Consider this “5 Ways To Make Your Paycheque Last Longer” list more of a “budget overhaul” list than anything else! Are there ways you can tweak your spending to save you a little extra money between paycheques? Something minor might not seem worth it, but since a lot of Canadians are paid bi-weekly, even $30 extra dollars can be a big difference! Let us know your favourite tip below!
Paying Gym Fees But Not Going?
Maybe it’s a failed New Years Resolution. Maybe it was a gift. Maybe it was one of a million other things that got you to sign up to go to the gym. If you’re still going regularly, then that’s great. You’re getting value out of your expenditure. But, if you haven’t visited the gym lately, then perhaps it’s time to re-consider your membership, because you’re essentially flushing whatever your fee is down the toilet. There are a few things to think about before cancelling, however.
1. Is this absense from the gym temporary? (due to illness, busy life change that’s temporary, etc?) If so, you don’t want to cancel and then sign up again later. That’s just a waste.
2. What are your gym’s cancellation policies? Will it cost you money to cancel? How much? Could you transfer your membership to someone else for less money?
3. Could you sell your membership? Again, check your cancellation policy.
4. Can you put your membership on medical hold? Some gyms allow this – but you’d have to have a note from your doctor and a legitimate medical reason to do so (see #1).
An extension of this suggestion; are you paying for personal training but not using it? Then stop! Personal training is often an additional fee on top of your membership. If you’re not even going, then you’re wasting double the money. If you don’t need personal training, see if you can cancel it.
At the end of the day, if you’re not going to go, then get rid of the membership. It’s just wasting money.
Re-Visit How Often You Go Out For Dinner
Is it every day? Every other day? Once a week? Once a month? We’re not suggesting you cut your social calendar to zero, but if you’re struggling with your budget, then perhaps limiting your lunches/dinners out is a good place to start. If you go every day, consider how much money you could be saving if you purchased groceries instead. Limit it to once a week and the money that’s in your bank account that wasn’t before will be a good incentive to keep the habit up!
If dining out is the heart of your social activities, suggest you and your friends pick up something a bit different. Perhaps coffee/tea instead of a full dinner? Or how about ice cream and a nice walk? You don’t need to spend money to get quality time with the important people in your life.
When Was The Last Time You Shopped Around?
When was the last time you re-visited your internet plan? Your cell phone plan? Your cable plan? Your insurance policies? If it’s been a few years, chances are your plan might even be grandfathered in and you might be wasting money or, at the very least, not getting the best value for your dollar.
A good rule of thumb is to review your plans every 4-6 months, especially if it has anything to do with technology.
It might take a bit of time to do so, but the potential of saving money is always there.
Review Your Utility Usage
Do you leave the lights on when you’re not at home? Are your appliances out of date? Are you using older light systems in your house? Do you run your laundry during peak hours? If you can help it, try changing your lifestyle habits to best utilize the “off hours” of your utilities. Do you *really* need to run your laundry at 5:30pm when you get home, or can it wait until 7pm (or whenever your off hours begin?). You might not think it’s a lot, but if you’re doing multiple loads of laundry per week, that savings can add up within just 1 billing cycle if you move it to after-hours. Sure, it might mean you have to fold while watching your favourite T.V show instead of getting it done earlier, but ask yourself what’s more important.
If you’re reading this from Ontario, then you know how expensive our utilities are (we pay the most out of any province in Canada!). If you can cut down here, then please, do so!
Banking & Credit Card Fees
Similar to the third suggestion, consider shopping around for a new bank if you’re able. If you’re getting charged high fees just to have an account open, but you aren’t utilizing the services, you’re just wasting your hard-earned cash. Also, re-visit your credit card fees. Do you pay an annual fee? If so, are the services worth it to you? Could you switch to a lower or a no-fee card? This really depends on how you use your credit, but if you aren’t presently getting any perks, and paying $50-$100 (or more!) annually for nothing, why keep it?