With the rising cost of living, many Canadians are routinely having to do more with less. One way to get your dollars to stretch further is to cut your household expenses whenever and wherever you can.
“The secret to saving money is to be committed and consistent in your saving strategy every time you make a purchase. Saving a little bit here and there will really add up to help you to be able to spend within your means,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“It’s even more important to find out how to save money when you are living paycheque-to-paycheque. When you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, you’ll be more likely to turn to debt to cover your costs, which starts a vicious cycle that could threaten your financial future,” says Schwartz.
Here are some tips on how to cut household expenses and save money:
Reduce transportation costs
If you own a car, park it whenever you can and walk or bike instead. If you are a commuter, consider public transportation or plan to carpool to slash your transportation costs.
Get a library card
Do you subscribe to magazines or to the newspaper? If you get yourself a library card, you can cancel those subscriptions and read them for free at the library. You can also borrow books, movies and other media.
If you are carrying credit card balances every month, think about how much you are paying out towards interest charges. Carrying credit card balances is literally wasting money within your household budget, because you are paying more for the same items than when you actually purchased them.
Consolidate your debts so that you can pay your balance off quickly.
Make your coffee at home
You may already be brown bagging your lunch to save money, but have you really thought about how much money you are shelling out on a daily coffee run? It’s these small expenses that seem innocent, but when you add them up over a month, they are substantial. Brew your own before you leave home in the morning and pocket the change instead.
It doesn’t matter if you are buying groceries, insurance or anything else; get in the habit of shopping around. Become educated on how much things cost, so that you can compare accurately to get the best deal.
Cut out indulgences
If you are a drinker or a smoker, consider cutting those habits out. Your health and your wealth will improve.
Get rid of your cable
Cable television is a huge expense and if you are serious about saving money, you should consider cancelling. Pay for streaming instead or get a digital antenna, which will let you watch local stations.
If you are a homeowner, think about getting a programmable thermostat. Heating and cooling your home while you are out of the house is very costly. A programmable thermostat lets you control your indoor temperature around your schedule to be most efficient. Some thermostats let you do zone heating/cooling, which lets you control which rooms in your home need more heating/cooling and vice versa.
Struggling to make ends meet every month? Paying down your debt will help create room in your household budget. Call one of our trained credit counsellors at 1-888-294-3130 or check out our online debt analysis.