Five tips for more mindful summer spending
So you don’t go overboard this season
After a year with fewer expenses on public transit, dining out and going out, people across the city might be tempted to indulge in a more laissez faire approach to spending. Summer has always been a particularly easy time to go a little overboard with our spending, but resisting the urge to overspend is important. And, if you’ve never considered yourself “good with money”, now is a great time to change that.
“You don’t have to do it alone,” says Erica Nielsen, Senior Vice President, Everyday Banking and Client Growth at RBC. “There are so many resources and tools available that can help you create a budget, find ways to save and manage your everyday finances.” Here’s how to enjoy your money, and feel good about it.
Tracking with tech
Checking in on your balances regularly is key to healthy budgeting, and your bank’s mobile app likely has handy built-in technology to do just that. This means going beyond simply logging your expenses and instead, better understanding your spending habits and finding more ways to save. With RBC Vantage—which provides access to a comprehensive suite of benefits, interactive tools, rewards and savings, simply by having an RBC bank account—for example, you can access a suite of digital tools through NOMI which use predictive technology to learn your purchasing patterns and offer tailored recommendations to help you save more of your hard-earned cash.
Reap the rewards
Make sure you try and get the most out of what you do every day by finding a bank that rewards you for the activities you already do and the purchases you already make. Through RBC Vantage, you can now collect RBC Rewards points when using debit for everyday purchases (and if you have an RBC Rewards credit card, those points can be combined to help you earn rewards faster). As part of RBC Rewards – Canada’s largest bank-owned loyalty program – you can also get special offers and instant discounts on purchases at certain retailers that RBC partners with – such as a three-cent a litre discount at the pump with Petro-Canada or rewards and savings at Rexall pharmacies. Rewards points can really add up.
Build a budget
Budgeting is the cornerstone of becoming financially savvy, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting task filled with spreadsheets. Today’s online tools are designed to help you put a budget together with minimal input, so you can easily allocate money based on what’s important to you—whether that’s saving for a house, a sabbatical or your next big night out. If you already have a budget, you may want to adjust it over the summer and allocate a little more of your funds towards having fun (because who doesn’t need to blow off a little steam after the year we’ve had?). “NOMI Budgets can help by taking the thinking—and the manual calculator work—out of setting up a budget. It takes a close look at your spending and recommends a personalized monthly budget based on your habits,” explains Nielson.
Set financial goals
Besides blowing cash on the fun stuff, it’s important to build savings into your budget and consider your short and long-term financial goals. Nielsen suggests setting aside essential costs (think: rent, car payments, investments) before playing around with your “wants.” “Knowing there might be a greater temptation to spend, making savings automatic and paying yourself first can also help you continue to save.” Don’t forget to give yourself flexibility for those moments when you want to splurge.
Get the right bank account
Not all bank accounts are created equal so it’s important to look for one that can help you save, whether it is with unlimited transactions or savings on ATM fees. RBC Advantage Banking is a new account that offers more value in a number of ways. If you have other RBC products and utilize activities like direct deposit or online bill payments monthly, there’s no fee attached to holding the account. (You can see all the details here.) You can also access enhanced support and advice, and a range of free tools to help manage your money and meet your goals, through any personal RBC account.