How to start saving money (when you feel like you can’t start)

Who doesn’t want savings? That little bit of extra money squirrelled away is nice to have, no matter how much money you make. And if you want savings you need to start somewhere.

Here’s how to get started (and make it super easy).

1. Start small.

Take stock of your own financial situation and try putting $10 away from your next paycheque. Doesn’t seem like much, does it? But every little bit counts. Congratulations! You’re a person with savings now. And if you’ve got more than $10 to save? Even better. Let’s say you can save $50 per month. If you put that money into a TFSA, the money you save will be tax free. In five years you will accumulate more than $3,000 dollars—plus you'll save on taxes. See for yourself with our TFSA calculator.

2. Automate your savings.

Now that you’re putting money away each month, it’s time to set it so you can forget it. Create recurring transfers to put $10 in your savings account every time you get paid. Now you don’t have to think about saving. It just happens. Honestly, it feels great.

3. Make a budget.

Wow, another article from a financial institution telling you to make a budget? It’s not exactly groundbreaking advice. But seriously. You should really have a budget. Besides, you’re a person with savings now. And you know what people who have savings also have? Budgets. Once you’ve made your budget, you can figure out exactly how much you can afford to put towards those savings each month without compromising your ability to pay for your essential expenses—and the nice-to-haves, as well. So grab a pen and paper, read our article on basic budgeting for Millennials and you’ll be ready to take on the world (within your budget, of course).

4. Save up an emergency fund.

So, you have a budget now, and a few dollars in savings. But what are you saving for? Consider contributing to an emergency fund. Aim to save up enough to cover three to six months of your essential expenses—which you’ll have calculated while creating your budget—so you've got a safety net in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as a major car repair, job loss, or vet bill. 

5. Talk to a human.

We love apps as much as the next person. You know what we also love? People. Real people. People like you. If you’re looking for more help with your money, we’d love to chat. No two people are the same and similarly, financial advice should never be a one-fits-all approach. 

What’s Next:

The key to setting—and achieving—financial goals is to start small and build gradually. That first $10 in your savings account is like a little gift from current you to future you. High five, future self. You really did it.

Need help budgeting? Want advice on where to invest your hard-earned savings? We’re here to help. So let’s chat.

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