How to reduce expenses
There are ways to reduce your monthly expenses without giving up things that you really need. For example:
Pay bills on time. Avoid the penalty for late payment charged by most utilities (telephone, cable, electric) by paying your bills on time, and you'll also build a good credit rating. One easy way to ensure that you don't miss deadlines is to sign up for pre-authorized withdrawals or online bill payments from your CIBC chequing account.
Pay off your credit card balance every month. Otherwise, you'll be charged interest from the date of each purchase made with the card. Paying your credit card balance in full also helps you establish a good Canadian credit rating, which will be helpful when you want to borrow larger amounts.
Avoid unnecessary fees. Your bank account may have monthly fees and transaction limits. If you exceed your limit, you may be charged higher transaction fees. Using an ABM that is not affiliated with your bank can result in a service fee charge.
Monitor your accounts online. Online banking makes it easy to manage your money any time. You can check your account balance, set up recurring bill payments, and transfer funds to ensure that you're meeting deadlines and are not overdrawn.
Take advantage of "loyalty" programs. Many businesses and credit cards offer reward programs for loyal customers. Every time you make a purchase, you earn "points" that can be used to purchase items from that store or through that loyalty program in the future.
Stick to your plan. Tracking your expenses can help you see where you may be spending more than you planned. When you expect to have higher expenses in one category (perhaps you need to purchase winter clothes) try to make adjustments in other areas (such as dining out) so the total stays the same from month to month.