120+ Ways to Reduce Your Rental and Home Expenses
You probably already know how important it is to start thinking about monthly expenses….
But then you start thinking: where do I start?
Well, today you’re in for a treat because I’ve put together a complete list.
Some are actionable.
Some are a little silly.
Others are up for your decision.
But they’re all here.
-Table of Contents-
Research shows that food is one of the highest household expenses in Canadian households. If we’re honest, it is safe to say that it is one of the highest household expenditures anywhere in the world. The 15 strategies listed in this section will help you manage your food expenses.
- Create your own kitchen garden
Lack of a green thumb is no excuse for shying away from creating a small kitchen garden. Kitchen gardens are usually created for growing vegetables and herbs. Nothing beats the aroma and flavor of fresh thyme or rosemary. Growing vegetables can also encourage you to eat healthier.
Kitchen gardens aren’t difficult to create. In fact, the cost of the startup materials pales in comparison to the amount of money you would spend in the long-term purchasing herbs and vegetables from your local supermarket or farmer’s market.
- Buy spices in bulk
Spices add that extra oomph that food often needs. However, more money is spent buying small packages of spices than buying spices in bulk. Spices sold in bulk have a lower price per ounce than those sold in packages.
- Buy other items in bulk
Everything can’t be bought in bulk. In fact, you may end up wasting money if you begin unnecessarily buy everything you use in bulk. Compare the price per weight for bulk items before purchasing. There are instances where buying at the retail price actually is the better option.
- Look out for sales
Supermarkets often have sales on a variety of items such as meats and canned items. Pay attention to your weekly circular and snag those deals. Canadians can also use the following budget apps to keep up-to-date with supermarket deals and even earn cash back rebates:
- Use apps that highlight local deals
There are also apps that provide information about local deals from a variety of stores in your area. Flipp is one such app. It prompts you to enter your postal code and then displays a range of flyers for stores in your area. Tap on items you want to purchase and add them to the Clippings tab if you want to create a shopping list.
RedLaser is another app that allows you to do comparison shopping. It also allows you to electronically organize and keep track of your loyalty cards.
- Use those coupons!
Coupons can become your best friends. You may think that you don’t have the time to hunt and clip out coupons. That excuse has become a thing of the past with the app Coupgon. Coupgon is the first digital coupon app for Canadians. Coupgon regularly updates its bank of coupons. All you have to do is save the coupons you want to use and scan your phone at the store to redeem them. This will help in the long run with your personal finance.
- Learn to cook
It may seem like a trivial suggestion, but knowing how to cook your own meals can help you save quite a bit of money. Track the amount you send in a month on eating out and compare that with buying groceries. Buying groceries allows you to prepare more than one meal while eating out can become a daily expensive habit. The following apps make cooking a breeze: BigOven, Food Network in the Kitchen, Yummly, and Allrecipes Dinner Spinner.
- Plan your meals
Planning meals helps keep you organized. It also helps you plan around what’s already in your kitchen cupboards so that you only buy what’s absolutely necessary for the supermarket. Create a grocery list for each meal and spend some time over the weekend checking the ingredients in your pantry. Only buy what you absolutely need to complete each recipe when you do your grocery shopping.
- Set a budget and only use cash
Credit and debit cards can be your worst enemies. They make you believe that you have the power to buy almost anything you want. Don’t give them that power. Set a budget and withdraw the cash. Leave the credit and debit cards at home so that you’re forced to stick to the budget. Use a budget app like mint to help assist in your personal finances.
- Don’t neglect leftovers
You don’t have to have the same meal every day. However, you can cook a series of meals over the weekend that can last for at least 2 servings each. These meals can be bagged and placed in the freezer. All you have to do is thaw them out and they’ll be ready to eat.
- Minimize how often you shop
Develop the habit of only doing grocery shopping when necessary. Start by turning your weekly grocery shopping into fortnightly grocery shopping. This forces you to use all of the food that you have in your cupboards.
- Buy generic products
Oftentimes with brand name products you’re paying more for the branding than the quality. Generic products tend to be just as good and cost much less.
- Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale
Supermarkets find many ways to subtly convince shoppers to purchase items they don’t really need. One of the methods used is having sales on impulsive purchase items. If you don’t need something, leave it alone!
- Avoid junk food
Not only is junk food extremely unhealthy, it puts an unnecessary cost to your grocery budget. There is nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but habitually purchasing these unhealthy foods is detrimental to both your health and wallet. Find healthier alternatives that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
- Encourage your children to bring their own money
Children play a major role in overspending during grocery shopping. Young children especially don’t understand the concept of money and boundaries. Encourage your children to develop good spending habits by telling them to bring their own piggy bank money. Help them understand that they can only purchase whatever that money can buy.
Kyle Prevost in an article published on metronews.ca cites a statistic from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) which states that “it costs about $0.54 per kilometer for the average person to drive a midsize car in Ontario.” According to Prevost, this means that the average Canadian spends approximately $7,540 commuting to work. Results from a National Household Survey conducted by Statistics Canada show that 74 percent of commuters drove a vehicle to work in 2011. Using budgeting apps to assist with your personal finance will help you determine your cost of commuting to work.
You may be a part of that 74 percent. This section provides 15 strategies for you to save on your daily commute.
- Take public transportation
Public transportation is often viewed as the bane of a person’s existence. It can be uncomfortable, time-consuming and inconvenient. The reality is, however, that it is more cost-effective. Compare approximately $7,540 per year for private transportation to roughly $1,174 per year for public transportation. That’s over $6,000 in savings! Talk about your business expense write-offs!
- Carpool to work
Coworkers who live in the same vicinity can create a carpool schedule. Don’t be afraid to get to know your co-workers and suggest a carpooling arrangement with those who live in your area. You’ll be surprised by how dramatically your gas costs reduce.
- Service your car regularly
Car maintenance contributes greatly to the amount of money spent on your vehicle. All vehicles should be serviced every 5,000 km or every 3 months, whichever comes first. Regular maintenance prevents major problems that end up costing you more in the long-term.
- Pay attention to traffic patterns
Idle time burns gas. Sitting in traffic, therefore, burns a tremendous amount of gas and ultimately results in more spending. Always do your research and find alternate routes that you can take during peak hours.
- Carry less weight
Cars that carry too much additional weight use more gas. Clean out your car regularly to ensure that you’re only carrying what you absolutely need.
- Don’t warm-up your vehicle
A common practice for people who live in cold regions is leaving the engine running for a few minutes before driving off. This is done to “warm up” the vehicle, but it wastes a lot of gas. Consult with an engineer before attempting this tip, sometimes cars require their engine to heat up before driving.
- Use the AC sparingly
Your car’s AC is a gas guzzler. Speeds below 60mph are ideal for rolling down your windows and enjoying the natural breeze provided by Mother Nature. Your car actually performs better, however, when the AC is used for speeds exceeding 60mph. Such high speeds create excessive wind drag. Using your AC helps reduce the amount of wind entering the vehicle and allows the vehicle to use the wind surrounding it to move forward.
- Drive better
Driving well reduces your car maintenance costs and actually helps you save on gas. Speeding, excessive braking, and sharp accelerations lower your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Develop the habit of accelerating slowly and using your brakes more effectively.
- Better plan your routes
Tasks that you have to complete outside of the home should be grouped according to geographical location. Grouping in this way allows you to park your car in a central area and walk to nearby locations. Additionally, writing a list of what you need to get done at each location will prevent you from making multiple trips because you forgot to do or purchase something.
- Choose the area in which you live wisely
People tend to focus on school districts, landscape features, and the demographics of a neighborhood when purchasing a home. These factors are important, but the length of your commute from home to work is also an important consideration. Longer commutes use more gas.
- Spend less on gas
Some grocery stores have loyalty rewards programs that allow you to rack up points that can be used at a gas station. Although these points usually only take a few cents off each gallon of gas purchased, the overall benefit can result in huge savings. Also, try to find a gas station that offers affordable gas without compromising on quality and saving money with your personal budget and finances.
