6 Secret Ways to Cut Down On Every Day Expenses
There really are no hidden secrets just simple everyday concepts we can put to work in order to lower the budget and pay off debt quicker. I realize not everyone has the cash or are in different circumstances to us to dump on debt but if you save in other areas of your budget it is possible to get out of debt faster.
Over the course of the year Mrs.CBB and I use a budget spreadsheet that we designed together to track all of our expenses. It was easy to see just after a few months where all of our money was going. This is key when you are trying to spend less than you earn and want to make some serious changes to your finances. We wanted to make sure we took care of expenses now that we could tackle so we could couple that we investing in our retirement savings for the future. Saving money is not only for the present or an emergency situation it’s about the future as we all have to look out for number one, yourself.
What we aim for each year is to find areas in the budget that we can cut and sometimes the answers are right under our noses. Perhaps a simple search online might save you a few hundred dollars on an item you wanted to buy because you found a coupon code to go along with your purchase. Picking up the phone and calling around or asking for a deal is what we do best and I want to share a few ways we cut down on everyday expenses.
- Grocery- Coupon Christine is awesome, super friendly and can teach you everything you need to know and then some about saving money on your groceries. In fact she will even come to your city/community hall/home and hold a coupon workshop if you are so inclined to learn that way, how cool! We’ve been using coupons for a few years now on everything from household products to food to lower expenses. There is no secret here just knowledge about how to get the savings which you can scoop up here from Christine’s Facebook Fanpage daily. My advice is to be prepared, make a list and stick to your grocery budget. (a selfless plug, I know but I really want to motivate fans to come and play my grocery game challenge each week to help motivate you to stick to your budget)
- Mortgage- We wanted to pay off our mortgage early before we were 40 and we now have the cash to do that. No we don’t make huge salaries, infact I just graduated last year since moving toCanada. Simply because we budget we are able to put any extra money we can down on the mortgage. Typically we put about $417 a month extra or $5000 a year. Taking advantage of paying weekly or bi-weekly will also help you to get rid of that mortgage just a little bit faster.
- Vehicle Insurance- There are many ways to save big on car insurance in Canada you just need to know what you are looking for and what to ask for. Shop around is the advice I can give to you. When I first moved here the quotes I got were all over the shop. One well known place quoted me close to $4000 a year because I was a Landed Immigrant with no driving record in Canada. Good thing Mrs.CBB was with an excellent company who took me on with my UK insurance papers stating I was in good standing. Mrs.CBB also belongs to a professional association so that got her a cheaper rate as does if you are an alumnus that is recognized for a group rate with an insurance company. You can also save money if you pay your full year of insurance in advance, something that most people do not know. It’s advisable to ask the insurance company questions so you get the best savings you can. You can also shop around online at various sites such as Kanetix, make phone calls to local companies, or simply ask your friends for referrals.
- Utilities- There’s not much you can do when it comes to standard utilities in my opinion as you really can’t bargain with them. If you are in Ontario you likely have the Smart Meter installed for your home with the time of use scheme. If you want to keep your costs low you should follow the designated chart given to you buy your hydro company of when the cheap, mid and expensive rates are for your area. Some other ways you can save is run less water when taking a shower, don’t keep lights on when you are not in the room and buy a programmable thermostat to regulate your temperature in the home. You can also change your bulbs to LED or CF and tape and seal all ducting on the furnace.
- Communications- Haggling the best deal with your communications company is one of the number one ways we get a deal each year. Certainly we shop around but if you are a long standing customer with your communications company surely you can compromise on price with some secret promotions that the new subscriber might not be privy to. Take the time to learn how to negotiate and arm yourself with numbers when you call your company. If you have nothing to negotiate with you might not get the best deal you were hoping for. Mrs. CBB and I pay just over $140 a month for cable, internet, home phone and cell phone fromRogers and we re-negotiate each year as long standing customers.
- Gas - Is your gas tank eating into your budget like it is ours? It is no secret that gas is costing Canadians far more than what it ever has over the last 10-20 years. I know when I was dating Mrs.CBB I was in awe over the price of gas compared to UK prices. It’s a crying shame but all good things must come to an end and gone are the days of $0.75 a litre and hello $1.22 a litre although it tends to go up and down just as fast as the stock markets. One ay we save is we go out and do what we have to in one day. We price match groceries so we don’t have to go to several shops and we look online when sourcing out the cheapest gas in town although going across town for $0.01 difference might not be worth your while. Keep your vehicle maintenance up to date and always check your tire pressure. Now that the winter is approaching do not idle your car to warm it up as it will cost you big bucks out of pocket.
The only way to keep saving money and paying off debts is financial knowledge. November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada which I participated and wrote about my best financial tip and I encourage all of you to never give up. No question is a stupid question so ask a professional if you want answers. Therefore my top secret way to cut down on everyday expenses is to educate yourself about your finances and make a plan that is realistic and that you will follow and stick to. We all can win the war on saving together.
Guest Post Bio- Mr.CBB is the voice behind the blog at Canadian Budget Binder. He can be serious, passionate and a bit quirky but loves his fans and helping others save money in their budget. You may also find him whipping up a meal or treat in the kitchen. Join him daily on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
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