We’re now in week three of small ideas of how to shave some money from your budget. Here are two easy things you can do this week to save a few more of your hard-earned dollars.
• Question every item in your budget. Are there things in your monthly budget that you’ve paid for for years and you just never thought twice about them? For me, that’s been my gym membership. I’ve paid $45/month ($540/year) since 1999. An enthusiastic gym rat, I worked out, on average, for 16 days a month, and spent a minimum of two hours at each session. So, you could say I was getting my money’s worth. But that was three years ago. Now, I have a toddler and a baby on the way. Two-hour workout sessions just aren’t realistic for me anymore. Heck, I’m lucky if I can squeeze in 30 minutes, two times a week! Also, since I now work from home, the gym location is further away. So I started running outside more and using my husband’s free weights. Really, I should have cancelled my membership a few years ago, but I always came up with excuses, like “how will I do my running speedwork when I’m training for a race?” (I still like to do it on a treadmill). I’ve learned to adapt by using a nearby running track—for free. Be honest with yourself. If there’s something that you’re paying for but not really benefiting from, it’s time to make a change.
• Collect coupons. I gather coupons for brands that I use regularly. Anything else ends up at the bottom of my purse, long expired. Here’s a recent score from WagJag: buying a coupon for my preferred brand of diapers for only $25. Normally these diapers would cost $39. Unfortunately, you were only allowed to purchase one coupon per household, but I gave a friend some money to buy another coupon on my behalf. Some sites that I like to scan regularly include smartcanucks.ca, Canada-coupons.com, extremecanadiancoupons.com, and redflagdeals.com.
What are your favourite websites for finding a good deal?
Deanne Gage has written about all matters financial since 1999. She writes, edits and strategizes out of her Toronto home that’s partially under construction. Besides money issues, she enjoys running fast, jazz music and drinking a quality glass of Merlot. Her two-year-old daughter is quite familiar with money: she borrows it from mom’s wallet for her toy cash register.