Posts tagged ‘save money’

Forget Stocks! Why Now Is the Ideal Time to Invest and Let Your Money Grow for a Year or More

The rage of late has all been about the insane interest rates and what it is doing to home owners, especially those who are due for a renewal on their mortgage. In some cases, people are having to pay a min of $1K extra if not more on their renewal. Think about having to find an extra $1K or more in your budget, without changing anything else in your income . Not easy!

But there has also been another positive side to the story that we are not talking about much and I think it is time we did, or at least briefly remind people about it. It is about the high interest rates you get for keeping your money in a savings account. Average savings account rates are at a historical 20+ year high, with some banks paying as much as 5.75% for 1 year GICs as of September 2023: EQ Bank is paying 5.75% for 1 year GIC, while Motiv Financial and Tangerine are paying similar rates at 5.6% and 5.5% respectively for 1 year GICs.

At such historically high rates, do you really need to be fiddling with stocks, which have generally been under-performing this year, at least on this side of the border on the TSX? Even if you have a small amount of money, it is worth your time and comfort to just put it in a 1 year GIC, then forget it about, hoping that things will be more calm in a year. For example, if you are one of the lucky ones and have at least $10K laying around that you don’t need at the moment, putting that in 1 year 5.5% GIC would get you an extra $550 a year from now which is not too bad considering the totally passive nature of such an investment.

Certainly, here’s an expanded version:

However, when considering your financial strategy, it’s essential to weigh your options carefully. If you find yourself carrying high-interest debt, it often makes more sense to prioritize paying down that debt over stashing your funds in a high-interest savings account. The key factor here is the interest rate: if the interest you’re accruing on your debt is higher than the interest you could potentially earn in the savings account, it’s generally more financially prudent to channel your resources towards reducing the debt burden. This approach not only saves you money on interest payments but also helps you regain financial stability and move closer to your long-term financial goals. It’s all about making informed decisions that align with your unique financial situation and objectives.

In conclusion, the current financial landscape offers a unique blend of opportunities and challenges. While soaring interest rates may pose concerns for mortgage holders, they also bring a silver lining in the form of historically high savings account rates. It’s a time when strategic financial decisions can make a substantial difference in one’s financial well-being. Whether you choose to lock in a high-rate GIC for a year or explore other investment avenues, the key lies in leveraging these opportunities to secure your financial future. By making informed choices and balancing your financial priorities, you can harness the potential of these remarkable times to your advantage and achieve your long-term financial goals. So, consider the options, seize the opportunities, and make your money work for you, all while embracing a brighter financial future.

Handling Surprise Charges: Tackling Unexpected Credit Card Hits

Have you ever thought your credit card spending was in check, successfully lowering your balance, only to suddenly face a surprise hefty monthly, semi-annual, or annual charge? For instance, this week I was billed $120 on my credit card for a domain name and website renewal that had slipped my mind. What’s worse, since I hadn’t remembered it, I hadn’t budgeted for it either.

These unexpected charges can really hit hard and catch you off guard, jeopardizing your credit card balance. It’s crucial to confront these surprises head-on, or your credit card debt will remain out of reach and take longer to pay off.

Anticipate and Allocate

So how do you deal with this issue of unexpected unforecasted hits to your credit card? You start by going over your credit card statements from the last 12 months.

You then make a note of any recurring monthly, quarterly or annual charges that are in excess of $50 (this amount could vary depending on each person’s situation, debt level, income etc) .

Next, determine whether you genuinely need or can cancel each charge. For instance, weigh the importance of an annual CAA/AAA charge of $120 against its necessity for you and your family. If so, keep it. What about an annual magazine subscription that you have been paying for years, but hardly have the time to read them when they come to your door? As you can see, these may be family decisions, but the time you spend going over these big and recurring bills will pay huge dividends in the long term, in terms of money saved and reduced credit card balance.

Once you have decided on what to keep and what to eliminate, take a moment to do a quick calculation of what you will save from all the charges you will be cancelling. This calculation provides a psychological boost, allowing you to visualize the results of your efforts and understand how they contribute to your improved financial future.

Lastly, mark your calendar or create a list with the dates of these monthly, quarterly, or annual charges to eliminate future surprises. It’s one thing to anticipate and allocate for these charges, but it’s even better when they’re not unexpected.

