6 Money Rules for Teens and University Students in 2016


When I was a teen I wished someone had sat me down and taught me some basic money rules. I went to university got my first credit card and by the end of my first year I was in debt. Not good!  With this being the last year my teen is taking high school courses I want her to know how to me money smart. So what rules would I want for my daughter? For any teen getting ready for the next stage in life? Here are my money rules:

Keep a Money Journal

By writing it down and keeping a money journal you can see where you are spending your cash. By doing so, you see your money habits and where you might want to change things. Get a small notebook you can toss in your bag. Yes, you could use an app to do this. There are several now available.

Save for a Rainy Day

You never know when you may experience an emergency, and no an emergency is not the purchase of a want like the newest tech toy. Try and save at least 10% of what you bring in till you have enough to cover at least three months of expenses. This is your emergency fund. My teen has become an expert in savings, and I am proud of her efforts in this area. She saves 25% of her monthly income.

Spend Less than what You Earn

When you spend less than you earn now, you are caring about your future. Does your future matter to you? Then you want to take care of it by watching what you spend now.

Watch Out for Credit Card Debt

Your need to be very careful in how you use your credit card. Think does that night out warrant it going on your card? Do you need that interest adding up? Are you able to pay the balance at the end of the month?

A Sale is Not Always a Good Deal

People often think that a sale means a great deal. What if you do not need that new pair of shoes? That new tech toy? You need to learn to shop with a list. What do you really need? Buy with a purpose and a plan. As well if you are putting that sale item on a credit card that you do not pay off every month, you lose the savings.

Set Money Goals

What do you really want? What are your plans? Do you want to travel? Graduate debt free? Have money for the future? Set your goals, then put a plan in place to help you get there but remembering these rules you are well on your way to achieving them.

Let me know what money rules would you want your kids to know.


3 Ways to Save Money on Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday Blog

This is an exciting week in the world of shopping, sales and the holidays.  Why?  Because this week is Black Friday.  The last week of November has traditionally been the time of the year when our friends to the south of the border celebrate American Thanksgiving with a day of extreme sales on the Friday after the holiday.

However over time Black Friday has crossed the border and now Canadians can take full advantage of sales during this week.  Some may even say this pivotal day kicks off the holiday shopping season.  If you’re planning on scanning the internet or visiting stores to do some Black Friday shopping use these tips to help save even more money on top of the already good deals.

Look for sales and plan your stops

The truth is we probably don’t have time to make it to every store while Black Friday shopping because there are only 24 hours in a day.  Make a list of your shopping priorities i.e. the items on sale for the biggest discount and the items you want to purchase the most.  If you have extra time you can hit up your second most important stores and work your way down from there.  At least if you run out of time you will have a chance to purchase the most important items before they sell out.

Keep your credit card safe

More shopping means more credit card swiping and more swiping means more chances of credit card fraud.  I definitely suggest you use your credit card whenever possible while Black Friday shopping because it helps earn credit card rewards and cash back.  Some credit cards also offer extended warranties on big ticket items such as electronics.  If you don’t have a credit card or are looking for a new one check out this list of the best credit cards in Canada from my friends at RateHub.ca.

Don’t just buy because it’s on sale

This is a mistake made by a lot of shoppers all  year round.  Have you ever purchased something just because it was 60% off?  I know I have.  In order to control my spending during Black Friday and avoid any impulse purchases I set a budget.  After I’ve established a reasonable dollar amount that won’t leave me in credit card debt I make a list of all the items I want to purchase while they’re on sale.  Then I go through the list with a fine tooth comb and narrow it down to the must-have items that fit into my budget.  A spending budget + a shopping list = perfect Black Friday shopping.

Join me on Twitter with my co-host @TahnyaKristina on Tuesday November 24 at 7 p.m. EST as we talk about how to use your credit cards wisely in this week’s #cdnmoney chat.  Our special guest @RateHub will giving away 4 great prizes.  Be sure to join us for your chance to win!

Get there faster with the American Express AIR MILES Credit Card and AIR MILES Collector Card

We all want to win the rewards race. Whether it is to get enough miles to bring your family on the trip of a lifetime or even getting all your groceries paid for, the possibilities with rewards can be endless. Think of it like this you want to win the big NASCAR race. What do you need? You need a fast car and a great driver; you can’t get to the finish line without both parts working together. Can you just imagine how far you would get with only a fast car?

