The pandemic, followed by inflation and rising interest rates, shook up the portfolios of many Canadians.
This invited people to become financially aware, build a cushion and find ways to save money everywhere.
At first glance, subscriptions and monthly engagements do not come to mind when talking about financial hemorrhaging.
However, these fees add up quickly and you don’t realize it because the amounts are usually small. In fact, they are often forgotten!
First of all, we need to go through these expenses to determine which ones we want to keep.
Then there’s the question of whether you need to have access to all of these at the same time. In our family, we watch Disney+ very frequently while we watch Netflix only occasionally.
Whether it’s for television subscriptions, music, cloud storage, food products, etc., we must regularly update them according to our needs.
The habit of going through bills to make sure you’re not paying for things you don’t use anymore can pay off in the long run.
My cell phone plan used to include a lot of data on a monthly basis. After comparing my usage over a few months, I narrowed it down to what I really needed.
This applies to all services from telecommunication payments to gym memberships.
Finally, you can save money on electricity. Indeed, when we make sure that our home is well insulated, we avoid energy waste.
Then, in both summer and winter, we try to refrain from using the dryer as much as possible. This way, we can save on our Hydro-Québec bill and our clothes last longer.
When the pandemic started, I told my car insurance company that I would no longer use it to go to work, so my premium went down.
When we move physically closer to our job, the insurance premium can also drop. Indeed, as the time spent on the road decreases, the risk becomes less as well.
Every year, comparing prices from one insurer to another is suggested to save as much as possible. However, companies often offer discounts when we hold our home and auto policies at the same institution.
Many insurance companies also offer discounts for good driving habits! This is often done through applications on your phone.
Then, most insurance companies accept credit card payments, but only when you make a single payment.
Some companies, such as Desjardins Insurance, still allow long-time customers to pay monthly by credit card .
So this is a great way to unlock a credit card welcome bonus! Remember that insurance is renewed every year. Since this is a predictable expense, it should be factored into our credit card rounds and management.
Save on transportation
Transportation in BMW (Bus-metro-walk)
Obviously, significant savings on transportation will come from walking or biking. However, when this is not possible, there are several ways to save on transport.
In fact, it is possible to earn up to 5X points per dollar (i.e. 5% cash back, 5 Aeroplan points, 6 Marriott Bonvoy points, etc.) on your public transit tickets if you buy them at a grocery store.
Finally, if you use local transportation such as the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM), the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM), Réseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC), Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), consider a credit card like the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card, which offers 2 points per dollar for local transportation.
Transportation by car
Car expenses can be a big part of the budget.
First, the best way to save on gas is to consider a green plate. Government subsidies and gasoline savings could end up cheaper in the long run. This applies especially to people who do a lot of driving.
Of course, you must make calculations according to your situation. Electric vehicles are not for everyone; no charging station in the building, too many miles in a day to charge, etc.
Similar to transit passes, for those who use fuel cars, paying for your gasoline with the grocery store gift card strategy will help you save a lot of money.
Also, having the right credit card helps a lot!
Finally, prevention costs less in the end. You must take care of your vehicle and do the required maintenance.
Also, by cleaning your car, you can save on the gas you need by relieving your car of all that extra weight!
Save on bank fees
These days, bank fees can be quite high, especially if you don’t follow the flat rate rules.
The main points to remember to save money are:
- know how many authorized transactions you’re allowed with your package
- know what minimum balance has to be maintained in your account, if applicable
- refrain from making withdrawals at the counter and use the ATM instead
- use your bank’s ATMs
- keep enough money in the account to avoid overdrafts
Several businesses offer free access to packages and free premium credit cards. For example, the National Bank has a wide range of offers for professionals!
Ask your bank to save onbank fees!
The Milesopedia Orange referral key for Tangerine to receive a $50 bonus is: 39634222S1.
And if you’d like to open a free account with EQ Bank, click here!
Other bank fees
Finally, Tangerine Bank and Scotia Bank are also part of the Global ATM Alliance network, which allows you to avoid foreign ATM fees.
Foreign currency conversion fees on your credit card should also be avoided to save money. In fact, these fees are not charged on many credit cards. This saving represents 2.5% on each transaction!
Save on purchases
Sales and promotions
First of all, knowing the value of the property you want to buy is the first step to saving money. We also have to explore sales!
I subscribe to the newsletters of the stores I’m interested in so that I can be on the lookout to save money with the current offers.
This applies equally to travel and credit cards promotions such as the Milesopedia newsletter!
This fall, I had some shopping to do at Simons and was able to take advantage of a $20 account credit as a result of an American Express offer. Then I was able to get a 10% cash back on Rakuten. In the end, I saved $25 on my $50 order, or 50%.
By registering via our referral link on Rakuten, you can receive a $30 credit!
Credit cards rewards
Purchases of used goods
Finally, acquiring second-hand items will do the most good for your wallet as well as being ecological!
Just when we were getting ready for the arrival of our child, we saved hundreds of dollars by picking up second hand items.
Save on groceries
According to the Annual Food Price Report, the food bill will rise by between 5% and 7% in 2023.
In addition to avoiding food waste, grocery shopping should be done in an optimal way:
- take inventory before leaving for the grocery store (refrigerator, freezer and pantry)
- check the circulars
- think of recipes according to the specials
- make a grocery list
- before checking out, check the cart in case you have consciously or unconsciously added items you don’t really need (don’t go grocery shopping with the kids)
- and of course have the best credit card for groceries
The best way to reduce your grocery bill is to plan your recipes according to the weekly specials. We often buy in larger quantities in order to stock the freezer and pantry.
Also, house brands or generic brands are cheaper; including bathroom products, tissues, condiments, nuts, etc.
At Costco, did you know that the Kirkland house brand of coffee is made by Starbucks? And that Kirkland batteries are manufactured by Duracell?
Finally, vegetarian meals are less expensive and healthier so they have their place here and there in our weekly menu.
Save on social activities
Meetings with friends and family don’t have to be expensive to be enjoyable.
Here are some great ways to spend time in good company at a lower cost.
- A dinner at home
- An evening of board games
- A home theater
- A picnic in the park
- A hike with friends
Saving on health
The first thing that comes to mind here is cigarettes. Just quit smoking; it will be good for your wallet and your health!
Yes, I know this is much easier said than done, but I truly believe it is something to consider, especially when looking to save money.
Then, if you have health insurance, take the time to review it to determine whether or not you should keep it. These calculations can be very profitable.
For example, do you have dental insurance? What is the coverage on care? Is a deductible applicable? How often do you need treatment?
A person with excellent dental health could get by with one or two exams and cleanings per year. These costs will be between $200 and $400 per year. Depending on the situation, it may be more beneficial to go without insurance and save $50 a month for your dental visit.
Save on your investment costs
Since the beginning of the pandemic,savings have increased exponentially for many people.
When we are confined to our homes, our expenses drop drastically.
Interest in investing and in the FIRE movement has never been higher. However, management and transaction fees can greatly reduce your portfolio in the long run.
For those who are new to the business, discussing with a consultant is highly recommended. Of course, management fees will be paid through your return, but it is better to have a return with management fees than to have no return.
Then, when you take the time to educate yourself, you can transfer to self-management to save on fees.
Like bank packages, fees on bank brokerage platforms are reduced or absent for certain professions and criteria.
A few dollars, account credits and rewards points here and there can add up to a significant amount of savings.
You will reap the benefits of your efforts!