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Budget Saving

28 ways to save money fast

There is no magic to save money fast. However, you don’t have to live like a miser to save significant amount of money fast. There is also no need to do everything mentioned on this list. How ever it is our recommendation you pick and choose what is truly important to you.

If a $3.00 coffee makes you happy, we want you to continue doing it! Eliminate the empty fees and expenses that don’t bring you happiness and you’ll be taking a trip with your saved up money in no time!

It is also important to note that you should have a use for your saved money. It makes it easier to give up on some convinces for the greater good. Find out what are some important things to be saving for.

Planning a way to save money fast

1. Stop paying bank fees.

If you are currently paying anything more than $0 for your checking or savings account, you need to find yourself another bank. Some of the best banks offer sign-up bonuses simply for opening an account with them. Holding your money with the bank benefits them more than you so don’t go paying fees so they can use your hard earned cash to make more money off another poor soul. Good banks also offer perks such as money, excellent interest rates to new customers as well.

Interest rates aren’t reason enough to hop from bank to bank, find a reputable bank to hold your money with a competitive interest rate and you should be solid. Don’t fall for the “Higher interest for 6 months” promotion. Savings are built over a long time, and 6 months definitely is not a long time when it comes to personal finance.

Here is a guide on how to make financial account switches.

Here are some checking and saving accounts we recommend:

Tangerine – Use offer code 57286606S1 to get a free $50 when you register. 

Simplii Financial.

EQ Savings.

Finding a bank to save money fast

2. Find items to sell in your home.

When I was working to get out of debt, I realized there was a ton of things around my house that I had collected which I didn’t need or use anymore. Even things that seem to be of no value can bring in some solid cash. I honestly had no idea that I let it get to that point, but at the end I become a technology hoarder and had a hard time letting go of anything. Maybe have a garage sale or use a local resale site like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or Craigslist. Sometimes you need to let go of things that cloud your vision before you can save money fast.

Here is a guide on how to sell anything for the best price on resale sites.

3. Learn to purchase items after someone else has taken on the bulk of the depreciation.

People love buying things brand new, without thinking about its value in a few weeks, months or years. Most household goods, technology and vehicles experience significant depreciation over the first year and then the price tends to even out. Buying a iPad Pro 2017 10.5” in 2019 will run you around $650 usually with the added accessories. Compare that to spending a minimum of $1100 on the 11” iPad Pro 2018.

Another tactic I used to save money fast is I learned to do general maintenance for all the devices I decided I needed to own. This includes your car, your computers and other devices. Spend a bit of time early to learn the ins and outs and basic maintenance.

A letter to everyone about to buy a brand new car. If the average Joe with a net worth above $1,000,000 is driving a used Toyota, I think you should be able to hold back from buying that brand new Land Rover.

When it comes to technology wait until the users of the previous devices are ready to jump ship to the latest goodies and that’s when you should be looking to buy.

4. Negotiate with your cellphone, cable and internet service providers.

Check your service providers, cancel things you don’t use and talk with competitors and ask them the best deal they are able to offer you. Call your own company back and negotiate better prices and never agree to a locked date term. My father used to often jump back and forth between Rogers and Bell, as they would offer an amazing deal for 12 months and then if they refused to offer him something even better, he would call the competitor. It was a wonderful experience to watch and it worked almost every time. When my neighbours would be paying $140+ for their services, we would be indulging in those same services for less than half that price.

We often suggest cancelling cable. We are at a time and age where every form of consumable resource can be found on the internet. If you want cable channels, there are plenty of IPTV services that offer those same channels so you can pick and choose exactly what you need and pay for just those.

5. Utilize reward programs.

Most retailers have their own reward collection services, and not using them is leaving money on the table. Use our guide to maximize reward program benefits. Remember to create a new and simple email that you can use for promotional emails, and collect every card you can. Use an app to store them because no one likes a bulky wallet. For the stores you shop at often you can talk to the customer service representatives to ask how you can maximize your experience as a customer.

A lot of times you can double or triple the rewards by using the right reward credit cards in the right place. Remember to use them and think about a game plan so you don’t leave them unused!

6. Find cheap ways to entertain your children.

Utilizing public recreation centers is an amazing way to get your children involved without breaking the bank. Your local recreation center has many activities planned for kids as well as open pool for the public at certain times, make a list of activities in advance so you are able to make a planned decision when the kids become a bit restless.

