Stress Less with these Money Saving Tips (+ enter to win $500 Towards an ATB Prosper Account)

I’ve been thinking a lot about money lately, especially since I officially started my own freelance social media marketing business in March. This decision came after carefully assessing my income and Mike’s, determining how much money I’d need to bring in each month to maintain where we were at with my full-time job, or costs we’d be comfortable cutting out of our lives knowing (at least for the first little while of the business) that I’d be making less than I did before. We also took our current savings into account, and comfort/risk levels with using that (if required).

The timing of these decisions was pretty great because it coincided with my partnership with ATB Wealth. I’ve been learning all about money, saving and investing for these ATB-focused blog posts the last few months, but I’ve actually been applying what I’ve learned to my own finances!

Now I’ve got a few more money saving tips to share—tips that are helping me stress less and tips that will help you stress less too!

You know what else is pretty stress-relieving?

Winning free money!

Last month I ran a giveaway for $500 towards an ATB Prosper account (congratulations to the previous winner Lisa LaRocque!!!) and I’m happy to announce that I’m giving away ANOTHER $500 to help you stress less and get closer to your dreams!

Check out my money saving & investment tips below and enter for a chance to win $500 towards an ATB Prosper digital investment account.

(This is a sponsored post with ATB Wealth)

5 Ways to Stress Less With Your Money

ATB Financial Stress Less Money Saving Tips

Pin + share my tips for stressing less with your money!

1. Try a “Cash Diet” 

If you find you’re a bit trigger happy with that credit card of yours, you should try going on a ‘Cash Diet.’ The gist is: take out cash from your bank account and allocate it into envelopes labeled with different spending categories like groceries, eating out, gas, expenses like that. Try to only use the cash in the envelopes that month and then see what money you’ve got left over or where / when (and why!!!) you ran out (if you ran out). Taking this Cash Diet Challenge according to ATB “will give you a strong sense of the value of money” and hopefully help you spend smarter (and save more) in the following months! (Admittedly, the idea of a Cash Diet sounds more stressful than less stressful, but I think once you’ve done it and apply the lessons you’ve learned will ultimately lead to less money stress!!! lol)

2. Set Really Simple, Realistic Savings Goals
Linda Hoang ATB Financial ATB prosper Savings Investment

This is what setting realistic savings goals looks like! Instead of buying a new outfit for a trip, I borrowed this one from my friend Sharman!

This was how I approached my financial resolutions for the year. Don’t make some very lofty, pie-in-the-sky goal, tell yourself you’re going to do very simple things and watch it work for you. I told myself I wasn’t going to spend as much on new clothes this year, and while I have still bought the occasional outfit, it’s definitely far less than what I’d normally spend. I am making very intentional decisions to not purchase and for instance before going on a vacation, digging in my closet for an old outfit or borrowing an outfit from a friend versus going to buy a new outfit. I also said I was going to eat out less, cook at home more this year and so far we’ve been saving lots on our home cooked meals! I’m still eating out (note: my goal was not DON’T EAT OUT because I would break that instantly, that’s not realistic!) but cooking at home more is definitely a simple, realistic action I could take that ensures money stays in my account and I stress less!

3. Start an ATB Prosper Investment Account
ATB Financial ATB Prosper Digital Investment Tool

ATB Prosper is Alberta’s first digital investment tool! It’s easy to use and an awesome way to start investing your money.

I’ve been preaching this for months, but I mean it! With ATB Prosper, Alberta’s first digital investment experience, it takes just $100 and less than 10 minutes to open your investment account. You don’t have to make an appointment at the bank. You don’t have to call someone for financial advice, but you can if you want to. Everything is done seamlessly online. Answer a few simple questions to gauge your risk threshold and how soon you want to achieve X amount of money and you’re good to go!

There’s also a handy ATB Prosper app where you can quickly check how your investments are doing, set up new investment goals, or set one-time quick deposits to get you to your dreams sooner. It’s a simple and straightforward system that does exactly what it’s meant to do: get you investing!

4. Implement a 50/30/20 Rule

That is, each month about 50% of your income should go towards necessities, 30% should go towards your wants (for me—eating out!) and 20% should go into savings. You should always try to put something into your savings each month (ideally 20%, more if you can, but ANYTHING even if you can’t hit the 20% that month). Listen to the math for money success!! And if you’ve got an ATB Prosper account, there’s a great feature called Quick Save where you can add additional one-time deposits for any amount when you’ve maybe got a bit of extra cash, or feeling like more money than your usual could go into your savings. Sometimes I’ll throw an extra $25 into the account which may not seem like much but certainly adds up over time!

