Budgeting to Make Your Savings Last

Your new life in Canada holds many opportunities, such as building a new career, starting your own business or continuing your education. However, living in Canada can be expensive, especially in large cities. You may need to manage your cash carefully.

As your first step, you will want to ensure your money is easily accessible. With a CIBC chequing account, you can write cheques on your account and set up preauthorized payments. You can also manage your funds through CIBC Mobile Banking, Online Banking, at a CIBC branch, through CIBC Telephone Banking, or at one of almost 4,000 CIBC bank machines.

Money not needed for regular expenses can be kept in a CIBC savings account - where it will be safe, accessible, and earn interest.

Keep track of your expenses

If you keep track of where your money is going, you'll know exactly how long your budget will last.

The Budget Calculator can help you track your expenses for a typical year. Note that taxes are often applied to items at the time of payment, which will increase your total expenses.

Viewing your total savings by your monthly budget will give you a rough idea of how your money will flow.

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.

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