The Scarborough Pan-am center offers many activities, including free swim, badminton, basketball and camps for children’s and adults alike. There are even classes for karate, tae-kwon-do and other martial arts for children and adults.

Cheap ways to entertain is a great way to save money fast

7. Write a grocery list before you go shopping.

Shopping without any clear direction and being hungry at the same time is a recipe for disaster. As a student I remember spending over $300 dollars on a random visit to Costco, on groceries for the week. That’s something you need to avoid like a plague. Have a list, even a general idea of the meals you want to be having is great!

8. Negotiate Rates with your credit cards and consider balance transfers.

Negotiating with your credit card companies does wonders! Just look at our How to negotiate better credit card rates guide, they will be hesitant at first, but inquiring doesn’t hurt. Most of the time, if you plan on paying off your debt aggressively, creditors often decrease your rate to assist you.

Find a bank willing to accept a balance transfer, a lot of times you can just mention that you are planning on doing a balance transfer and they will reduce your rate almost immediately.

9. Save Money Fast by Planning out your Meals.

We all need to eat! So how come so few people plan out their next meals? Do you know what you plan on having for lunch and dinner tomorrow? If not then you need to get on that. Planning your meals is a great way to save significant amount of money. It’s healthier as well! Not only for your wallets but for your mindset as well.

Utilize resources like Budget Bytes which offer excellent and delicious meal recommendations. Start with one meal that really catches your attention. My girlfriend fell in love with Louisiana Hot Fried Chicken, so we grabbed some chickens and gave making that a shot by using Sam the cooking guy video link. I can’t begin to tell you how delicious that was, it was a great boost of morality, we have made that and a few other dishes.

So skip on the plain chicken and broccoli, focus on delicious meals and then start learning how to transition that into healthier but still delicious meals. Remember the human brain has been trained to strive for guilty pleasures for tens of thousands of years. Use that to your advantage.

Meal prep is a great way to save more money

10. Buy in bulk

If you have a good meal plan in order, it might do you good to buy certain things in bulk. Things such as non perishable food. Rice, pasta, canned tomatoes I think it’s beneficial to buy in bulk. Paper towels and toilet paper are also other things that I buy in bulk.

I suggest you have a strong idea of what you would like to purchase before running into Costco thinking you have strong willpower. Even willpower giants will have a tough time holding back from buying those scrumptious tuxedo cakes or that 24 pack of energy bars sitting at the back of your trunk.

11. Swap and trade!

It absolutely blows my mind how many people don’t like second hand things. Think of it as seasoning. As long as you train your eyes on what to look for, do your research (Which should help you determine if you really need it or not), buying used is very easy.

All you need is Google, your local classifieds, a few Lysol wipes and compressed air.

You’re set! Go out there and instead of buying your next consumer good brand new try to see if you can find a better deal buying used.

I should note, buying used is not always a good deal, there are times where you should buy brand new depending on the market and the product. Check out our post on How to get a deal buying used goods

12. Become environmentally conscious.

This comes down to two factors, use less and be more conscious. Those elements translates directly to saving money very fast. What can you be doing? Using less plastics and driving less while using the public transit more is a good first step.

Start by also looking at long term solutions, weather proofing your windows and updating your appliances to be more efficient may have a larger draw now, but over the course of the time you spend at that home it will be wonderful.

I also suggest people install a programmable thermostat, and there is usually a lot of government grants for updating to a smart home, doing small renovation to make your house more weather proof and installing more efficient appliances.

15. Use credit sparingly

Credit should only be used if you can pay off that amount in full at the end of the month. If you are spending money on interest then you are failing the most important rule of saving money fast. Understand that no one acquires $20,000 of debt overnight, it happens overtime but it always feels so sudden.

If you need help dealing with your debt you can read how I emotionally dealt with my debt and

You should use your credit, but only if its within budget, I made many purchases and throw it on my credit card thinking its going to be okay, I’ll just use my excess from the months after, and they always start piling up. To save money fast you need to remove any areas of your expenses such as fees and interest.

Once you break the barrier of budget security, you have opened yourself up to being over exposed and back into debt. I recommend avoiding that at all costs.

16. Learn to compare prices and reviews.

Don’t ever believe the first price you see and think its the best price. Just because a certain store has a product on 30% off does not mean you are saving money. Spend some time researching the product you are buying, the price it goes for online and also what others say about the durability of the product.

There are many resources that are built to help you find the best price. Also feel free to use amazon as a resource to understand more information about the thing you plan to buy. A lot of buyers don’t want to see the negatives of a product before they buy it. Instead, look at is as constructive, if the device is easily bent, get yourself a sturdy case with the purchase.