5. Take Advantage of Budgeting and Investment Resources

There are so many great resources, tips and ideas to help you stress less with your money, ATB Financial even features a ton of personal money saving and investing advice on its website. They also have a Savings Calculator that can help you figure out how much you need to save per month to achieve certain small to big goals! In this Google and smartphone era, there’s literally so much good information at your fingertips. Take advantage!

And now, the easiest way to stress less… winning free money!


I’ve partnered with ATB Wealth to put on Linda’s Season of Savings! Enter to win an ATB Prosper digital investment account with a $500 balance. If you don’t have an ATB Prosper account, ATB will get you started with a cool $500. If you already have an ATB Prosper account, you’ll get a cool $500 placed into that existing account.


  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me your money-saving strategies to stress less!

Note: Leaving a comment on the blog is mandatory for entry.

Comments are moderated so if yours does not appear right away, don’t worry!

Get additional entries through social media:

  1. Tweet the following message: Win $500 towards your dreams! Read @lindork’s money-saving strategies and enter for a chance to win for $500 towards an @atbfinancial #ATBProsper investment account: #yeg #yyc #AB
  2. Leave a comment on my Instagram post, telling me your money-saving strategies to stress less and tag a friend to spread the word.
  3. Leave a comment on my Facebook post, telling me money-saving strategies to stress less and tag a friend to spread the word.

This contest runs from April 23, 2019 – May 7, 2019.

One winner will receive an ATB Prosper investment account with a balance of $500 CAD. If you have an existing ATB Prosper investment account, ATB will deposit $500 CAD into the ATB Prosper investment account.


And thanks for following along with my financial savings/investing journey the last few months!

I had a lot of fun partnering with ATB Financial and ATB Wealth and I learned a ton about saving and investing myself. I’m also so happy I finally started my own investment account!!


Disclaimer: I am working with ATB Wealth in a paid partnership to help highlight its ATB Prosper investment experience. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post. Throughout this partnership I have created my own ATB Prosper investment and am utilizing ATB Financial tips for saving and investing. I love being proactive about my finances and financial future!


  • Mary McEleney says:

    I stead less by paying all bills in the same week..I know it’s done and none forgotten

  • Davita says:

    Pay off all the necessary bills as soon as they come in, put a good portion into savings, then I know how much I have left for extra spending!

  • Greg says:

    Using a money saving app like Mint has allowed me to watch my spending and budget much easier!

  • Brittany says:

    Taking the bus to work! Saves me money spent on gas (went from getting gas about once every week to once every 2-3 weeks), and saves me on vehicle maintenance!

  • Rhoda says:

    I start budgeting for big ticket items (car/trip/wedding) well in advance. It’s a lot easier to save up a couple hundred dollars each month than to shell out thousands in one go.

  • Joan Chan says:

    I stopped buying coffee at a chain and started making it at home, small but it’s a start!

  • Brenden says:

    Looking at ads and buying stuff on sale!

  • Rima Tabet says:

    We stopped eating out as much. Limited our restaurant outing to once a week.

  • Sarah Lee says:

    I have a weekly auto transfer into a savings account.

  • Amelia says:

    Stock up on items that you use regularly when they’re on sale

  • Brittany Neiser says:

    Setting my coffee maker up to automatically brew in the morning so that, even if I’m running late, it’s already made and I don’t have an excuse to stop and buy one.
    Also paying bills right when I get paid. Then I know exactly how much I have leftover without having surprise unpaid bills at the worst time.

  • Bryanna says:

    Facebook marketplace for kids things, yegdeals for travel, making meals at home by meal planning based on what’s on sale, growing our own in seasonal veggies

  • Owen Salava says:

    Set up all my bills to be paid automatically, and have reminders in my calendar of when every payment comes out so I can check with online banking that the funds are there and the payment is made.

  • Davina says:

    My cheat is to make sure I pay off all the bills first for the month. Rent and my car. Then I make sure it save some for gas and then every two weeks I treat myself by online shopping ???? I also throw coins into a container and I save up a lot too that way.

  • James Lo says:

    Avoid paying monthly banking charges by switching from traditional banks to online banks such as Tangerine or Simplii and incorporate non-bank options or fintech apps such as Koho that automate your saving each time you make a purchase by rounding up your spending to the nearest dollar and saving the difference–allowing you to budget effortlessly and gain valuable insights by tracking your spending habits.

  • Mychaela says:

    Grocery shop based on what we need for the week after meal planning. Buy by points for necessities when there’s a good deal!

  • Jordana says:

    I do a “no spend week” once per month! Then what I would have spent I put either into savings or towards debt.

