By Miranda Massie on April 3, 2018
I was fortunate to take a short vacation to a sunnier destination at the end of last month. Nothing gets me thinking about my finances more than travel, especially when converting hard-earned Canadian dollars into US currency. With tax season upon us, and in an effort to bring attention to the importance of financial wellbeing, I present a list of our top financial hacks to help set you on the right track for the new financial season.
Hack #1: Deal with high debt
Prioritize debt with the highest interest rates. When you’ve paid off one, move on to the next highest.
Hack #2: Unsubscribe from temptation
If you are trying to practice good financial health, unsubscribe from mailing lists so that you are not tempted to impulse-buy through online shopping deals.
Hack #3: Travel tips
Planning a vacation and want to stretch your dollars? Look at “value for money” destination lists such as Lonely Planet’s 2018 Best Value guide. Or, try clearing your cache (browsing history) each time you search for flights online, as sites often raise their prices if they see that you are searching multiple times for the same flight.
Hack #4: Statements serve a purpose
Read your monthly financial statements to help combat fraud and identify potential mix-ups early. Real-life example: I discovered I was being overcharged on my cellphone bill even after contacting the company to clear up the error. I would not have caught it without fully reading through my statement each month.
Hack #5: Get gift card savvy
If eating out is important, save some money by giving someone an “experience” gift, purchasing prizes in bulk, or buying discounted gift cards from places like Costco or London Drugs. Alternately, if you find yourself with a wallet full of unused gift cards, look at re-selling them online through sites like CardSwap.ca.
Hack #6: Maximize your benefits
Do you know all of the details of your UBC Extended Health plan? You might be missing out on opportunities to save money. Learn more about your benefit details, or check out our Health, Fitness and Family Discounts.
Hack #7: Strengthen your money know-how
Attend our upcoming workshop on Debt Freedom & Finances or The Psychology of Money, or read some of our past finance-related articles, including A Financial Cleanse in Five Steps and ‘Cha-Ching’: Cost Effective Health Hacks.
Here’s to healthier wallets this spring!
All my best,
By Miranda Massie on April 5, 2016
It is no secret that we live in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. The draw of delicate cherry blossoms, crisp ocean breezes and gorgeous mountain views are only some of the reasons that keep us here, despite the costs.
The stark reality however, is that we can’t count on the ocean or the view to pay the bills, and, the stresses associated with finances can be overwhelming and at times suffocating.
I often hear from people that items related to personal health and wellbeing are the first things to be sacrificed in times of financial strain. What we sometimes forget is that keeping well doesn’t have to break the bank.
At the end of the day, if we don’t have our health, how are we to enjoy and appreciate our wealth?
Top health hacks to boost your wellbeing while keeping money in your wallet
Participate in free events:
Register now for UBC’s annual Staff and Faculty Sports Day on May 6, 2016. This free UBC Centennial event is designed to build teamwork and celebrate the end of the school year. With your team of 4-6 people, you will take part in four physical or intellectual challenges and enjoy a free lunch, prizes and more!
Take advantage of discounts:
As a staff and faculty member at UBC, you have access to a wide range of corporate discounts for local fitness, yoga, and recreation programs. Already covered for physical health? Don’t forget to explore the arts and culture as well as family event discounts available too. Discounts include both on and off campus options.
UBC offers free pension plan workshops on a wide range of topics intended to help you make informed decisions for your family and future. Topics include Pension Plan 101, Understanding your Pension Plan, Retirement Information and GetEducated Seminars. Available for individuals, departments and larger groups.
You also have access to a wide variety of online learning tools through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, Shepell. Visit workhealthlife.com to find out more.
Find the right incentive:
Canada’s first wellness rewards program has launched in the form of Carrot Rewards. BC residents who make an effort to lead healthier lifestyles can now be rewarded with loyalty points such as Aeroplan, PetroPoints, Scene and MoreRewards. Users who sign up (it’s free) for Carrot Rewards will be able to earn loyalty points for completing activities centred on making healthier lifestyle choices.
As we set foot into a fresh fiscal year, I want to leave you with one last hack, or perhaps just a fun fact:
People often assume that eating healthier costs more money. Well, Harvard did a study to see if this was really the case. They found that the difference in price between the healthiest diets (rich in fish, nuts, fruits and veggies) and the least heathy diets was $1.50 per day. For the cost of a daily cup of store-bought coffee, you have the potential to re-allocate your funds in a health boosting way.
All my best