometimes takes money to make money. Saving too much will turn you to not take more risks when a good opportunity arises.


  2. Talk to your bank about getting an as-needed overdraft plan!

    I was paying $3 a month on overdraft protection I was never using, but DH still wanted to have it there "just in case" (just in case we lose our minds and eat through the $3000 float in the account? Well, not likely, but I digress).

    Anyway, I went to the bank, asked them about it, and am now on a plan with NO monthly fee, but WITH overdraft protection. The "catch" is that I pay $5 once instead of $3 every month if I happen to go into overdraft. Considering that pays itself back in two months of staying OUT of overdraft (which we're never in anymore), I'd say it was worth it :)

    Here's the info: http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/lending/overdraft.js


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  16. Thank you, Gail, for all your great advise!


  17. After paying attention to Gail, I found if i wrapped my credit card in plastic wrap and put it in a drawer, it was out of my hands and i stopped using it. I'm not even sure where it is right now. I got a second job without working myself to the bone and things are starting to turn around financially. Reading my statements are simpler, due to less card use, and so that i can count my withdrawals on one hand feels organized, like i'm getting what i want. I listened to Gail and take out cash more often to avoid constant debit fees and micro managing that cash better. I noticed how much i was spending on liquor and cut back once i realized this. This woman is super sexy and perhaps a super genius. Thanks, Gail !!!


  18. Gail, I watch your show every day and love it. I have picked up a lot of good tips. I take so much cash per month and always keep a record of what I spent, Also if I pay anything with my debit card everything is also recorded and I always know how much money I have in my spending account.
    I am working to pay off all our debts and by Aug. 2012 we won`t owe anyone a penny (which will feel like a million dollars) Thanks for your help, we have to sacrifice alot right now but in four years when we retire we will finish up debit free, a new garage and a little extra cash in the bank. Too bad we didn`t start this when we were younger !!!!


  19. I use my debit card all the time but I keep a track of what I can spend as for credit cards, I pay first then shop. It is like paying cash. Only spend what I put on it. Great for reward points and still not carrying a balance.


  20. What about using your debit card to make direct purchases instead of using cash? The bank does not charge or does it?


  21. This sounds like fad diets .Tell me something that i don't know


  22. I love the advice but take 1000 out of emergency account. Emergency account, are you kidding me? Here's my question – how to get out of debt when you are on a fixed income and cannot control things like housing and vehicle costs (part of salary paid by employer), and are contractually obligated to NOT working a second job? Is it even possible?


    • Yes you can – Wish it Worked…………

      I did that from no employment – no EI – to a job at about $1500/month……..
      I stopped using my Credit Card, paid $500 on my card every month and lived off the rest.
      I worked out how much shampoo – 1/2 teaspoon as I have short hair – same for conditioner,
      switched from shower gel to Pears soap, place toothpaste across toothbrush and not along
      and was not generous with the bathroom tissue. If you're a guy – keep your favourite razor,
      and the ladies their favourite feminine products…..as we need to be confident while out and
      For groceries – a large container of peanut butter, 2 dozen eggs, milk, tuna, pasta and
      veggies off the $1 rack…..discount bread…sometimes chicken or meat. Once a month I treated myself to sushi for $6.
      Borrowed DVD's from the library for free as no cable, and kept my $18 gym membership.
      Hydro is included in my rent. Need a home phone to receive international calls, and my cell
      program $21/month.
      I used my car for work so gas was about $100.

      I bank with Presidents Choice (part of CIBC) and there are no fees………it's Fantastic.

      Of Course You Can Do It!!


  23. Gail great advice as always but I'd like to see the high school kids get the advice just as they are starting out for the first time .My grandaughter is scared of getting a usefull student loan to give her carreer a jump start ………..Photography………. says its too expensive.
    She has graduated but does not realise thats not enough any more.


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