Category Archives: Canadian Tax System

How to Structure Your Monthly Living Costs

Learning how to manage your finances is something that everyone struggles with as a standard part of Adulting 101—and even “being an adult” doesn’t really mean that you are an expert budgeter. Your personal finances are subject to a wide range of fluctuation throughout your life, as you move from one job to the next; change apartments; purchase a home; build a family; start travelling, and so on.


Maybe you want to prepare for the unexpected (say, a leak in your roof or a blown tire on your car); pay for a trip; reduce your debt (from student loans or credit cards), or just to get better at building your savings account.


No matter what your goal is, learning how to structure your monthly living costs will go a long way in helping you get a handle on your financial well-being. And the good news is that smart financial management doesn’t have to be exhausting. All you need are the right tools and the motivation to start, and you can easily start budgeting today!


In the sections below, we’ll take a close look at a tried-and-true method of structuring your monthly living costs—and some expert tips for success—to help you develop a budget that will put your financial anxieties at ease.


Structure Your Monthly Living Costs with the 50/20/30 Rule

One popular method of organizing your monthly living costs is by using the 50/20/30 rule. It’s a simple way to take a holistic view of your income and get a handle on your expenses. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most popular budgeting methods out there.


With the 50/20/30 rule, your monthly paycheque is consistently split into three categories and percentages:



  • Necessities


Put 50 percent of your paycheque towards necessities. These are non-negotiables, like rent or mortgage and groceries (no way of getting around it, you need these things to survive).

  • Savings and debt
    Next, put 20 percent of your paycheque towards your financial health, factoring in both savings and debt together. You can split it in half if you want, and put 10 percent into paying credit cards and student loans, and then put 10 percent into your savings account (these are also non-negotiables, make sure you make your credit card payments to avoid hefty interest rates!).
  • Wants
    Finally, 30 percent of your paycheque goes towards the things that you want. This is the fun part of your monthly budget, covering things like going out to the movies, splurging on a new purse, or eating out at a new restaurant. (You don’t need them to survive, but they sure make life more fun.) If you don’t end up using these funds, put them towards your savings!


By sectioning off your paycheques into 50/20/30 percent segments, you’ll be able to get a clear look at how you are spending your money and where you can improve. This rule also helps steer you in the right direction, ensuring that your spending—and saving—is both purposeful and designed to set your budget up for success.

Pro Tip #1: Cut Back On Necessities

You can’t stop spending money altogether (and who wants to live in a world like that), but you can definitely minimize the amount of money going out of your account each month. Here are some great ways to start cutting down on the things you need, and the ones that you don’t.


While you can’t cut out the essentials like housing, transportation, and food, you can definitely minimize the amount that you spend on them. Here are some great ways to start cutting down on the things you need:


  • Limit going to restaurants. With drinks, appetizers, and the tip (assuming your server wasn’t a horrible person), dining out can easily be a big food expense. And with 54 percent of Canadians eating at restaurants at least once a week, there are plenty of opportunities to cut back. Plus, you get the extra incentive to make your future restaurant choice a really good one (see you later, fast food dollar menu).
  • Prep your meals before dinnertime. Be more thoughtful when it comes to buying groceries, and prepping ahead of time decreases the chance that you’ll make the easier choice of ordering takeout —no matter how tempting it is to order from that Chinese restaurant with the amazing egg rolls.
  • Buy generic brands. Just because there isn’t a big-name label attached to a product, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t the same thing. Literally. Save a few bucks here and there by opting for the generic version of baking products, canned veggies, cleaning and paper products, and yes—even water. You can even opt for online stores like Brandless that carry a huge assortment of unbranded goods for a fraction of the price.
  • Minimize your transportation costs. If you have a car, you could shop around for a new insurance rate, start using a gas rewards card, or even trade in for a more efficient vehicle. Walk or bike as much as you can to minimize expenses and get some exercise in (and here’s a plus: you might even be able to cut back on your gym membership costs, too).
  • Be mindful with your utilities. When it comes to air conditioning and heating, a few degrees can make a big difference. Keep your windows open in the summer for a nice cool breeze at nighttime, instead of running the air conditioner all day. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter, and bundle up with sweatshirts and blankets (add a couch and a good movie, and you’ve got a winter escape heaven).


