Coming from a cash flow expert, I know that “save your money” is pretty predictable advice. But, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, saving money is life-changing. It’s the difference between budgeting down to your last dollar with an iron fist and being able to indulge without worry.

My husband and I were talking one night, and he said, “You know the difference from five years ago? Now, I have the freedom to go for coffee and lunch whenever I want. Five years ago, we couldn’t do that because we were down to our last dollar.” I get that buying a coffee every day and a breakfast sandwich at Tim Hortons (Timmie’s for us good ol’ canucks!) isn’t a lot of money, but it’s the mindset more than the dollar figure. It’s a big deal not having to worry about literally spending your last dollar to enjoy a treat.

As someone who makes her living advising others on their finances, let me tell you that being smart with your money and adopting better money habits is the best thing you can do for yourself. Here are ten reasons you should put saving and smarter spending at the top of your financial to-do list. 

1. Improve Your Mental Health

There are many studies out there that reveal financial stress as one of the most common types of stress people experience, leading to higher risk of anxiety and depression. According to a UK study by Money and Mental Health, 86% of people said financial problems made their mental health worse. 

Those who say money can’t buy you happiness have obviously never been living paycheque to paycheque, with no extra dime for emergencies or little splurges. If not happiness, money can at least buy you security and better sleep at night. 

If financial stress is affecting your mental health, here are some ways to combat it, one step at a time: 

  1. Face the problem. Denying it won’t solve it—in fact, it will probably make it worse. 
  2. Make a plan. This will almost always be my answer to financial stress—be aware of how much money you make and spend, then implement a plan you can follow. This could include setting up direct deposit for bills, creating multiple accounts for expenses and savings, and taking an inventory of spending you can cut back on. 
  3. Plan for the future. Set long-term financial goals and work towards them. Remember: slow progress is still progress.

2. Gain More Control and More Confidence

When you’re on top of your finances, it will empower you to make goals, take big steps, and feel comfortable in your spending. All of this will boost your confidence as an independent person “adulting” out in the world. Plus, you’re going to feel pretty proud of yourself when you reach your goals.

3. Cope With Financial Emergencies

Whether we like it or not, life is unpredictable. Instead of worrying about the possibility of your car breaking down, your house setting on fire, or your pet getting sick—SAVE! These things are scary, but when they happen, you shouldn’t have the compounded worry of money on top of everything that’s already going on. 

When you plan for the worst, you can be comforted knowing that even if it happens, you can manage it financially. To make this process simpler, try opening an account named “Emergency Fund,” and set up auto payments to that account each month. 

4. Saving Allows You (and Even Encourages You!) To Look to the Future 

When you set long-term savings goals and work on your financial wellness, you get to look forward to those big life events. Save for that big vacation, new house, wedding, new car, kids! Then every month, you get to work to make them a reality. Remember why you started—what an exciting reason to put in the hard work, right? 

Here’s a suggestion to help you get started: open a separate bank account and nickname it “Wedding,” or “Vacation,” or whatever you’re saving for. Then, decide how much you’d like to put towards that goal each month, choose a date to transfer, and set up an auto payment. This way, your goals are being actively worked towards every month. 

5. Keep Your Credit Safe 

Speaking of big financial goals—how’s your credit? If that just made you shudder or panic, don’t worry. If your credit isn’t great, you can always work to improve it. And if your credit score is chugging along, why not make it even better with some savvy saving?

Smarter money habits will directly improve your credit, allowing you to build savings to fall back on so you won’t have to turn to your credit card to get by. This means you can keep steadily and comfortably using your credit card without spending beyond your means. 

Hot tip to keeping your credit safe: when you make a purchase on your credit card, immediately transfer the cash from your bank account to pay on the card. This way you’re spending money you already have instead of incurring more debt that will collect interest.

6. Support Organizations You’re Passionate About 

Charitable giving is something we’d all love to be able to prioritize, but sometimes it just has to come second to things like eating, paying rent, and keeping the heat on. 

As you’re able, you can absolutely write charities into your budget. The amount is completely up to you, but anything helps. It feels great to be able to support a cause you feel strongly about, no matter what amount you decide on. 

Plus, maybe you’ll save a little on your taxes. 

7. Save and Support Your Relationships 

Financial stress is one of the leading causes of arguments and strain in relationships. One study found that up to 57% of divorces could be explained by financial stress. Yeah, let’s all try to avoid that by being financially responsible. 

Financial stress in a relationship affects both people, whether it’s both of your personal debts or not. Do your relationships a favour and save money for essentials—but also fun! 

8. Opens New and Exciting Doors

I’m not just talking about the doors to fancier restaurants or swankier homes; I’m also talking about exploring a new career option that maybe doesn’t have a huge salary but sparks joy in you like never before. Or the option to go back to school and finish your degree—or even start a new one! 

9. Money in Savings Accounts Grows 

Improving your financial well-being isn’t only good for you—it’s good for the money! Even if you’re just putting a few bucks  into a regular savings account, it’s still earning some interest and growing. 

10. You Get To Prioritize You. 

And it all comes back to your well-being, mental health, and quality of life. When you make smarter money choices, it doesn’t all have to go towards bills and payments. 

It’s pretty common for people to set up automatic purchases, then forget about them down the line. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to review your monthly purchases every 3 months or so. You may find you’re paying for something you don’t use any more (hello gym membership). Cancel those unnecessary automatic purchases and put that money towards something else that’s important to you instead. 

Saving money is about freedoms—everyday small ones and long-term life-changing ones. It’s incredible—the simple joy you get from being able to spend $5 on that delicious coffee on your way to work, knowing that it’s not going to make or break you. 

Financial well-being can give you invaluable independence, security, and ease. Dream big with me, and start saving now! If you need a hand getting started, please get in touch—I’d be happy to help!