  • Kathy says:

    I separate my savings into different accounts based on my goals. And eat at home more often (sad but good).

  • Kelsie tetreau says:

    Using a budgeting app has been a game changer for me. Actually seeing where my money is going each paycheck and giving every dollar a job has helped me not only be more in control of my finances, but also achieve some pretty lofty goals sooner than expected.

  • Cassandra says:

    Making lunches and making my own coffee in the morning.

  • Marie says:

    I thrift 90% of my closet and home decor (I just moved)! I also like to “pay myself first”, so I budget for and automate all my necessities (bills, groceries + savings) and work with what I have leftover for my “wants”.

  • Danika says:

    Thrifting clothes!

  • Joyce says:

    Meal planning and home made snacks at work!

  • Alisa Petrisch says:

    I make my own tea at home and take it with me instead of spending my hard earned money at coffee shops.
    I eat out when I have a coupon or my husband and I share a meal. I cook at home. I shop at consignment stores for clothes and accessories. I use a glass water bottle instead of purchasing water.

  • A lot of my cash was disappearing into Uber eats! $7 to have food delivered! I started planning better and doing a grocery shop for the store each week so I’m not tempted to order in.

  • Kristen Lepine says:

    Meal plan, make lunches for work, set budgets

  • Aj says:

    It’s been 4 months since I became vegetarian. It’s been a healthy change as well as help me save.

  • Elizabeth says:

    When extra cash comes my way (either through freelance work or a pay raise), instead of spending it or increasing my budget, I store it away. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was to live below your means in order to save up for the future or any possible changes in income. Also I bring snacks with me everywhere and rarely eat out. This makes dining out a special treat and improved my health and pocket book.

  • Azra chatur says:

    Leaving my wallet at home so that I don’t buy unnecessary food/stuff when I go to school. Saves way more than I imagined

  • Rashi says:

    Pay myself first! I make sure that I have a little bit of pocket money from each paycheque. This cash is what I use to buy the fun things, which could be an ice cream or a fancy coffee. I make it a challenge to stretch it as far as possible!

  • Megan says:

    Buying clothes at consignment stores, for a fraction of the price you pay in malls or online. I also consign clothes that I no longer wear for some extra cash.

  • miranda says:

    I meal plan to cut down on food costs, utilize the library, and try to use thrifting or consignment shops when shopping for new clothes – less expensive and more sustainable!

  • Mikiko says:

    I’ve only recently started doing these things, but I’ve been trying to cut down on my expenses in ways that also help the environment. I’ve taken to buying my clothing second-hand and buying fruits and vegetables that are in season from local vendors. I’ve cut down on single-use products like paper towels and plastic baggies by investing in oven-safe dishes that come with a cover and repurposing old towels. The library and the library app have become my best friend in helping me cut down on my book shopping…the ways to do this are endless and I’m still learning but it makes me feel good to do these things. It also allows me to save money towards things I really care about; taking care of my new home, buying treats for my dog and travelling.

  • Karl says:

    Meal prep for weekday lunches – saves your bank account, saves your sanity in the morning and saves your waistline!

  • Sarah Fung says:

    I use the Mint app to budget!

  • Andrea says:

    When I go for walks during my lunchour I leave my wallet at work. This prevents me from dipping into little shops downtown for treats!

  • Lee-Ann J says:

    We shop at second hand stores for many things. Not only is it much cheaper, we feel we are not contributing to the over abundance of waste we live in. Second hand furniture works just as well, or better than new stuff! And keeps it out of the landfill. More money in our pocket, less garbage in the dump = win!

  • Alex says:

    Meal prepping to save time and money!

  • Megan says:

    I use saving apps like Ebates, Drop, and Checkout 51! All great ways to integrate into my everyday needs. Also find it very helpful to set up saving accounts to automatically withdraw money on payday! This way you won’t see it :)

  • Katrina says:

    I commented on Instagram 3 ways I save but I have a few more.

    1. I always pack an empty water bottle when traveling. If i’m in a hotel, I will often fill mine at the hotel gym or hit a starbucks for complimentary filtered water! Saves me from buying $7 water bottles from the minibar, keeps me
    hydrated and reduces plastic waste.

    2. At the end of the week, I empty out my bag of coins into jar. At the end of the month … the jar gets counted up and deposited. As a bonus it keeps my wallet lighter too.

    3. I contribute to TFSA/RRSP and savings account automatically per paycheck. I don’t contribute huge amounts so I hardly notice the difference in my pay which is great. I know some people think you can’t invest/save unless it’s big amounts but that’s not true. There’s time and compounding interest working on my side.

