Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to save money if your not earning a lot

When he retired a close friend of mine decided to take the following approach when he has to spend money. He looks at the cost of anything he buys on a yearly basis. So rather than  thinking about $30.00  a month on Telephone service he sees it as spending $240.00 a year on telephone service. He takes that approach to all items he buys on a reoccurring basis. It helps him put his spending in perspective and he has cut out a great many things over the years. 

Try a different approach to analyzing your expenditures when you have to make some decisions.

My friend shops around so he does not have to pay convenience fees, even a couple of bucks saved by buying shampoo at the dollar store rather than from the 7-11 he sees as  yearly savings. He also uses his backyard and his basement to dry his clothes, and uses his dryer as little as possible. 

He and his wife regularly go out for meals, but before he retired they would go out to dinner, now they go out for breakfast or lunch, not supper and they usually share a meal. Saves money while still allowing the pleasure of going out with the one you love.

My friend also does not do any impulse shopping. Some studies have shown that impulse spending can add up to about $4,000 a year.  Keep track of your impulse spending to help you keep on track.

Other ideas:
  • Don't let any water get wasted down the drain.  If running water for washing dishes, collect it in a jug for water plants or throw into the washer.
  • Garden - Even in a restricted space you can grow some veggies, I planted 4 planters last summer and grew 4 tomato plants and had tomato's overflowing. 
  • Drive the speed limit on the highway instead of ten or 20 km/h faster, this will reduce your fuel consumption by up to 20%
  • Cut empty calories (store-bought desserts, snack foods, etc.) from your diet will save you money and make you healthier
  • Stop drinking too - the average Canadian household spends roughly $1000 a year on alcohol
  • Cut back or quit  smoking a package a day is about $3200 a year
  • If you own a house learn to do minor repairs by yourself
  • Get rid of your credit cards. Pay cash when you can to help you save money
  • Trade in the expensive car and buy a cheaper one cash
  • Rent out the extra room in the basement
  • Ride share if  you can
  • Have a garage sale
  • If you have kids, buy their summer clothes next year at the end of summer and winter next year clothes at the end of winter
  • Bank at a Credit Union
  • Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can
  • Whenever you’re considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and then ask yourself if you still want that item
  • Make a list and stick to it when shopping Don’t put anything in the cart that’s not on the list and you will save money
  • The next time you make a casserole, make four batches of it and put the other three in the freezer. Then, the next time you need a quick meal for the family, grab one of those batches and just heat it up
  • If you drive clean your air filter. This can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average vehicle
  • Do a “maintenance run” on your appliances.Check them to make sure there isn’t any dust clogging them and that they’re fairly clean.
  • Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch, when I was working I did this everyday and it saved me tons of money
  • Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself why you’re buying it and whether you actually need it or not. If you can’t find a good answer, put the item back.
  • This works for every holiday. Wait until about two days after a holiday, then go out shopping for items you need that are themed for that day. Get a Mother’s Day card for next year the day after Mother’s Day. Get Easter egg decorating kits the day after Easter. Get wrapping paper and cards and such the day after Christmas
  • Reading is one of the cheapest – and most beneficial – hobbies around. Most towns have a library available to the public – just go there and check out some books that interest you.
  • We buy items we use a lot of in bulk, particularly items that don’t perish – trash bags, laundry detergent, diapers, and so on are purchased in the largest amounts possible. This cuts down on their cost per usage by quite a bit and, over the long haul, begins to add up to some serious money.
  • Everyone needs a plan to help them get out of debt, so sit down and plot out what debts you’re going to pay off and in what order. Simply having a plan goes a long way towards bringing that plan into action, and paying off debts early is one of the surest ways to put money in your pocket over the long run


  1. Some sound advice, but not sure about "This works for every holiday." In my case I would inevitably be unable to find the item a year later after putting it away in a safe place and end up spending more by buying again!

  2. I have been there and done that, now when I buy ahead I use my calendar on Google and put a note close to the holiday, reminding myself what I bought and where I put it. My memory is good but not that good, so I use the tools I have at my disposal, been working so far--keeping my fingers crossed. :-)