Small moves can have large ripple effects, say credit experts
It’s no secret – Canadians are strapped for cash.
Year after year, the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) conducts a household cash flow survey, and the results are usually scary. Canadians are having difficulty making ends meet, with nearly half of Canadians living paycheque-to-paycheque. The most recent survey pointed to Ontario, British Columbia, and Atlantic Canada as particularly tight.
Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, is encouraging Canadians to reduce expenses and save money making small, incremental changes, where possible.
“When it comes to saving money, there’s rarely a magic bullet,” says Schwartz. “Instead, you have to look at all the little purchases you make, and save everywhere you can. Nickel-and-diming might not be sexy, but it’s very effective.”
Schwartz suggests that small savings can have a large ripple effect that could totally transform a family’s financial outlook.
“Free up 10 or 20 dollars here and there, and use it to pay down your high-interest credit card debt,” advises Schwartz. “You will start to waste less and less money on interest payments, which in turn will free up even more cash.”
Schwartz and his team at Consolidated Credit put together a list of seven easy and effective ways reduce expenses and save money. Once these tips start working for you, try out Consolidated Credit’s credit card debt calculator to see how even small increases in credit card payments can yield excellent results.
- Ditch your landline. Get rid of a redundant service and save upwards of $40 per month by switching exclusively to your cellphone.
- Avoid banking fees. Many banks waive monthly account fees if you maintain a minimum balance. Try your best to stay above the minimum and save $15-30 per month.
- Clip coupons and price match. Level up your grocery game by going to locations that price-match their competitors. Keep things easy by downloading the Flipp app to your phone and go paperless. Extreme couponers can save more than 80 per cent on their grocery bills.
- Not using it, turn it off. Some of us have grown accustomed to a TV running in the background or we might run the tap while we are brushing our teeth. A little diligence can save you a lot of money on your monthly utility bill.
- Negotiate everything. Talk is cheap, and it can also save you some money. Whether you’re buying a furniture set or reviewing your credit card interest rate, it never hurts to ask for a better deal.
- Cook in bulk. Brown-bagging can save you a lot of money but some people find preparing a lunch to be too difficult or time consuming. Devote some time on Sunday for cooking and freezing lunches for the upcoming week.
- Rethink your entertainment. Look for ways to have the same amount of fun for less money: have a BYOB gathering at your house, go to free festivals, downsize your cable bill to just the channels you enjoy, go to the cinema on discount nights.
Have you already tried these tips and still find yourself barely treading financial water? You may be in need of some professional help – let Consolidated Credit throw you a lifesaver. Call to learn how we can help you regain control.