Walt Disney World

This year, my daughter and I really want to go to Walt Disney World. Visit all the different Kingdoms, hang out with Mickey Mouse and buy our own mouse ear hats, the whole shebang and we want to use our credit card rewards miles. For this, AIR MILES are my go-to reward miles; I shop at their partners like Metro and Toys “R” Us to reap the benefits but I recently found out that I wasn’t receiving as many miles as I could, I was apparently the great driver in a slow car. I recently found out there is an even quicker way to rack up my AIR MILES reward miles and get to my dream vacation with my daughter faster.

The American Express AIR MILES Credit Card allows me to earn AIR MILES even when I’m shopping at stores that aren’t AIR MILES partners, an added and much needed bonus to really rack up those reward miles. Additionally, at the over 120 AIR MILES partner stores I can use my Amex AIR MILES Credit Card in tandem with my AIR MILES Collector Card and get twice the miles.

fast cars

So now I’m currently winning the rewards race and racking up reward miles left, right and centre. It’s like I’m in the big NASCAR race and I am not only the best driver, but I also have the fastest car on the track. By using an American Express AIR MILES Credit Card along with an AIR MILES Collector Card, it lets you earn AIR MILES reward miles faster so you can reap the benefits sooner, simply making the two cards Better Together!

If you are an AIR MILES Collector, one of the ways we will get to rewards faster is by watching for sales and special bonus offers. These offers allow you to earn extra AIR MILES on top of the regular miles offered in-store. Every little bit helps us get to our reward (Disney World) faster.

American Express offers three different and unique AIR MILES card products ranging from annual fee of $0 to $299, so there is a card there for everyone. You can read more about the suite of American Express cards here.

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Money Tips from Listen to Lena

Gas Station at Sunset © by yaybiscuits123

This week my friend and fellow blogger Lena from Listen to Lena and I chatted about some of her spending and money tips. Lena has always referred to herself as a reformed oniomaniac – something I think a lot of women can relate to.
(Oniomaniac: from Greek ὤνιος onios “for sale” and μανία mania “insanity”, is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as compulsive shopping, shopping addiction, shopaholism, compulsive buying or CBD.)
After talking to Lena, I can report that she is still an oniomanic – after all this girl loves a sale and a reward. But this is the smartest oniomanic I have ever spoken to, especially when it comes to credit cards.
She loves her new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, and according to her, she gets the best of both worlds with it. Lena earns loads of accelerated points at the gas station (up to four points for every dollar spent) because her husband is on the road everyday as part of his job. She said they have been really racking up the points since she received the card.
Lena’s Top Tips for Saving While Spending:
1. Use your card on things that make sense. For her that meant gasoline – one of the four accelerated categories on her Scotia Gold AmEx (the other categories are groceries, dining and entertainment).
2. PAY your balance each and every month. In all her years of having credit cards, not once has Lena paid a penny in interest.
3. Got a budget, work in rewards for being smart. For Lena that means travel, but the rewards on the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card can also be redeemed towards merchandise, gift cards, investment dollars or even used to pay down your credit balance.
Of course, it’s not all about spending – and earning – smart. It’s about redeeming your rewards in a smart way that fits with your lifestyle and goals. So how will Lena redeem the points that she has accumulated on her Scotiabank Gold Amex– merchandise, investments or travel? As a busy blogger, her work has taken her on a lot of trips recently, and as a result she has been bitten by the travel bug. She said when she applied for the card it was because she wanted a REWARD, and she didn’t think twice about the $99 fee either as it came with enough points for a one-way flight to New York City. Smart thinking as I know you can’t fly to New York for that price. With spring break lasting two weeks in her house, Lena sees it as the perfect chance to take her family away for a short getaway (a great reward for being money smart). She is thinking of places like Ottawa or Montreal – perfect for a quick family getaway.
How do you reward yourself for being smart with your money?
If you would like more information on the new Scotiabank Gold American Express Card click here.

*This post is brought to you by the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card. I do receive compensation however these tips are gold.