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How to automate saving

Don’t sweat it. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. You won’t have to code some sort of algorithm to control your online banking. In fact, it takes less than 10 minutes to set up and can really level up your money game.

Automating saving money is as simple as setting up recurring transfers from your chequing account to savings or, better yet, to your investment account.  Rather than your money sitting in an everyday account, tangled with your daily spending, your money gets tucked away with a purpose—automatically.

Just like taxes and other deductions, you’ll hardly miss it when it’s gone.

Benefits of automated saving

Save more

If you’re on a set schedule to save regularly, rather than every so often, you’re more likely to keep saving money. It’s also easier to increase the transfer by an extra $10 here and there.

Save time

It saves you the hassle of having to transfer money every single payday. When you automate the saving process, you won’t need to remember when, where, and how much.

Stick to the plan

It’s easy to look at your paycheque and decide to spend $50 on a night out with friends rather than transferring that money to your savings. But having a recurring and automated sum transferred out makes it easier to stay on track with your savings plan. You’re less likely to overspend before disbursing the funds.

The best approach to automate saving

Step 1: Create or update your budget

A budget gives a clear picture of exactly where your money is going. Take an “inventory” of your expenses. It sounds simple but you’ll be surprised at the wide gap between what you think you’re spending versus what you’re actually spending. But you won’t know unless you update or create your budget.

Step 2: Find the wiggle room

After evaluating your budget, you can decide how much of that surplus to set aside for your future goals. You can start small. Be realistic.

Once you’ve taken into account all your expenses, see if there is anything that you can cut back on. Can you live with that fancy morning coffee from your favourite coffee shop only twice a week rather than every day?

Step 3: Create SMART financial goals

Financial goals will be different for everyone depending on your circumstances but saving or investing with a goal in mind will help you achieve financial success. The best way to set financial goals is to be S.M.A.R.T about it.

S – Set specific goals. Know what the money is for.

M – Make them measurable. Money is pretty measurable, so you’re in luck there.

A – Make them achievable. Your budget can help you with this one.

R – Your goal should be relevant to you.

T – You should have an understanding of the time in which you’d like to reach your goal.

Step 4: Direct deposit your Payroll

Direct deposit is the golden rule of automated saving.


If your paycheque regularly deposits into your bank account, it’s easier to create recurring scheduled transfers.

Setting up direct deposit is as simple as handing your workplace a void cheque or a pre-authorized payment form.

CERB or Government relief during COVID-19

If you’re eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit as soon as possible to receive your benefit payments on time. Most financial institutions will have a feature to streamline the process within their online banking platforms. If you’re a Coast Capital member, you can learn how to set yours up here.

Step 5: Create an automatic transfer

The easiest part, funny enough, is setting up the scheduled transfer or transfers. You can open a savings account for each goal and customize the name.

Just log in to online banking and open a savings account. You can create a recurring transfer from your chequing to your new savings account.

We’ll help set you up for success

Need help with a step or all the steps? Sign up for a complimentary, one-hour appointment today. We’ll help you set up a realistic budget, S.M.A.R.T goals and recurring transfers to savings accounts.

Ruby Ubhi

Ruby Ubhi

Certified Financial Planner, Coast Capital Wealth Management

Ruby has over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry, focusing on financial planning and advice. She holds her CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) Designation. When she’s not working, you’ll find her on her yoga mat or planning her next travel adventure. Follow Ruby on LinkedIn.

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