Life is expensive, which makes finding creative ways to save money more important than ever. With expensive cities like Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver, it’s easy to fall into debt. Rent, utilities, transportation, taxes, mortgages, groceries, hobbies, nights out, and other activities add up!
Luckily, there are so many ways for you to save hundreds of dollars a month. Check out these creative ways to save money:
1. Put Extra Thought Into Your Grocery List
It’s easy to make impulse purchases when you’re hungry. It’s always a good idea to go to the grocery store with a full stomach.
Additionally, consider preparing a grocery list for each trip. This helps you stay on track and avoid spending money on junk food. It also helps you plan your meals. By sticking to a list, you can save tons of money at the grocery store.
2. Evaluate Subscriptions
If you take a look at your credit card statements each month, you may find a few subscriptions charging you monthly. It’s also likely that you probably don’t use each subscription often enough to warrant paying for it.
Common subscriptions include Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Crave TV, and special memberships for food delivery services like Uber. Do you really need both Crave TV and Netflix? You can save a few dollars each month by cancelling at least one streaming service.
3. Automate Savings
It’s easier said than done to put away 20% of your paycheque into savings. But if that 20% were automatically deposited into a savings account, you might find it easier. Automating savings is a great way to keep yourself accountable.
You can also decide on various savings accounts. Some allow you to earn cash in interest if you set the money aside for an agreed-upon amount of time.
4. Drink Coffee at Home
Buying coffee each morning could require $100 or more out of your budget each month. Those $2-3 coffees add up! Consider brewing coffee at home and buying a nice thermostat to carry your coffee into work.
5. Workout at Home
Gym memberships are a healthy way to spend your money, but you don’t really need gyms to work out. You can work out from your own home by watching personal trainers on youtube and Instagram for free. Even if you purchase a few weights, the cost is still much lower than a monthly gym membership.
6. Create a Budget
Unfortunately, only about half of Canadians have a budget. However, budgeting is one of the most important steps you can take to manage and save. your money. There are plenty of digital tools to help you budget each month.
Additionally, it’s important to adjust your budget as your financial scenario changes. If you make more money in one month, put more into your savings account.
7. Pay Debt Strategically
Everyone has some form of debt, whether it’s student loans, credit card debt, or other forms of debt. Debt comes with interest, which means more money you need to spend each month. Prioritize paying off your debts with the highest interest rates. You tackle debt and save money in high-interest payments that you don’t have to pay now.
8. Enjoy the Free Things In Life
Start cutting out expensive hobbies like going out to bars or impulse shopping online. There are so many free things to spend time doing. Visit a local library to borrow a book. Have a picnic in the park instead of in a fancy restaurant.
Go for a hike instead of hitting the bar. By changing some of your habits, you can discover new things and save a lot of money.
9. Get Comfortable Negotiating
Negotiating is uncomfortable, but it’s an important skill to have to succeed. Knowing your worth helps you negotiate a salary or rate you’re happy with, and helps you earn more money. Similarly, you can negotiate the price of some of your purchases to save money as well.
If you’re buying a new phone on Kijiji, consider haggling the price. If you’re a frequent customer anywhere, inquire about any loyalty or reward programs. You never know until you ask.
10. Compare Rates for Everything
In business, competition is everywhere. For any product or service you need, there’s certainly another provider offering the same thing.
Shop around and compare rates. Review phone plans, internet providers, and so on. Making judgement calls is essential, but it’s good to have a general sense of the market.
While life is indeed expensive, there are savings opportunities everywhere. With a few subtle lifestyle changes, you can save a ton of money every month. If you’re struggling with debt, consider talking to a credit counsellor.