- Consider remote work opportunities
The best money saver of all would be finding a job that allows you to work from home. There would be no commuting outside of what you would do for your daily errands. Speak with your employer to determine if remote work is an option if you know that your company doesn’t have a track record for turning down requests for flexible schedules.
- Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle
Vehicle manufacturing has made great strides over the past decade. Modern vehicles are far more fuel efficient and secure than their earlier counterparts. Purchasing a newer vehicle has a high initial cost, especially if you’re taking out a car loan. However, you will save quite a bit on gas in the long-term.
- Check the air pressure of your tire’s regularly
Low air pressure in your tires reduces the amount of miles per gallon you can get out of your vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy states that Pounds per Square Inch (psi) drop in tire pressure lowers gas mileage by about 0.4 percent. It is best to stay within the psi recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Invest in a tire gauge and check your car’s air pressure regularly.
- Research employee discounts and tax breaks for commuters
Some employees offer public transit passes at a subsidized cost for employees. Not only will this reduced cost help you save on travel expenses, but it opens the possibility of filing a claim from the Public Transit Tax Credit. So, you’ll be able to save on taxes.
Making time for fun is important for your mental health. There are ways that you can plan to have fun while being mindful of your budget. This section presents 15 ways to do just that.
- Try community sports
Community sports help you kill 3 birds with one stone. You can improve your physical health, meet new people, and have some competitive fun. People tend to shy away from community sports because they feel that they are too arduous and time-consuming. On the contrary, they can actually be quite fun especially when a group of people is involved. Also, community sports tend to be free or have a very small price tag.
- Make a 101 Things to Do in 101 Days List
Create a list of some inexpensive things and activities you’ve always wanted to try. Make an effort to try to complete those things in at least 101 days. Activities like these help you learn more about yourself and embark on new adventures. They also force you to find creative ways to enjoy life.
- Plan a self-guided walking tour
Your town has a few interesting and historical sites that are free to access. Pack a lunch and take yourself on a guided tour. You can even end your tour with a picnic in the community park.
- Organize a potluck block party
The beauty of potluck parties is that guests are required to bring one food item that can be shared. Expenses are, therefore, minimally. Get permission from your city council before planning and work with your neighbors to host a memorable block party.
- Learn how to play a musical instrument
YouTube provides a variety of video tutorials for learning how to play any instrument. Although it can be difficult initially, learning how to play an instrument can ultimately be a rewarding experience. You’ll be able to play beautiful melodies to your own lyrics. The only upfront cost you’ll have is purchasing the instrument. You may also have some minor maintenance payments to make (for instance if a string pops on your guitar). However, those initial costs pale in comparison to the free tutorials you get on YouTube.
- Join a Book Club
If you enjoy reading, creating or joining a Book Club is a good way to have some inexpensive fun. You can host the Book Club at home or online to save on commuting costs. The only costs you will have are refreshments for guests if you’re hosting the Book Club at home and the cost of the book.
- Get apps or visit websites that allow you to save on ticket prices
There are some apps and websites that provide good deals and discounts on ticket prices for events, movies, and even clubs. Why pay full price when you can get a discount?
- Go on a hike or nature walk
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the most impact. A simple hike or nature walk can put your mind at ease and help you appreciate nature. Just take a bottle of water and a few healthy snacks and you’re good to go.
- Find an alternative to cable
Cable has a hefty price tag. There are streaming services that cost far less than cable and allow you to watch the shows you love uninterrupted. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are the most popular streaming services.
- Share subscriptions
Subscription services can be a lot cheaper when their costs are shared with another adult. Amazon Prime, for instance, has an Amazon Household service that allows two people to share the benefits of an Amazon Prime subscription. So, you can get all the entertainment you need at half the cost.
- Purchase used items
Electronic devices can cost a lot of money. Stores like Wal-Mart and BestBuy sell second-hand televisions, tablets, phones, computers, movies, and video games. You can also find good quality second-hand electronic products online if you know how and where to look.