    4. Spend tracker (I use a little notebook) and a monthly spend analysis. When someone told me to do this. I thought it was ridiculous and then I saw how much I was spending on vending machine candy at work and was floored! It’s a great way to just be aware of the little things we think don’t matter. I think about that shock every time I decide to get any candy from a vending machine now lol and it has definitely curved my spending.

  • Jamie says:

    Looking around the house and selling items that I no longer need or that haven’t been used in ages. Great way to make some extra cash to throw into your savings.

  • Sonia says:

    My $$ saving tip to stress less: inviting friends over to potluck and hang out instead of going out to a fancy restaurant or club.

  • Debbie says:

    Meal planning and shopping with a grocery list. I also budget each and every paycheck and now exactly where every bill is coming from. Then only money that was meant for day to day purchases goes to things like eating out or buying books for my Kobo, never bill money.

  • Jeri Wolf says:

    I budget a certain amount every month for groceries, going out with friends, and spending money. Any money that is left over goes straight to a eSavings account where I can access it if needed, but I can’t just spend it without a penalty being paid. Makes me think about it before I spend it.

  • Stephanie W says:

    Planning out all my meals in advance! Ordering food, going out too often, or even buying a daily coffee can really add up. Making your meals at home is a huge money saver, not to mention way healthier!

  • Michael Pozzobon says:

    Invest, invest, invest! Even a low-risk mutual fund or a GIC can be a great way to make the most of your money with very little effort!

  • Marlo says:

    Live on last month’s income. This sounded crazy and magical the first time I heard it, didn’t everyone time paydays and bill payments? Next time you have a windfall or a mini windfall, put it towards your ‘buffer’ and eventually you’ll grow it to cover 1 month’s expenses. =Magic money stress reliever. Also You Need A Budget (YNAB) helps with this, but you can do it old school too

  • Kaelyn says:

    I opened up multiple saving accounts at ATB so I am now able to organize my money in an easier way! I also have created a budget to follow and once a week a tally up my spending to see where I’m at.

  • Kristi says:

    I do pay mostly with cash. I find that it is a lot easier to keep track of how much I’m spending when using cash. People seem to get taken by surprise a lot when I do it though haha.

  • Meaghan says:

    So many things help me save money- selling items I don’t use, meal planning and prepping lunches, being satisfied with the clothes I own or buying second hand, being financially savvy and learning more about investment options, paying down my mortgage faster with weekly payments and lump sum payments when possible, simply doing without lots of items, taking good care of the items I do own, driving an old vehicle that my husband repairs when required.

  • Melinda says:

    My tip is to set a goal and save money by setting up a bank account to save towards your goal.

  • Maritess S says:

    My money-saving tip is to write down income and expenses in your household. This activity allows me to closely keep track of where money is going and be cautious of where expenses can be cut down.

  • Brittney says:

    I stress less by always overpaying my bills. That way if I run into a stressful bill month, I don’t have to worry about them!

  • I am a cash only spender these days – I have an allotted amount each month for extras – and that means all extras – clothes, shoes, COFFEE ☕️ so I can’t blow my amount on a week of Starbucks. I try to hold on for the really good stuff or save up my extra money for something special!

  • Janine Rutledge says:

    We eat out of our cupboards and freezer! Limit the amount we go to the grocery store once a week. When we do go to the grocery store we stick to a list. We only keep $250 in our bank account a month, all the rest goes towards debts!

  • Justin says:

    I’ve set my account up so thatanytime I have a transaction my bank automatically sends $1 to a savings account. I hardly notice it and it adds up quickly.

  • Trish Reeves says:

    Atb reward credit card for gas cards!! ????????????

  • Karina Cross says:

    I go straight to the gym after work and then after I’m too tired to go anywhere but home! No money spent!???? Also! I have an auto deposit on my bank account to put money into my savings on each payday!

  • Becky says:

    What a great post about money saving. I always find that after the holidays are toughest financially, so I make it a goal to have credit cards paid off (or extra on them) before December. That gives me incentive to not go crazy with gifts as it’s a clean slate! Also taking a portion of cash from every paycheck out makes a little difference that I barely notice for savings.

  • Stephanie says:

    I try to buy my meats in bulk (costco) and spread it out throughout the week. It helps budget but also keeps me on my toes to be creative so that I’m not eating the same thing the whole week! ????????

  • Sonya says:

    Start saving for your retirement as early as possible.

  • Sonya says:

    Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. Traps and

  • Angela Wu-Xu says:

    Cooking at home more often saves me money on eating out.

  • Jenna Lau says:

    I use a separate bank account for leisure spending, and save the rest!

  • Kristen says:

    Definitely the cash diet! I bartend so I always have it handy for gas, groceries or a night out.

