Ahh, the holidays. So joyous, so expensive, and so, so soon.
Just because Christmas carols aren’t (yet) ringing through the aisles of your local grocery store, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be gearing up for the holiday shopping season.
There’s nothing wrong with going big for the holidays, but it can make keeping track of your finances a challenge. With the help of new banking technology and a few tips (and a little self-control), you could be happily heading into January with a clear mind and a healthy wallet.
Stay on your coupon game
Coupons might seem like something used by grandparents and shopping fiends, but they can actually be insanely useful. And there’s no better feeling than snagging a deal. Just make sure the purchase makes sense. After all, overbuying just because something’s on sale always feels good at the time, but not so much later on — especially when it’s not returnable.
Keep on top of your spending
Keeping track of your finances during the holiday shopping season might sound overwhelming, but it’s actually easy with the help of new banking technology. So instead of manually plugging in all of your expenses into a spreadsheet, see if your bank’s app has any tools that you can use to your advantage.
If you bank with RBC, you’re in luck on this. Available in the RBC Mobile app, NOMI Insights uses your transaction history to identify trends, unusual activity, and insights to help you manage your money. It also shows your spending trends over time — so you can finally accept that your $25 coffee bill wasn’t a total fluke.
Stay on budget
RBC customers can also check out NOMI Budgets, the first capability of its kind in Canada. It uses artificial intelligence to proactively analyze your spending history, recommend an appropriate budget, and send timely updates to help keep you on track in a seamless and convenient way. You’ll even get notifications when you’re hitting different spending tiers. It’s an important reminder, sort of like when you’re getting close to hitting a data overage on your cell phone. Add that to the list of expenses to stay on top of!
Chill on going out
Everyone likes to have fun, but everyone also likes having money in the bank. There’s no need to spend every weekend holed up at home, but definitely think about how you can reduce the cost and frequency of your nights out on the town. Making smart decisions about spending during the holiday season will help you save so you can start 2020 on the right foot.
Find more money to save
Once you have a firm grasp on how you spend your money, you can determine what you could go without to help save more in the future.
What you choose to cut back on is up to you, but here’s one hot tip: you don’t have to start by minimizing the highest-value items on your budget. Sometimes minimizing a bunch of smaller transactions adds up in a big way. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking about how to save.
Another cool way to save is with NOMI Find & Save as it does the work for you. Using technology that predicts your spending patterns, it identifies where you could save and puts that money aside automatically. With NOMI Find & Save, the average user saves $193 per month. In a year, that’s $2,316 — that could cover your whole gift list!
Capitalize on rewards
If you’re planning to spend big this holiday season, make sure to give yourself a gift in return by using a rewards card that lets you earn points on the purchases you would be making anyways. It can also be the perfect time to offset costs by using all the points you have racked up during the year.
Choosing the right rewards program to suit your needs is also an important thing to think about. Do you want to earn points that can be redeemed for holiday travel? Gift cards? In-store purchases? As one of Canada’s largest rewards programs, RBC Rewards gives you the flexibility to use your points how and when you want – even to pay for everyday bills.
For more information on NOMI and other helpful tools offered by RBC, visit the RBC website.