Today’s financial climate is… interesting. On the one hand, there is a plethora of new ways to make money. Some of the biggest companies are earning massive amounts of money with services that weren’t possible to provide just ten years ago. We are also seeing the rise and rise of cryptocurrencies (particularly bitcoin, but others are taking advantage of the boom), with values rocketing to absurd amounts.
On the other hand, the markets are still volatile, nowhere near forgetting the chaos of the crisis that only began about ten years ago. Political instability around the world has many choosing caution.
For some, there has been no better time to make money. For others, making money comes at a premium.
To be fair, there’s always been a divide between those able to take advantage of any financial climate and those who are suffocated by it. It seems, however, that the divide may be wider than ever before.
But what does this mean for you?
Quite simply, it should be clear that your finances do not have to be in a mess. Even if you are being bogged down by difficult financial realities, there are ways to climb out. There’s no reason to be disillusioned by the voices of negativity.
To get you started on a healthier financial journey, here are some ways to get the most from your money.
Use budgeting apps
One of the easiest ways to save money is by creating a budget and sticking to it. You can then track how much you're overspending, exactly where you're overspending, and what you can change.
Unfortunately, some of us are just not cut out for budgeting. Those who find it natural provably consider us lazy. However, there are very real psychological reasons it can be so hard to budget. Everyone has their own fraught relationship with money, constructed from childhood memories, our parents’ practices, and so on. If you get a headache from just the thought of budgeting, you probably have a complex relationship with money. And that’s not going to suddenly change.
The good news is that we live in an age in which we don’t need to do these things ourselves. Budgeting apps are evolving and making our lives much easier. They work by connecting with our bank accounts and automatically categorising our income and expenditure. You have to do minimal work by correcting any misplaced transactions, and in future it will get that right.
Now, instead of having a long bank statement to trawl through yourself, you have everything neatly categorised. The app will tell you how much you're spending as compared to your usual amounts, and show you what you can cut down on. You still need to make the decisions, but the process is no longer so daunting. You can peruse some of the most popular apps here.
Taking advantage of credit card rewards
What better way to save money than by getting rewarded for spending it? The idea of credit card rewards may sound ridiculously quaint and unhelpful. After all, aren’t they just giving you a tiny percentage that will never add up to much?
The truth is that credit card companies benefit from rewards programs by encouraging good credit card practices. They get you to use your credit card a certain way, and you benefit for it. Of course, you're not going to save a lot of money if you're getting rewards in anything but cash (or virtual cash). Make sure you find the best Canadian cash back credit cards.