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Sep 15, 2022

6 min. read

You’ve likely noticed the increasing prices of many of the foods your family enjoys. Sirloin steak now costs almost 18% more than it did five years ago, and a pound of butter will cost you almost 17% more. When the costs of goods and services increase (inflation), The Bank of Canada, in partnership with the Canadian government, raises interest rates to try and keep inflationary increases within a range of 1% to 3%.

Many of us are feeling the impacts of rising prices at gas pumps, restaurants and grocery stores. This is why we wanted to provide our Members with some information on financial wellness so that we can each protect ourselves and our families in today’s bumpy fiscal environment.

While it is not clear where our economy is headed, understanding the options and choices for maintaining a solid financial plan will help ease some of the anxiety associated with this period of uncertainty. There is growing evidence that our ability to remain resilient during times of financial stress can positively affect both physical and mental well-being.

It is in this spirit that we’d like to share some pointers for protecting you and your family.

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Review your current monthly costs to identify unnecessary spending and new discounts.

  • Review your bank statements over a few months to track your expenses. You may be surprised at how much you are spending on certain items each month, like that double latte every morning. Those are the items that add up and could be unnecessary. This may encourage new spending habits in the future.

  • Check what online budgeting tools your financial institution has to offer. Budgeting tools can make it easier for you to organize and keep track of your bank accounts and credit card transactions.

  • Review your credit card statements for unused automatic renewals. This will prompt you to unsubscribe from services you are no longer using and potentially save you hundreds of dollars over time.

  • Review your telecom service provider costs and ask for any new discounts. You can trim monthly costs by staying on top of new offers or simply by asking if you qualify for any discounts.

Take another look for savings hiding in plain view. Make sure you explore all the discounts and rewards that are available to CAA Members.

  • Our partnership with Shell Canada means that CAA Members are entitled to a 3 cents per litre discount on all fuel grades, 10% on eligible convenience retail products and 10% on car washes at participating stations.

  • Remember to use your CAA Membership card at any of the 124,000 participating retail locations and services worldwide to save on apparel, attraction tickets, hotel stays, dining and more. Learn More

  • Save on CAA Home and Auto Insurance. Members can save 20% on CAA Home and Auto Insurance in Ontario and 20% on property insurance in Manitoba. In Ontario, you can also take advantage of CAA MyPace™ insurance where you only pay for the kilometres you drive.

  • Take advantage of CAA Member travel discounts. Save up to 20% on fares, car rentals, vacation packages, attractions and more through our travel partners.

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Spend smartly. Small changes in your spending behaviour can have a big impact over time.

  • Check out your local thrift shop for gently used items for yourself and the kids. This is also an environmentally friendly option that reduces waste in landfills.

  • Visit your local library and borrow books for free. You can also listen to free e-books and audiobooks using the OverDrive app.

  • Grow your own herb garden. They’re easy to grow and provide fresh and delicious tastes for your family’s culinary adventures at home.

  • Carpool, walk or bike to work. Reduce your carbon footprint and get some exercise.

  • Plan your next road trip close to home and get a tax credit at the same time. For 2022, Ontario offers provincial travellers a 20% personal income tax credit on eligible accommodations up to a maximum of $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family. Even costs for campgrounds are included in this program. Those savings could cover tickets to the game or dinner with the kids beachside.

We want you to stay safe, happy and financially well.

For more information about how you can manage your finances, reach out to an accredited financial advisor for professional help and guidance. Joanna Marra, CAA Club Group Wellness Manager, puts it best: “We are a care-driven organization and we want our Associates and Members to have the information and educational resources necessary to help them make the best decisions for their financial wellness.” We hope this blog gets you thinking about ways to become more empowered and in control of your money.

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