1. Invest like a millionaire (even if you're not one yet)

The world’s wealthiest all own big chunks of successful companies — but you need a lot more than $1,000 to get started, right?

In reality, you need a lot less. With the help of a robo-advisor like Wealthsimple, you can own a stake in a wide range of companies like Apple or Google with as little as $1.

You also won't have to make any of the tough decisions, like what to buy and when to sell, if you don't want to. These automated investing tools will build you a balanced portfolio based on your financial goals, then make smart adjustments whenever the market shifts.

If you're ready to invest a bit more, Wealthsimple is currently offering a $50 bonus when you invest your first $500.

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2. Leave your family $5 million

Happy family having fun with device at home
fizkes / Shutterstock

The past year has forced Canadians to confront a lot of questions they’d rather not think about. Let’s be honest: $1,000 is a decent chunk of change, but it’s not enough to look after your family if something ever happened to you.

Thankfully, you can help ensure your loved ones are set for life, as long as you take one simple step today.

Life insurance may seem like a pain to get, but PolicyMe makes it incredibly simple. The application process is 100% online, and you can get a quote in seconds — and be enrolled in mere minutes if approved.

Policies go up to $5 million, but you could pay as little as $17 a month for a $500,000 policy that protects your loved ones for the next 20 years. That’s cheaper than a Netflix premium plan.

3. Make sure your credit score is above 740

Even if your bank balance looks respectable, your credit score might tell a different story.

Companies use this three-digit number to estimate how financially responsible you are. It affects the interest rate you’ll get on all kinds of loans, from credit cards to mortgages, so improving it could save you thousands over the coming years.

A number of free online services, like Borrowell, will let you check your credit score and provide monthly reports on your financial performance.

You'll also get access to a credit coaching tool, giving you personalized tips to enhance your score as quickly as possible.

Unexpected vet bills don’t have to break the bank

Life with pets is unpredictable, but there are ways to prepare for the unexpected.

Fetch Insurance offers coverage for treatment of accidents, illnesses, prescriptions drugs, emergency care and more.

Plus, their optional wellness plan covers things like routine vet trips, grooming and training costs, if you want to give your pet the all-star treatment while you protect your bank account.

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4. Let your unused money grow

Attractive smart young man sitting on a floor in the living room, using mobile phone
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Investing is essential, but you will want to keep some of your $1,000 in cash, just in case. You never know when you might lose your job or get in a fender bender.

That said, a traditional account at one of Canada’s big six banks pays next to nothing in interest (just 0.05%, on average) — and when you factor in account fees, you might actually be losing money on your savings.

Instead, look for a better option at an online financial institution. These companies usually offer much higher interest rates, as they don't have to pay for physical locations and in-person staff.

The free KOHO Save account offers an impressive 1.2% interest on every dollar you save, and you can even earn cash back whenever you use your debit card.

5. Get cash back when you spend

Undecided young woman making a purchase online sitting at home at her laptop holding her bank card in her hand and looking up with a thoughtful expression and wry smile
stockfour / Shutterstock

Here's another way to keep your $1,000 balance looking grand.

If you're not using a cash back app, you're essentially leaving money on the table whenever you buy at a number of big retailers. You might as well get rewarded for the purchases you're making anyway.

Of course, a lot of so-called cash-back rewards apps don’t actually pay cash. Instead, you’ll earn points, or zoinks, or whatever other buzzword your app uses for “not cash.”

Ampli is different. Just link your debit or credit card to the app, and you'll automatically start earning real money any time you buy from more than 50 top brands, including Rexall, Adidas and Petro-Canada.

If you use the promo code AMPLI5, you'll get $5 added to your balance when you join.


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Serah Louis Senior Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a senior staff writer with Money.ca. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in Biology and Professional Writing and Communications.

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