Money Expert Shannon Lee Simmons and Interac Offer Tips to Spend Smart
TORONTO, June 6, 2018 — Smart money management starts with smart spending. That’s why Interac has teamed up with money expert Shannon Lee Simmons to help Canadians manage their everyday spending, a process that starts well before reaching the till. According to Simmons, having a spending strategy in place – versus a ridged budget – and choosing to pay with your own money are great tools to avoid what she calls the ‘spending vortex’.
“The spending vortex, or that feeling when the paycheque has just come in and you realize it’s gone before debating on dinner on the town or brunch with friends, can be combated with a spending strategy,” says Shannon Lee Simmons, financial planner and founder of the New School of Finance. “This means understanding if a purchase is realistically within your means and choosing a safe way to pay for it using your own money like Interac Flash.”
Simmons occasionally hears from her clients that they are hesitant to try out a new spending strategy or a new payment method like Flash, but stresses that easy ways to pay with your own money can go hand in hand with a savvy spending strategy. Understanding the rationale behind why the approach works helps encourage her clients to try something different. Together with Interac, she offers Canadians tips to smart spending, before and at the till:
- Ditch the rigid budget: Budgeting with 50+ spending categories – from coffee shops to takeout to clothes, pets, housing and bills – isn’t realistic and sets the average person up for failure. There are only four types of money that are needed in a budget:
- Fixed Expenses, or the bills that must be paid each month, like housing, insurance, or minimum debt payments
- Meaningful Savings, which includes money that’s put aside to improve overall net worth by increasing assets or decreasing debts
- Short-Term Savings, or money to stash away for emergencies or spikes in spending
- Spending Money, which is the money left over to spend on things like groceries, gas, clothes and entertainment, offering greater flexibility to account for shifting priorities month to month.
- Spend with purpose: Don’t fall into the trap of mindless spending. Carve out time each payday to allocate money to the first three categories, and the remainder that’s left becomes the fourth category. Sticking to one payment method, like Interac Flash or Debit on your mobile device, allows you to use your own money for purchases until the spending category reaches zero for that pay period. Plus, with an online banking app you can instantly see transactions in real-time and keep track of where you are throughout the pay period.
- Protect your hard-earned cash: A spending strategy is one thing, but Canadians also need to know the payment method they choose is safe. Contactless payments make it easy to flash your debit card or mobile device quickly – and securely – to pay for things like groceries, gas or that morning coffee using your own money. One of the safest forms of payment available today, Interac Flash has built-in secure EMV processing, making it next to impossible for criminals to counterfeit your card, protecting you against fraudulent activity such as skimming, transaction replay, and electronic pickpocketing. For added peace of mind, the Interac Zero Liability Policy protects you from losses that are beyond your reasonable control if your card is ever lost or stolen, and transactions limits set by your bank will occasionally prompt you to identify yourself with your PIN. Additionally, since your debit card number is an identifier only, the card number alone cannot be used to make a purchase. Your debit card must be present to make a purchase as all transactions happen in real time. This applies whether you insert your card and enter a PIN, use Interac Flash or Interac Debit on your mobile device.
- Digital payments are just as safe: Just like your debit card number is only an identifier in store, when you add your Interac Debit card to your mobile wallet, your card number is substituted with a token, a unique ‘virtual account number’, so no financial information is stored or shared with the merchant. As an added layer of security, your mobile wallet is also typically protected by Touch ID or passcode.
“With a spending strategy in place, spending can and should be enjoyable and that includes the payment method itself,” said Martin Ho, Head of Core Products, Interac Corp. “While it seems like there are more ways to pay than ever, each new payment evolution – think magnetic strip to chip and PIN to flash and mobile – has gotten more secure over time. That means you can use Flash or Interac Debit on mobile to pay with your own money knowing the transaction itself is secure – however you choose to pay.”
About Interac Corp.
Interac Corp. operates an economical, world-class debit payments system with broad-based acceptance, reliability, security, and efficiency. The organization is one of Canada’s leading payments brands and is chosen an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money. For more than 30 years, Interac Corp. and its predecessors, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation, have facilitated secure financial transactions through the development of innovative and convenient debit and money transfer solutions. A leader in the prevention and detection of fraud, the organization has one of the lowest rates of fraud globally. Visit interac.ca or follow @INTERAC on Twitter. Interac Corp. has a diverse group of shareholders that includes banks, credit unions, caisses populaires, payment processors and merchants.