- Purchase magazine subscriptions online
Online magazine subscriptions tend to be cheaper than mail-order subscriptions. They also allow you to catalog all of your magazines on your device. Therefore, you can avoid the clutter of physical magazines lying all over the place. The Texture app allows Canadians to access over 200 magazine subscriptions for $9.99 per month for a basic subscription and $14.99 per month for weekly magazines.
- Have a family game night
Family game night is a perfect way to bond. You’ll only have to spend money on snacks. Just whip out some board games and challenge each other to see who can be the next champion.
- Buy songs instead of entire albums
Online music stores such as Apple’s iTunes and the Google Play store have almost completely obliterated the demand for CDs. You can use these online stores to purchase digital copies of the music you love and have that music stored on your preferred device. The beauty of these online music stores is that they give you the option to purchase individual songs instead of complete albums. Why not save money by just buying the songs you absolutely love?
- Buy movie tickets in bulk
Popular movie theatres often have group deals on movie tickets. These deals are often offered for groups of 10 or more. Get a group of friends together, purchase your tickets beforehand, and have lots of fun.
Clothing is a form of self-expression. Chances are you love updating your wardrobe with new items so that you can have fresh, new looks. This section presents 15 strategies that the savvy dresser can use to save money on clothing.
- Buy out of season
Department stores tend to have an end of season sales to get rid of old stock and make way for new stock for the new season. These sales provide the perfect opportunity for you to snag great deals on clothing that you can either wear now or save for the next season.
- Use online coupons
There are websites that showcase a collection of clothing coupons and sales. Some of these websites include RetailMeNot, Saveland.ca, and Groupon. Do your research on these sites to find deals before going to the store or making online purchases.
- Only buy clothes when you need them
Constantly refreshing your wardrobe so that you’re always looking good is admirable, but costly. Avoid the lure of attractive sales throughout the month. Discipline yourself to buy clothes only when necessary. You can start by restricting a number of new outfits you purchase to once per month.
- Avoid expensive workout clothing
That Puma workout outfit that you can buy for $60 probably costs half the price at Old Navy. Be practical with your workout clothing. You don’t need to be a style diva and there are cheaper alternatives to expensive brands that look just as good.
- Stick to classic pieces
Trends are ephemeral. The fashion trend of today won’t necessarily be the fashion trend of tomorrow. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Think realistically about pieces that you can buy that will stay in style even when trends fade. More often than not these classic pieces are far cheaper than trendy styles.
- Learn how to make minor alterations
Good quality clothing can last several years if they are treated well. Learn how to do minor things, such as hemming, so that your clothing can last longer.
- Thrift Shops and Value villages are your friends
Second-hand clothing is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, they have really nice, comfortable clothing for a fraction of the cost. Garage sales and thrift shops often carry the type of style you would be interested in any way.
- Accessorize well
An outfit can look completely different with a different set of accessories. Bolder accessories make a fashion statement that’s different from simple, elegant jewelry.
- Mix and match
Buy pieces that you can mix and match to create different outfits. This allows you to buy fewer pieces and create new outfits without spending a lot of money and saving on your personal finances.
- Shop Online
Online shopping tends to offer better deals than shopping in-store. The downside to online shopping, however, is that you can’t try on the clothing before purchasing. IF you have to pay shipping to return any clothing you purchase, it isn’t worth shopping with that online store.
- Follow the care instructions on the labels
They aren’t there as decorations. Each care instruction has been written for you to get the best use out of the garment. All clothing should be washed in cold water and hung to dry. Dryers actual damage and shrink clothing in the long-term. They also use a lot of electricity and, therefore, increase the amount you spend on your energy bill.
- Leave the credit and debit cards at home
This point was mentioned in the food expenditure section, but it is also applicable here. Shopping with a credit or debit card often allows you to feel like you have a large amount of money to spend. You don’t have to budget for your shopping trips and only carry the cash you’ve budgeted. You have to rein in that spendthrift.
- Pay attention to your emails
It’s easy to become annoyed by the numerous emails stores send. Oftentimes, these emails are ignored. These emails can, however, actually be a goldmine for deals. You should pay special attention to them when you plan to do some clothes shopping.
