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April 24 2013

#RFDChat - Savings Made Simple with Gail Vaz-Oxlade (Host of Till Debt Do Us Part & Money Moron)

By Kory Jazbec

Join #RFDChat On Apr 25, 2013 & Learn How To Save Your Money!

Thanks everyone for a great chat. Gail's responses to the answers are below.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @RedFlagDeals


Join @RedFlagDeals on Thursday April 25 at 3:30 pm EDT / 12:30pm PDT for an interactive Twitter chat on the best ways to save money! (Not sure what a Twitter chat is? Read below)

RedFlagDeals will lead the discussion with Canadian financial writer and television/radio personality Gail Vaz-Oxlade (Host of Till Debt Do Us Part & Money Moron) who will share tips on saving money and how to live money-smart!

Topics We’ll Cover:
  • Why do so many people find it hard to save?
  • Should you save money or pay off debt?
  • How do I get into the habit of saving?
  • Where should I put my savings?
  • and much more!

We Are Giving Away Over $400 in Prizing!
During the chat, we'll be giving away:
  • 2 Keurig Mini KUB31R brewing systems (includes an exclusive RedFlagDeals.com mug!)
  • 10 $25 WalMart gift cards

To participate:
  1. Follow @RedFlagDeals on twitter.com/redflagdeals
  2. LIKE RedFlagDeals on facebook.com/redflagdeals
  3. RSVP with your Twitter Handle in the comments below (to be eligible for the draw during the chat).
  4. SUBMIT a question. If we use your question in the chat, you win a prize!
  5. Join our #RFDChat on Twitter via TweetChat Thursday, April 25th at 3:30 pm EDT / 12:30 pm PDT.

About Twitter Chats:
A Twitter chat is an interactive discussion hosted on Twitter using a keyword hashtag(#) to track the topic. Participants and panelists will answer questions and share tips on a particular topic theme adding the hashtag to the end of their answer.
To participate in a Twitter chat, simply follow the hashtag(#) using Twitter Search OR login to TweetChat using your Twitter ID and the chat hashtag(#). Don’t forget to add the chat hashtag(#) to all your answers so your response is seen by other chat participants.

Q&A - Answered By Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Q1: What’s your favourite way to save money?
Q2: How does one get into a savings habit and build emergency fund?
Q3: What are some ways to teach kids to save?
Q4: Should a recent graduate save for the future or pay off their student loans ASAP?
Q5: Low income earners: high interest savings, TFSA, life insurance, RRSP, GIC or health plan?
Q6: How much money does one need to retire comfortably?
Q7: Looking for a new home: Pay down the principal of the current mortgage or save money separately towards a bigger mortgage?



Q1: What’s your favourite way to save money?

  • 1. Save your extra paycheque. Most people set up their budgets to accommodate two or four paychecks a month, depending on their pay schedule. Sometimes you get an extra cheque in the month and that can been a boon to your Savings.
  • 2. Keep a jar in your car and every time you pick up a coffee, grab a sub or munch on a muffin, drop a buck in your jar. This will be your Fast Food Tax. If you can find the money for coffee, you can find the money to save!
  • 3. Save your “savings.” If you save $5 by shopping the sales, using coupons, or just by being a smart shopper save it. Take that $5 and stick it in your SAVINGS container at home. If you don’t, you’ll just spend it somewhere else and then you won’t have saved a penny.
  • 4. Reward yourself. If you have the discipline to use a credit card the pay off your balance every month, use a card that gives you cash back or a useful reward like grocery points. Then take the cash you saved by using points and add it to your Savings Account.
  • 5. Use a change jar to accumulate your change and at the end of every month or two, roll it up and add it to your Savings. Want to give it a boost? Add a fiver to the jar on the weekend.

Back To Questions


Q2: How does one get into a savings habit and build emergency fund?

Keep track of every cent you spend and what you spend it on. At the end of each week, add up what you’re spending and see if you can spot Spending Mice that are nibbling away at your Savings. Look for ways to plug the holes in your unconscious spending.

  • 1. Allocate a specific amount of cash (less than what you’re currently spending) to your Small Indulgences category. When the cash runs out, you can’t buy anything. Save the rest.
  • 2. Substitute other sources, like the library for the bookstore or a homemade lunch for the food court or local restaurant.
  • 3. Leave your plastic at home if the temptation to spend is so overwhelming you can’t get it under control. Walking around with just a $20 bill in your wallet to see you through the day is a great way to feel less pressure to spend. (Make sure you have a full tank of gas!)

Back To Questions


Q3: My son is 3.5 yrs old & is starting to realize what money is. What are some ways to teach kids to save? (Submitted by @loucheryl)

At 3.5 he’s still a little young for an allowance, but that should be the main focus once he’s 5 or six. For now, give him a Loonie a week and talk to him about how you use money. Help him learn that money spent is money gone, so don’t keep dipping into your wallet.

Back To Questions


Q4: Should a recent graduate save for the future or pay off their student loans asap? (Submitted by @_dube)

New students should focus on getting their debt gone as quickly as possible. You’re paying 6% on that student loan and no savings account is paying more than 2.5%. But even as you pay down your debt, save a little something – say $50 a month – so you don’t lose the savings habit.

Back To Questions


Q5: For people with low income, is it better to put money into: high interest savings, tax-free savings account, life insurance, RRSP, GIC or health plan?

Low income earners have to a) make sure they’re not going into debt, b) set aside a little something for the future (using a TFSA makes sense). Since no one is counting on your income life insurance is less of a need. And most Canadian health plans are more expensive than people think.

Back To Questions


Q6: How much money does one need to retire comfortably?

Aim to have 11 x your salary socked away by the time you hit age 60.

  • If you’re in your 20s, that means saving 6% of your income for retirement each year.
  • In your 30s with no savings yet? Up that to 10%.
  • In your 40s already? You’ll have to sock away 18% of your income to hit the mark!

Back To Questions


Q7: Looking to move to a new home. Is it better to pay down the principal of the current mortgage or save money separately towards a bigger mortgage? (Submitted by @PaulineGrantTO)

Whichever you do has exactly the same effect. Make sure as you're paying down your mortgage your also setting aside money for emergencies and for retirement.

Back To Questions

Today's Winners: Keurig Mini KUB31R brewing systems + RFD mugs
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Today's Winners: $25 Walmart Gift Cards
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@loucheryl
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@PaulineGrantTO
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