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Some of the most useful information I’ve ever seen on how to save for a house down payment can be found on a food website.

A young woman writes about how when she and her partner were renting, they didn’t worry much about how much they spent on groceries and eating/drinking at bars and restaurants. After deciding to save for a house, they realized they’d have to cut back on their food-related spending. How they did it makes for interesting reading if you want to save aggressively for something, but are having trouble finding the money to do it.

Having identified food spending as a cash drain, the author of this article found six ways to change her spending habits. She didn’t cut back so much as she substituted lower-cost options. She made breakfast every morning instead of buying it on the way to work. She invested in some coffee gear so she could spend less at cafes, and had friends over for dinner instead of going to restaurants.

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What I like about this advice is that it shows how to reconfigure your life to spend less while still keeping things interesting. You might not maximize savings this way, but you’re more likely to stick with the plan.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

How secure are e-transfers of money?

I’m a big user of e-transfers because they’re so much handier than cheques, but it’s clear that there can be security risks if you don’t use a secure password.

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The modern economy versus the immigrant dream of a better life

The daughter of immigrants from Trinidad writes about how her parents moved to Canada for a better life. Looking at the economic challenges she faces, she wonders if “the classic immigrant narrative about each generation doing better than the last might no longer be achievable.”

Tapwater for me, thanks

Suggestions on how to pare down your bill when eating at a restaurant. Another thought is that eating out less often means worrying less about how much you spend when you do go to a restaurant.

Life insurance and terrorism

A thorough rundown on life insurance claims related to acts of terrorism. Worth reading if you travel a lot.

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Ask Rob

Q: Are there differences among registered retirement income funds (RRIFs) and, if so, could you do an article on them?

A: If you’re a do-it-yourself investor, you’d have a RRIF held at an online brokerage. You could also have a robo-adviser manage your RRIF, or use an investment adviser to run your investments and provide broader financial planning. Here’s a practical guide to DIY RRIFs that I wrote not too long ago.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

Today’s financial tool

Money and Youth is a guide for parents and teachers who want to help young people improve their financial literacy. It’s presented by the non-profit Canadian Foundation for Economic Education.

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Podcast of the week

Millennials and money is the topic of this chat I had on the Real Money Talk podcast.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

More Carrick and money coverage For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

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