Budgeting tips to help manage your money

Excerpts of a MoneyTalk interview article by Denise O’Connell, MoneyTalk Life of Stephen Inskip, Head of TD Wealth Financial Planning.

No matter your financial situation, it’s always a good idea to have a budget you can manage. Should you find yourself cash-strapped or simply looking to spend less, here are six tips to help you cut back on everyday expenses:

1. Be a cord cutter

Many Canadians have already cut their cable subscriptions and now rely on streaming services to entertain them. But beware: As the number of streaming services available rise, so have their prices. For example, it can be easy to swap one $80 monthly cable bill for several $15 streaming fees. With no cancellation or installation fees, it could be wise to choose one streaming service at a time. Once you have binge-watched the best of one service, move onto another for fresh content.

2. Use discount coupons

Today's couponing doesn't have to be time-consuming, nor does it need to include any clipping and organizing. Many apps can automatically build your grocery list and show you what's on sale. Consider purchasing non-perishables when they are good buys or switching brands if a different one is on sale.

3. Consolidate your debt

Debt consolidation rolls multiple debts into a single payment. You may be able to move high-interest debts, such as any outstanding credit card balance, into a single, lower-interest payment using a secured line of credit like a home equity line of credit, for example. "Consolidating debt may reduce your total debt carrying cost," says Stephen Inskip, AVP, head of TD Wealth Financial Planning. "It may also simplify your finances and you may be able to pay it off faster."

4. Call your insurer

If it's been a while since you have checked your auto insurance bill, it may be time to pick up the phone. Even if you are happy with your provider, there are many factors that go into the price of your insurance. Ask whether your car's depreciation, your good driving record, or even a change in your address or marital status affects your rate.

5. Lower your cell phone bill

Canadians' cell phone bills are among the most expensive in the world1. Calling and texting is relatively inexpensive, but using large amounts of data can be costly. "Watch your data usage," says Inskip. "Going over your allotment, roaming or big plans that you won't use are costly mistakes." Choose your plan wisely and when available use WiFi to stay connected. It can help reduce the amount cellular data used and could prevent overage charges on your data plan.

6. Manage your budget

Being cash conscious can provide a bit of a cushion that can be put towards retirement or into an emergency fund.

"When it comes to spending wisely, it helps to track so you know where your money is going," says Inskip. "By tracking, you can see where you can cut back and also ask yourself what is necessary and what is not."

This content discusses current topics of interest in a general and informational manner only and may not be appropriate in all circumstances. Please ensure that you seek advice personalized for your situation from the appropriate professional, consultant or subject matter expert on the topic of interest to you.

Tools to help you reduce your spending

  • Find your spending hot spots:
    With the TD MySpend app, you can track purchases and transactions made from your personal TD Canadian dollar deposit and credit card accounts so you can see how your personal spending syncs up with your budget. Learn more about how to track your spending and savings with TD MySpend.
  • Find out where your money goes:
    The TD Personal Cash Flow Calculator can help you calculate where you spend money. Calculate now.
  • Make a budget:
    Review our 5 steps to get you started on making (and sticking to) a budget.


1Nordicity Group. 2017 Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services in Canada and Select Foreign Jurisdictions. October 5, 2017. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/693.nsf/vwapj/Nordicity2017EN.pdf/$file/Nordicity2017EN.pdf (Accessed March 30, 2020)

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