In the realm of personal finance, being proactive holds the key to mastering your credit card journey. By anticipating and allocating for unexpected charges, you’re not just safeguarding your budget but also taking charge of your financial destiny. Remember, the true power lies in your hands as you navigate the twists and turns of credit card expenses. With these strategies in your arsenal, you’re equipped to face any surprise with confidence, ensuring that your credit card balance remains manageable and your path to financial well-being is paved with foresight and control. So, take the reins, and let your proactive approach guide you towards a brighter and more secure financial future.

Smart Shopping for Big Ticket Items: Price vs. Value and Tips for Maximizing Benefits

If you have a need or even want to buy a big ticket item, do you simply do some research on the best choice, compare it to other items in the same category, then make your decision? or is price the first thing you look at?

For those wondering or are not sure about the exact meaning or what does it apply to, a “big ticket item” refers to a high-cost or expensive purchase or product, which typically represents a significant portion of an individual’s or household’s budget. These items are usually more expensive than everyday or routine purchases and may require careful financial planning and research.

For example, let us say you are in the market for a new Smart TV, as the one you currently have is from 10 years ago or more, and is not only outdated, it is not working properly and it is time to replace it. You decide on the size you want, the features, and even down to two or three brands. You may even have a budget for it. Now what? Do you simply go out and buy it? or do you look at different retailers and big box stores and do price-comparison, as well as checking who gives you the best value for your buck.

With an item that is going to cost a significant amount, it is a no-brainer: you have to spend some time trying to find the best deal, even if it takes you hours or days of research. It could easily mean the difference of hundreds of dollars saved.

Consider Long-Term Costs: Beyond the initial purchase price, think about the long-term costs associated with the item. For example, consider energy efficiency, maintenance expenses, and potential repair costs over time. This can significantly impact the overall value of your purchase.

Read Reviews and Recommendations: Take advantage of online reviews, user testimonials, and recommendations from friends or family who may have experience with the product you’re considering. This can provide valuable insights into the item’s performance and durability.

Warranty and Customer Support: Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer and the level of customer support provided. A strong warranty can provide peace of mind and save you money on potential repairs.

Negotiate for Discounts: Don’t hesitate to negotiate with the seller, especially if you’re making a significant purchase. Many retailers are open to price negotiations, and you may be able to secure a better deal or additional perks.

And last but not least, if you already have the cash to pay for this big item, then use your credit card to get points or rewards, then pay the purchase balance right away. This is an easy way to get more out of your purchase.

In conclusion, when it comes to making substantial investments in big ticket items, a thoughtful and informed approach can make all the difference. Balancing cost considerations with the long-term value, warranties, and reviews can help you find the perfect fit for your needs and budget. Don’t hesitate to explore various options, negotiate where possible, and even leverage credit card rewards to maximize your benefits. Remember that taking the time for research and due diligence can lead to substantial savings and ensure that your purchase is not only satisfying today but also a wise investment for the future.

Navigating Financial Goals: Building Momentum Through Gradual Changes

So you have laid out your financial plan, whether it involves chipping away at debt, save a large sum of money for a down payment, or pursuing another substantial financial milestone.

Unfortunately, given the enormity of your plan, some big sacrifices are needed. Truth be told, this isn’t a walk in the park. You are talking skipping vacations for a year or two, downgrading your car, giving up on or reducing some of your daily pleasures – $5 lattes – and more.

This is not easy! We want to get to our goals, but are not ready to make these big sacrifices. And frankly, no matter how important your goal is, it doesn’t seem worthwhile that far in the future when you have to give up so much in the immediate term.

Go Gradual and Build Momentum

I have been there and it is not easy. First off, the very act of giving this process a start date is a bit depressing, albeit psychologically rewarding. For example, you have just had a great Christmas holiday season, partying with friends, feasting with families, and just having the best and most wonderful time of your life and the year. You then have to suddenly go cold turkey on January 1st and deprive yourself of half of the things you were enjoying just a few days ago. That is not only cruel, it is borderline inhumane. Not to mention, our brains will likely rebel as the task seems too steep to climb.

There is an easy solution to this: rather than going the nuclear option, take easy steps and build momentum gradually. For example, instead of deciding to completely eliminate any vacations, decide to tone it down. If you spend $10K a year on family vacations each year, pledge to spend half of that rather than cutting it completely. And then by next year, cut another thousand and so on. Do the same with other big expenses that you have. If you love your expensive Starbucks coffee run and tend to do it multiple times a day, then try to eliminate one of these trips a day as a start. Even that one trip will save you hundreds in a year.

