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Everyone would like to save money? whether it is to have a little cushion or to pay for a nice vacation or something else that is important to us. Yet, we often have the impression that money is coming out of our bank account faster than it enters, even when we think we are paying attention.
To help put a few dollars away without thinking too much, here are some tips to put into practice today!
You may have heard it over and over again, but the first and most effective way to save money is to be really aware of your financial situation. And for that, it is absolutely necessary to make a budget. It is much less complicated than it seems; just draw a table with two columns:
- In the first column, you enter all your monthly earnings: salary, allowances, etc.
- In the other, all your fixed costs: mortgage, insurance, electricity, car payments, telecommunications, etc.
Then you do a subtraction, and you get, as if by magic, the amount of money on which you can save money. Be careful, you have not eaten yet, and you have not dressed or amused. However, it is only in the amount you have left after paying your fixed costs that you will be able to make small changes that will eventually save you money.
Stuff and more stuff …
- Bank transfer: Arrange with your financial institution to transfer a certain amount (even a small amount) to a savings account each month on a specific date. This may be the day of the payment of family benefits, for example.
- Buy in bulk: Many non-perishable goods can be purchased in bulk, either at Costco style stores requiring a membership card, or at super specials in your usual grocery stores. Then line up your tablets with cleaning products, toilet paper and paper towels, basic body care products, tin cans, pasta and rice, non-refrigerated juices, oils, etc. Stock up on these products when prices are the lowest!
- Make it a habit to look at the flyers, and use the coupons.
- Buy clothes at the end of the season: enjoy the winter and spring sales for clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. Savings can sometimes be as much as 80% of the original price.
- In the same vein, buy holiday decorations (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.) in the days following the party: items easily drop by 50% of their initial value, sometimes even more.
- Sign up for any reward programs at the stores where you go most often.
- Always pay your credit card balances on time, to avoid paying interest.
- Avoid withdrawing cash in a counter that is different from your institution: the fees accumulate quickly. It is always better to withdraw money in a store, when you do your grocery shopping for example, which does not generate additional costs.
- Take out of your account the amount you allocate each week to the grocery store, and leave the cards at home.
- Make your lunch, and bring to the tea room or even your mini-coffee machine to save on the expensive (and very bland) cafes of the machine next to the elevator.
- Check out community newspapers in your area to discover a multitude of family activity ideas that cost almost nothing, often nothing at all!
- Every week, empty any coins that are 25 cents or less that are piled in your pockets or wallet, and place them in a piggy bank or box of your choice. It goes up very fast!
- At the grocery store, avoid prepared and frozen food, vegetables and fruits already cut, snacks in individual packages, etc.
- Always keep some dishes in the freezer for those evenings when cooking does not tempt you: much cheaper than stopping at the Chinese restaurant or the pizzeria of the corner.
- Bring a list and a specific amount when you’re grocery shopping and respect both!
- Try the “no name” brands, generic products and private labels when shopping at the supermarket and pharmacy: you will not see the difference!
- When you or your children need new clothes, consider shopping at used clothing stores and thrift stores (Value Village, etc.). There is a multitude of items of excellent quality for often 10% or less of the value of the new.
- For purchases of expensive items (appliances, cars, furniture, etc.), visit the classifieds site, Kijiji style. There are always great deals.
- By car, drive less quickly, and frequently check the air in your tires, the oil for the engine, etc. You will save on gas and maintenance costs of your vehicle.
- Become a fan of the city library instead of buying expensive new books frequently!
- Rather than hanging out with your friends in restaurants, organize meals at home: much more friendly and economical!
- Rather than paying a babysitter, share this service with friends who also have children. Young people will be happy to spend a night outside, and your romantic evening will not cost you anything.
- Cancel the telecommunications services you do not use: do you really need the all-options plan for your cell phone, 300 TV channels, a monthly subscription for a magazine you almost never see?
Saving money is not as difficult as it sounds. Of course, you can not put money aside without making some changes, but when you can finally pay for this ticket (or anything else), you certainly do not regret your small sacrifices, and even be tempted to pay more attention to the future!