Smart shopping never goes out of style whether it’s in the store or online. Here at My Own Advisor, I’m always looking for ways to save more money. Saving can come in the form of being financially responsible for some of the essentials in our lives, like holding a bank account, owning insurance and using utilities in the house. Here are a few simple things I do to save more money – I hope they help you too.
- Eat at home. My wife and I enjoy dining out now and again but it’s expensive to do that frequently. Instead of paying $50 or more at a pub on a Friday or Saturday night for pub fare, we’ll have pub night at home. It’s significantly cheaper. We’ll save that money for when we see friends and family to have meals out on the town.
- Don’t pay banking fees! We have a no-fee chequing account for paying bills online and we put all our transactions on our cash back credit card. If we need cash, we always use ATMs affiliated with our bank where transactions are free of charge.
- Use a programmable thermostat. These things are less than $100 to own and they can save you an estimated 10% or more on your home heating and cooling bills. For my budget, that’s equates to saving over $200 per year on utility costs so the payback is immediate.
- Buy quality products. My father has often said to me “quality is not an expense” and I think that’s true for many things. Quality products may cost more money up front but the longevity is there over cheaper products. I believe clothes and shoes are obvious examples. I have some items in my wardrobe that have a shelf-life going on over 5 years now, not because I don’t like shopping for new duds and I’m cheap at times but because I don’t need to…the garments are of excellent quality and they haven’t worn out.
- Act like it’s 2012 and shop online! Where isn’t there a website to shop online? Shopping online is smart because it offers convenience, it’s efficient and you can easily compare prices. Shopping for insurance online is one of the more obvious examples I can think of where I save time and money. Certain insurers have made online auto insurance quotes fast and easy, so use them when you can.
What about you, what are some of the key things you do to save more money?
I try not to go out too much. Being at the malls, or driving around, just creates reasons to spend money. This takes on a whole new meaning when you’re on parental leave or spending a lot of time at home for some reason. You want to go out for a drive, just to get out of the house. My solution is to do work, which is my panacea for wanting to spend money.
Good call Joe. If you go out every night, you’ll spend more. Work hard first, play second is one of life’s good formulas 🙂
All very good tips Mark. The one that I find makes the biggest difference is eating at home. It’s just such an easy way to save a significant amount of money for each meal. This past several months I have been quite good with this, but I do admit that I have been slacking lately. As my life gets busier it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find time to do grocery shopping and cooking. It’s something I’ll have to rein in soon to get things back on track.
We do all of the above and then some to be honest but what stood out is buying the quality items. Although we love to save money we know when to buy quality items. We save the money until we have it in cash and then we get it. An example would be blinds we bought for our solarium from Zellers which we thought were pricey even with discounts (We didn’t think it would be a big deal, guess we didn’t know blinds).. Well a few months down the line after all the work hanging them and cutting them, they warped bad. The room was awful so we took them down and returned them to the manager. He gave us our money back which was just over 100… should have been around 300 but we went on bogo day, used a savings card and discount. We then bought blinds and good ones from Home Depot, custom made which cost us well over 1000.00 BUT they still are in perfect condition after 2 years. So yes spending money on quality items are very important because you don’t want to have to keep buying products over and over. Do it right the first time.. ya that’s the way to save. Mike has it right! Cheers Mr.CBB