Doing the little things to save money
I used to scoff at people who claimed that they didn’t have time to do the little things to save money. No time? Don’t be ridiculous – I am a multitasker! I wash Ziploc bags and search for the best deals on produce and ALWAYS take my lunch to work. Then I got a job that actually meant something to me… and all my good intentions went down the drain.
When things get complicated, I always find that it’s helpful to get back to the simple stuff and review some of the best, basic ways to save money.
Fees really annoy me because they’re small and seemingly insignificant. But over time, they add up! Common culprits are service fees (banks), convenience fees (ATMs) and shipping and handling fees (Ticketmaster and online retailers). For example, my bank fees would be about $10 a month, or $120 a year. By maintaining a minimum balance, I avoid the fees entirely. Ticketmaster fees really get to Brian. One of the local sports teams advertises that you can get tickets from $20. The part they don’t tell you is that by the time you pay the service fee, it’s now $30!
Reduce recurring bills
About a year ago, it was time to get a new phone. Living in Canada, we’re pretty limited in terms of creative ways to save money on our phone bills. Nonetheless, I decided to give one of the discount carriers a try and immediately reduced my phone bill from $70 to $35 per month. Sure, sometimes my phone thinks I’m roaming in downtown Vancouver, but cutting the bill in half is worth it. Brian’s contract is up this Spring, and he’s thinking of doing the same.
I live in a small (tiny) apartment. Stuff that’s sitting around is stuff that could be sold on craigslist, donated to the thrift shop or shouldn’t have been bought in the first place. At least twice a year, I like to go through my closet and shelves to figure out what I haven’t been using and decide if it could be sold or donated. It’s a really important task when you live in a small space.
Even when things get busy, there are still a number of small, easy things you can do to make sure you don’t fall too far off budget. It’s easy to fall in to the trap of lifestyle inflation, keep in mind these tips to reducing the things that are costing you money and you won’t fall too far behind.
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