Mogo is a financial tech company that’s transforming the way Canadians access their money, control credit, and ultimately, get out of debt. Think of it as #FinancesWithBenefits. Unlike the big (scary) banks, Mogo takes a different approach by being convenient, simple, and above all, transparent. They’re the only ones in Canada who offer a full spectrum of rates, so they’ve probably got an option for whatever you need and for how excellent or not so great your credit application is (BTW- if your credit sucks- you better be following this series!). Basically, they’re doing to the banks what Uber is doing to taxis.
In our new #AskAnAdult series, Chantel Chapman, Mogo’s Financial Fitness Coach (and real-life adult), answers your most pressing financial questions! She’ll whip you (and us) into financial shape! This week, Alyssa Lau, asks:
Q: Hey Chantel! Staying on budget is tough, especially when there is so much good food to buy. What are your favorite tips when it comes to budgeting? Do you use any phone apps or tools to help?
A: Hey Alyssa! First.. I feeeel you girl. My guiltiest spend is on food. I buy ALL the food. Smaller cost items are usually the ones that get you. Often, you don’t put much thought into them on an individual level, but food steadily shrinks your bank account while your ass grows.
Another one that gets me is app purchases and subscriptions. For example, when people subscribe for things like music streaming apps, on-time payments are automatically set up. For that reason they can be suuuper easy to lose track of! I like to limit myself to 2 apps that I absolutely need and 2 apps that I really want â€“ it adds up to about 40 bucks a month on average which I think is totally reasonable for anyone’s budget!
Here are some of my personal budgeting tips:
– Know how much money you have coming in at the beginning of the month and make a plan for it. So simple but absolutely mandatory!
– Set a day rate playa: Calculate how much you spend on stuff that gets you through the day and don’t go over that rate. There is a golden rule to this though: don’t ever borrow from the future (duh). If you don’t spend it all in one day, you can carry forward that $$ and maybe fuck up some commas! This method works so well that Mogo has added a “Daily Spend” section on their MogoCard account.
Not saying it’s healthy to make it rain at strip clubs, but going out for drinks on Friday shouldn’t leave you stressing about your funds on Monday.
– Give your self some “Rick Ross“ money. Rick likes to BMF (Blow Money Fast), and sometimes so do I. To keep myself in control with my spending, I give myself some money that I can spend guilt-free each month. Ironically, the success to budgeting is to give yourself a little money each month to BMF. It’s like dieting: if you eliminate carbs, sugar, gluten and fat all at once, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to have a cheat day 7 days a week and start sweating when you see donuts.
It’s the same with budgeting — your Rick Ross money will let you satisfy your guilt-free spending in a controlled way and take away the urges of overspending because you’re not putting excessive restraints on yourself. I also separate my Rick Ross money from my chequing account that has my $$ for bills. If you can clearly see how much you have in your R&R account — you will know where you are at without “accidentally” dipping into the #adulting fund meant to pay your bills.
I have tried some budgeting apps but I find them to be a lot of work and I end up not using them after a while (aka every diet I’ve tried, ever).
My preferred method is to sit myself down, write out how much of a financial shithead I am on a day-to-day basis and create my monthly (or weekly for all you keeners) budget based on those numbers. Budgeting is not complicated, but if you need an outline there are a lot of great templates on the internet! Doing it old school makes you more mindful. Pairing this with smart tools like an account just for your spending and my tips above will keep you in shape.
Q: What are some things you do to make sure you stay on budget while traveling?
A: There are a couple options when trying to stay on budget when you’re traveling:
1: Be rich
2: Set daily budgets before you leave
My biggest overspending category when I travel is probably Uber. They make it so easy and mindless because you are not physically involved in the money exchange, so I tend to not think about my credit card bill racking up. We are more likely to be less diligent with our budgets when we travel, but it’s all about pre-planning and continuing to check in each day.
I totally understand how nerve racking it is to check in on your own bank account because it usually happens when you think you might be broke. But if you check on a daily basis, you can track your spending and see where you’re sitting financially and not have to hold your breath every time you use your debit card.
Here are my traveling tips:
– When booking hotels and flights always delete your cookies before browsing (or open a private window). Travel sites straight up fuck you when they see that you’ve visited their site in the past and will jack up their prices intentionally.
– Know your day rate and stick to it.
– You can usually get the best exchange rate by swiping your debit/credit card or taking out cash from ATM locally.
– Do what the locals do. Always stay away from the tourist spots as they are usually overpriced and probably not as cool as they look on Instagram.
Some of these tips that I’ve told you have conveniently been included in some way onto the MogoCard. It won’t be available until later this year, but you can load your travel budget onto it and it texts you every time you spend so you know how much money you have left. It’s the closest you can get to being treated like a child while being an adult.👊
Need help with your taxes? Read the last #AskAnAdult here!