We’re all always looking to save more money, but when it comes down to it, what are you willing to sacrifice to save? We’ve become accustom to some of these things that we think we “need” them because we’ve had them for so long, when really it’s more of a “want” and would be just fine without them. That’s why we created a list of some of these convenience or luxury items that you would have to give up if you’re looking to save more.
It’s 2017, and cable is quickly becoming a thing of the past. With streaming services like Netflix and Crave TV, paying for cable is one of those things people are finding they can go without. A lot of people keep their cable because they have it bundled with their phone and internet, but there are now so many providers that all offer something different, that you could be saving $50-$100 a month by getting rid of your TV. So why pay that when you can get these programs for $8.99 a month? Not to mention if you’re a new to these services the first month is free!
No, we’re not saying to give up your lunch; we’re saying to give up buying lunch every day! Limit yourself to once a week and see how quickly that lunch money you would normally spends adds up. According to the Globe and Mail, the average lunch costs $8.80 and the total for a year’s worth of eating out twice a week at that price is $845. That’s right, that’s the total price for only twice a week! And if you’re anything like us and life gets busy, you can count on eating out more than twice a week causing that total to only go up.
Shipping and Handling
Shipping and handling costs can end up costing more than the items you’re actually trying to buy. Depending on what you’re spending you may qualify for free shipping, but this is also the retailer’s way to get you to spend more. So when it comes to online shopping, make sure you know store policies because if you have to return the item you just paid to have shipped, you don’t get that cash back. When shopping online, know where your products are coming from, because not only will you have to pay the exchange rate, but on top of that, pay the duty on the shipping costs! And be careful when it comes to things like taking advantage of next day or express shipping. This kind of shipping and handling can cost a hefty penny and if possible is definitely something you can save money on.
We’ve talked about ATM fees and how much they can cost you per month. Why should you have to pay for your own cash? When it comes to ATM fees, there are numerous ways to avoid them. Besides finding a bank that works for you, things like making sure you get cash back at local grocery stores or going digital with things like Apple banking apps, you don’t need a card or cash, just your phone are all ways you can avoid those ATM charges.
Why are you paying bank fees? There are numerous banks that offer accounts and cards without an annual fee. Do your research with your bank today, because you shouldn’t have to pay to have a bank account. But it’s the number of transactions and types of accounts you have that are the little things that start to add up when it comes to your banking. Are you limited in the number of transactions you can make in a month? Or what about costs associated with your chequing and savings accounts. These are all ways banks make their money off of you, with these small fees that eventually add up. That’s why you need to do your research when it comes to your bank and makes sure that your bank offers the right things for all your spending needs.
We need a budget just for our coffee intake. But do you know at what price your daily caffeine fix is? Some people budget for their coffee fix (which is what we all should do), but for others, it’s a luxury or an occasional item that gets missed when it comes to budgeting. Say you get a $4 coffee five times a week, that’s $20 a week and not including weekends. Times that $20 by the four weeks in a month and you’re at $80 on coffee a month. Even if it’s not five times a week or at four bucks a pop, most people don’t realize how much their caffeine habits will cost them.
H2O is something we all need! But we’re not talking about reusable water bottles, we’re talking about the plastic one-time use water bottles that once you’re finished with them, you toss them. Not only are plastic water bottles not environmentally friendly, but depending on the water you’re drinking they can also be expensive. Water is free! It is also the law for restaurants to provide you with. So don’t waste money on buying plastic bottles, bring a reusable one with you!
We’ve all gone over our data limits before, as much as overage charges do apply, there are now a lot of rules in place so cell phone companies can’t gouge you for going over your limits. If you are finding you are constantly going over your data take a look at your current plan and see what else is out there, you may have better options with another company. The big cell phone companies have had to start providing customers with easy tools to manage their data use now that these rules are becoming mandated by the CRTC giving customers warning and making them consent to overage charges. Based on a CRTC report in 2014, showed that average monthly household bills for mobile services have surged — from $79 in 2013 to $83 in 2014. That’s also numerous years ago and we all know that phone bills have only increased from then!
It’s true, you can’t win the lottery if you don’t play, but there are limits to how much you should be spending on lottery tickets. The lottery falls under the gambling category for us and can include anything from raffles to 50/50 draws. Especially at places like sports games, people can be easily enticed by the big winning number, but odds can also be one in fifty thousand. The majority of the time, these funds go to a good cause, but when it’s things like scratch cards or lottery tickets you’re money isn’t going to a charity. Fun fact, you are more likely to be struck by lightning or date a supermodel then winning the lottery.
We’re not telling you to get rid of your gym membership; we just want to make sure you’re using it and not paying money for something that could be used for savings. You would be surprised at the number of gym memberships that go unused! Gym memberships aren’t cheap and usually add up to a good sum in a one year span. There are many different kinds of gym memberships out there now and different ways to exercise besides the doing the classic gym session. Ranging in price from $10-$250 a month, fitness is definitely an investment. So it is worth looking into how much you use your membership versus what you’re paying.
When it comes to your everyday purchases do you pay attention to labels or the name brand of the product? Marketing and advertising has shown us that name brands can influence purchasing power and can also mean higher-quality. But have you ever looked at the ingredients or make of the store brand versus the name brand you usually buy? Most of the time the only way that store brands differ from the brand names is when it comes to the price tag. Name brands will always cost more because of the marketing behind it that we just mentioned where name brand products don’t advertise themselves; they just get placed next to the name brand item with a cheaper price tag. When it comes to shopping there are always options so if you’re trying to save more all it takes is doing some research.
When it comes to impulse purchases the main question to always as is it something you want or something you need? Or are you one of those people that don’t read the price tag when you see something you like? When it comes to trying to save, staying on budget is key, which doesn’t happen when you spend sporadically. As much as you can try to justify your spending, this is how marketers and retailers make their money off of you. There are many tips on how to avoid impulse purchases including sticking to your list, planning your purchases ahead, only bringing a certain amount of cash and leaving your cards at home, and avoiding the mall that can help you avoid unplanned and impulse spending.
Back in the day, it used to be magazine and newspaper subscriptions that were the things people were spending their money on. These days, you can get a subscription for almost anything! Whether it’s make-up and beauty products, socks of the month or quarterly beer deliveries, subscriptions are one of those things that are great to give as gifts, but can also be expensive depending on what you’re ordering and how often you’re receiving it.
You’re already paying a lot for your cell phone as we mentioned above and since you always have it on you anyways, why do you need a phone at home? When you really think about it, it’s like you’re paying two phone bills. A lot of companies are providing packages for landlines and cable together, but it’s up to you to figure out if those services are really needed. Just because it’s a great deal or on sale doesn’t mean that it’s a great deal for you. Make life simpler with one phone and stop paying for two phones.
Can you think of any of the things we pay for or purchase that can make a difference when it comes to saving money? Let us know in the comment section below.