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Always Save Money
A blog by personal finance journalist Rubina Ahmed-Haq


As we are now in the third quarter of 2017, now is an ideal time to check whether or not you're still financially sound. 

The start of 2017 brought about a rocky financial start to global markets. There's now an increased volatility everywhere thanks to the continuing discussions Brexit has brought about. If you or your business is being affected by it, use the time before the year ends as a catalyst to help you overcome similar issues in 2018. 

The UK is one of Canada's top trading partners. According to an article published by Worlds to Exports, the UK imports about $12.9 billion worth of products from Canada, and makes up 3.3% of the latter country's imports. If the UK ends up with a Hard Brexit - meaning that the country will not be able to freely trade with Eurozone trading partners - Canada will become a vital partner to the survival of UK businesses. 

Monitor your budget

One of the most effective ways to monitor your budget is to take at least a few hours to review your spending habits. Make sure that you're not compromising anything, especially for things like your mortgage, investments, and retirement contributions. Reviewing your spending regularly is a nice way to keep things on track. Don't make the same mistake as others who never check-in to update their financial status. You may end up in debt if you don’t make adjustments to your spending and investment habits, especially during a volatile market. 

By using a conservative approach, you can restrict your losses more effectively. It will also increase the odds of having a decent bottom line at the end of the year.

Re-evaluate your tax withholdings

Mid-year is an excellent time to assess tax liabilities. You'll find out if you're paying more taxes than needed or worse, you may be underpaying. 

Make it a habit to look at your tax-deductible charitable donations if you're active in your community. In addition, if you're earning more or less than you were at the start of the year, make sure that you're withholding only the proper amount. 

Don't be shy about hiring a financial adviser

If you have a financial adviser, things can be a lot easier. Sure, you'll be spending money on utilizing your adviser’s knowledge and contacts but your portfolio is more likely to be solid, and you'll save a lot of taxes and minimize investment losses. 

If you need a financial adviser, you can find one at Advocis, which is the oldest and largest voluntary professional membership association of financial advisors and planners in Canada.

Review your retirement contributions

One way to know if you are ready for retirement is to regularly review how much money you allocate to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan or RRSP. Be sure to always check your asset allocation that is appropriate for your current age. 

If you are financially able, now is the time to increase your monthly contributions in order to gain extra tax-deferred investments. You should look to save 15 to 20 percent of your income for retirement if you want to have a comfortable life after your career. 

Always have the future in mind

Negative financial headlines greatly affect investor decision-making. They can also lead to impulse selling or buying. The best thing to do during an economic slump is to be calm and undertake plenty of research. Don't get easily swayed by the mass buying or selling of goods or foreign currencies, and only focus on how you can adjust your financial strategies.

If you're trading currencies for a living, the likelihood is you know very well that panic among consumers is not good for the global market. That said, don't be a part of the problem when there's an economic slump by spreading rumours about uncertainty. Instead, disseminate information based on facts by checking real-time Forex charts. According to a post titled ‘What is Forex’ by FXCM, Forex prices are always based on supply and demand, which makes them good indicators of how the markets are really performing. Plan with your financial adviser, if you have one, and adjust your strategies to make and save money for yourself in the long run. 

Remember, constantly reviewing your finances is the key to a healthy retirement. Make it a habit to check everything regularly, and keep yourself in the loop with the events that may affect your investments. 


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Dine out on weekdays: This might be the hardest sell, but eating out during the week can cost you less and makes more sense. Most restaurants have great deals during the week to attract customers and you will appreciate not having to cook and do dishes on a work night. But remember it’s cheaper to eat at home, so don’t over do this one.
Clip coupons: I know it’s what your mom used to do, but mother knows best! Using coupons, especially on already sale-priced items, will give you maximum savings on household goods. My best advice is clip coupons for products you already use in your home and then scan the fliers to see when they go on sale and stock up!
Take your lunch…