The best money advice we’ve ever received

Be careful who you marry—it could seriously cost you

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As Canada’s personal finance magazine, we provide practical advice on how to save money, build wealth and enjoy the things that really matter in life. But behind the complex calculations, we all have our own little adages we live by. Here are 8 tips that MoneySense staffers have learned over the years to keep, spend, earn and generally make the most of their money. We’d love to hear your tips, too. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

1. Keep getting smarter

David Thomas Headshot_BW_circ_headroom copyA little personal finance learning can be a dangerous thing. Lots of people can master low-stress, low-fee, passive index investing. But a lot of us may be missing good opportunities when it comes to integrating annuities or tax planning into your overall strategy. More research or some qualified financial advice can help.

—David Thomas, Editor-in-Chief

2. Take advantage of free money

MarkBrownEmployees often don’t take the time to understand their benefits package — or worse they overlook it altogether — potentially leaving thousands of dollars’ worth of free money on the table (in the form of pensions, RRSP contributions and stock option plans).

—Mark Brown, Senior Editor

 

3. Marry someone with money-sense

JulieCazzinBe careful who you marry. That means making sure you’re financially compatible. If partners simply take the time to talk about their money habits as well as short and long-term goals, they will have a far better understanding of how their couple finances work and will benefit both of them. Getting a divorce could be the most expensive life event you ever have to deal with. Before you say “I do,” imagine your net worth being sliced in half. Yikes.

—Julie Cazzin, Senior Editor

4. Start your own vice fund

taryn_headshotIf you decide to quit a vice — like smoking or gambling — save the money you would have been spending on your bad habit. Set up a small weekly recurring deposit into an account outside your bank/credit union (like a Tangerine savings account). You won’t miss the money and you’ll be surprised how fast you start to save. Being a bit out of reach, you can’t dip into it needlessly.

Taryn Dufault, Deputy Art Director

5. Rack up cash-back

StefaniaMorettiEnjoy shopping online? Use a cash-back website such a Ebates.ca and get 2% to 12% cash back on the things you’d be buying anyway, on top of any online promotions and credit card perks available to you. Cash back is even available on select travel packages bought online. Every quarter you’ll get your cash-back cheque in the mail, no questions asked. It’s a no brainer.

—Stefania Di Verdi, Senior Editor, Digital

6. Pay for quality

David Fielding_headshot_circ_BWIt’s always wise to be frugal. But whether you’re shopping for a pair of jeans, a piece of furniture or a new kitchen knife, it’s not really a bargain if you end up having to replace it. If you can, try calculating the cost-per-use for a new purchase. A pair of $300 boots in a classic style can be a better deal than a $99 pair if you get more than three-times the wear. Plus, I guarantee you can’t get those $99 boots re-soled.

—David Fielding, Deputy Editor

7. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it

David Hodges 2014Mine’s simple. Credit cards are for convenience, not for spending money you don’t have.

 

 

—David Hodges, Senior Editor

 8. Stay organized

Prajakta headshot_circ_BW_NEWThe best money tip I’ve ever gotten is to be organized! Make a spreadsheet (or use an app or other service) for your monthly budget and yearly savings and have a plan. Even if you occasionally deviate from it, at least you’ll know where you stand instead of blindly wielding your debit card or making minimum payments and hoping for the best.

—Prajakta Dhopade, Digital Editor 

 

We’d love to hear your tips, too. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking for more tips? Check out our collection of the best tips ever.

6 comments on “The best money advice we’ve ever received

  1. There’s only one thing in this world that works 24hrs on 24 and its money. Make sure you always put people first, but do yourself a favor… let money work for you and not you work for money

    Reply

  2. Try to use one method for all expenditures, such as a single credit card. You will not only aggregate more points or cash back, but you will be able to see all monthly spending in a single place.

    Reply

    • This is very good advice. It makes it so simple to summarize the spending amounts in a spreadsheet compared to them being on several statements. CD

      Reply

  3. Teach your kids to save 10% of their money toward investing right from day one. All they need to know at first is that ‘this is money that you don’t touch for a very, very long time’, and then you can refine this understanding for them throughout the years. If children save 10% of their money from their first allowance at age five right through to retirement, they will avoid many of money problems that adults are facing today.

    Reply

  4. Not always easy to do whats best when it comes to money. But if you just pay yourself first, no matter how small the amount is, one day you will see the rewards. Just make sure its money you dont need now or in the near future.

    Reply

  5. Save more than you spend. Simple… if you had a million dollars and started spending you would no longer be a millionaire. If you invested and save some of your earnings and spent only part of them you would grow your investments. So best advice is to save more than you spend!

    Reply

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