Saving money is a journey.
And like every journey, it helps to have a couple friends to help out along the way.
That's why I created this one-stop page for products and tools that I recommend – and use myself.
These money tools will help you stretch your dollar further than you thought possible. That way you can get more of what you want, and spend less than you think.
No fluff. Let’s go straight to the list of products, tools, and deals I use and think are valuable:
- get a no-fee bank account,
- get rewards with your credit card,
- save money on travel,
- save money on shopping,
- trim your monthly expenses,
- earn some extra money, and
- get more from Canada's reward programs.
Get a no-fee bank account
First things first. Get rid of unnecessary fees.
It's simple – why pay for day-to-day banking when you can get it for free?
There are now a number of virtual banks that offer no-fee chequing and savings accounts by not having brick-and-mortar stores. Instead, everything is done online.
No-fee chequing account
I use Tangerine for my chequing account – and right now you can get up $200 in cash bonuses if you're a new client.
Open a Tangerine account: Click here
Use this Orange Key: Orange50
You'll get your first bonus of $50 once you deposit at least $100.
Then, for the next $150, you have to:
- switch 2 pre-authorized payments of $50 or more to your new account for 3 consecutive months, or…
- set up a payroll direct deposit for 3 consecutive months.
Not bad for $200.
No-fee savings account
But for your savings account, you might want to consider EQ Bank – they have one of the highest regular interest rates in Canada.
Get 2.30% interest* rate for no monthly fee and no minimum balance. You'll even get free unlimited Interac e-Transfers®.
Open an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account here.
Get rewards with your credit card
Despite their negative reputation, credit cards are actually a great way to save money and earn rewards with every dollar you spend.
Of course, there's the necessary disclaimer to make: credit is not free money. Always make sure to pay your balance in full every month.
The best credit cards will give you valuable rewards on every purchase, from travel points to straight-up cash back. Plus, you'll often get a whole suite of insurance and perks at no extra charge.
The American Express Cobalt Card, right now, is my favourite credit card in my wallet. Flexible rewards, 5x points in 3 bonus categories, up to 30,000 point welcome bonus, 9 different types of free insurance, and more.
Not sure what credit card is best for you? Take this credit card quiz and get personalized recommendations in 3 minutes or less.
I also update my list of the best credit cards in Canada every year.
Or if you want to investigate and do your own comparison, check out my credit card comparison tool.
Bonus: read how to get a credit card annual fee refund.
Save money on travel
Even if I’m only a baby travel hacker, I’ve enjoyed getting free flights and free hotel accommodations in both North America and Europe – I even flew my in-laws to Asia first-class...using points.
Here are a couple travel resources I've written over the years:
- understand the basics with my Intro To Points And Miles For Travel Hacker Wannabes,
- find cheap flights using my list right here,
- score cheap hotels using my priceline tutorial, and
- don't miss my best travel credit card rankings.
Save money on shopping
Whether you love it or you hate it, you have to shop eventually. Might as well save money while you do it.
Save money on groceries
Download this free Grocery Store Price Comparison Spreadsheet so you can easily compare the prices at your local stores.
Get free shipping on everything you buy
Always get the best deal
Mastering the art of stacking is learning the secret sauce of getting the best deal.
Trim your monthly expenses
It's no secret that your monthly bills can really drain your account. Figuring out how to maximize what you have and get the best deal on what you're getting can go a long way.
Save money on your car
If you don't have a car yet, here are some resources to get around some of the biggest questions and marketing tricks you'll encounter:
- 0% financing isn't always as good of a deal as you think, and
- the 3 main questions you need to answer before you buy your car.
Once you have your car, here's a quick list of resources to trim the expenses that come afterwards:
- Here’s how you can extend the life of your car
- Get the most of your new car warranty
- Start the habit of rust proofing your car every year
- Use synthetic oil in your car, here’s why – and you should also bring your own oil as well
- Find out how much car repairs should cost
Save money on gas
Save on gas without changing your driving habits.
And here's a list of best credit cards for gas discounts.
Cut down your bills
Here are some things to consider when it comes to your utility bills:
- Cut the cord, here’s how to get started on free internet TV
- Replace your home phone service with VOIP like magicJack
- Hack your cell phone bill, 5 ways how
- Lower your power and utility bills, here are 11 ideas
Save money on entertainment
Smart Savers don’t need to be stuck at home, having fun is part of life:
- Here’s how to rein the tab when you’re eating out
- Score cheap movies while you’re at it
- Get cheap concert tickets (and good seats)
- Visit the public library for free entertainment from books, music, videos, and games
And if you’re looking to stay in, here's a couple of ideas:
Earn some extra money
From time to time, I update this list of available free gift cards of up to $100 to popular stores.
Can anyone really afford to ignore legit free money? Here’s 14 ways to get some.
Looking for ways to get MORE money in your pockets?
- You can negotiate to get more from bad customer service
- Negotiate your salary
- Download my 5 Simple Tools to Save Big Money Everyday
- Check out my list of cashback websites
- Have a side hustle (here are some ways to save money on your your home business)
Get more from Canadian rewards programs
Sure, these programs are meant to create loyal customers out of us. Does it work? Sometimes. I’m a member of about 30 rewards programs. But here are my two favourites.
The best rewards program in Canada. Period. You’re a pro if you’re willing to wait for big sales, get the 20x bonus points, and/or redeem points.
Here's the ultimate guide to the PC Optimum program.
Aeroplan gives amazing value if you redeem your miles for flights and if you’re willing to be flexible.
Here's how to earn faster and redeem better with Air Canada's Aeroplan rewards.
Big fan of ultimate guides? Here's one for Air Miles.
What are some of your best tools?
Let us know in the comments what your go-to tips for saving money are!