- Sell clothing you don’t wear
Be honest with yourself. There are some clothes sitting in your closet that can be considered as good as new. You either haven’t worn them at all or have rarely worn them. Sell them! Canadianexchange.com will take these good as new clothes and send you cash. You can also explore consignment shops in your area.
- Stick to machine washable
Clothing that can only be washed at the dry cleaners will cost you a pretty penny in the long-term. Read the label before buying to ensure that its machine washable.
Vacations can be your highest expenditure, especially if you have a family. Getting creative with how you plan and spend money on your vacation is, therefore, necessary. This section presents 15 ways for you to save money on your vacation plans.
- Search discount websites
The internet is the best place to search for vacation discounts. Sites such as Expedia.ca and Travelocity.ca have a wide variety of vacation packages and travel deals. Find the time to do your research.
- Purchase Daily Deals Beforehand
Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com publicize great discounts on interesting places in cities around the world. Check these sites regularly to snag some amazing deals.
- Research public transportation
Avoid hopping on one of the airport cabs. They will charge you a pretty penny, especially when they realize you’re a foreigner. You can easily get to where you need to go using the available public transportation such as buses or trains.
- Bring your GPS
Renting a vehicle is sometimes unavoidable. If you have to rent a vehicle, bring your own GPS or use the Google Maps app on your phone. Car rental agencies will try to increase the rental fees by including a GPS. Save that money for exciting adventures on your trip.
- Look for Deals on Your Destination’s Cultural Websites
Some popular destinations, such as museums and zoos, offer a free day or time period. These deals tend to be advertised on their websites, but if they aren’t just pick up the phone and call.
- Purchase Restaurant.com Gift Certificates
Restaurant.com offers heavily discounted gift certificates for American restaurants. Sign up and get amazing deals for restaurants at your American destination of choice.
- Check out the deals credit card companies provide
Many credit card companies offer points that can be used towards various purchases. Check with your credit card provider to determine the deals offered and how many points you have. Chances are these points can be used in some way for your vacation.
- Consider round-trip tickets and connecting flights
C flights tend to be much cheaper than direct flights. Think about it. The longer the plane stays in the sky, the more fuel it’s going to use. That fuel cost ultimately becomes a part of your plane ticket’s cost. Larger airlines also tend to provide a better deal on round-trip tickets versus one-way tickets. Always compare airfares so that you can find the best deals.
- Research car rental coverage
Some insurance providers and credit card companies offer car rental coverage. Ask questions so that you know if you’re covered. If you are, remember to decline the coverage the car rental company provides.
- Choose a smaller car for your rental
Smaller vehicles are generally more fuel efficient. Larger rental vehicles only make sense if you’re traveling with a group of people. Save money on gas by renting the more fuel-efficient vehicle.
- Search for the best currency exchange outlets
Currency exchange deals don’t apply to all currency exchange outlets. Do some online research beforehand to find the best rates in your destination city.
- Consider staying in a smaller town
Tourist areas hike prices on everything. Smaller rentals outside of town will be far cheaper than anything in a tourist area. You’ll more than likely have to drive yourself around and find your own adventures, but the money you save is worth it.
- Consider a vacation home instead of a hotel
Avoid booking hotels if you’re staying in your destination for a few days or weeks. The prices will cause you to break the bank. Search for rental vacation homes in the area. They are much cheaper.
- Consider two bedroom suites
If you do have to book a hotel and you’re traveling with more than 2 people, consider booking a 2 bedroom suite. The overall cost is usually far less than booking 2 separate rooms.
- Participate in the local rather than the tourist experience
The reality is that you pay more for the tourist experience no matter where you go. True cultural immersion helps you save money and truly experience your destination. Take the risk, it’ll ultimately be worth it and you’ll have many stories to tell your friends back home.
Chores are often the bane of our existence. Cleaning the house, washing the dishes, cleaning the windows, and maintaining furniture is exhausting! Not only is it tiring, but it can also become a great expense. These 15 tips will help you save on housekeeping operations and furniture purchases.
