If you’re worried about your finances right now, you’re not alone. These are unprecedented times as the world around us appears to be shutting down to try to contain the spread of Covid-19. Canada (and the world) will make it through, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, but until we get over the worst of this crisis, we’ll have to find ways to cut down on our expenses. Here are some of our best suggestions on saving money during these troubled times:
Cutting Down on Unnecessary Subscriptions
All of us pay a premium for a handful of subscriptions that we hardly use. Whether you are paying for an entertainment subscription, a gym membership, a recurring cell phone plan or even a home internet package, reassessing your current needs can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Most premium subscriptions are intentionally made attractive to squeeze out your last dollar whereas the added features may not always be consumed.
The best way to cut down on your subscriptions is to make a list of everything that is a recurring charge. Look through your usage of each individual item and set a goal to completely do away with 25% of your subscriptions. Re-evaluate the remaining subscriptions that are a must have and check with your provider to see if there are special offers, promotions or a lower plan that you could opt to based on your usage. For example, you could perhaps be paying a premium price for unlimited mobile internet service whereas you only need a limited number of gigabytes a month.
Plan Ahead and Use Discounts
Marketers around the world have mastered the art of impulse buying. They make good use of promotions to entice you into their business. Planning in advance can help you from overspending and result in saving money!
One good example is to plan out your weekly groceries in advance. As offers change week to week, so too can your meal planning. Nobody said budgeting has to be boring! If impulse buying proves to be your kryptonite, try using online order and collect services offered by most grocers. This will not only save you time but also limit your spending to the essentials you need.
With weekly offers and promotions from numerous retailers, the Flipp app makes it convenient to check the best offer on specific products all in one place. By installing this app, you can also take advantage of price match offers without having to shop at different locations to avail all the discounts.
Budgeting your monthly expenses
Lastly, while you’re cutting back on spending and looking to be saving money, focus on setting money goals. Understand your finances and distribute your monthly needs into a budget that will allow you to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.
We recommend using the Mint app by Intuit to budget for your monthly expenses. The app links up all your bank accounts, savings accounts and credit cards into one easy to use app. You can classify the transactions and set a budget on your monthly spending by different categories. Over time, you can reassess your monthly expenses and reduce any additional unnecessary cost that you can do away with. For example, if you are spending $50 a month on buying coffee outside, try to substitute for homemade coffee which should set you back no more than $15 a month. That’s an automatic $35 saving towards paying down your debts or investing into the future.