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35 Easy Tips to Save Money

  1. Avoid impulse purchases by forcing yourself to wait a 24 hour period from when you first see something you are interesting in to when you buy it. By waiting the 24 hours you will find you will get a clearer view on if you really need/want the item and this will help cut back on impulse buying.
  2. Compare prices and shop around. Don’t just buy at the place where you first see the item you are interested in, make sure you research and see if you can get the item cheaper at other outlets, also check online, often you can purchase online for less hassle and less money.
  3. Bundling. Most big internet, phone, tv and mobile providers have caught on and are now pushing this. If you sign up for them with several services you will receive a discount on the overall bill. Again – shop around, not all bundles are created equally!
  4. Pay your Bills on time. If you make any purchases with credit, pay it off as soon as possible, you don’t need or want to pay any interest on any purchases you make. Also keep in mind with phone and other utility bills – there is often a late fee as well.
  5. Get the most out of your work – many places of employment offer RRSP/401k matching as well as stock options, it only makes sense to take advantage of this!
  6. When grocery shopping, shop at a grocery store, never shop at a convenience store unless absolutely necessary. Convenience stores are designed to be convenient, and that comes with a price.
  7. Use a list. Never go shopping without a list, and be very strict on now buying anything outside the list. This will allow you to properly budget and helps cut out buying things you don’t really need.
  8. Buy used. Unless there is a reason you need to buy something new, look at ebay, kijiji, craigslist or garage sales and buy second hand items, again shop around and make sure you are getting a good deal!
  9. Go for coffee. Instead of meeting a friend for lunch or dinner, skip the meal and just meet for coffee.
  10. Brew your own coffee. Do you know how many people buy 2-4 coffee’s a day? Think of how much money you could save over a year or two by just brewing your own.
  11. If you are eating out, visit restaurants on off days and off hours, you will often find specials such as half price appetizers or deals of the day.
  12. Eat at home. Instead of going out to fancy restaurants, just eat at home.
  13. Exercise at home or with friends. A gym membership can be costly, you can make this cheaper by using your friends as motivation.
  14. Use municipal facilities. Many cities have subsidized facilities that offer swimming pools, and other facilities that can be used exercise and leisure. Take advantage of the discounted rates.
  15. Buy in bulk. When you find a great sale on an item which you know you will see (example: toilet paper), then stock up on it, you know you are going to use it so you may as well stock up while it’s cheap.
  16. Decide what you really need and what you want. Do you need a cell phone? If so, do you need a landline as well? Are you getting the best prices on both? Do you really need cable?
  17. Don’t buy newspapers or magazines, you can find all the same content and information online.
  18. Make your home energy efficient. Install energy efficient lights and appliances and always turn off everything when you’re not using it. Some people will even go to the extent of unplugging everything as even when turned off, appliances and other devices will still take power.
  19. Check out the discount section. Many stores will have a clearance or discount section, often you can find items here that are just as good as what is on the rest of the shelves for a fraction of the price.
  20. Buy generic brands. This goes for anything – groceries, medication, etc. Do your research first to make sure the brand meets the quality you are expecting, but whenever possible buy generic.
  21. Search online for coupons and deals. Browse sites like ipennypinch.com to find coupons, promo codes and general discounts. Never pay full price!
  22. Use your reward card. If a store offers some type of reward card or points, use them. Every year I pay for most of my birthday and Christmas gifts with the points I have received over the year.
  23. Join newsletters of stores, often they will send you coupons, discounts and deals.
  24. Skip the extended service plan. Often when buying from a big box store they will offer an extended warranty or service plan. This is what the employees of these stores call “the cheese”, they make more money from this then selling the actual items.
  25. Brown bag your lunch. Take a homemade lunch to work.
  26. Watch your bank balance and make sure you always carry a positive balance, never drop into overdraft or get a NSF check.
  27. Avoid unneeded ATM fees. Almost all banks will charge you extra if you use another company’s bank machine. The other company will also charge you for using that bank machine. You get hit twice!
  28. Don’t buy books, just borrow them from the library.
  29. Bottle your own water. Skip the expensive bottled water (often this costs more than gas) and just bottle your own.
  30. Avoid vending machines, aside the obvious health benefits, it’s also much cheaper if you buy ahead at the grocery store.
  31. Keep your vehicle healthy. Perform regular maintenance, this will help bring down the long term costs and help keep costly repairs at bay.
  32. Ride your bike or carpool whenever possible. This will not only save you money but also help the environment.
  33. Downsize. If you have 2 cars, can you get by with just 1? Do you have a storage locker – if so, go through it and decide if you really need all that stuff.
  34. Put all of your lose change in a jar at the end of the day and don’t touch it, it will slowly add up and often it will be enough for a vacation.
  35. Fiscal Fast for a week. Every month of two take a fiscal fast, do not spend any money for that week. This will also help with the long term goal of determining what you really need and don’t need.

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