indicatorSaving and Investing

What’s your saving style?

Get to know how you save and grow your saving knowledge to boost your financial confidence.

By ATB Financial 7 February 2023 4 min read

Everyone’s relationship with money is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to saving, investing or spending. When it comes to thinking about your financial goals, there’s a simple place to start: understanding your saving style. Knowing yourself is one of the first steps to growing in your financial confidence.

So what’s your saving style? Are you a Confident Saver, Moderate Saver or Saving Seeker?


The Confident Saver

  • Has a budget that works for them and tracks their spending consistently
  • Found tools they like to use to budget and save
  • Invests their extra cash so they can meet their financial goals

The Moderate Saver

  • Is aware of their spending habits, but doesn't stick to a budget regularly
  • Has a savings account, but has no specific plan for their savings
  • Is interested in learning about investing, but doesn’t know where to start

The Saving Seeker

  • Hasn’t made a budget that works for them, so they don’t track their spending
  • Doesn’t feel like they have a plan or direction for their money
  • Feels intimidated by investing

Whatever your saving style (or styles), there’s always room to grow your financial knowledge. Here are four tips to help you expand your savings know-how.


1. Determine your monthly income and create a realistic monthly budget.

Creating a realistic budget starts with figuring out how much you’re earning and how you’re already spending your money. Once you have this information, it will be easier to decide where you can cut back without negatively affecting your quality of life. To get started with a budget, you can download an interactive template like this one

Get honest with your expenses. Are you really going to stop buying coffee at work? If not, include a daily to-go coffee in your budget. Even if you need to adjust your budget to your coffee-buying habit, there are likely other areas where you can shift your spending so you can prioritize what matters most to you.

This will look different for everyone. You could try shopping at consignment and thrift stores, or off of online marketplaces instead of buying brand-new. Maybe you only really use one media subscription—not Netflix, Crave and cable. Carpooling with a coworker could help you save on gas. Try outdoor (and free) activities to hang out with your friends and family in warmer months, like a walk or hike on a local trail, going for a bike ride or giving frisbee golf a try. If you tend to buy books and leave them sitting on your shelf unread, you could try borrowing from the library instead—it’s cheaper, you have a huge selection and a deadline to finish your reading.

To help you stay on track, try using an online budgeting tool or an app. You can also see if a friend or family member could be your accountability partner in the process.


2. Align your budget and spending with your goals and values.

Your budget should reflect what’s most important to you. Think of it as a tool to help you get what you want.

To make sure your budget is working for you, include long-term and short-term goals. Take a long, hard look and consciously differentiate between your needs and wants. Does your budget reflect what you care about, as well as your material goals?


3. Flip your money mindset.

Simple changes can make a big impact on your saving. By switching how you think about your saving timelines—from months and years to days—you’ll save for your goal four times sooner. According to a study featured in Psychological Science, thinking in days makes it easier to start saving and stay focused as you save for your goal.

The added bonuses of thinking of your saving in days instead of months or years include:

  • A sense that the future is coming more immediately and that you’re capable to meet it
  • Each day seems important and vital to achieving your goal
  • Feeling more connected to your future self


4. If you haven’t already, start saving or investing, and treat your savings like an expense.

A key part of successful investment-saving is starting to contribute as early as you can. Make it easy for yourself and set up automatic deposits to come out of each paycheque and go straight to your savings or investment account. This way, the leftover money becomes what you create your monthly budget from. Start with as little as $100. After a couple of paycheques you won’t even have to think about it.

Savings accounts work well for short-term savings goals, or if you think you’ll need immediate access to your funds. However, they don’t give your money much opportunity to work for you. Savings investments can give you tax benefits, plus the potential for growth. If you’re looking for more ways to save your way, connect with one of our experts. They’ll give you the information you need to create a savings plan that’s right for you.


5. Build a relationship with your financial institution.

Shop around and ask questions until you feel confident and comfortable dealing with your bank or investment broker. They can help you discover solutions for your lifestyle, investment options you might not have considered and strategies (like lower-interest credit) to get the best value for your money. 

Meeting with an ATB advisor today can help make what you want for tomorrow possible. You bring the vision, and we’ll give the guidance you need to get there.

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