8 Clever Tips for Saving Money in Ontario, Canada


Everybody loves simple tips for saving money, and while saving money is crucial for achieving your financial goals, it’s not always that easy. Not only does saving money provide a sense of security for the future, but it also gives you the freedom to take chances and explore life.

With that said, it’s always helpful to be equipped with tips and tricks on how to keep your eyes open for every possible savings opportunity. 

So here are 8 tips and tricks on how you can save money while living in Ontario, Canada.

1. Utilize Tax Deductions
2. Live Away from the Expensive Cities
3. Take Advantage of Used Cars and Public Transportation
4. Cook Your Own Food
5. Buy Your Clothes at Garage Sales or Thrift Stores
6. Workout at Home or Get a Cheap Membership
7. Avoid High Bank and Credit Card Fees
8. Skip on the Cable Bill

1. Utilize Tax Deductions

There are many deductions on tax that you may qualify for and end up saving some money while filing your taxes if you utilize them correctly. A few good tax deductions are not well-known, so you should check if you qualify for them. 

If you are a parent and have a sixteen-year-old or younger child, you can get a deduction of $5,000 to $8,000 a year. Claiming medical expenses like vitamins, insulin, prosthetics, etc., on tax returns helps in reducing the tax burden. If you have some extra credits, there are some credits that you can transfer to your spouse too.

Additionally, if you are self-employed, you can actually claim home office expenses like rent and property taxes every year. And if you hire your children or spouse, you can also write off their salaries and reduce your overall tax burden significantly. 

2. Live Away from the Expensive Cities

There are a few tips that you can use if you are renting in Ontario to save a little extra money. 

If you live closer to the city, your rent will be more expensive than if you can find accommodations in the suburbs. It is also useful to reevaluate how necessary it is for you to be living in the more expensive cities, such as Toronto, Oakville, and Mississauga. If you are someone who works remotely, or can even find a job in a cheaper city, this can be a great move to save money.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is always easier to find cheaper accommodations during the winter season, since less people are searching for housing.  

If you are buying a home and can afford to put down a down payment of over 20%, then do this. That way you won’t have to pay CMHC insurance.

Related Financial Geek Article: 9 Quick Ways to Save up for a Down Payment

3. Take Advantage of Used Cars and Public Transportation

There are also a few smart ways to save money in the transportation sector by keeping a few things in mind.

For one, try buying used but reliable cars such as Toyota’s or Honda’s. They are priced very reasonably, and offer a great value for your money.

Quick Tip: Avoid buying cars that require premium fuel since its cost is significantly higher.

There are also various means of public transportation in Ontario, and in certain instances it can be cheaper to utilize them, rather than investing in a car.

Electric means of transport are also gaining popularity in Canada, like e-bikes and scooters that are more fun and cost less than buying a car. But these are only really good if you aren’t needing to drive long distances.

I would not recommend taking a Scooter on the 401!!

4. Cook Your Own Food

In Ontario, eating out is expensive since restaurants charge tips and taxes, and even if you buy fast food, it’s not cheap. So, cooking your own food is a great option if you are looking to save a bit more money.

Getting your groceries for cooking or even buying pre-made meals at Costco is a great idea. You can buy everything you need to cook there at very cheap prices, especially if you buy in bulk if it’s an ingredient you use a lot.

When you feel like eating out, you can invite your friends, family, or neighbors over and have pot lucks or barbecues with them. This will allow you to socialize while at the same time save money, win-win!

5. Buy Your Clothes at Garage Sales or Thrift Stores

An average Canadian spends between 2.5% and 4% of their income on clothing. That’s insane and in my opinion just so unnecessary.

There are many options to buy second-hand clothing in Ontario at garage sales or thrift stores. Many of these consignment shops are the perfect places to trade your expensive clothing. 

Any time that you can, you should try to buy your clothes when they are on sale. Consider buying a small handful of accessories that last longer, rather than many accessories that don’t last at all.

For example, simple jewelry and durable handbags that complement your outfits and are long-lasting are ideal for women. And if your a guy who wears a watch, don’t spend more money than you can afford, simple as that!

6. Workout at Home or Get a Cheap Membership

If fitness is a necessity in your life, then you should plan and budget for your gym membership, as they are not cheap. Depending on where you go, you can expect to pay from $40 to $50 at the most affordable gyms during your membership initiation, and then around $10 a month after, at gyms like Planet Fitness.

More typical gyms usually cost around $50 a month. Due to these prices, it can be a great idea to build your own home gym (if you have the space) for a few hundred dollars by using used items bought from trusted platforms like Craigslist or Kijiji.

Related Financial Geek Article: 18 (Uncomplicated) Smart Money Moves for Your 20s

7. Avoid High Bank and Credit Card Fees

Ontario has notoriously high bank fees. One great way to save hundreds of dollars in fees every year is by researching banking options and switching to lower-fee options such as Tangerine, an online bank that charges no fees.

Having a good credit card also makes life much easier.

While I personally don’t use credit very often, if you are someone who does, I would recommend choosing a travel credit card that gives you access to things like lounges and travel points. That way you can save money and have a better experience while travelling too!

8. Skip on the Cable Bill

Cable television is also a huge expense that takes away a chunk of your income. Cutting the cord on cable can save you anywhere between $25 and $100 a month. 

Nowadays, online streaming services offer various plans and have pretty much everything that you may want to watch on television. As a result, you could end up spending only $10 a month and saving much more by simply letting go of cable television.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! 8 ways to save more money in Ontario, Canada.

Saving money can be a difficult habit for some people to form, but it is crucial for improving our quality of life in the long run.

As someone who lived in Ontario for over 3 years myself, I can definitely attest to it being a hard place to save money. Not only is it expensive by nature, but there are so many things to do there, it’s almost impossible!

Have you seen the prices of Leafs tickets these days? It’s absolutely insane!

With that said, you really can’t afford not to save money, the consequences are just too severe, as I outline in my article here, 6 Harsh Consequences of Not Saving Money.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully one, if not more of these tips will help you save just a little bit more money each month.

Geek, out.

Noel

Noel is the founder and main contributor for his blog - Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 600k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

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