Ultimately, the goal here is to get creative and to challenge yourself on taking a closer look at the way you spend your money. Not all of us are wired for smart spending, but it’s a skill that you can learn over time. And of course, don’t forget that any improvement is going to make a difference over time, no matter how small!


Pro Tip #2: Maximize Your Budget

Getting a handle on your monthly living costs can be a real challenge, especially if you are living from one paycheque to the next (and who isn’t these days). Luckily, there are tons of ways to have your budget right at your fingertips, making it easy to keep responsible spending and saving top of mind. Online budgeting tools, like Mint can go a long way in helping you stay on top of your finances.


Budgeting apps like these can make it easier to see exactly where your money is going each month, with categories for Transportation, Grocery, Entertainment, and more. You can also set up automatic alerts to let you know when you are spending over your set limit for any category.


Online budgeting tools are everywhere, so there are plenty of options to choose from and find the app that fits your needs.

Pro Tip #3: Make Saving as Easy as Possible

No matter how you look at it, saving is tough. The average Canadian household has less than $900 saved, leaving barely enough room to cover emergency expenses such as car and home repairs.


Whether it’s through your bank or an investment company, sometimes the best way to save is to make it as easy and automated as possible. Make your savings into an automated process so that you don’t even have to think about it. Set your transfers to put aside a little bit of money each week, and you’ll be able to save without even giving it another thought. For example, you can link your checking and savings account for automatic transfers to send $1 into savings every time you swipe your card, or monthly transfers of $25.


The goal is to gradually get your savings up to where you can comfortably cover emergency, one-time expenses, like a broken dishwasher or a phone that accidentally got dropped in the toilet (hey, we’ve all been there).


With a little bit of extra focus and some determination, you can use the 50/20/30 rule as a foundation to organize your finances and get back on track. Of course, starting out with a budget for your first time can be stressful—and My Canada Payday is there to help you bridge the gap from one paycheque to the next. Be sure to check out the FAQ page to see the loan process.


If you need a little bit of help to consolidate your debt, pay off an overdue bill, or just to get a little bit of breathing room, a payday loan can be a great tool to help you start learning how to manage your budget. Give us a call (604-630-4783) or send us an email ( at any time to find out more about what makes My Canada Payday one of the top payday lenders in Canada!

Canadian Spring Break Budgeting Tips

As spring break creeps closer and closer there are more Canadians planning on getting away from it all. It’s traditional for most, and this is the time numerous Canadian families plan their vacations. For college students, the break is an alleviation from the chaos of college classes and other stress. For adult Canadians, it is a must needed break from the day to day hum-drum of the 9 to 5, but there are always considerations to be made before a trip like this. If you don’t properly plan it can certainly take some of the fun away. For instance, you want to make certain you’ve been budgeting and planning for a spring break trip for a few months before venturing off away from home!

Don’t forget to plan a strategic budget, and stick to it. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying for vacation on the day of. Save money and prepare way ahead of time if you’re truly going to enjoy yourself. This goes for anyone at any age. If you have to worry about money on vacation it’s really going to take the fun out of it. The following tips we are going to share should ensure you stay on track and every detail goes smoothly. The most important areas that Canadians should focus on (anyone going on Spring vacation from anywhere, really) are:

  • transportation
  • dining arrangements (eating out or cooking in)
  • what attractions are on the itinerary
  • how much shopping
  • what forms of entertainment
  • what kind of accommodations

Don’t be one of those who is seen scrambling for cash at the end of your vacation–that is bad and defeats the whole purpose of the getaway. The best thing to do is to plan to have a minimum of 5% of your funds remaining at the end of your vacation. It will greatly ease stress and clearly keep you prepared. You never know what unexpected expenses might arise, so stay on your toes. Now, let’s begin examine how to prepare for all of these areas previously mentioned.