17. Become a DIY’er

Learning hand skills help you save money fast. Learn basic skills to fix things around the house. Fixing a clogged sink, removing a stripped screw and basic paint and drywall fixes, can help keep your home looking tip top and also save you hundreds of dollars in repairman expenses.

Over the course of time, you can even make a significant amount of money thanks to your DIY wall paints and furnishing, when you sell your home.

DIY things to save some money

18. Identify Stress Spending

Under the pressure of exams the only thing that seems to make me feel better is going out for AYCE sushi for dinner on weekends, or buying the latest tech that is supposed to make my studying feel easier. That is how I stress spend my precious savings. How do you deal with stress? If you are upset do you go out and buy a coffee to cheer yourself up?

I don’t think it’s necessary to remove everything that makes you happy, but keeping track of your delinquency will help you plan around it. Perhaps being aware of it will be enough to help you save.

19. Cancel unused memberships.

Simply said, don’t have useless memberships straggling you down. Check when the last time you used your Costco membership, gym or Crave HBO membership was, if is few next to never, consider cancelling. You won’t believe how much money this ends up saving.

Something I recommend to everyone, use one month to pay as you go, whether that be to the gym (if you are not a frequent go-er) or when it comes to movies. Pay for just the one movie on pay-per-view and at the end of the month look over your bills and see if those memberships are worth keeping. If you’re not going to the gym more than 5 times a month, you are most likely wasting your money.

Its not difficult to find cheaper alternatives. Toronto has Fit-4-less which is a $10 per month subscription to a gym, so maybe its worth to join that gym if you’re not going to your current gym often, even it is further.

20. Remove credit card numbers from online accounts.

We can all be lazy, and I absolutely love amazon prime, but I often remove my card off the account during the school year or when I am trying to be more aware of my spending.

It does not mean I don’t purchase my essentials. It’s just one more step which really ensures I am not spending money recklessly.

21. Ensure your car is reliable ad fuel-efficient.

Fill your tires, replace your air filters and get rid of that junk in your trunk, those three things alone can save you some serious money. Here is a few more things you can do to improve your milage

Finally it is important you maintain your car, it saves you a heck of a lot more going forward. Especially if you plan to sell it when you want to spice things up in your life.

22. Track your debt.

My biggest downfall was to let my debt get out of control. Don’t let that happen to you, and if it does take incentive right now to get it under control. It’s hard especially at first, coming face to face with your problems and your spending feels like you are trying to ruin your mood on purpose.

It is important to track it, and the more you face the debt the easier it is to swallow the pill of truth. It also helps with being more aware about your spendings.

23. Work on your skills.

Certain skills really help bring your overall costs down. I think of buying food out as submitting to someone else’s wonderful cooking skills and efficiency. For the most part that is okay, but why not spend a few hours a week honing a skill that you could use literally for the rest of your life.

Similar to learning how to submit your own taxes, and changing your engine oil. There are a few things in life we have to do often enough and I think it is important for us to pick up those skills. The best part? Saving money wouldn’t be the only perk you get from learning those skills.

24. Reassess your belongings and keep it simple.

Simplicity helps declutter your life which in turn has many positive influences on your finances. I have had an iPad, MacBook Pro, surface and a desktop PC. At the time it felt like I needed all of them for their own reasons. Once getting rid of a few, I feel like my life has a lot more clarity, I also have attained this new freedom. I can now travel and go where ever I want with a backpack and car that is not filled to the brim with gadgets.

This works with clothing as well. Simplify your wardrobe and you will notice some wonderful things happening. You’ll have less laundry to do, and always find clarity in the morning with what you want to wear.

25. Look for free events and things to do in advance.

It seems like an impossible task to save money fast when you can’t even go a day without being bored on this challenge. I can’t stress how much money planning events in advance can save you. Especially if you have kids, you’ll always want a few things to do over weekends that are your budget friendly in your repository. Having a few things to do for dates with your significant other is also a good idea. If you are planning on taking a tight grip on your finances. It will help them be more on board to see you are not sacrificing precious time with them and experiences to save a few buck.

26. Learn about all the benefits your school or company offers.

We leave free things on the table all the time! Let’s turn that around and make an effort to know the benefits of working or attending school. Free gym memberships to free resume checks and tax returns, I have seen it all. To save money fast I suggest spending some time looking at all the organizations you have registered with and checking what they offer. Sometimes it can be as significant as cutting a few hundred dollars from your car and home insurance!

