Cutting back on the little things can save you a lot

In the current economy, many Canadians are looking for ways to save money. These savings can often be found in the little purchases so many of us make each day.

Need proof?

A new online calculator developed by Industry Canada, called My Expenses, lets you take the amount of money you spend every day, week or month on those little extras and instantly forecast what you could be saving. Since it may not be possible for you to cut your expenses completely, the calculator lets you see how much you could save if you cut your spending by a certain percentage and invested the money instead.

Imagine having that extra money to help pay off your debt or to put towards your RRSP or RESP without really trying.

To help you even further, there's also a Rent or Buy calculator that is particularly useful for those who dream of buying a home instead of renting.

The calculator helps you decide whether you can afford to buy a home based on what you spend on rent each month. The tool takes your savings, rent and utilities into account, along with current interest rates, and shows you the maximum price you could consider paying for a house, including things like closing costs, maintenance and property taxes.

Renters who are considering buying a home may be surprised when they see the numbers broken down in black and white. They could find out that buying a home is an achievable goal for them right now. On the other hand, having all the costs associated with buying a home automatically calculated for them (such as closing costs, down payment, mortgage payments and utilities), could reveal that the expenses associated with buying a home would be too great and would over-stretch their budgets.

With Canadian household debt at an all-time high, these resources, which are part of the Spending Smarter suite of calculators, go a long way in helping consumers gain a realistic picture of how much money they have, what they're spending it on and what could happen if they cut back, even just a little.

You can find these calculators at www.ic.gc.ca/oca/spendingsmarter.

Carol Ireland

Carol Ireland

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
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