10 Money Saving Tips from Reddit Toronto

A new immigrant asked for steps to maximize savings in Toronto - Reddit delivered answers.

Ruth Saldanha 14 June, 2023 | 4:31AM
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Person opening empty wallet

As a new immigrant to Canada a few years ago, the one thing I obsessively checked online was tips on how to save money in my new home. That’s the same thought that Redditor  -u/curiousperson89 had, posting a question on r/PersonalFinanceCanada asking, “I (35M) am moving to Toronto with zero savings and a great job. What steps should I take to maximize savings?”

The original poster (OP) added that they are moving to Canada (from a European country) with zero savings and limited knowledge of financial tips and tricks in Canada, have a job as a management consultant and between them and their wife, would be able to earn 150K+. The OP also has a student loan with about US$40,000 outstanding.

“What are the key steps that I should take (1. short term and 2. long term) that would help me maximize my net worth considering the fact that I am starting later than most?” the Redditor asked. Canadian Reddit users delivered. Here are some of the useful responses:

Toronto Reddit Contributors Share Money Saving Secrets

  • “To keep your rental costs stable, find a unit that was built before 2018. In Ontario, these are rent controlled, meaning the landlord can only raise the rent by a % guideline set out by the government.”


  • “Look into shared places with another couple and save as much as you can for 2 years. Putting $35k each into RRSP will get you big tax returns each year, and you could be near $100k within 2-3 years if you really focus on saving. Be frugal. Your biggest expenses will be rent and food. Minimize those and reduce eating out, entertainment expenses, travel, and other big ticket items and you could put away 50% of your take home pay and get 10% back at the end of the year in tax returns.”


  • “Short term: Get an apartment close to work, live without a car, keep a basic lifestyle, aim to be debt-free and have 100k in savings after 3.5 years. Long-term: Make use of TFSA & RRSP investment accounts, grow income 15% per year, purchase a home.”


  • “I’d suggest trying to build up that savings for emergencies and the down payment if you really want to get ahead. Good luck.”


  • “First, start by asking for a raise after 3 or 6 months if you like the job. Second, live VERY close to work -- like, walking distance if at all possible. Third, start using of any tax-advantaged accounts like TFSA / RRSP as quickly as you can. If your employer offers 'matching' contributions to their pension program, sign up for that immediately, it's free money.”


  • “Just don't have a car, try to live as close to work as possible and use transit or bike.”



Savings jar

  • “Try and get a contract role - less tax, more inhand. Get an insurance that works for you - Critical illness, disability and life insurance is must. Start with a small condo close to office if you have to go to office, else stay far from city to save on rent.”


  • “Steps to save would be, don’t order food from delivery services, engage in free activities, don’t go out to eat, where your bill will usually be around 150.00 for two. Take a trip to the bank and ask them about investing. I’ve also done well with a second weekend job, where I use my second job as my spending and saving money. My first job goes almost entirely to the maintenance of my old house and my mortgage.”


  • “Costco is your friend. Simplii, tangerine, and eq bank offer fee free bank accounts. Cellphoneman.ca can get you an amazing deal on your cellphone and internet. I have used them multiple times. Avoid places with water heater rentals.”


  • “Don't ship anything with you if you're planning to. Save money, and move light. For the first year at least, live a semi frugal life. Find a "relatively" inexpensive place to live. While the first year might be a little rough, it will help you understand your finances better without being under financial pressure. Once that year is over, and you understand your finances better, you make calculated and rational decisions on are you want to live, rent, car, transportation, and all aspects of life that consume your income.”


savings jar

What Does Morningstar Think about the Toronto Reddit Saving Advice? 

Just like last’s weeks Reddit advice on stocks Vs ETFs, all of this is sound advice as well. Morningstar recently published a video on how to begin investing. Two main things to do are:

  1. If you have your expenses covered and money saved for emergencies, start investing as early as you can. The longer you invest, the better.
  2. If your employer offers an RRSP match, take advantage of it. That’s free money.

Once those two things are done, consider these points well:

  • Figure out your goals: What are you investing for? Maybe you're saving for an epic vacation, a down payment for a home, or your retirement. Your goal will determine your timeline and your investment strategy.
  • Choose your investments: If your goal is short-term, you may want to focus on stocks. While riskier, stocks generally have higher returns than bonds. If your goal is far away, consider investing in stocks and transition to less-risky investments like bonds as you approach your goal.
  • Mutual funds and ETFs are both great options. Investing in funds lets you own many stocks or bonds.
  • Be honest with yourself: You may not want to manage your investment accounts. You can turn to a full-service brokerage firm or a lower-cost robo-advisor.
  • A simpler option may be a target-date fund. It's a mix of stocks and bonds that changes over time.

Regardless, remember to invest with your goals in mind.


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About Author

Ruth Saldanha

Ruth Saldanha  is Editorial Manager at Morningstar.ca. Follow her on Twitter @KarishmaRuth.


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