Tightening those purse strings isn’t always an easy task, but it is an important one to tackle if saving money is on your radar.
Here are 5 things that you might want to consider to help you keep some extra coin in your pocket.
1. Break it down
Take a look at your credit card statement and see where you’re spending your money each month. Are you making frequent trips through the drive-thru?
Bringing snacks from home and planning your meals in advance can save you a lot of money! Think about it; if you’re spending five dollars a day on a coffee and a sandwich, even if it’s just Monday to Friday, that’s $100 a month or $1,200 each year that you could be keeping in your pocket.
So, take a few moments to plan ahead, whether it’s snacking on the go or your meals for the week. A little bit of extra thought can mean some big time savings.
Are you getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to your subscriptions?
Magazines, online media subscriptions and cable bills can all add up. Do you really need the Mega Movie Package or the Super Duper Sports Bundle? Did you read your last magazine from cover to cover? And when was the last time you actually logged in to that online account that you’re being billed for monthly?
Chances are you may be paying for something that you really don’t need and have likely even forgotten about. Giving these items another look and really deciding whether you need them can help you save those dollars instead of spending them.
3. Think about investing
There are different types of investments for everyone. If you don’t need the money for a while, mention it when you talk to your advisor. They may suggest a more aggressive plan that will make you more money in the end when you need it.
When it comes to our kids, we all want them to have a better future, so be sure to start saving for theirs. While we always want to teach our children the value of a dollar; starting a savings account for them when they’re young to help cover the costs of schooling is a great idea.
Speaking of education, they may want to go to college, university or pursue another post-secondary program in the future. You can save yourself a lot of stress and the burden of debt by planning ahead and saving in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) which can help your family save and prepare for tuition and the costs that come along with higher education. It’s peace of mind for down the road and you won’t have to worry about where you’ll find tuition money for your child’s school of choice!
4. Have big time family fun on a tiny budget
While it might be awesome to go on an all-inclusive trip year after year, it’s not always the best way to save money. You can make some incredible memories and have a ton of fun without draining your savings account.
Here are a few ‘staycation’ ideas to try out:
- Camping (either at a local campground or even in your own backyard)
- Local fairs and festivals
- Movies in the park
- Check your community calendar for fun/free local events
- Go to the aquarium, the museum, library or catch a local sporting event.
Ways to save on your vacation stay
If you do get a chance to travel further, there are ways to stay within budget when it comes to where you’ll lay your head down at night.
- Find the comforts of home by renting a home through a credible homeshare website vs paying hotel rates.
- Keep an eye out for hotel coupons and opt to go on mini vacations during the week instead of the weekend when rates are often higher
5. Live large…but in a small home
My husband and I have been tempted many times to move out of our first home into a larger one (kind of like keeping up with the Joneses), especially with the housing market in the Toronto area heating up in recent years. All of our friends are on their second or third house and we’re still on house number one. While it may seem tempting to upgrade, keep in mind that a move is likely going to mean an increase to your mortgage payments, not to mention your bills. There are also a lot of hidden costs when it comes to homes; like getting that pool that you’ve always wanted. If you’re planning on heating it, then your bills will definitely be on the rise.
Sometimes fixing up the home that you have can be your best bet. It will not only save you thousands by not having to worry about closing costs, real estate fees and movers, but it will also keep your monthly bills and mortgage at a more comfortable rate.
So, don’t worry about what the Joneses are doing, they’re not paying your bills. With these simple strategies, you can keep your budget on track and money in your pocket.