Budgeting Tips To Ensure a Great Spring Break


Remember, to start, create and establish a budget. We said this in the beginning.  It’s a critical piece of the puzzle. Also, make sure that you include items such as: baggage charges, hotel taxes, taxis and more. Also, keep all of the following in mind:

  • You should always shop around and seek out the best deals and packages online. If you visit travel websites you might find discounts for car rentals and lodgings. Research is important so don’t just dive in. Review budget, price and plan around all of that.
  • Do a road trip for your spring vacation and save a ton of money. Some find this idea more fun and definitely more exciting. You’ll be able to visit more than one place and enjoy yourself far more. The goal is to not be limited by prices and more. You can have adventures you didn’t plan on and still save more money.
  • If you know exactly where you’re going and where you’re staying, call directly to try and get a reservation discount and other free services. Sometimes this pays off, rather than booking something online.

These tips ensure Canadian college students and families in general have a well mapped out spring vacation and are on top of all financial matters at the same time. Don’t go over-budget, and do get in some down time to regroup and enjoy your break away! Rest and relaxation is the most important part of a break. Sleep in. Walk leisurely, and just breathe!


Life Saving Tips For Canadian Families Today


Lots of money saving advice does require an individual or family to change their lifestyle to be successful. We’ve talked before that it takes commitment to succeed financially–period. The cost of raising children has certainly increased significantly, approximately 40% today. Even the most frugal Canadian families can struggle financially, with the best methods in place. It can be a constant struggle for sure. Remember, there are simple, easy things you can do to help relieve family stress and easy monthly finances.

We do talk about this an awful lot, but each month the goal is to give you new, impressionable ways to make ends meet, save money and feel fulfilled without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. No one wants to live to work or simply work to live, it’s not a happy circumstance. A balance is what today’s Canadian family needs. Just making tiny changes can save a budget that might have been floundering for a very long time. From extreme couponing to simply teaching your children those important life lessons, just always keep in mind that every little change is a step in the right direction.

Top 6 Money Saving Ideals for Canadian Families


Change your spending habits like you change your mindset about exercise. Scientists are finding that it takes approximately 3 weeks for an individual to get accustomed to exercising regularly. If you adjust your spending habits and mindset about money in the same way you’ll possibly stick to your goals. Let’s examine some of the most favorable money saving tips for Canadian families. When times are tough people do complain about not having enough, but it’s all a matter of how you look at your finances. Let’s get right to these tips and hope these improve your odds today!

  • Do you enjoy Cross Border shopping?  If so you’ll save some money with this tactic.  When you live near the border this can benefit you the most and you can really save quite a bit. 
  • Make certain you create a standard budget, and no matter an income increase you stick to that budget. This will really allow you to see your money mount up fast.
  •  If your mortgage has gotten outrageous for you, and you’ve lived in your home long enough to build up equity–consider downsizing. This will put some money in your pocket and some money in your savings.
  • You can also save on travel and commuting if you really play your cards right.  If your car guzzles gas, think about switching to a more economical car, one with flex fuel. You can also consolidate on trips. Invest in a good quality used car to really get your moneys worth.
  • Don’t forget that you can save a tremendous amount when shopping for child daycare! Don’t jump on the first center, or individual. You can work out a deal and even save at tax time as well.








Money Saving Tax Tips For Canadians 2015-16

Canadian Tax

Are you ready to make the most out of your tax savings?  Though it might be late to be filling, for those Canadians who requested an extension on their taxes, these strategies and tax savings will prove to be more than beneficial.  We’re sure those who are self employed will find many ways to take advantage of these here too! Canadians who can, should claim as many tax deductions and credits as possible.  This will then potentially lower their tax burden at the end of the year.  Furthermore, the end goal is to make certain to avoid all the common misunderstandings, pitfalls and the limitlessness misinformation that does exist.  We will dispel some of this for you right here!

Now, before we actually start listing some of these tips, we want to point out a very important issue with financial gifts or benefits gained on your job.  Some Canadians believe these don’t have to be claimed, as they think they are non taxable.  Modest gifts from your employer might be okay to not claim, but if you’re receiving end of year bonuses that are above $500–and this is every year; these kinds of things have to be claimed.  If it was something like every 3 to 5 years, then you could get away with it.  Unfortunately, the CRA will pick up on discrepancies through audits and by other regulations.