- Find coupons.
Coupons are the way to go for anything that you want to buy. If something can be bought, chances are there is a coupon that can help you buy it. The Sunday edition of your local newspaper usually has coupons for a variety of products. You can also check canadianfreestuff.com, save.ca and smartsource.ca.
- Try free samples.
Follow the social media pages of your favorite brands. They will sometimes have special giveaways and offer free samples of their new products. It’s a great way to try something new and save on buying your own supplies.
- Follow the instructions on cleaning supplies.
We are creatures of habit. Getting cleaning done in a timely and efficient manner often means pouring as much of the cleaning solution as we think is necessary and cleaning in a jiffy. Directions for use were placed at the back of these products for a reason. These directions help you get maximum use out of the product. Use only what is required and you’ll be surprised by how much you save.
- Create a budget specifically for cleaning.
Budgets work wonders if you stick to them. A cleaning budget will prevent you from impulse spending. Track your cleaning expenses over the course of 2 months and use those expenses to create a realistic budget.
- Treat stains immediately.
Leaving stains to soak into fabric or carpeting is a recipe for disaster. The longer they stay is the harder, and more expensive, it will be for them to be removed. Deal with stains immediately.
- Use the right cleaning equipment.
Different types of cleaning equipment were created for different purposes. Ensure that you understand what these purposes are before using the equipment. Using the wrong cleaning equipment for a job only causes damage.
- Invest in a steam cleaner
Steam cleaners are expensive. However, you can probably team up with some of your friends or neighbors to invest in a steam cleaner that can be shared. Steam cleaners deep clean carpets and prevent you from having to spend hundreds of dollars on carpet cleaning services.
- Reduce the need to hire a housekeeper.
The business of life is often used as an excuse for hiring extra help. However, if you plan your time wisely you can find time to do your house cleaning yourself. House cleaning should also be a family activity. Teach your children responsibility by ensuring that they clean their rooms and bathrooms and wash their own clothing.
- Repurpose items.
Old towels and rags can be cut up, hemmed and used for cleaning. The savings won’t be great, but reusing old materials in this way can help you save money on disposable cloths.
- Regularly check your cleaning equipment.
Cleaning equipment, such as vacuums, should be checked regularly. Regular checks will help you identify any glitches so that repairs can be done before issues worsen. Catching snags early prevents expensive, long-term costs.
- Use energy efficient appliances.
Modern appliances tend to be sold with an Energy Star seal of approval. Visit the energystar.gov website to find Energy star rated appliances.
- Buy an entrance mat.
This may seem like a simple suggestion, but it can help you save money in the long-term. Encouraging your family and guests to wipe their shoes on the mat before entering the home can minimize the amount of dirt in the house. Also, encouraging them to leave their shoes on the door and walk around the house barefoot can help minimize the amount of dirt. Less dirt means less cleaning. Your cleaning products will, therefore, last longer.
- Pay attention to warehouse sales for furniture pieces.
Warehouse sales allow you to get furniture pieces at amazing prices. Check the furniture warehouses in your area to find good furniture at amazing prices.
- Enquire about returned appliances or furniture.
Appliances are sometimes returned to stores because the previous buyer wanted to purchase something else. Enquire about such returns because you could actually get the appliance at a lower price.
- Invest in used furniture.
Used furniture is almost as good as new furniture. In fact, several celebrities actually purchase used, antique furniture. Antique furniture not only adds character to a home and saves money, but it also appreciates in value. So, you can end up earning a profit on your purchase if you choose to sell in a few years.
Canada’s universal healthcare system (Medicare) allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to benefit from public health insurance. This health insurance covers most health care services. Each province and territory has its own health insurance plan so you have to research what your plan covers. This section presents 10 strategies that you can use to save on personal care and health outside of what public health insurance covers.
- Get regular checkups.