By implementing these gradual shifts, you’re setting the stage for a sustainable transformation. Each small change builds upon the last, and before you know it, you’re ascending your financial mountain with newfound confidence. The road may be long, but remember: it’s not about denying yourself entirely, but rather navigating smarter and more deliberately toward your financial peak.

Unlocking the Hidden Financial Potential of Credit Card Rewards: Optimize Points for Long-Term Gain and Maximize Cashback

I think it is no secret that majority of people use their credit card rewards for travel and that is generally a good usage of these loyalty rewards. But a lot of people ignore or even fail to realize that, depending on their reward system, they can use their cashback to get ahead financially, be it to save money, pay down debt or buy registered products.

Let us use my RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card as an example: you get 1 point for each dollar spent, not including the occasional promotions where you get extra bonus points. You can then use these points to buy travel products at the rate of 1 for 1: or 100 points for $1 in travel money. You can also use your points to buy other products, including financial rewards, electronics etc, but at a lower rate of 120 points for $1.

With the math above, it makes sense to use your Avion rewards to buy vacation packages and other related products (flying, care rental, hotels etc) . But if you want to get ahead financially and don’t care for travelling that much, then you can use your points to buy RRSP, TFSA, and other financial products. For example, at the moment, I have enough points to buy $500 in TFSA or RRSP savings which goes along way these days.

In addition to my Avion Visa card, I have a Master Card from Tangerine Bank, which allows me to earn 2% in cashback in two categories of my choice, from a list of nine categories ( mine are Bills and Gas) and 0.5% for all other purchases. Despite not using it as much as I use my Visa, I still manage to accumulate close to $10-15 a month in cashback, or around $130-150 a year, paid to me on a monthly basis. I save this money and use it at the end of the year to make a big purchase, pay it towards credit card balance, or use it to purchase Christmas presents for family and friends.

As you can see, these credit card reward systems make using them more fun and rewarding. But at the end of the day, it is not useful if you are accumulating points and getting cashback at the expense of having a big balance which cost you a lot more interest every month. Take the time to assess and compare which credit card would work best for you, based on their reward system, assuming all else being equal. But more importantly, earning rewards should be the second priority to the primary one of ensuring your credit card balance is always paid in full. When you do that, these rewards become even sweeter and you actually beat the bank at their game!

The Smart Way to Save for Big Purchases: Strategies for Success

You’re cruising along with your trusty car, and everything seems fine. But let’s face it: in 5 years, you’ll eventually need to replace it. It may seem daunting to start saving for such a big purchase so far in advance, but here’s where you’re mistaken. Now is actually the best time to kickstart your savings plan.

But what about those smaller yet significant expenses looming just a few months away? Take, for example, a dream family vacation to the Caribbean, costing a few thousand dollars. With exactly 5 months to save up $5,000, how can you effectively budget and save for such an adventure?

Break It Down into Manageable Pieces

One effective strategy, commonly used in goal-setting and project management, is to break things down into smaller, more achievable targets. For your upcoming vacation, instead of fixating on the $5,000 price tag, focus on saving $1,000 per month over the next 5 months. By shifting your perspective, you’ll find it easier to grasp and rally around these more digestible milestones.

Create a Dedicated Bank Account

Given the substantial amount you’re saving, it’s crucial to establish a separate bank account exclusively for your vacation fund. This separation sends a clear message that this is a special project requiring your utmost attention. By compartmentalizing your finances, you’ll maintain a laser-like focus on the bigger picture without distractions from day-to-day expenses, debts, or other financial commitments. In other words, no matter what’s happening elsewhere, this account will be your unwavering resource for funding your dream vacation.

Explore Multiple Income Streams

Unless you have a substantial income with zero financial obligations, you’ll likely need to tap into additional revenue streams to achieve your savings goal. Begin by calculating how much money you can contribute each month from your current job, and then brainstorm ways to secure the remaining funds. Can other family members chip in? Are there upcoming bonuses or windfalls that can be allocated entirely or partially to your vacation fund? Consider taking on a side gig or part-time job. You can even explore opportunities for extra hours at your current workplace by discussing the possibility with your manager. Lastly, declutter your home and sell any items you no longer need online. Remember, the more income streams you can generate, the easier it becomes to save for your eagerly anticipated getaway.

