8 tips to immediately spend less money at home
Do you want to spend less money? Even while we’re at home much more often, the temptation to fork over a little bit extra is everywhere in our increasingly cashless society. From our smartphones to our TV sets, we can’t escape a potential purchase.
So even when relaxing on the couch, those bills add up—and your paycheque isn’t a bottomless pit. It’s time to cut the needless bills, especially when saving for important long-term goals like buying a home, car or maybe even planning for retirement.
Below are eight practical ways you can start spending less on home technology and more.
Tip #1: Ditch the home phone
Are you still paying for a home phone? If you barely use it anymore, consider cancelling your plan. Paying $30 per month for a landline you barely use just doesn’t make sense. And when it comes to multiple people in the home, signing up for a family plan for cellphones can save you even more money.
Tip #2: Save on cable TV
Look for alternatives to cable where possible to save money. As an old-school option, you could buy a TV antenna and potentially access multiple local channels. Or check out the major TV network websites, which often offer a plethora of options from past TV series to stream at no charge. In addition, with a reliable Internet connection (with plenty of data on your plan), you could watch YouTube channels for free. You might also consider signing up for streaming services such as Crave, Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney + or the variety of other popular options. You could get the content you want, but for a lot less.
Tip #3: But watch for “subscription creep”
These days, every company is asking for your $10 per month, so you’ll need to keep an eye on those new payments adding up. Streaming services, games, educational apps, special software—and the list goes on. By getting into the habit of regularly reviewing your credit card statement, you can spot these charges known as “subscription creep,” and cancel the services that you’re paying for but no longer using.
Tip #4: Review your Internet usage
Regularly review your Internet usage to see if you need to be on the plan that you’re on. For example, if you’re only using 25 per cent of your allotted bandwidth, perhaps you can downgrade to a lower-tier plan and save yourself some money. Regularly check your provider’s site for special offers, and look at what competitors are offering. You may be able to call in and get a reduced rate if you’ve been a loyal customer.
Tip #5: Pay attention to your credit card statement
Do you ever receive your credit card statement and get surprised about how much you spent the past month? One of the downsides of our increasingly cashless society is that it’s easy to overspend. By checking your credit card statement on a weekly basis through your online banking (or even daily when you’re getting started), you’re less likely to overspend. As an added bonus, you’ll get better at reading your statements and understanding the fees, and you may be more likely to spot suspect charges and fraud, if that ever occurs.
Tip: #6: Turn off in-app purchases
Most phone apps these days are free. The problem is that they try to upsell you at every possible opportunity. To avoid this, consider turning off in-app purchases. That way you’ll be less tempted to spend money when you don’t need to.
Tip #7: Use deal websites in moderations
Deal websites can be a good way to save money. Just don’t become addicted. When you’re looking to save money on a night out, look on a deal website ahead of time. However, it’s best to avoid signing up for daily deal emails, as it can be tempting to spend money you don’t have.
Tip #8: Skip the gym membership
No, we’re not saying you shouldn’t stay active. If you still want to get a workout in, consider exercising at home instead. You can buy some weights to use in a spare room or backyard, or make use of the gym in your apartment complex or condo building. Don’t forget to check YouTube and available apps on your device of choice—many of which have free versions.
Or get outside and explore the city and province. With so many trails for walking, running or cycling, plus parks, lakes and virtually endless wilderness, you can safely explore and maybe even forget about your technology for a few hours altogether. Now that’s a great way to workout!
Maybe you’re already following some of these tips. But by following just one or two more, you could knock off hundreds of dollars from your monthly or annual expenses. As they say, every little bit counts.
Decide which tips you want to follow, and then estimate your savings. Track your progress over the month to try and meet a new goal. You just might be surprised how easy it was to save a bit extra!
If you’re ready to get a financial health check-up and update your personal financial strategy, we can help. Book an appointment with an ACU financial advisor today.
ACU Employee Spotlight: Getting to know Dennis Cunningham
The ACU Employee Spotlight series features some of the many people that work at the credit union, highlighting how their unique roles help members and the community every day. In…