3.1.5 Emotions, habits, behaviours and your money

Although many types of factors can affect your decisions, when you are aware of them you can take steps to overcome them. For example, an automatic saving plan is a good step for most people. Most financial institutions will automatically transfer an amount from your chequing account to your savings account every month. When your financial institution does it, you don't have to think about it or make any decisions—and if a portion of your money is transferred to your savings account before you spend it, you won't think of using it.


  • You can have your bank transfer money from your chequing account every paycheque to your savings account so you don't forget.
  • When you get a raise, set aside part of the money into your savings account every month.

The most important thing is to recognize when these factors affect your choices, and to take steps to put good choices in place. Take a few minutes to think about the worksheet below. When you fill it in, you will be taking the first step to managing your savings.

Check off any steps below that would help you make—and stick with—better financial decisions.

Steps to better financial decisions

OK Does not apply Steps to help me save When I'll do it
I will pay off costly debts that keep me from putting money into my savings.
I will start an automatic savings transfer at my financial institution.
I will talk to an adviser at my financial institution every year to learn about my savings plan and other financial options.
I will make a written plan to set aside enough money for my future goals, and check once a month to see if I am on target.
I'll set a savings target with a group of friends, and get together to help each other to meet our targets.
I'll give myself an inexpensive reward (make my favourite meal, see my favourite video) every month that I meet my savings target.
If I spend money on something when I know I should save, I'll put an equal amount into my savings account before I make any more expenses.
I will "pay myself first" and set aside a certain percentage of my income (e.g., 5%, 10% or 15%) for savings every month.
List any other steps you could take to help you stick with your savings commitments:

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