Being able to create and manage a budget is a skill. Honestly, it’s not a difficult thing to pick up. You need to figure out how much income you have and then allocate funds towards your various expenses. If you have more expenses than income, you need to make some changes. The hardest part is sticking to your plan. If you have tried budgeting but are having a hard time, maybe these other money saving tips will help you. Unless you are already doing everything humanly possible to save money then listen up!
1. Start somewhere
You can’t save money if you never start. If you can’t afford to save money then you can’t afford to purchase a coffee on the go. When I say start somewhere, I mean start by contributing a small amount of money consistently to a savings account. If you don’t have at least one savings account, open one. The tiny bit of interest you make is better than making nothing. Each time you get paid, put $2 away. If $2 is easy for you, do $5 each time. Again, if $5 is easy, increase the amount. The key here is to not make it a challenge.
2. Don’t pay bank fees
I really don’t get why anyone would willing pay bank fees if they don’t need to. After college I was paying between $5-$10 a month to use my debit card and transfer funds between different accounts within the same bank. It didn’t make senses to me, so I left and switched to a company that offers no-fee banking. I get unlimited transactions and don’t have to pay when I use my debit cards or transfer money from one account to the other.
3. Shop around
It blows my mind how some stores prices compare to others. This is a huge thing at grocery stores and even gas stations. The $2 or $3 price difference on hummus or milk adds up. The extra 3 cents a litre on gas will add up to. You don’t need to obsess over this (although you would save more money) but it’s something to be aware of. If I am doing groceries, chances are I am hitting up at least two different grocery stores. The same goes for clothing, once you have made a decision to purchase something in particular.. look around. If you’re in no rush for that specific item then look for sales, price match and keep your eyes peeled at stores who might have the same item for less.
4. Focus on debt repayment
Nothing sucks more than owing money you don’t have. For most of us, a mortgage is one chunk of debt we will be paying into for years. Student debt, credit cards and various loans are priority when it comes to repaying debt. High interest rates make it difficult to stay on top of and for some may become a vicious cycle of making minimum payments and not seeing any progress due to the interest rate.
5. Make money off of junk
Selling clothes, furniture and other objects you don’t want or need anymore is a great way to make some quick cash. I used to donate all my clothes but now I am all about reselling them through businesses that sell clothing on consignment, or through apps like VarageSale. Get rid of some clutter or clean out your junk drawer and see what you can sell.
6. Buy previously loved stuff
Being on your own and furnishing a place nicely can get costly. I picked up a lot of stuff for my place through online market places such as VarageSale. I picked up a kitchen table, chairs, a desk and a few other things for my place that were previously loved. This is a great way to save money! Clothing, fitness equipment, there are so many things people are selling online and some of the stuff is even brand new in the original packaging.
7. Eat out less
Going out for dinner or even grabbing a meal on the go is more expensive than making your own meals. Depending what you eat when you are on the go, you will likely even notice that you are eating better at home too. This goes for bringing your own lunches to work too!
8. Cancel your cable
I haven’t had cable TV in years. Sure, sometimes it does suck but it’s not that bad. I have a digital antenna that picks up a handful of TV channels like CBC, Global, TVO and City. I don’t pay anything for them; except the cost of the antenna which was likely equivalent to one months cable bill. The cost of a subscription to Netflix or another on-demand option like Crave TV is much more ideal in my opinion.