Collect Your Spare Change
Instead of having a jar for loose change, try using an automatic saving app like Mylo. It’s a simple and genius solution to putting all that loose virtual change to work for you: just install the app on your phone and every time you make a purchase, it rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests the change. No matter how much you invest, Mylo only costs $1 per month, and it’s Canadian-built, to boot.
Open an Online Savings Account
If you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, a wedding, a car or even for a rainy day, a high-interest savings account is a great place to park your money. The Tangerine savings account is one of the best and simplest online accounts available because there are no minimums, no service charges, and no monthly account fees — saving you a boatload of money. The financial institution also offers a regular, ongoing 0.40% interest rate, but when you open your first Tangerine savings account, you could earn 2.80%* interest for 5 months*.
Once you’ve signed up, refer a friend using your Orange Key® and you’ll both earn a $50 bonus. Winning!
Invest with a Robo Advisor
If you’ve never worked on Wall Street and the idea of investing seems daunting, consider putting your spare change into an investment account with a robo advisor. Unlike a traditional online brokerage, robo advisors use a computer algorithm to manage your portfolio for you, factoring in your investment goals and risk tolerance. The benefit of a robo advisor is they’re easy-to-use and come with low fees, and you can set up an automated payment to quickly grow your nest egg.
Our top choice is Wealthsimple because their fees are reasonable (ranging from 0.4% to 0.5%), they offer unique VIP perks, and they have a broad investment selection, including Halal and socially responsible funds (SRIs) at no extra cost. Plus, there’s no minimum account balance required, so if you’re just starting out investing, this is a great option. To sweeten the pot, take advantage of of our exclusive offer for Young & Thrifty readers: open and fund a Wealthsimple account with $500 and get a $50 cash bonus! Then sit back and watch your money grow thanks to the miracle of compound interest!
Invest with an Online Broker
When it comes to building a “wealth empire” through investing, keep your costs low and earn money online with a discount brokerage. Also known as an “online broker,” it’s a great option for DIY investors who want the flexibility to build their own portfolio and control over their money (without moving from the couch) while cutting fees to the barebone.
There plenty of online brokerages available to Canadians, but our top choice is Questrade. This online brokerage is one of the lowest cost options out there: there are no annual fees or fees for purchasing ETFs. That means that you can transfer money into your Questrade account and build an ETF portfolio for $0. As a welcome bonus, open an account with Questrade, and you’ll start with $50 in free trades.
Get a Cash Back Credit Card
If you’re looking to earn some fast dough, get a cash back credit card. There are endless options available in Canada, but the best of the bunch is the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. Unlike other credit cards, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card allows you to earn unlimited Money-Back Rewards on everyday purchases — with no annual fee. After signing up, you choose up to two of Tangerine’s different money-back categories (gas, groceries, dining, drug store, etc.) to earn 2% cash back. All your other purchases earn 0.5% cash back. A tip: if you deposit your Money-Back Rewards into your Tangerine Savings Account, you’ll get a third 2% Money-Back Category!
File Your Taxes Online
Doing your taxes is right up there with visiting the dentist, but it can yield a big payout. And once upon a time, filing your taxes was a laborious process involving – gasp! – paperwork. Now the process is a little less painful with tax software like TurboTax.
TurboTax has been used by millions of Canadians for over 20 years, and you can collect a tax refund in as little as eight business days. They’re also fully integrated with the Canada Revenue Agency’s system, so you can file your taxes with one click. It means that your tax refund will arrive in your chequing account a heck of a lot faster.
Reassess Your Mortgage Deal
Paying off your home is a financial commitment most of us make for a long time. So, it makes sense to seek out the best mortgage lenders in Canada. Reassessing (or assessing) your mortgage online makes it easier to shop around for special rates before making the best financial decision for you.
Download a Personal Budgeting App
Budgeting apps are a great way to control spending, budget, and grow your nest egg. Many apps link to your accounts and present your financial intel in an easy to understand layout, so you don’t have to pour over an Excel sheet every month.
One of the most popular personal budgeting apps is YNAB (You Need A Budget). It connects to your financial accounts and tracks your budget, debt and savings. According to YNAB, new budgeters save on average $600 by month two and more than $6,000 their first year. You can also try the app free for a month!
If you’d rather not give a budgeting app access to your online finances, try Spending Tracker. The app is free and allows you to enter your income then manually track what you spend, as you spend it. Admittedly, it’s more work to input your expenses, but it might just make you think twice about ordering that salted caramel mocha Frappuccino.
Fill Up with GasBuddy
If you’re sick of paying high gas prices at the pump (and who isn’t?), try GasBuddy.com. The app tracks the cheapest gas prices, crowd-sourced in real-time by users across Canada and the US. Download the app onto your mobile device, and you’ll always know where’s the cheapest station to fill up. GasBuddy also has a Trip Cost Calculator, where you can determine in advance how much that summer road trip will cost you in fuel.
Shop and Save
Imagine getting paid to shop online? It sounds like every shopaholic’s dream. Ebates.ca partners with over 750 sites and setting up an account is easy and free. Click on one your preferred partner site to make your purchase – whether it be a new eyeliner from Sephora or a vacay through Expedia.ca. Then, sit back and wait for a percentage of cash back to arrive within three months by PayPal or cheque. Still not convinced? Over the last six years, Ebates.ca has made over $49 million in cash back payments to Canadians.
Sell Your Skills
From resume writing to designing cool t-shirts to creating Instagram posts, you have skills other people are willing to pay for. Sites like Freelancer or Upwork are a great way to set up a side gig and make money online. Once you sign up and create a profile, you can start bidding on jobs, such as web design or copywriting.
If you’re crafty, set up shop on Etsy. Think of it as an online market stall, where you can sell anything from vintage clothing to bespoke jewellery. Once you make a sale, the money is deposited into your bank account. Dog-lovers can generate cash (and their daily steps!) working for a dog-walking service like SpotWalk.ca.
Anyone with a knack for teaching can make a few extra bucks as a virtual English tutor to kids overseas, particularly in Asia. You can make up to $22 an hour with companies like VIPKid – though you do need a bachelor’s degree or above to qualify.
Rent Out Your Parking Space or Apartment
If you’ve got an empty parking space, rent it out! You could either rent long-term to one person for a flat-rate or alternatively, use Rover — a handy app that matches parking spot owners with drivers looking for short-term parking. To get started, just post an ad, set your hours, and you’ll be notified if a Rover user parks in your space. The maximum you can charge is $2/hour, but some owners are reeling in the cash, earning as much as $400-500/month.
Got a spare room? Rent it out on Airbnb. It’s estimated that Airbnb hosts earn an average of $924 USD ($1220 CAD) a month(!) — more than anyone else in the “gig economy.” These are two pretty easy ways to make money online.
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