Ten Money Saving Tips to Get You Back in the Black

back in blackIf you’re looking to grow your wealth earning money alone isn’t enough, you also need to spend less than you make. Sometimes a slightly different perspective can have a massive impact – with that in mind here’s 10 easy ways you can ramp up your saving habits today.

1)      Starbucks beans VS Starbucks coffee

starbucks There’s nothing that screams “I like throwing my money away!” like a $5 high end caffeine beverage. Sure, Starbucks does make a good, quality product, but so can you. I recently went and bought a bag of Starbucks beans from a grocery store for about $20 which will make the equivalent of about 60 cups of coffee. Too hung over/lazy to make it in the morning? Set it up the night before with a timed coffee maker and ride that caffeine wave!

2)      Stop using your credit card for day to day items

Lots of credit cards these days offer rewards and incentives based on the volume of purchases. This makes us feel fiscally responsible when we buy a $2,000 big screen TV and get 10 travel miles. A credit card is great for convenience; in fact, it’s too good sometimes as the cost of purchasing something is diminished by the ease in which the transaction takes place. Start using your bank card or cash so you feel the hit to your wallet.

3)      Contribute to your RSP’s regularly and invest the tax refund

A great way to increase your savings is to contribute to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan every year. Often this will result in a tax savings/refund, which can then be invested. Over a long period of time the power of compounded interest kicks in and you’ll wonder where all this money came from (feel free to thank me in advance).

4)      Buy only what you can carrybuy what you can carry

Anyone who’s ever been to Costco has probably, like me, overdone it a few times. You go in looking to buy some crackers and BOOM $200 later you’re wondering what happened. I have to say, Costco is a marketing genius. By lumping together ridiculous amounts of meat together they make you think you’re getting the deal of the century. While it’s true you often save by shopping there the problem is this often leads to over spending/consuming. I have recently come up with a solution – buy only what you can carry. It sounds simple enough but is amazingly effective. Next time you’re considering that oversized bag of chips you’ll think twice about having to hold it while waiting in line at the massive check out…All criticisms aside, I’m a big supporter of their hot dogs.

5)      Switch banks

A lot of the big banks charge for simple services like deposits, cheques and transaction limits. I’m not sure at which point the general public became okay with this, but it really is crazy. Think about it; you give your money to the bank and they go and lend it out to other people for a profit (yes, that’s what they do with it). Then, while they have given your money away they want to charge you for holding it, or moving it around? I switched to a smaller bank a few years back and I’ve never been happier. Take a look at the services charges on your next statement and consider the absurdity of this business deal.

6)      Invite friends over for dinner instead of going out

Constantly eating out with friends can really start to add up if you’re a social person. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to a trip to the Keg with the gang, however, a cheaper alternative is to invite the gang over. Not only can you save large amounts on food and booze, it also gives you the potential to wow your company with some high end options. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to put on a good spread, but you’ll be sitting a little higher with that new found cash in your wallet.

7)      Ditch the traditional home phone line

Phone companies are still desperately holding onto their lan line customers for that extra bit of revenue. Catch up with the rest of the world and get rid of your home phone line opting for a cell phone or Skype account instead. Heck, even my parents use Skype and you don’t want to be behind them now do you?

8)       Jogging anchorman

Gym passes can cost anywhere from $20-$100/month, however, there is a free gym located really close by, it’s called Outside. I started running regularly about 7 years ago and it’s become a staple in my fitness. I know it’s not for everybody, but there’s lots other alternatives to the gym membership. Hit up YouTube for some yoga or buy a chip-up bar and some multipurpose free weights. For some people having a gym membership is worth the cost as they’ll feel more inclined to use it or they tend to work harder when other people are watching. For the rest of you; get on out there!

9)      Be the annoying person at the grocery store – Price Match!

I’ve never been much of a coupon clipper or price matcher, but I’m amazed when watching others pull it off. It definitely takes some time to find good deals and it may not always be worth your time to sort through every flyer, however, before you head to the grocery store take a quick look at the online flyer to see if some of your big ticket items are being offered at a discount.

10)   Batch cook

Crock pot season is just around the corner! Making a massive batch of chili to eat throughout the week is a lot cheaper and easier than cooking every night. Even if you don’t finish it off in one sitting it can be put in the freezer until you get your next craving.

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  1. A lot of great tips here. Just make sure you do tip 5 before tip 2. The last thing anyone needs is to use their debit card for all their purchases, only to discover they’ve gone over their limit, and are being dinged $1.00 for each transaction.

    Not only are chin up bars relatively inexpensive, they are a compound exercise that work various muscles AND they can be accessorized to allow more exercises (see Universal Dip Station). Just make sure you install everything correctly…

    • Jonny

      Thanks Dan – good call checking balances regularly to ensure you’re not in overdraft.
      Now be honest, how many chin-ups can you hammer out in a row?! (round off to the nearest hundred)

  2. Haha, not as many as I’d like.

    If my workout is going to contain pull/chin-ups, I usually set the overall goal to 30 or 50. I then track my progress by seeing how many sets it takes me to reach that amount.

  3. Biggest cost savings of my life thus far: putting at mortgage at other then a big bank! 50 or even 25 bps over the life of a mortgage can be huge dollars! With websites like ratehub, finding the cheapest rate is quite literally a five minute exercise.

    • Jonny

      Pat – did you use Ratehub? I’ve never checked it out.
      I went to a broker and was fairly happy with the deal I got compared to the post rates of larger banks.

      • Nah – didn’t know of ratehub at the time. I’ve poked around the site more recently and it has all the tools you need. A broker is another great option as 100% of their fee is typically paid by the lender – so where is your downside right?

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