A perfectly healthy person who eats well and exercises regularly only has to visit the doctor once per year for a checkup. Other people need to see a doctor more frequently (at least 4 times per year or as recommended by the doctor). These doctor visits are usually covered by Medicare. They are particularly important when you’re on medication because the doctor can tell you whether or not you can stop taking the medication. Medication costs are one of the largest healthcare-related costs. So, ensure that you find out from your doctor at your next visit if you have to keep taking the medication.
- Purchase generic instead of brand name medication.
Generic medication is far cheaper than brand-name medication and produces the best results. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for generic brand recommendations.
- Search for cheaper pharmacist dispensing fees.
Most pharmacy receipts will have a line item that shows the amount you spent on pharmacist dispensing fees. Try to find a pharmacy that has cheaper dispensing fees. Some pharmacies also offer medication at lower costs. Pay attention to these fine details.
- Research subsidized programs.
Provinces and some federal programs will cover the cost of medication for certain groups of people. Ask your doctor for more information.
- Avoid buying beauty products at your local salon/barber shop.
Salons and barber shops can be the worst places to buy beauty products because of their high markups. If you really like the products they use, look for them online or at your nearest department store.
- Buy less expensive brands.
The money you spend on brand name products is essentially just paying for the brand name. You can find equivalent lower-cost brands at more reasonable prices.
- Buy in bulk.
Bulk personal hygiene products cost less per ounce than buying retail. They even cost far less when you use a coupon. Use budgeting apps to help manage your money on expensive items.
- Minimize perfume or cologne use.
Have you ever noticed the size of the containers that perfume and cologne are sold in? They are so expensive yet they come in such tiny bottles. This says a lot about how these products should be used. It’s fine to wear perfume or cologne for special occasions, but everyday use is too much. Bathe regularly, use deodorant and a body splash and that should suffice for keeping you smelling fresh on a daily basis.
- Read the directions to avoid overuse.
Use hygiene products as directed. We often use more than we need to because we don’t follow the directions.
- Look for deals
Deals are everywhere. Many of the sites mentioned in other sections of this article also promote deals for hygiene products. Do your research to find the deal that’s right for you.
Taxes are necessary to help your province and country run smoothly. Many of the benefits you enjoy are as a result of the taxes you and other Canadians pay. There are, however, 5 ways that you can save money on taxes.
- Invest in tax-free instruments.
Most fixed-account investment instruments are taxed. Your wealth manager can direct you to tax-free instruments that give you greater returns on your money. Two of the most common instruments are the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).
- Get married.
This isn’t suggesting that you should get married just to reduce your taxes. Marriage is a serious commitment. Income splitting and contributing to your spouse’s retirement account are, however, two ways that you can reduce the amount of taxes you pay.
- Keep detailed records.
Accurate record keeping is important when filing taxes. It becomes particularly important when you have to back-file after you’ve started to earn new income.
- File tax returns on time.
File tax returns on time to avoid late fees. The late-filing penalty is 5 percent of your balance for the previous year plus 1 percent of the balance you owe for each full month the return is late. Don’t let taxes get the better of you.
- Enquire about tax-free perks at work.
Tax-free line items at work include employment-related moving costs, personal counseling, death benefits, employment related education costs, in-house fitness facilities, in-house daycare services and merchandise discounts. Speak with your employer to determine the tax-free perks that apply to you.
Loans are one of those words that we hate to hear. Whether we are talking about student loans, car loans, or mortgages. There are always tips and tricks to help bring them to a more manageable situation.
- Pay more than the minimum.
All loans have a minimum balance and a term in which the loan should be paid. Pay more than the minimum if you can. Interest on loans is usually calculated annually. Paying more than the minimum means that you’ll be able to pay off the loan in a shorter space of time and, therefore, spend less on interest payments.
- Spend only on necessities not wants.
Loans can seem very attractive in the moment when you’re considering buying what you want. Think rationally. Can you really afford to spend more every month just to get this item that you don’t really need?
- Pay your most expensive debts first.
List all of your debts in order from largest to smallest. Your largest debt should be your utmost priority. Make minimum payments on your smaller debts and larger payments on the debt with the largest interest. Following through with this strategy ultimately means that you will only have your least expensive debt left to pay when all of the others have gone.
