It’s good to have a clear picture of how much money you’re spending compared to how much you’re earning. If you have high interest debt, it may help to make a plan to pay off the debt first before investing.


Making a budget is one of the best financial habits you can start, at any age. It will offer a clearer picture of how you manage your money and help you make the financial decisions that are right for you.

A budget can help you keep track of your income and expenses, stay on top of bills, and figure out how much you need to save to meet your financial goals.


Saving helps you reach short-term goals. These could be as modest as saving up for a new phone or concert tickets. Or it could be building an emergency fund to help you through an uncertain time in the future.

Usually, savings goals involve a specific amount of money that you know you need to save.

For example, if you want to have an emergency fund worth three months of living expenses, you’ll be able to calculate that based on your current monthly spending.

You can set aside money for savings each month or each week, depending on your cash flow. Try to make it an automatic habit by setting up direct transfers from one bank account to another.

Ways to save money include:

  • Setting up a direct deposit on the same day as your paycheque
  • Making a savings plan for your tax refund
  • Using savings apps or ‘rounding up’ features in your online banking
  • Collecting leftover bills and coins in a jar at the end of the week

It pays to make saving a habit. Even small amounts add up over time.

Keep your savings somewhere you can access quickly when you need it, but still in a secure place, such as a savings account. These accounts will help you grow your money through compound interest.

Savings and chequing accounts are generally where people put money that they plan to spend soon.

A savings account could be used to set money aside for emergencies or to save for a large purchase. A chequing account could be used for day-to-day spending or to pay bills. An investment account can be used for investment purposes.

If you are under the age of 18, you can open a savings or chequing account with the help of a parent or guardian. You will need to have 2 pieces of acceptable identification to open an account. To open an investment account, your parent or grandparent will have to open an in-trust account for you.

There are several different types of financial institutions that offer these types of accounts:

  • Banks and trust companies
  • Credit unions
  • Investment firms

Registered plans

To help you save, the Government of Canada has created several savings and investing plans. Called “registered plans”, these are accounts that can hold cash or qualified investments.

These accounts can be used as investment accounts or savings accounts. They are not intended for day-to-day use like a chequing account.

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