Pay yourself first. Set a savings goal-say 10% of your gross income-and have that amount automatically transferred into a savings account every two weeks. "The key is to keep the money there," says Sheila Walkington, co-founder of Money Coaches Canada. "Don't make it accessible by ATM."
Build up a cash cushion for unexpected expenses so you don't have to resort to expensive credit in emergencies.
Simplify your finances by consolidating your accounts in one place. If your bank knows you're a good customer it will give you better rates on mortgages, loans and term deposits.
Simplify your bill payments by making them automatic where possible. This will help avoid late payment charges.
Look for ways to lower your banking and investing fees. Some accounts limit the number of free transactions, while others have minimum balances and ATM fees, which can add up fast.