December 29, 2017 0 Comments Other Categories

30 Ways to Save Money


For most people, a better career and a second side job (even flipping burgers) usually nets more cash at the end of the day than trying to pinch every penny of savings. The problem is usually they are too lazy; penny smart, but pound foolish.

Though to be more on topic, some other tips:

(1) Buying drinks in fewer larger containers versus many smaller ones
– Usually the price per unit volume is lower, as less money is spent on the manufacturing of the containers. Also less is spent on recycling deposits.

(2) Avoiding convenience stores
– Usually everything in them costs more as you pay for convenience. Two visits a day of say, $7 spent each, adds up to about $303/month if you go Monday – Friday on your way, at, and back from work.

(3) Avoiding Starbucks or similarly-priced coffee runs
– Lattes are delicious, but at $5 ea, and if you get one on the way to work, working Mon-Fri you spend $108/month on this.

(4) Avoiding useless, unhealthy food
– Do you need those chips, cake, and cookies? Not only they are useless calories that interfere with good health and fitness, they are a waste of money as they bring no net benefit. Even if you do not replace them, with the calorie decrease you may actually force your body in a net calorie deficit position, promoting weight and fat loss.

(5) Eliminating fruit juice, or useless calories/food for that matter.
– Chances are you don’t actually need all that sugar in your body. Replaced with water, you will cut out unnecessary sugar and expenditures in your diet.

(6) Using re-useable bottles for juice, water, etc. instead of buying bottled/small carton products
– Avoid recycling deposits and often pay lower $$$/unit volume
– More environmentally friendly as less bottles/cartons have to be manufactured
– For water, tap water is free or lower cost than buying bottled water

(7) Grabbing extra plastic utensils and condiments from restaurants/fast food joints
– Self explanatory; better than buying your own

(8) Re-use (with limits) normally one-use plastic utensils like forks, spoons, knives, etc., or stop using altogether and buy re-useable utensils

(9) Use less toilet paper to wipe your ass; only use what you need. Or use Pizza napkins or cheap paper towel with occasion. (Common poor student technique)

(10) Buy used, but with limits (don’t buy a POS, neglected used vehicle, for instance). Self explanatory

(11) Finance assets with low interest loans and invest the saved cash on higher interest earning assets.

(12) Train yourself to be more risk-tolerant, learn to do your financial research, and get your cash out of low-interest earning avenues like paying down your mortgage, savings account, GIC, etc. and putting that cash instead of higher interest earning assets, like ETFs, high quality stocks, (good) real estate, etc.

(13) Spend a bit more on more expensive but higher quality, longer-lasting items versus less on cheap but poor quality, short-lasting items. Or, quality over quantity; spend on fewer nice things that make you similarly happy or happier, than on many things you don’t care for.

e.g. $200 on a pair of high quality boots that lasts 4 years is better than buying a new pair for $100 every year that falls apart.
$15-20 shirts that last many years are better than cheap $5 shirts that start tearing apart/forming holes after Year 1

(14) Do careful research on any education/training you spend money on, including the opportunity cost of lost income, or elsewhere that time and money would have earned.

(15) Do not get desperate and too emotional under all conditions; maintain discipline and remain rational, especially for large financial transactions and negotiations, or more emotional purchases or negotiations, like real estate, vehicles, furniture, a new job, etc.

(16) Do not use coupons, sales, and other discounts as a means to spend unnecessary money. Maintain your original budget and goals.

(17) Unless it actually makes you happy to rationalize the financial drawbacks, do not date people who waste time and/or money to test your worth. Finding out you two will not work out in Week 1 is better than in Week 5; think long-term. Remember someone who expects a lot in the beginning likely will constantly expect the same or more in the long run. Time and emotional energy can be used to earn more money, or discover new saving methods for that matter.

(18) Drive your vehicle lightly rather than allowing it just to sit and idle to warm it up.

(19) Learn how to work on your vehicle on your own, especially for simpler tasks such as changing oil, switching tires and rims, filters, wipers, etc. – unless the downtime and repair time costs exceed the cost of taking the vehicle to the shop. If the latter is true, then do the vice versa – take your vehicle in for work if the downtime of lost income exceeds the mechanical bill.

(20) Buy new or lease if the vehicle/appliance/machine/etc. is projected to incur repair costs and downtime exceeding the cost of buying new/leasing.

(21) Do your own taxes. You will learn a lot more aside from just not having to pay the accountant, and may even avoid mistakes.

(22) If claiming/tax deducting CCA (depreciation) on your tax return for an asset(s) you plan to acquire, acquire such asset(s) as late as possible into the tax year (e.g. December) as you can still claim the whole percentage amount for a whole year, though you may not have actually incurred the deprecation cost(s) for a whole year.

e.g. You purchase asset X in 2017 December and can deduct 30% depreciation, though you’ve only owned it and hence incurred depreciation for 4 months come tax time in March 2018.

(23) Have few, short but intense, effective workouts versus many, long, but relaxed workouts. For given results, you spend less time and money. Also learn to do compound exercises working out multiple muscles at once versus working fewer muscles or individual muscles.

(24) Learn to discipline yourself by eating in a consistent calorie deficit rather than spending money on dietary supplements as an aid/perceived replacement for the fundamentals of weight loss.

(25) Stop watching TV and avoid listening to the radio, as the advertisements focus on emphasizing an unmet need that leads to spending.

(26) If not urgent, avoid waiting for lineups and get the deed done at another time. Not only you save yourself grief, but the time can be spent on learning new savings or earning methods. Or if you lined up as a result of an impulse financial decision, you just saved yourself.

(27) Obviously within limits, but instead of buying a separate “winter beater”, learn to wash, maintain, and care for your primary vehicle, and equip it for all seasons, especially separate summer and winter tires and rims. You save additional insurance costs, storage/parking costs, and avoid the risk of unexpected maintenance costs associated with an older vehicle, or one with a questionable maintenance history.

(28) Stop adding sauce and seasoning to your food when possible. Not only you eliminate useless calories opposing good health and fitness, you also save money.
e.g. Many salad and sandwich sauces contain 50-100+ calories/teaspoon, and you obviously have to buy them.

(29) When choosing a place to live, consider the commute costs (time, fuel, vehicle depreciation and maintenance) as well. For home purchases, also the appreciation and liquidity.

e.g. Saving $100/month in rent/mortgage payment defeats the purpose if you’re spending $150/month more between wearing out your vehicle, fuel, and depreciating it with the additional mileage. Also you could had been working more hours with the extra time.

Or, you paid $300,000 on the home instead of $350,000 – but if the first home appreciates to $320,000 (+20000) next year and the latter appreciates to $400,000 (+50000) and is easier to sell, you should had just bought the latter.

(30) If you’re buying something with intentions to sell it later, pick the option that’s easier to sell (more liquid).