Stretching your dollar during the pandemic

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(NC) COVID-19 is putting financial pressure on many Canadians. Here are a few ways to stretch your dollar when things are tight.

Look for hidden savings
The Government of Canada’s economic support plan has a list of support measures available to individuals, which can be helpful tools at a critical time. When investigating options like mortgage deferrals, don’t forget to read the fine print. The same goes for other rebates and discounts, like those from your car insurance provider. 
 
Review periodic subscriptions
Streaming services, music subscriptions and cell phone bills are all worthy of a second look when budgets get tight. Reviewing your bank statements or credit card bills can be an effective way to get a refresher on where your money is going. Those monthly charges can add up, so if you can live without two streaming services, now might be the time.

Keep making meals
With restaurants closed due to COVID-19 precautions earlier in the year, most of us have been making more meals at home. While supporting local businesses is more important than ever, continuing to buy groceries and making your own meals can be a powerful way to save money. On average, Canadian families spend more than $2,000 annually on restaurant food – a significant amount that can go towards more essential expenses right now.

Take advantage of everyday rewards 
Loyalty programs and credit cards that focus on travel and entertainment may not be the best choice with so many activities on hold. Now might be a good time to take advantage of cards that offer rewards on everyday items you actually need. For example, credit cards like the PC Financial Mastercard let you earn and redeem rewards on things like groceries and gas and can help you track your spending across a variety of categories to stay on budget.