Remember, the key to success lies in starting early and planning ahead. By giving yourself ample time and diversifying your income sources, you’ll significantly increase your chances of reaching your savings goal. Let’s embark on this journey together and make your dream vacation a reality!

Combatting Inflation at the Grocery Store: Tips and Tricks to Save on Your Monthly Bill

Inflation has become a reality in every facet of life in the last 12 months or more, but it is nowhere as evident than at the grocery store. It is almost depressing to know that for the same budget, you are getting much less than what you used to do back in 2021 or beyond.

With that being the case, saving money on groceries is more important than ever, while still trying to get healthy and good quality food. A delicate balance that requires some research and effort. Groceries can make up a significant portion of one’s monthly budget, but there are ways to reduce these expenses without sacrificing the quality of food.

One of the first and most effective ways to save on groceries is do an an inventory on what you already have at home, be it in the fridge, pantry, cold room etc., and ensuring you are using those before you have to buy the same items again. You don’t want your food at home to expire before you buy the same item again. This has happened at our household before and we are careful to check and make sure we know what we have already. Another related tip which a lot of you have heard of is to eat before you go grocery shopping: feeling full while there will magically make you want to skip a lot things that you would otherwise put in your shopping cart without much thinking.

Another way to save on groceries is by using coupons and checking weekly flyers. . There are many sources for coupons, such as flyers, online coupons, and loyalty programs. By taking advantage of these offers, one can significantly reduce their grocery bill. It’s important to note that coupons should only be used for items that are already on the grocery list and are needed. Using coupons for unnecessary items can end up costing more money in the long run. However, I am one of the last people to suggest that you go to multiple stores to find deals and use your coupons as that is a waste of time and gas which defeats the purpose. Aim to go to max of two stores , preferably within 5 KM of each other or less.

Another approach that can help, if you don’t mind making trips to two different stores, is to buy the food items where quality matters (meats, fruits, vegetables) from one store, and buying other less essential items (cutlery, condiments, canned food, frozen food) from discount food stores. This approach will ensure you are balancing quality with lower prices.

Strategies such as taking food inventory, using coupons, and shopping at discount stores can help you save on groceries in today’s high inflation reality. By being mindful of spending and taking advantage of cost-saving opportunities, one can reduce their grocery bill without sacrificing the quality of food they eat.

Breaking Free: How to Overcome Addiction to Lockdown-Era Apps like UberEats and TikTok and Reclaim Your Time and Money

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives, forcing us to stay at home and rely on technology more than ever before. While platforms like UberEats, Amazon, and TikTok were already popular, they have become ubiquitous during the lockdowns, to the point where they are now virtually synonymous with the pandemic itself. But it’s not just these platforms that have captured our attention and loyalty; there are countless others that have kept us glued to our screens and spending money in ways we never imagined. From social media giants like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to e-commerce sites like Etsy and Wayfair, these platforms have become an integral part of our daily routines, and for many, even an addiction. In this post, we’ll explore the dangers of these habits, the impact they can have on our lives, and what we can do to break free from their grip.

Many of us have developed a routine of mindlessly using apps to the point of forming automated habits, without considering the negative consequences they may have on our lives. In fact, recent studies on the power of habits indicate that habits can either work for us or against us, and in the case of excessive use of certain apps, it is clearly the latter. As we reach the third anniversary of lockdowns caused by the pandemic, it is time to take stock of the bad habits that we may have picked up during this time. The amount of money we have wasted on online ordering of food, clothing, electronics, and other items is staggering. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The countless hours we have lost to endless scrolling through TikTok, Reels, and YouTube shorts are equally alarming. These hours could have been utilized for more productive activities that could have provided us with a better return on our investment of time.

Where do you start? first, take an inventory of the apps that you started using more often 3 years ago and have continued to do till now, to the point of addiction. Let us take TikTok (time waste) or UberEarts (Money waste) to tackle, since they are most synonymous with the lockdowns and which most people have continued to use extensively till this day. Personally speaking, I am proud to say that I have virtually never used either service. I don’t have a TikTok account, and although I have an UberEats account, I have used it once or twice, and even that was for other family members. Check these apps and see how much time and money is being wasted on them. For time spent on apps, check ‘Screen Time’ on iOS or ‘Digital WellBeing’ on Android. As for money being spent using UberEats or other food ordering and delivery platforms, simply check your credit card statement or online bank account.

