How to help trim your household budget and save money

If you feel like your household expenses are adding up, you're probably not alone. According to Statistics Canada, in 2017 the average Canadian household spent over $63,000 on basic living expenses—like groceries, housing and utilities. Still, you may be able to cut back on your spending (even just a little bit) and put more money towards savings.

Check out the helpful tips below to learn how you can potentially lower your household expenses and start saving more.

How to help improve your family budget

Reduce your high-interest debt

One thing you can do before you start saving is try to pay down or pay off your debts, especially the high-interest rate ones. If you're not making progress on paying down debt due to high interest, you may consider a debt consolidation loan where the interest rate could be lower and all your debt could be consolidated at that lower rate. Use the TD Debt Consolidation Calculator to help you see how you can pay down or pay off your debt. Once you've paid off debt, you may find that you have more money available to put towards your savings.

Take a closer look at your household expenses

Making a budget can help you get a sense of your monthly expenses and see where there may be potential to cut back on your spending. Did you know? TD MySpend can help you keep tabs on spending from your TD deposit and credit card accounts. For example, you may notice you're spending a lot on your cellphone service. Does your cell phone provider offer a family data sharing package that's more affordable but still meets your needs? Taking another look at your expenses and where you might be able to save money because it can make a difference.

Try to avoid impulse buying

Impulse buys are those pesky purchases you make on the spot without planning for them in advance. Ranging from a pack of gum at the checkout counter to an expensive pair of new headphones bought online, impulse buys can really make a dent in your household budget if they happen a lot. To help you avoid impulse purchases, try to plan all your purchases ahead of time by making a list, and sticking to it as best you can. This way, if you do spontaneously treat yourself you'll have controlled your spending and made this one-time impulse buy feel even more special.

Make the most of your savings

Give yourself a savings goal to reach

Having a clear goal to work towards can be a fantastic motivator when trying to save money. Choose something you want to buy as a family and work to save towards it. It can be a big goal, like a dream vacation or a new house, or a smaller one, like a new tablet or tickets to a sports event. No matter what you choose, every time you follow your budget and cut down on expenses, you’ll be that much closer to achieving your goal.

Steps to help you follow your family budget

One way to help you cut down on expenses is by making changes, even small ones, to your family's everyday spending habits. Over time, you may see a difference in your saving each month. Doing just one or more of these things can help you save money. These small changes may include:

  1. Carpooling to work

  2. Cooking with leftovers

  3. Cutting back on takeout

  4. Making a grocery list

  1. Buying items on sale

  2. Selling unneeded items

  3. Installing LED bulbs

  4. Cutting services you don't need

Automate your savings

Setting up automated savings and ensuring a portion of your pay is automatically transferred to your savings account on a regular basis, is one way to help you save money. TD Automated Savings Tools offer a few options to help you automatically save money, and you can choose which one works best for you and your family's needs. This approach can help you spend less and stick to your savings plan so that you have a better chance of reaching your goals.

Bring the family in on the finances

Build a family budget together

Create a family budget for your household. Sit down and try to get an understanding of where your money is going. TD MySpend can help you get started because it tracks your spending made through your TD deposit and credit card accounts, while the TD Cash Flow Calculator can help you get a view on all your expenses over a longer period of time. With these tools, you'll be better able to plan your family budget on a monthly and annual basis.

Ask for financial advice

Don't know where to turn for financial advice? The TD Financial Health Index† recently reported that many Canadians surveyed aren't financially confident they are on track to meet their long-term financial goals and that 62% of them don't know where or who to turn to for financial advice. Close family members or friends can be a good place to start. You can also help boost your financial confidence by attending an adult financial literacy program like Money Matters. We're also here for you and you're always welcome to book an appointment with us if you have any questions about your finances.

Family budget check

This is a routine family or household budget check that you can do every month or quarter. It involves looking back at the previous month's spending to see if you’re meeting your goals. Having this type of regular check-in can really help you achieve financial discipline for your spending and saving habits. Simply check if your spending falls within the family budget to be sure you’re still moving towards your financial goals.

Save money more often

Making a household budget focused on your financial goals can help create a positive financial situation for you and your family.

By tracking your spending on a regular basis, you may see opportunities to reduce household expenses and save money. Over time, this savings tactic can have noticeable results on your bank account and on your savings goals.

Taking steps to spend less and save more can help you feel more secure about your financial future — and you can start making it happen today.

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TD Financial Health Index, a Pulse Check on Financial Well-Being in Canada is a quantitative online survey of 10,305 adults in Canada that was conducted by Ipsos between May 3 – 17, 2019.

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