  • Gabrielle VanGeerenstein says:

    I try to limit eating out to as little as possible and taking 2 contigo cups of coffee with me to school or work

  • Crystal Stronski says:

    We track every penny we spend. And break it down by category. That way we know exactly where our money is going and we are able to plan for future goals and bills.

  • Deanna says:

    I bought a slow cooker. Many recipes can feed my husband and I for up to a week and can easily be frozen in single servings. I buy the cheapest cut of meat and slow cook it for 8 hours and it turns out perfect. Saves time and money!

  • Trina says:

    Whenever possible I buy used. I enjoy the challenge of the treasure hunt, and the cost savings don’t hurt either.

  • Alouise says:

    I get paid biweekly at my job, so I split my monthly bills into two. Then when I get paid I move my money for my bills into my “can you pay my bills?” chequeing account (little throwback Destiny’s Child reference). That way I’m not overwhelmed with paying bills once a month.

    I also move a bit of money into a TFSA savings and RRSP account each paycheque too. A little something is better than nothing.

    Oh and if you freelance set up an account for taxes. Each time you get paid move money (I usually got with about 30% but definitely check your own tax bracket) into your tax account. That way you won’t be overwhelmed when you have to pay taxes to the CRA.

  • Jacquie says:

    We save money by using the You Need A Budget spending tracking tool. It really helps to see where we are spending extra money each month and we try to curb it the next month. We buy meat at Costco, and make our coffee and meals at home where ever possible.

  • Sandy says:

    I found the biggest hurdle initially for me was not being accountable to anyone about my spending… so before my husband I trusted in a friend who financially was in a better place to hold me accountable to my budget and after I met my husband it was a conversation I had with him… no judgment just checking in at the end of the month if I was able to stay within my limits and still pay debt off and save 20% of my paycheques… sometimes when you struggle with spending it’s because you’re not even being realistic with how much you’re spending (totally my issue until i watched my spending and noticed I loved making impulsive small food purchases)… it’s amazing how you stay more on top of it when you know you have to have real budget chats with someone ;)

  • Violet P says:

    Using coupons when I go shopping or going out to eat. Restaurants may have deals such as two for one, happy hours, specials on their apps, or at casino restaurants. I try to save money while still enjoying meals out with family and friends.

  • Melisa Garcia says:

    I budget and set specific savings goals each month! By being consistent you can reach your goals faster. I have a few different categories of savings accounts to know how much I can spend and to set aside some money!

  • Caryn s says:

    We save money by being frugal like making homemade lunches, taking staycations, buying second hand items, and enjoying free outings with the kids. We also put money into savings each month.

  • Mark W says:

    Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it is an asset or a liability. If it is a liability, do you really need it. Often the answer is no.

  • Carm says:

    look for deals and coupons and free events

  • Becky Tougas says:

    $$$ & stress…. To lessen to stress we have budgeted our month to month using an online app. Its been incredible to see where the $$ is going, when you do this and has allowed us more freedom, forcing us to make better purchasing decisions.

  • Patty says:

    Coffee is now made mostly at home rather than stopping for pricey brews and lattes. I also have an automatic monthly transfer from my chequing to savings account.

  • Irene says:

    I think the best strategy for saving money is to try and be mindful when making purchases…if it’s on sale and you need it and will use it that’s great! But if you just *want* something impulsively because it’s on sale…maybe take a beat…and really think about it. It’s really hard in the moment but it gets easier with practice. A goal for me is saving for my niece’s high school graduation! I want to help contribute to her post-secondary education. ????

  • Danielle Jones says:

    Linda, the best way my family has found to spend less and stay on budget is to stick to our meal plans. When we meal prep our lunches and plan out our dinners we don’t have the need to spend a ton of money on eating out! We have saved a bundle just meal prepping our lunches for work! It has freed up money so we can actually go places as a family and go on vacations! We would have never had the extra money to do that before. Thanks very much for the blogs and the chance to win.

  • We have a budget based on current expenses and then we review our actual expenses to review deviations. We use only credit cards/debit card for easy categorization of expenses.

  • Lucille drapala says:

    Auto pay on credit card bills…avoiding the high interest rate fees and late fees

  • Jen Sherstan says:

    Using the Flipped app to price match!

  • Craig Sherstan says:

    Getting rid of one thing before something comes in

  • Brittany Humbke says:

    As a soon-to-be family of 5, one of our biggest expenses is groceries. I save a considerable amount of money by using coupons and price-matching. Just price-matching alone saves us so much money. I’ve taught family members and friends how to do this and they are so surprised by the difference in cost.

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