Between patio hangouts, weekend road trips, and beachside holidays, the cost of the hottest season adds up! By the time the dog days of summer arrive in all their hazy glory, your budget is probably wilting under the heat.
If your finances need some relief, check in with this money-saving guide. It shares two simple changes you can make today that promise to save you a lot tomorrow.
Stop Paying Bank Fees
Have you looked over your bank statements recently? Did you notice you were charged a monthly fee from the bank?
If you’re like most people, you’re paying a shocking amount. Most millennial and boomer consumers pay around $100 a year just to keep a basic account open.
And that doesn’t count all the other charges a bank applies for things like overdraft protection, transaction limits, and ATM withdrawals. You could be spending even more if you rely on these services.
If you’ve been with your bank for years, it can feel like you’re trapped. But you can escape these fees by switching to a credit union. A local credit union is a convenient and affordable way to manage your money.
All you have to do is become a member. Not sure if you’re a joiner?
Well, did you know this is one of the ways a credit union is able to share its profits? As a member, you’re not just a customer, but a shareholder. You’ll earn annual dividends and cast a vote in elections, giving your voice a chance to be heard.
You’ll also have access to no-fee chequing accounts, high interest on savings, and affordable rates on local loans.
Use Your Credit Cards More Often
This piece of advice isn’t something you’ll hear often. Credit card debt is a real problem for some families, so most financial advisors suggest using credit cards sparingly.
On the surface, this seems like sound advice. But it’s only for those who have a habit of going over budget and charging more they can afford on their card.
But if you can stick to a budget, cash is an old-fashioned way to spend your money. By sidelining the plastic in your wallet, you could be missing out on major savings.
When used properly, your credit card is:
- A financial safety net when you need help making large purchases
- A chance of building good credit
- A way to earn cashback, travel points, and other rewards
- A source of consumer protections and insurance
Just think of how many points you’ll collect if you use a credit card in place of cash (or debit) for every purchase. You’d earn points faster and max out what you can redeem for free.
The trick lies in these two strategies:
- Always pay your credit card off in full at the end of each month. That way, you’ll avoid carrying a balance and paying more in interest.
- Choose a credit card with a low APR and the best rewards.
Experiencing the summer to its fullest can get expensive. But with such a short season, you loathe to give up your summertime treats. And that’s okay! You can find savings in other ways that help you take some of the pressure off your finances, so you’re ready for taking on upcoming fall responsibilities. After all, back to school shopping is closer than you think!
Look into the way you bank and start leveraging your credit card rewards in your favour. These changes may seem minor, but they can help you enjoy the last of the hottest season and save, too.