Money Hacks for Millennials: Have You Saved for a Rainy Day?

Coincidently I am writing this post on a rainy day, and despite always hearing this expression, I didn’t know exactly what it meant. “Save for a rainy day?” more like “save for a rainy three to six months” in case you lose your job, break a limb, or god forbid some other unexpected life moment goes down.

Over the past two years I’ve written a few posts with money tips for millennials. If you missed those, let me give you a little background on my situation, in 2005 I returned from Australia, tiny, tanned, and educated. I brought something else home with me tho, a HUGE debt. I owed over $30k in student loans and credit cards!? It was a tragic look at reality when all the bills started rolling in and I’d barely started my first full-time job in Toronto making under $30k/year. It seemed literally impossible to dig out of the hole I was in. I found myself saying “I need cash now ” more often than I wanted too. Having to find quick ways to get cash is difficult and I did struggle. Payday loans such as Fresh Loan were constantly recommended to me for a short term solution. Soon enough, I’d had enough and decided I needed to gey myself in gear. There is no way I was going to live in this debt forever. For many others it’s the same circumstance, they find themselves in a vicious circle, having to take out loans, ending in debt and hardly seeing a way to get out. Small loan lenders like this Norwegian based company, små-lån, can help people finding themselves in the same situation. Before taking out a small loan, you should read every detail carefully and fully understand your repayment methods.

Not long after that I was on a TV show called Maxed Out where I got some solid financial advice, consolidated my loads, and began my journey to financial freedom. It wasn’t easy but by the time I was 30 I’d paid back everything, boosted my credit rating, and could set new financial goals.

solo trip to Mexico at 30
solo trip to Mexico at 30

In this post, I’m breaking down that age-old advice and putting some measurable ‘money hacks’ out there. According to a recent TD survey, the top three pieces of advice millennials get from parents/guardians are:

  1. Don’t live beyond your means 55%
  2. Saving a percentage of every paycheque 52%
  3. Save for a rainy day 47%

Although this advice is useful, it doesn’t realllllly give us a blueprint of how to get out of debt and build that nest egg. With the help of Shirley Malloy at TD Canada, it’s time to turn those old money tales into measurable things you can implement.

Money Hacks for Millennials from Shirley Malloy at TD


“Don’t live beyond your means” What that means: “Don’t mistake credit for cash”

  • – Malloy suggests credit can be a valuable tool when used responsibly, and reminds us that not all debt is bad.
  • – A mortgage or student line of credit can be considered an investment that helps generate income in the long term and increases overall net worth. The key is to have a plan in place to pay it back. MAJOR KEY ?
  • – TD’s money management app, My Spend, can help track expenses and keep essential and discretionary spending in check.

“Save for a rainy day” | What that means: “Save for a rainy three to six months”

  • – Everyone should aim to set aside three to six months’ income to provide a financial buffer against any unexpected life events.
  • – Plan to save a two month buffer this year, and increase to four months once you’ve reached your goal.
  • – The Simply Save program is a great tool to help build savings. Every time you use your TD Canada Trust Access Card for debit purchases or ATM withdrawals, an amount of your choice is transferred into your savings account.

“Save a percentage of every paycheque” | What that means: “Save 10 per cent of EVERY paycheque”

  • – Malloy suggests that 10 per cent of every pay should be the goal, but start small if that figure isn’t realistic.
  • – Set up an automatic transfer of $50 to a savings account. Then, set a bi-monthly meeting to revisit the budget.
  • – Challenge yourself to reach your goal of saving 10 per cent each paycheque over time.

If reading this gives you a bit of anxiety, that’s ok. It’s uncomfortable to deal with things that take you out of your zone. Something I’ve learned is that the sooner you face this stuff head on and make a plan, the better you’ll feel about it. After a few months or years, you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Once you’ve got saving down to a science, start setting bigger goals!

* Post sponsored by TD Canada, debt story and lessons learned all mine!

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