finding the balance between living and saving

Resources

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Tools

 

 

 


Mint.com for budgeting and tracking your spending

Mint has been an indispensable tool for creating budgets and tracking my spending. It’s a free service because they feed on your data to advertise financial products to you based on your financial habits. In order to use Mint to its fullest potential, you’ll need to link all of your financial accounts so  Mint can track and categorize every purchase made and bill paid. Mint is read-only, so if your account is ever compromised, the intruder wouldn’t be able to move any money, but they’d have a better chance of stealing your identity by knowing your banking and spending habits. For this reason, be sure to set a bulletproof password and never re-use passwords especially when they’re tied to your money.

One of Mint’s greatest, albeit annoying, habits is the ability to receive notifications when you’re approaching or exceeding your budget in a given category. I personally love getting a judgemental alert on my phone at 1:38am to inform me I’m spending more than usual on tequila. 😒

 

 

 

Wealthsimple* for investing and saving

Any millennial money blogger would be remiss not to recommend a robo-advisor. Wealthsimple manages your first $5000 free for one year. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can pump this number up by referring friends. After that, they charge a low 0.5% up to $100k. Over $100k, this drops to 0.4% (#goals). They keep this service cheap and easy by investing your money in low-fee Exchange Traded Funds, which is widely considered to be an extremely reliable investing strategy.


My favourite part about my robo-advisor? It’s a great stepping stone to investing if you’re interested in the stock market but don’t yet know wtf equities even means. Wealthsimple sparked my interest in ETFs, and investing general. Plus, their fun metrics and interactive sliding graphs add an element of gamification that inspires steady savings.

Wealthsimple is also currently piloting the highest interest savings account available in Canada, at 1.15% (!!!)

 

 

 

Splitwise – free app on iOS & Android for tracking shared expenses

Live with roommates, a significant other, or routinely split the bar tab with friends? I love Splitwise for keeping track of shared expenses like groceries, internet, electricity, and fuel for the car. Splitwise keeps a running tab of who owes who what. The app does the math for you and acts as a gentle (not passive-aggressive) reminder to friends who tend to forget it’s their turn to buy a pitcher for the table.

 

Books


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing*
Marie Kondo

I know, I know. This book is a little hokey and borderline cliché at this point. Nonetheless, the underlying philosophy helped me to purge unnecessary possessions for donation, consignment, and Kijiji. The “Kon-Mari” method freed up some space in my tiny condo and changed the way I think about acquiring and thereby spending on  new possessions.

 

 

The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe*
Anuschka Rees

For many folks, especially young women, clothing is spending kryptonite. We are bombarded with aspirational images of outfits from every angle: movies, magazines, television, and perhaps most dangerously  Pinterest and Instagram. In an effort to achieve some level of aesthetic perfection and the chance to feel gorgeous, we spend unnecessarily on clothing we think will help us get there. As a result, our closets are full of low quality items and purchases that cater to our fantasy lives rather than our real lives. Despite our overflowing and overwhelming closets, we still feel as though we have nothing to wear, thereby triggering the spending cycle.

This isn’t a book about achieving the elusive ‘minimalist’ wardrobe. Rather, it helps cut through the noise of ever-changing fashion in favour of defining your style. There’s a strong focus on quality over quantity and holding out for exactly what you want rather than impulse-buying good enough for now.