1. Keep an eye on your bank account

Young banking finance analyst in eyeglasses working at sunny office on laptop while sitting at wooden table.Businessman analyze stock reports on notebook screen.Blurred background,horizontal
SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock

You’ve worked hard to save up $1,000, but it’s possible the journey was tougher than it needed to be.

The only way to tell is to monitor your account — perhaps daily. Not only will it help you track your purchases and budget better, but you’ll also see all of the little automatic charges you didn’t know about.

Maybe that “free trial” turned into a paid subscription without telling you. Or your bank could be hitting you with hefty service charges. (Once you’re able to keep more in the bank, you can upgrade to something with no monthly fees, like Scotiabank’s Basic Plus Account.)

Checking your account regularly can even prevent fraud early on. If you see weird purchases you don’t recognize, report them to your bank.

2. Get ahead of the unexpected

Couple considering life insurance
fizkes / Shutterstock

A grand isn’t enough to provide for your family in case something happens to you, but it’s more than enough to buy protection that can.

With a global pandemic going on, it’s time to consider getting life insurance.

A good policy will lift any financial burdens off your family. It can replace your income, pay your kids’ tuition fees and cover the mortgage. Using an online comparison tool like PolicyMe, you can look at a range of policies and find the best quote.

You could be paying $15 a month for a $250,000 policy that protects your loved ones for the next 20 years. That’s cheaper than a Netflix premium plan.

3. Let someone else pay your bills this month

Serene man smiling sitting on couch at home.
fizkes / Shutterstock

If your saving potential is being strangled by debt, you might want to consider replacing your bad loans with a better one.

LoanConnect matches you with lenders offering interest rates as low as 4.6%, allowing you to pay off your high-interest credit cards and other bills. You’ll save on interest, get out of debt quicker and just have one manageable monthly payment to deal with.

Checking for a better rate won’t impact your credit score, and you’ll see competitive offers no matter what your credit looks like. After five minutes, you could be pre-approved for $50,000 and get the money within a day.

4. Call in a credit coach

Man Holding Smart Phone Showing Credit Score Application On A Screen
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

Now that your bank account looks a bit more respectable, you should try to look better as a borrower, too.

Your credit score affects the interest rate you’ll get on all kinds of loans, like mortgages. Improving your score is a simple process with an enormous impact, potentially saving you thousands over the coming years.

Link up with a company like Borrowell that can help you improve your credit score ahead of your next big loan request.

Borrowell offers you free looks at your credit score and monthly reports on your financial performance. Plus, the company’s credit coaching tool provides you with personalized tips to enhance your score as quickly as possible.

5. Break into the stock market with a robo-advisor

Woman holding smartphone while working with laptop at home office desk
fizkes / Shutterstock

If you’ve never invested in stocks before, the prospect of putting your money into an uncertain market can be daunting. That’s doubly true during a pandemic that has seen stocks hit rocky lows.

The important thing to remember is that a downturn is an ideal time to buy. The market is already recovering from the latest crash, but you can still pick up some high-profile stocks at bargain prices.

To get started, try using an automated investment service like Wealthsimple. This “robo-advisor” will build you a custom portfolio based on your financial goals and tolerance for risk, then make smart and timely adjustments whenever the market shifts.

Right now you can get your first $10,000 invested for free, but you don’t need to put down anywhere near that much. Begin with a small chunk of change and watch how rapidly it grows.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a staff writer for MoneyWise. She loves storytelling and research and was published in Ricepaper Magazine's 2019 anthology, Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction.

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