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Credit Counselling Education Services of Atlantic Canada, Inc.

Saving for Everyday Living

>> Saving for vacations
>> Ready to buy your first home?
>> Saving for emergencies

 

Saving for vacations

We have all uttered the immortal words “I NEED a vacation!!!!” With the daily stress of work, parenting and life in general everyone needs some sort of vacation.  However, you don’t have to go in to debt to make it happen.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your vacation paid for BEFORE it happens?  Wouldn’t it be nice to not rack up huge credit card bills in order to pay for a vacation?  Yes, it is possible to start saving for a vacation right now!

The first thing you must do is determine what kind of vacation you think you want and what you can truly afford.  Know how much you can afford and how much you are willing to spend.  Then prepare a “vacation” budget. Put the money you will save using some of our tips in a special account and name it "vacation fund."

Cut out all the "un-necessities" that add up over time. Get rid of the gym membership and start walking outdoors or on the treadmill that is currently being used as a clothes hanger. 

Make your own coffee instead of picking one up on your way to the office.  Make all your own meals instead of buying take out.  You will be surprised how much you will save.

Establish a "48-hour rule" before you buy anything. Give yourself a couple of
days to think about any purchase. You may realize you can easily live without more "stuff."

Enjoy a "staycation".  This is a vacation in your hometown.  There are tons of things to do that you've yet to discover - amusement parks, museums, zoos, hiking trails and concerts.  Be a tourist in your own backyard.

Check into a house rental rather than a hotel.   If you split the cost of a house or condo with another family or couple you will save quite a bit of cash.  You will also have a kitchen to use which means you will eat out less and eat better.

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Ready to buy your first home?

Most people underestimate the true amount of money they need in order to purchase their own home.  Down payments, inspections and closing costs can be quite a shock for first time home buyers. They also tend to take the highest pre-approved mortgage they can get instead of considering how long it will take to pay it off.

CCSAC has some tips to prepare you before you purchase your first home and save you some money.

Determine your true needs and priorities.  Do you really need three bathrooms?  Would you like to be close to your children’s school or bus stops?  Everyone has a picture in their head of the perfect house.  Be realistic.  Identify what you truly need before you start house hunting.

Know your credit score. Any loan will be based on your credit score.  A good credit score may give you a lower interest that can save you thousands of dollars.

Click here to read more about credit reports.

Save...save...save.  Save as much as you can towards a down payment.  This will drop your total monthly payments and save you time and money on your mortgage.

Always get an inspection.  You need to have a qualified inspector look for potential foundation problems, and anything else that you may not see. 

Sometimes the inspector will only find minor problems, but other times there are expensive issues that can be fixed before you purchase or will stop the purchase from even happening. Either way getting an inspection this step can save you thousands of dollars.

Determine how much you can really afford, including a down payment.  Know what you can afford for a monthly payment including insurance and repairs before you start looking for a lender. Once you do don’t take the largest pre-approved mortgage you can get.  You eventually have to pay it back.  

Also ask about home loans available for first time homebuyers. 

Keep in mind this is your first home.  Odds are you will own another home at some time and breaking the bank to own it may not be the best decision you make.

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Saving for emergencies

No one ever expects emergencies. They hit you at the most inopportune moment.  Major car repairs. Roof needs replacing.  Unexpected job loss.   A medical crisis.  Emergencies happen to everyone. But are you prepared when they do hit

In order to be ready for any emergency you need to build up your savings.  In order to calculate how much you should save add up what you spend monthly on absolute necessities like food, transportation, housing, etc.  Multiply this number by three - as this is the number of months you should have banked.

Now, how do you build this nest egg?  CCSAC has some suggestions for building an emergency fund:

Save automatically.  You don’t miss what you don’t have. Have some money automatically taken on payday and placed into a separate savings account.

Cut your expenses.  Downgrade your current cable subscription or get rid of cable altogether. Eat out less or order-in. Borrow books from the library instead of buying. Investigate new cell phone options.

If you eliminate an expense, save it.  When you cut down on your expenses put the difference into your savings account.

Want to save more money?  Visit our tips page for more cost cutting ideas.

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