Once you identify the major sources of time and money leak, take proper and concrete steps to address the issue. You can go the easy route or start small by deciding how much time/money you would like to dedicate to each per month. Or you could take the nuclear option and just remove both apps altogether. Yes, going cold turkey on apps you are addicted to may not be easy, but you could give it a try. It will hurt in the first few days or weeks, but will get easy later. In fact, it will not only get easier, you will feel like a new person – relieved – with all the money and time saved.

Some people may use these apps for their convenience. While others enjoy what they offer, after all, what is wrong with some binge watching after a long day at work or school? And while that may be true, we all know the slippery slope this creates, and may not wake up to things until it is too late. Of course, there are always exceptions and some may have more self control than others.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 lockdowns have brought about an increased reliance on online platforms, leading to the development of addictive habits that can have serious consequences on our time and money. It’s essential to take inventory of our app usage and identify the sources of time and money leaks, such as TikTok and UberEats, which have become synonymous with the lockdowns. While these apps may be convenient or even enjoyable, they can also lead to wasted time and money. Therefore, it’s crucial to take concrete steps to address the issue, whether it’s setting limits or going cold turkey. By doing so, we can reclaim our time and money and develop healthier habits for the future.

Unlocking the Secret to Financial Success: the Power of Habits

Thanks to James Clear’s extremely popular book, ‘Atomic Habits’, the study of habits has become a very popular topic in the last few years. Podcasts, blogs and the personal development field in general have all picked up on it and made it into a trendy topic to dissect and discuss. Personally, and despite having been in what seem to be a minority who have yet to read the aforementioned book, I been increasingly using the power of habit formation to solidify different health and money aspects into my life recently and they have become second nature. Some of these include:

Walking for half hour daily , for a min of 5 days a week: ever since Covid lockdowns were imposed in March 2020, I stopped going to the gym and never been back since. I replaced that with walking, and hiking in the summer. My walks have been such an integral part of my life, that I currently have an amazing 1,000+ day move streak on my Apple Watch! I couldn’t have set such an amazing streak without the power of habit formation, where something becomes almost automatic and not much effort or thought goes into starting it.

Flossing at night : while I have always took great care of my teeth, including period visits to the dentist, flossing is something I was never consistent with. No more. After coming across this article, and applying what I know regarding habit formations, flossing has now become a daily thing since Jan 1st of this year and I have never skipped a day.

Doing 15 push-ups a day: this actually started last year, where I started with 10 pushups a day, and increasing it by 1 every month, so that by December, I was going 22 pushups a day. This made it into a daily habit, so for 2023, I have been a daily count of 15 pushups and I have yet to skip a day.

Applying the power of habit formation to further our finances

The power of habit, once automated, is a force to be reckoned with, . Habits are the actions we take every day, whether we realize it or not. They can either push us forward or hold us back. When it comes to finances and money, habits can be the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and building wealth for the long term.

To start, one of the most important habits to cultivate is saving money. Saving money can be difficult, especially when we live in a culture that encourages us to constantly splurge and spend. However, by making saving a habit, we can set ourselves up for financial success. But how? One way to do this is by automating our savings. Most if not all banks nowadays offer automatic savings plans that allow us to set aside a certain amount of money each month. By doing this, we don’t have to rely on our willpower to save money. It becomes a habit, and before we know it, we have a substantial amount of money saved.

Another important habit is tracking our spending. It can be easy to lose track of where our money is going, but by keeping track of our expenses, we can identify areas where we can cut back. This can be as simple as using a budgeting app or writing down expenses in a notebook, but the latter is not as popular these days due to the advent of apps which makes tracking easier.

In addition to saving and tracking our spending, investing is another habit that can lead to greater wealth. Investing can be intimidating for those who have never done it, but by starting small and consistently investing a portion of our income, we can build a portfolio that will grow over time. What matters is taking that first step, automating it, and then forgetting about it for the most part, other than an annual or semi-annual review and making adjustments if needed.

It’s important to note that building wealth through habits is a long-term process, requiring patience, and not something that will happen overnight. But what is virtually guaranteed is that by consistently practicing good financial habits, we can set ourselves up for success in the future.

One example of the power of habit in action is the story of Warren Buffett. Buffett is known for his incredible wealth, but what many people don’t realize is that he built his fortune through consistent, disciplined habits.

