Money & Career

Simple tips to help you save money everyday

Simple tips to help you save money everyday

© Image by: © Author: Canadian Living

Money & Career

Simple tips to help you save money everyday

Trying to save money can feel nearly impossible between busy schedules and everyday routines, even in the best of economies. We spoke with Pat Foran, CTV’s consumer advocate and author of The Smart, Savvy Consumer - How to save and spend wisely (Nov. 2011), and he shared helpful ways to curb spending habits by making simple changes in your everyday life.

Saving money over breakfast, lunch and dinner

Did you know coughing up five to 10 dollars when you stop by a coffee shop everyday could cost you nearly $1,800 per year? That’s money you could be easily saving or investing. Consider packing your own coffee or tea in a mug or thermos for your trip to work and purchase groceries that can be used for breakfast at home. Your wallet will thank you in the long run.

Going out for lunch or dinner every day can also lighten your wallet quite a bit.

“Dining out is a big one, especially for young people- but everyone can fall victim to it,” Foran says. “If you go out and spend 10 dollars everyday dining out and then you spend one hundred dollars on the weekend for fine dining, which many people do, that adds up to about $7,800 a year. That’s a huge amount of money that people are spending.”

Get into the habit of packing your own lunch, even if you don’t do it every day. Keep a package of granola bars or iced tea in your desk, like Foran does, if the vending machine becomes your best friend when you get the mid-day munchies.

Be wary of how many times you go out to the movie theatres as well. If a family of four go to the movies twice a month and simply buy popcorn, that quickly adds up to about $2,000 a year. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey and stop dining out or going to the movies all together. However, cutting down on the amount of times you go could save you thousands of dollars a year.

Become a savvy spender when shopping for food and clothes
Don’t be afraid to step into lower-priced grocery stores to help curb your spending. They may not look the best but the quality of food is practically the same. Cost cutting when it comes to groceries is a simple yet effective way to save money in the long run.

“Sometimes there are stores where they look better, they have better lighting, wider aisles – but the same food is going into their bargain brand grocery outlets,” Foran says. “You’ll find that you can save a lot of money shopping in a lower-end grocery store.”

Shopping for clothes is a necessity, but it doesn’t always have to mean emptying your wallet. Everyone has that one name brand handbag or designer pair of jeans that they feel great wearing – and that’s acceptable to have. The problem, Foran warns, is when you feel the need to pair that expensive article with an equally costly top, boots, and other accessories.

“Many young people have to be careful that they don’t get caught up spending a lot of money on clothing,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with having nice clothes and having some items that are high-end, but you just don’t want to have a completely high-end wardrobe because that’s very expensive.”

Vices: alcohol and smoking

If you smoke, Foran says, you should consider quitting not only for your overall health but also your financial health. If you buy a package everyday at 10 dollars a pack, that’s $3,650 per year – money you could be saving for a rainy day.

Also be aware of the alcohol you purchase not only at the liquor store but in restaurants too, where prices are normally higher.

“There’s nothing wrong with buying beer and wine but for those who buy it every week, or buying it at restaurants, it adds up to thousands of dollars a year… so people have to be careful in that regard as well,” Foran says.


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Money & Career

Simple tips to help you save money everyday