35 tips to help you save money

25 August 2022 by National Bank
How to Save Money

Has your financial situation changed? Has your income decreased? Are you looking to save money for a project? It may be the perfect time to review your budget and adopt new habits to save money. Here are 35 tips to help you!

Save on a daily basis

1. Avoid impulse purchases by taking some time to think and drawing up a personal budget. Give it 24 hours or even a week before you decide to buy something. This will help you decide if you really need the item so you can be a responsible consumer

2. Reduce your electricity bill by adopting the right habits

For example, did you know that washing your clothes in hot water can be up to 18 times more costly than washing them in cold water?

3. Buy store-brand products. They're less expensive than name brands and the quality is often just as good.

4. If you're renovating, consider renting tools that you don't use often. It's more cost-efficient and the tools won't take up space in your storage. 

5. Make your morning coffee at home. You'll save without even realizing it. Set aside the money you would have spent on coffee each week so you can put it towards a goal. 

Save on groceries

6. Do your groceries after a meal or have a snack just before. Shopping on an empty stomach may lead you to spend more. And draw up a list to avoid impulse purchases.

7. Draw up a budget and a shopping list by checking out online flyers to find deals. You can even use specialized apps to see what's available.

8. Check out the upper and lower shelves at the grocery store. That’s where the more affordable products are often located.

9. To find the most cost-effective size, compare the price per quantity by reading the labels on the shelves.

10. Prep your own fruit and vegetables. Pre-assembled snacks can cost twice as much as unprepped food.

11. Reduce your meat consumption to save on your grocery bill. Why not start by having one or two meatless meals per week?

Save on transportation

12. Use a bike to get around when possible. It's a handy way to save on gas while staying active. Notify your insurer that you're using your car less than you used to—you might get lower rates.

13. If you need a vehicle, get a used car. You'll avoid depreciation. And why not get a hybrid or electric vehicle? You'll save on gas.

14. Before you buy a car, use an online comparison tool to find cheaper options.

15. To reduce your gas bill, take your foot off the pedal. Driving at 100 km/h on the highway uses 20% less gas than driving at 120 km/h. 

Save on your internet, TV and mobile bills

16. Take a look at your usage habits to see if you’re paying for anything you’re not using

Example: Spending more time at home? Odds are you're using less phone data. You could change your phone plan so it matches your daily usage.

17. Consider renegotiating your contract. Sometimes all you have to do is ask for a discount. Shop around with your actual usage habits in mind, take a look at affordable providers or purchase a second-hand device

18. Bundle your Internet, phone and TV services together. This could help you save.

Save on child-related expenses

19. Limit the amount of gifts on birthdays and during the holidays. Give hand-made gifts and second-hand items. It's good for your wallet—and for the planet! 

20. Purchase your children’s clothing from thrift stores. There are many second-hand stores with online platforms. You'll find long-lasting clothes for a fraction of the price.

21. Save big by buying hockey and ski equipment used. Some specialized stores even offer credit in exchange for sports gear that doesn't fit anymore.

22. Get government subsidies for your children's education when you contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).  

23. Many colleges and universities hold used book sales at the beginning of the semester. You can also find cheap textbooks on social media or on school forums. 

Want to learn more about planning your household expenses?
Read our article: Household budget planning: indispensable tips.

Save on travel

24. Support local tourism and go on an adventure in your own province, instead of paying to fly overseas and stay in hotels. 

25. Seek out free lodging for your next vacation. Check for availabilities on specialized websites. 

26. Look into changing your cell phone plan to avoid a huge phone bill when you visit another province or country.  

27. Being flexible on your travel dates could help you save. Consider different dates for your vacation. Leaving a few days earlier or later could prove to be much less expensive. 

Discover more tips to save money when you travel.
Read our article: Travel Budget: Tips to Help You Plan

Save on going out

28. Many cities offer free cultural activities such as conferences, shows and virtual museum visits. They're a great way to have fun for a fraction of the price. 

29. Organize a picnic at the park instead of ordering food online. It's a lot more fun and it's a great way to enjoy the summer. Plus, you’ll avoid food waste.

Save on taxes and financial services

30. Accelerated mortgage repayment could help you save tens of thousands of dollars

For example, by making an additional $2,000 payment every year on your $300,000 mortgage at a fixed rate of 5% over 25 years, you'll pay $41,252 less in interest and you'll pay off your mortgage earlier than planned.

31. Try to pay off your credit cards in full every month. Otherwise, watch out for interest (link to external site): a $2,000 purchase at a 20% rate will end up costing you $4,240 if you only make the minimum monthly payment. 

32. Use your bank's ATMs when making withdrawals to avoid transaction fees.

33. Shop around for your home and auto insurance when they're up for renewal. Premiums vary widely from one insurance broker to another. In some cases, you could reduce your premiums by grouping all your insurance plans under the same insurance broker

34. Consider joining the pension plan in which your employer contributes an additional amount. You'll be contributing more and it's usually very beneficial for you.

35. If you have a spouse and one of you is retired, you could split your pension income to pay less tax. This tax strategy involves transferring (on paper) part of the retirement income from the spouse with the higher income to the other spouse. If the wealthier person moves to a lower tax bracket, you will pay less tax as a couple. 


There are many ways to save money without having to sacrifice too much—from changing your shopping habits to thinking before you spend. Start by applying the tips that seem most realistic. Then take the money you’ve saved and invest it in your savings, your insurance plans and your emergency fund, and devote the rest to projects that are important to you! Schedule an appointment with our specialists to get some support.

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