Saving money is important to everyone, keep your financial resolutions this year with these 5 money-saving tips:
1. Make Saving Money Easy, With Automation. Many of us have a goal to put away a certain amount of money every month. Make it easy on yourself by setting up automatic withdrawals from your chequing account into whatever type of investment/savings account you use. Even a seemingly insubstantial amount like $50/bi-weekly will provide you with a savings of $6,500 after five years (and that is not even including interest!).
2. Pick the Right Credit Card(s). Not all credit cards are created equal. Do some online research and compare credit card rewards, interest rates, yearly fees and other perks. How often do you use your credit card? Do you make big-ticket purchases often? You may be able to get substantial rewards in the form of airline credits, gift cards and cash-back. Find a card that suits your needs. For example, if you do not use credit cards often, it might make sense to have a no-fee card with a slightly higher rate. Alternatively, if you use your card often and find that you take time paying it off – switching to a card with a lower interest-rate and a potential fee could make more financial sense.
3. Take a Closer Look at Your Monthly Bills. Look over your reoccurring costs. There are probably services and memberships that you pay for that you do not really use. Are you still paying membership fees for a gym you have not visited in months? Perhaps your landline phone has become obsolete? For the services that you do use, like your cell phone or cable and internet, look over your bills and see if you are paying for extras that you do not need. If you think you are paying too much, contact your service providers to re-negotiate prices and packages – your plan from five years ago could be obsolete compared to current offerings.
4. Avoid Impulse Purchases. We have all been in a situation where we see something in a store, or online, that we feel we absolutely need to have. Sometimes, we have emotional responses to items and the feelings seem to disappear as soon as we get home. To avoid buying things that you do not really need (or really like, for that matter), simply sleep on it. Give yourself 24 hours to mull over your buying decision and if you still feel like you want to make the purchase – go for it.
5. Adopt Frugal Habits. Save a few dollars wherever you can. Brown bag your lunch and make coffee at home. This could save you over $10 per day. Multiply this by five work days – that is $2600 per year. Much of our spending is on things we could easily do without. The key is to find the motivation to change habits and be mindful of spending on a daily basis.
What are your financial goals for 2017? How do you plan to save money this year?