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AIR MILES® Collector Story: Deidre Cross


I love budgeting. I love saving. But I also don’t want to restrict myself.” –Deidre Cross, Influencer, Dog-mom, AIR MILES® collector 

Deidre Cross hates cutting back. 

She loves to dine out. She loves Starbucks and treating herself to her favourite items from Sephora. She also likes to spoil her dog, Douglas. 

But Deidre also wants to save money and is hoping to put a down payment on a property in Toronto. As many Canadians have experienced, these two things—spending money on stuff you love and saving for the future—rarely go together. But in Deidre’s case, they surprisingly do. And she’s got the numbers to prove it. 

The best of both words 

Just over a year ago, Deidre started OHH YOU BUDGET, her widely-followed platform with budget tips and tools. “I was trying to figure out ways to save money without having to cut back my spending,” she explains. “I want the best of both worlds.” 

So, how does Deidre do it?  

“It’s all about getting things for free and being strategic about what I’m buying. I’d rather use programs like AIR MILES than figure out ways to cut back on my budget.” 

In other words, rather than restrict herself, Deidre looks at how to use points, Reward Miles™, or other loyalty currencies to earn free stuff. As you’ll see, she’s got more than a few tricks up her sleeve. 

“I haven’t paid for Starbucks in forever.” 

Deidre Cross knows all the ins and outs of the AIR MILES Reward Program. “I can still get my take-out and coffee everyday if I want. But I’m going to earn Reward Miles so I can get them for free.” 

So how does Deidre earn so many Miles? She does most of her online shopping through® to get Miles on her purchases. (Using her BMO®† AIR MILES® credit card, of course.) She also opens every email to check out the latest bonus offers. 

“If I’m already planning on grocery shopping and I see that I can get 100 Bonus Miles for spending $20 at Metro, I’m going to go to Metro rather than somewhere else. I can get those Bonus Miles and then redeem them for free things later.” 

And then there are subscriptions, which Deidre hates. Rather than pay for a monthly subscription, she checks places like Dollarama for gift cards (where she can use her linked Mastercard) to pay for the whole year up-front and get Bonus Miles on her purchase. Double win.   

Fast-track savings with no-spend months 

Deidre is best known for her no-spend months, which she generally does in May and September. During these months, she just buys essentials such as groceries and of course, food for Douglas. It’s a way to fast-track her savings as she did this past September. “I saved 87.5% of my income and only spent 10.5% on essentials and put aside 2% for charity.” 

It’s also during these months that Deidre uses the Miles and points she saved up. Last month, she redeemed $100 worth of Cash Miles at Metro.  

Deidre says her no-spend months have been eye-openers for her in many ways. Recently, she was at a grocery store when a guy behind her was asked by the cashier if he wanted to redeem points and the question took him by surprise. “It’s wild to me that not many people realize that you can get free things with reward points.” 

Words of wisdom … 

Unlike some collectors who save Miles for travel or merchandise, Deidre is all about Cash Miles. “They really take the pressure off your monthly budget.” But everyone’s goals are different. That’s why she suggests you should always earn with your reward of choice in mind. Then, work backwards so you know exactly what you need to do to get it.  

.. and a quick hack 

Deidre hasn’t always been so money conscious. For a short time, she was an impulse shopper. (“Like, really, really bad.”) She cut out the impulse shopping completely though and today just adds items to her online carts. This way, she gets the rush of shopping without the actual spending. “I don’t feel the need to cash out because I know I have a bigger goal in mind.” 

It’s that bigger goal that motivates Deidre to keep doing what she does … saving, watching her budget but never cutting back. 

You can follow Deidre and OHH YOU BUDGET on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok

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