While inflation has remained lower than expected, most people seem to find their finances being squeezed more and more every year. There are many reasons for this. Salaries don’t always increase as much as we would like them to. We find new things to spend money on. We work harder and therefore reward ourselves by eating take-out more often. Whatever the reason, it’s good to find new ways to save money. Here are some examples you should look into.
They say knowledge is power. Unfortunately, many of us don’t even know where our money goes. A great start is to track your expenses so that you can see where you really spend money. That way you will be more aware of the expenses you could be cutting down on. There are several easy-to-use apps that you can use to track your spending.
Secondly, make reward programs work for you. From airlines to banks and coffee shops, many businesses offer loyal customers rewards. Credit cards are a great example, because you can get rewarded for making purchases you have to make regardless. It’s always worth finding out what rewards credit cards in Canada offer you. There are two sides to a credit card rewards system – the way you earn points and the way you can use those points. So, it’s important to look for a program that fits your current lifestyle. That way you get rewarded for making purchases you would be making anyway, and then you get to use those points to make other purchases you would make anyway.
Avoiding impulse purchases will save you more than you might think. The problem with an impulse purchase is not just the fact that you are spending money you haven’t budgeted to spend. When you make an impulse purchase, you are responding to an emotional urge to do something. And when that happens, rational thinking can go out the window. That means you don’t shop around for the best deal and sometimes you’ll even buy something that you know is the wrong size or color.
You can use the 30-day rule to avoid making bad buying decisions on impulse. Get into the habit of waiting 30 days, and if you still think it’s a good purchase, buy it. So, the rule doesn’t mean you can’t buy that pair of shoes – it just means you need to think the decision through.
Another good habit to get into, is paying yourself first. That means you save money first, and spend what’s left, rather than spending first and saving what’s left. Some employers will split your paycheck, paying part of it into a checking account and part of it into a savings account. If they don’t you can set up a debit order to transfer money into a savings account as soon as you get paid.
And finally, there’s a good chance you are paying for subscriptions or memberships you don’t use. There’s a reason subscription-based businesses are so profitable. Often subscribers forget about a subscription or lose their password, but carry on paying for years. Go through your bank statement carefully and make sure you know where each debit order is going, and cancel all the services you don’t use or need.
Following these guidelines won’t make a big difference to your lifestyle, but they can make a remarkable difference to your bank balance at the end of the month. And those saving can compound over time, especially if they’re invested wisely.
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