We all want to save money, but sometimes we go about it in the wrong way. You know what we’re talking about – you look to your discretionary income, however large or small it might be, and think “my savings has to come out of this!”.
But experts say this is the worst place to start. The number one rule to saving for a rainy day is to pay yourself first, as if you are a payee on your bill list! Once your paycheque comes in, allocate a % of it to go directly into a savings account like a TFSA, or just a really high interest savings account.
If this isn’t possible however, there may be other areas in which you can prevent spending waste. We’ve covered multiple subjects on the topic of saving money, from spending smartly at Starbucks, to re-evaluating your insurance prices.
We understand there’s a huge difference between going without and going with less. Sometimes, you just can’t cut out a certain spend, and that’s okay. But it’s totally alright to re-evaluate where your money is going and if there’s a more efficient way it can be used!
Here are a few more ways you might be able to cut financial waste off the things you’ll still need.
Re-visit your fridge
For one week, track how much food you waste. Whether it’s left-overs you throw out, or things that go bad because you didn’t get around to using it. Then, calculate how much each of those things cost. It will give you a quick appreciation for money you’re basically throwing in the trash. From there, amend your grocery list. Maybe it needs to be shorter? Maybe the items need to change? Either way, this is a perfect area that waste can be prevented. We have to budget for food anyways, right? Try to keep more of that money in your pocket and put it away for a rainy day.
Speaking of groceries…use an app!
We’re huge fans of the Canadian grocery app Checkout51. Every Wednesday, the company rolls out with savings on regularly purchased items. Those savings come back to you (at a minimum threshold of $20) in pure cash!
It’s super simple. Create an account and then begin by “starring” the deals that week that you might use. Once you go grocery shopping, take a picture of our reciept with your smartphone and upload it directtly into your app. It will take up to two business days to process, and once approved, you’ll see your balance update right in front of you!
You’ll get a bonus just for signing up, and there’s generally always a chance at winning $500 in cold, hard cash every week for spending over $60. Savings add up much faster for a family than the individual, but it’s worth it for everyone. It’s money right back into your pocket!
And, speaking of apps…
We’re also huge fans of GasBuddy, an app that uses your GPS to determine where the best prices are for gas nearest you. Talk about ease of comparison shopping. The best part? You get an alert when gas prices are scheduled to go up or down, so you can plan your next-fill up more efficiently!
Sell stuff you haven’t used in over six months
You’d be surprised how quickly a few bucks here and a few bucks there for things just collecting dust can add up. After all, if it’s not being used and the value to your item is questionable or will inevitably depreciate, it is literally trash just taking up space in your home. The website The Simple Dollar has a great guide that we recommend reading to help you get rid of unwanted items, specifically.
If you must buy something, give it 30 days
Experts praise the “30-day rule” when it comes to new purchases. This doesn’t apply to the necessities, of course, but to bigger ticket items. It helps combat that notorious impulse purchase. If you were going back-and-forth on whether or not to buy the item to begin with, chances are it’s not a need, so it can indeed wait.
You might end up changing your mind completely, and then ta-da, money saved for a rainy day.