Want to know how to save money?
While most people are aware that saving money is important, many are challenged to find ways to incorporate savings into the monthly budget.
“Saving money isn’t complicated, but it does require you being attentive and proactive in identifying ways to save. You’ve also got to be consistent. A few dollars here and there may not seem like much, but when you add them all together you can really boost your cash flow,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Accumulating savings is an essential part of a healthy household budget. The best way to get going with savings is to make it seamless and have it done automatically out of your account every month,” says Schwartz.
Here are some steps on trimming your budget and how you can save money.
Pay off your credit card every month
Want to pay more or less for the same thing? It’s a no-brainer when you think about it, but if you carry a balance forward on your credit card every month, you are effectively paying a higher price for each and every purchase.
Pay your credit card balance every month, avoid interest charges altogether and bank the difference.
Check to see if your favourite stores have loyalty programs, where you can earn rewards and discounts for shopping with them. Subscribe to their email lists, where you’ll get sales and coupons delivered right to your inbox. Many in-store loyalty programs can give you cash back and free merchandise (think groceries) and services. Be consistent in remembering to use your rewards cards when you shop. That’s the only way you can accumulate more points, which translate into more benefits for you.
Pick your plastic
Cash is best, but if you must turn to plastic, choose your debit card or a prepaid credit card. Spending on credit without paying the balance off is spending money that you don’t have.
Whether you are looking at a car, clothing or other merchandise, consider buying used. Why pay full price for brand new? New to you comes at a discount that can make a difference.
Hurry up and wait
Ready to make a purchase? If it’s not on the list, sleep on it. This can help you define the difference between needs and wants. Sometimes you do stumble upon a deal that is to your benefit to take advantage of, but you need time and space to determine it’s real value.
Anticipate your needs
Do you know that there are times of the year where your spending increases, like the holiday season or the beginning of school? Put money aside, or make these purchases on a regular basis over several months when you’ve got time and the budget to seek out the best deals.
Don’t play the lottery
Do you play the lottery? Odds are you’re not going to win. Just think of how much extra cash you could have on hand if you banked that amount every week. It’s not a windfall like the lottery, but extra cash, which is always handy.
Cancel gym membership
Gym memberships can be pricey. They can also be wasteful if you’re not using it regularly. There is no denying the benefits of exercise, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. Go for a walk, run or bike ride. Buy free weights and workout at home, which is more convenient and less expensive.
Want to have more money? Who doesn’t! One way to have more money is to learn creative ways to spend less. Contact one of our trained credit counsellors at 1-888-294-3130 or visit our online debt analysis.