RESOURCES & TOOLS
Throughout the years, I’ve tried out a bunch of Canadian personal finance tools, software, and resources.
I’ve tried both paid and free tools. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than free, and I’ve included as many free tools as possible in this list.
But there are certain paid items that give you a great bang for your buck that I use on a daily basis.
Here are the tools that help me manage my money in Canada that I can’t live without, and provide the best value for the price.
High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)
If you’re depositing money at a big bank in Canada, you’re probably earning next to 0% interest.
Well, with EQ Bank you’ll be getting 1.70%/ year with its free Everyday Savings Plus Account. I use it mainly for saving for short-term purchases and my emergency savings.
It’s super easy to set up and use. You can open a free EQ Bank account here.
Free Credit Score Check
Whether or not you have good or bad credit, it’s smart to check your credit score. Even though I have good credit, I check my credit score every couple of months to make sure there isn’t any fraud going on.
Trading Platform / Discount Broker
This is the trading platform that I’ve used to buy all my stocks and ETFs for almost a decade now. Using this discount broker, I’ve been able to construct my own portfolio at a very low cost. Because I invest heavily in ETFs, Questrade is especially great because you can purchase ETFs for free.
Get $50 in free trades when you open an account with Questrade here.
Owned by Scotiabank, you get the best of both worlds here. You get access to the huge Scotiabank network, without the big bank prices. You can get no-fee free chequing and savings accounts at Tangerine that have all the same features as a brick-and-mortar bank.
Open a no-fee account with Tangerine for free.
If you have children or dependents, term life insurance should be an important part of your financial plan. As a former life insurance broker, I’ve seen life insurance help families in their time of crisis.
With life insurance, low cost is key, so check out prices from different providers using companies like PolicyMe.
Robo-Advisor (Top 2 in Canada)
Prepaid Cashback Visa
Prepaid cashback Visa’s are a unique offering in Canada. It’s like a debit card and credit card hybrid. You get to build your credit with this card, and if you’re worried about security or fraud, you can load the card with a smaller amount to minimize your risk.
There’s a free version where you can get 0.5% cashback, but if you’re planning to use the card while travelling I recommend the premium version. You get 2.0% cashback on some categories, plus it waives any foreign exchange fees for purchases made outside of Canada.
If you’re a spreadsheet nerd like me, check out this Excel budgeting tool from Squawkfox. I use it to track all my expenses and net worth, and yes, it is free!
File Taxes For Free
The best free tax software I’ve found was SimpleTax, which is now owned by Wealthsimple. It provides you with free CRA approved software to do your taxes. If you’re feeling charitable, you can give them a donation after they complete your taxes, but it’s not required.