- Buy a used car instead of a new car.
New cars are flashy and nice, but they are also unnecessarily expensive. Your money is better spent buying a good quality used car. Remember that cars are liabilities, not assets. Their value depreciates the moment you start driving them. Don’t waste money on what you really don’t need.
- Consider a second job.
Multiple streams of income provide more cash on hand. More access to reliable cash-flow ultimately means that you can pay off your debts more quickly.
- Track your spending.
Create an Excel file that allows you to track exactly how much you spend. Seeing the numbers in front of you will make you think twice about how you spend your money each month. It also allows you to identify areas where you can scale back.
- Consider debt consolidation.
Debt consolidation only works if you also make an effort to save on a monthly basis. Speak with your banker to identify a debt consolidation agreement that allows you to put all of your debts in one at a fixed interest rate.
- Consider mortgage refinancing.
Mortgage refinancing is a form of debt consolidation. You may have enough equity in your home to use it as collateral for a new loan that puts all of your debts in one. However, as previously stated, debt consolidation only really works if you make an effort to save on a monthly basis.
- Speak with a Credit Counselor
Credit Counselors are available to provide you with guidance about dealing with debt. Visit creditcounsellingcanada.ca to find a Credit Counselor in your area.
- Save while paying off debt.
Repaying loans should never prevent you from saving money. The best practice is to keep your debts below 40 percent of your net income so that you have money to save.
Gifts are one of the most magical items that you can give to one another. They replace words such as “I’m sorry” and “I love you”. Whether the gift is for a friend, for a game at work, or for a loved one, here are 10 ways to reduce the cost of making that certain someone smile.
- Pull names out of a hat.
Having to buy gifts for multiple people is one of the reasons gift buying can be expensive. Have your family pick names of other family members out of a hat. The name each person picks will be who that person has to purchase a gift for. This applies to major holidays, such as Christmas.
- Set an agreed-upon spending limit.
Picking a name out of a hat is one thing. There has to be some restriction on the amount of money that can be spent. Otherwise, some people will choose to spend far more than others. Facilitate a discussion where your family decides on a spending range that no one should go above or below.
- Buy early.
Holidays are when stores make most of their money. Therefore, prices are going to be higher the closer it gets to the holiday. Plan your gift-giving at least a month or two in advance and start looking for deals early.
- Shop on Ebates.ca.
Ebates allows you to get cash back on items you purchase. Participating stores pay Ebates a commission for advertising their products on the website. Ebates shares these commissions with users. Try doing all of your online purchases through EBates so that you can use some of that cash back for gift purchasing.
- Keep a budget.
This tip has been mentioned several times throughout this article because it’s so crucial. Keep a budget of your gift related expenses. Buy in cash as much as possible so that you don’t exceed your budget.
- Consider homemade gifts.
If you’re good with crafts, cooking or baking, consider using your talents to create homemade gifts. You can put a bunch of your creations in a gift basket for your loved one. Such sentimental gifts may even be more appreciated than something store-bought.
- Consider giving coupons/vouchers/gift cards.
Coupons, vouchers and gift cards offer an inexpensive alternative for gift purchases. Plus, they save you from having to figure out the best gift to buy. The person receiving the gift can make that decision.
- Shop the clearance rack.
Sometimes you can find some really great pieces on the clearance rack. Don’t be afraid to carefully look through the rack so that you can save some money.
- Stock up on seasonal items.
If you host guests regularly you may want to present them with gifts. This can quickly become an expensive venture. Stocking up on seasonal items when they’re on sale allows you to have instant access to gifts without having to spend a lot of money.
- Order online.
Ordering online is often cheaper than buying in-store. The only issue can sometimes be shipping costs. If you shop online regularly, consider signing up for subscriptions such as Amazon Prime so that you can reduce or even eliminate that shipping cost.
Wow, was that 125 ways already?
Well, I sure know I have a few routine habits to adhere to.
If you have a rental property and looking for one more way to save on expenses, think about hiring a leasing agent.
Long-term quality tenants can save you time, headaches, and energy.
Looking forward to your comments below!