How to Save More Money and Reduce Your Costs

Wondering how to save more? Everyone likes to save money and we’ve come up with a range of suggestions that can help around the home. Find out more on how to cut back on your spending.

Track Your Costs

If you are not already doing it, you need to track your costs. Otherwise, you won’t truly know where your income goes. You might have a good idea, but it’s definitely not the same. Also, you need to create a budget. Everyone needs one, but not everyone uses it. According to a recent Canadian Financial Capability Survey (CFCS) survey, those that use a budget are much less likely to find themselves with financial issues down the road because they are monitoring their cash flow closely and less likely to spend more than their income.

Find Cheaper Insurance

When you think about your top expenses (other than rent or mortgage) it’s insurance that is probably right up near the top. For some it can also be more than one type. Car, condo, home, tenant, content, life, there are more than a few options for insurance. Do you remember the last time you shopped around to make sure you’re getting the best rate? Doing some comparing and you might find you can reduce your monthly expenses by up to $100 or more. 

Compare Other Providers

Finding cheaper insurance isn’t the only option when it comes to providers. Your cell phone and internet can be costly and other ways to lower monthly expenses. Start by reaching out to see if you can speak to them about reducing your costs each month. 

Review Subscriptions

If you have multiple streaming services or subscriptions, compile a list right now with the names, costs and add them up. While streaming services are obvious and these are things like Netflix, Spotify or Disney Plus, a subscription might not be. This can be a gym or online boxes for meal kits, makeup and more. It can also be for access to lessons on well-being, learning, or it can be for gaming, home security, cybersecurity, books, grooming, dating, cloud storage, news, pets and more. The more you have, the more it adds up, and a potential way to trim costs. 

Lower Energy Consumption

For many Canadians their winters are heated and summers are cooled by the thermostat. Any adjustments you make by as little as one degree can help you save on your energy bill. Unplugging items that are not in use can help, along with eliminating air leaks, installing a smart thermostat, changing your water heater settings, replacing dirty air filters, taking shorter showers in winter, replacing old light bulbs with LEDs, turn off lights not being used, and closing the flue in winter. You can also draft-proof your home with sealant, caulking and weather stripping where required. One often overlooked tip is to install foam insulators behind any light switches or electrical outlets on the exterior walls. Preventative maintenance can go a long way too. Having a furnace or air conditioning regularly serviced can help avoid an emergency housecall. Looking into energy-efficient options for your home can also help, like a washer or dryer, and look for ‘Energy Star’ when doing so.

Food Fund

The cost of food is another large part of your expenses and finding ways to save here is always going to help. If you eat out, finding ways to reduce that are the first step to saving. Brown bagging for work is a good start. The amount that you might have saved could go towards something like starting an emergency fund or paying down some debt. When you do go out, a small and simple way to save is skipping a beverage and asking for water. When you do grocery shopping, make sure you have prepared in advance and created a list. Stick to what’s on the list and you’re sure to save as this would be more well thought out for what you need. Otherwise your cart might be filled with looks good at the moment. Which brings us to another tip, don’t grocery shop when hungry! Meal planning and leftovers are always something to consider. Don’t allow leftovers to expire to a moldy death in some tupperware due to being ignored or forgotten. Have it for lunch the next day or include it in your dinner plans somehow. Wasting leftovers is like wasting money. 

Avoid Being House Poor

House poor is when too much of your income is going towards your mortgage or rent. This tends to also leave you feeling poor in other areas and have your budget stretched thin. If you spend more than 25% of your income on your housing this can create issues for you. We all want a nice place to live, but it’s important to live within your means.

Avoid Impulse Buys

It can start with a pack of gum and spiral from there. Small things can add up and if you want to budget properly, all expenses should be in your budget. For some this can sound crazy, but it’s the most effective way to manage your money. As for large purchases, this should have some planning. Suppose you saw a nice TV on sale and thought the timing and price is right. Consider how you are planning to pay for it. Were you going to put the purchase on your credit card? Can you pay it off right away or will it take many months? Don’t ever make a large payment and use the minimum payments option as your plan to pay it off as this can take years and the interest might cost as much as what you bought. Avoid impulse buys, especially as the more costly, or at least 

Debt Consolidation

A smart way to save more immediately is to take care of any current debt. It might seem like a loan would not help you save money, but it’s true. Supposing you have a high interest loan or credit card debt. If you qualify for a loan that is below the current interest rate you pay on the debt, that’s where you save. In some cases that can be thousands of dollars. You can see the following for more info on how a loan can help you save money to determine if this option is right for you.

There are numerous ways to save money and reduce your costs with many starting at home. 

Also see our article How to Lower Your Bills and Save for more great tips that can be useful. 

Making sense of finance one day at a time.