Of course, developing good financial habits is easier said than done. It can be difficult to break old habits and develop new ones. However, there are a few strategies that can make the process easier.

One strategy is to start small. Trying to completely revamp our financial habits overnight is a recipe for failure. Instead, we should focus on developing one habit at a time. For example, we could start by automating our savings and then move on to tracking our spending. Another strategy is to find accountability. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a financial advisor, having someone to hold us accountable can make a big difference. These can help us stay on track and offer support when we need it. Last but not least, it’s important to recognize that this requires patience. Developing new habits takes time, effort and dedication. We will likely make mistakes along the way, but it’s important to stay focused on our long-term goals.

In conclusion, the power of habit is a powerful tool when it comes to building wealth and be financially independent. By developing good financial habits, such as saving, tracking our spending, and investing, we can set ourselves up for financial success. While it may be difficult to break old habits and develop new ones, with time, effort, and patience, we can build the habits that will lead us to a more secure financial future.

How technology can simplify your finances and even make you richer

Imagine how banking used to be done just 10 years ago, never mind 20 or 30 years ago:

If you wanted to send money to someone or pay a bill, you would usually have to go to a bank, thus wasting time and even gas driving there to do your banking. Yes online banking has been with us for more than a decade, but it was for the select few that felt comfortable using it. It is only the last 10-15 years, after the invention and popularization of mobile apps, couple with online security becoming more solid, that it really took off and has become an essential part of our budgeting and finance management. This is just one example of how technology has simplified how we manage our money, save it, and by extension help us become richer. While there are countless ways that technology can be used to simplify our finances, below, we look at some of the most popular ones.

Using apps to manage your money

As mentioned earlier, apps are at the heart of this digital revolution of how we manage our money and finances. As they say, there is an app for anything you can think of, including banking, price comparison, online shopping, product reviews etc. One of the best features of online banking apps is your ability to manage your bill payments, transfers and sending money so much easier. One specific feature I use is to transfer money from my checking account to my VISA account as I make purchases. With all of these at our finger tips, they should be used extensively to get the most of your money.

Using online price comparison tools to decide your next purchase

Whether it is to book travel, buy a car or a household appliance, never buy an item that will cost you hundreds or thousands, without using 2 or 3 sites to compare price. For example, if you are booking a flight from Toronto to Los Angeles for 3 adults, the difference between two sites for the same flights could be anywhere from $100 to $200. Same goes with buying a laptop or other electronics: some sites may be running a promotion where you can save hundreds compared to buying from another site. So there is absolutely no reason to buy from one site without looking at other sites. While there are plenty of apps that will help you do this, there are browser extensions for doing it the old way from a laptop and desktop. Again, other than the need for a car if you are doing deliveries and transportation, the only other thing you need is a phone with an internet connection: technology will take care of the rest in helping you make a good and reliable income.

Robo advisors

This is a new feature that is becoming more and more popular with banks and investment firms: it is a technology that lets you automate your investment and have a computer do the work for you. In other words, it provides financial planning services through automated algorithms, without any human involvement. And what makes this service even more appealing in addition to making things more automated and less manual, is the fact that it learns and adjusts as you go. It does this using AI (Artificial Intelligence) . Most banks offer this service now, thus freeing you from having to manually check your portfolio and adjusting things every few months.

Side Hustles

Uber. E-Bay. Youtube. Etsy. Kijiji. TaskRabbit. DoorDash: these are some of the hundreds of apps and online platforms that you can use to create a side income; a fulltime one for many. What makes these platforms appealing is their flexibility, where you can create your own schedule for the most part, all by using your phone only. It is not uncommon for some people to have a combination of these various tools at the same time: for example, some could use DoorDash to make food delivery, Uber for ridesharing, TaskRabbit to complete small jobs in the neighborhood and E-Bay to sell books and other used items.

Of course, like with a lot of things, technology has been a double edged sword, where it has also made it easier for people to spend money online, using just a few clicks. In the past, you would need to get dressed, drive down to the nearest store or mall to be able to spend your money. Now, you can do it 24/7, even if you are in your pajamas or in your bathroom.

The various digital tools at our fingertips not only make it easier to manage our finances, they can help us save a lot of time if used properly. Take the time to go through your finances and investments and see if you are taking advantage of all the digital tools out there.