Let’s take the time to look at some of the things you should do and some of those you shouldn’t do when it comes to your taxes and gaining those precious tax advantages!


2016 Tax Season Tips To Make Finances Easier At The End Of The Year

1)  Don’t be afraid to accept a pay raise or another form of promotion

Just because you receive a pay raise or a promotion doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be in a new tax bracket and have to pay more out in taxes at the end of the year.  In fact, the opposite might be true.  Too many Canadians are losing out on tax benefits by not accepting promotions and raises versus any truth to the latter.  Be proud of your work and your position and accept what you’ve earned!

2)  The CRA DOES reward honesty, so don’t hesitate to point out who might not be paying taxes the way they should

Reliable tips that the CRA receives do profit for some Canadians.  It was just a few years ago that the Canadian Revenue Agency put rewards in place for those who would report on others not properly paying taxes and such.  While it might feel like a snitch position–think about how it can keep you safeguarded when it comes down to auditing and other investigations!  Honesty really does pay off.


3)  You can file your taxes online without paying more

So many Canadians believe that filing taxes online can lead to unexplained penalties and other unnecessary costs, but this isn’t true.  As long as you’re familiar with how to file taxes and if you have the similar earnings year after year, filing online can save you time and money.  The earlier you can get your taxes taken care of the better!

There are definitely more tax myths out here that intimidate and scare people for no reason.  Filing your taxes might take time, but it’s a necessary evil.  Knowing the facts about the CRA and how it all works makes everything even simpler.  With further investigation and educating, you’ll learn more tips and strategies that might be perfect for you!  If you haven’t filed yet, don’t wait to get that extension approval!

Tax Rules Are Changing In 2016: Are You Ready?

preparing for tax season

There is no doubt about it, tax rules are definitely mixing things up for Canadians all across the board.  If you aren’t familiar with what some of these changes are, and what you can expect, then this blog just might help you relax a bit, as long as you’re not an Albertan making over $300,000 a year!  That’s right, for those in this income bracket, you’ll be paying much more in taxes, clearly more than anyone else.  Most Albertans will be paying right at 7.75 percent more in taxes than they have in years past.  Furthermore, for those Canadians who are making $200,000, the newest rate of 33% will be applied to this income.

It would appear that those who fall under $46,000 are the Canadians who will be reaping some of the more appealing benefits.  For families with children, these families will begin to see some relief in taxes and an increase on their paycheques beginning July 1 of 2016.  These additional benefits “Canada Child Benefit payments” are meant to decrease the financial burden so many Canadian families are facing across British Columbia and beyond.  Let’s take a closer look at how some of these is going to be applied by the Federal government and how it really is going to play out for the long-term.

Understanding The New Middle Class Tax Cut

image for taxes

This new tax cut is definitely meant to help those in the median income brackets find some balance.  So, for those families with an income of $45,280 up to $90, 550–these are the ones who could gain the borderline benefits.  However, for those who exceed $90,550 and get upwards of $200,000, this bracket appears to be the one that is going to gain the maximum benefits from this new tax cut.  In fact, they could see their taxes go down by $700.  This cut, is of course, more appealing when you look at it annually, but biweekly, this puts about $28.00 back into Canadians paycheques.  There are drawbacks on this new plan though, and this is where the disfavor comes in at.

While the benefit works for the short-term, the long-term impact falls on Canadian pensions.  Some within the latter income bracket mentioned will actually max out their pension plan following this new tax plan, which might hinder retirement savings.  The contributions won’t even be seen in the latter part of 2015, something that might actually hurt income for many Canadians across British Columbia.  Unfortunately, January any gains and benefits actually begin to disappear, so there is no real long-term benefit at all.

When Canadians go to file their taxes for 2015, the Canadian Tax Revenue service has made the process much simpler by offering an automation service that fills in part of the tax return for Canadians.  This saves time and eases some stress, despite the new regulations and various changes.  Remember, the earlier you file your taxes, the sooner you can get on with the year!  Don’t let tax fear control you, you might be pleasantly surprised this tax season.

Canadian 2012 T1 Tax Form