Even at my school, a lot of students don’t know they are automatically registered and paying an amount for dental coverage and medication.

27. Focus on driving and do your best never to get tickets.

Do your best not to get tickets. If you are ticket prone, maybe take public transit out for a spin. It ensures you don’t get a speeding or parking ticket. Tickets are one of the most painful ways to lose your savings money. There is a chance they might even increase your insurance premium which would really hurt your wallet in the long run.

28. Always ask to get fees waived.

It blows my mind how few people ask to get their fees waived. When it comes to registering for any program, there seems to always be fees attached. You can always show a bit of disinterest and ask to get the fees waived. As for long term customers it’s even easier. Companies spend a tremendous amount of money attracting you as the consumer and losing you would be a bigger loss to them than their fee.

Its quite rare that a company will refuse to have my fees waived. Persistence is key, don’t be ashamed to ask to speak to someone who can get your fees waived. This can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per month.

Conclusion.

There are a thousand things you can do to save money fast, however it is to your benefit to understand what are things that you can cut out that don’t bring any values and vice versa. If you need help with budgeting your hard earned money so you can spend money without fear, check out our post on how to budget money. 

With passing time we plan to keep updating this list, so if this inspired you to save money, please sign up for our email list to get more tips sent directly to you!

Budget

How To Budget your Money in 7 easy steps

Closing your eyes to your financial issues has never solved your problems in the past. It’s time to budget your money with ease. All you need is an automated system and a few changes to your awareness. Check out our guide to saving a lot of money fast. Use your new-found knowledge and cash to establish a budget so you can spend money on the things you love guilt-free!

7 Steps to creating a budget that will guarantee freedom

Before worrying about your spending, let’s focus on how you make money. List income sources with tax included. In other words, list your after-tax income. This is quite easy if you have a regular paycheck.

Remember to deduct taxes and business expenses! We want the amount of pie remaining after Aunty Maple and Uncle Sam have taken a piece out of it.

How to build your budget.

It took me a very long time to understand and utilize a budget myself. It required a lot of work and commitments to the changes I was prescribing myself. Discipline is key, find and develop your own system, and learn to follow it. It’s unlikely that you will wake up one day and suddenly become a budgeting guru.

I realized for myself I needed it to be automated. I absolutely hate to have to track more things than necessary. So track something while I have the opportunity, once the situation is understood, I do everything necessary to automate the process.

Budget your money using software

Understand your situation

We all have different needs. It is important to make sure you know what you want out of a budget. Do you want more guilty free spending money? Maybe you are preparing for a wedding? Every situation will require you to have a different level of detail in your budget. Ultimately, each budget is very personal. What we are providing is the guideline feel free to tweak that to your desired settings.

Track your spendings.

There are some amazing free options to see where your money flows. A lot of times, people don’t know where their biggest expenses lie. Utilize services like Mint to track your most recent expenses and where you spend the most amount of your income. Tracking your money and being aware of your spending will help you establish an amazing system to budget your money.

Find every single financial statement that you can get your hands on and pile it on to your table. Bank statements, investment statements, utility statements, credit card statements, you get the point. First, deal with all of your physical statements, and then download any electronic statements you may have. You should find anything that may have a source of income or expense.

When I made my first budget, I looked at all of my statements for the past 6 months. I suggest you start by looking over the last three months. This needs to be a detailed scan of each and every payment that is leaving or being added onto your account over that time frame. This is as hard as it gets, looking over all of your statements can be one of the most painful yet eye-opening things you can do. This activity forces you to realize where your money is going.

Break your budget down into three categories.

Income; use this category to list all the avenues of payments you may have.

Monthly Responsibility; this category should include your rent, health insurance, car payments, student loans, car insurance, credit card payments, utilities, etc. These are payments that get processed out of your accounts automatically. These expenses are also consistent, as in they should be generally the same month to month.

Other Payments; this category should include things you spend money regularly but the amounts are not consistent. Groceries, personal items, household products, transportation, entertainment, dining out, etc.

Establish your income.

Figure out your monthly income. If you get paid the exact same amount every month then your life is a lot easier than many. For those of you who work freelance, this can be a bit more tricky. The way I did this was, I looked at my average monthly income over the last 12 months. If you want to be safe use the month with the lowest earned income. This way your budget would be based around the safest amount and you would be able to pay your bills.

How much money do you have?

If you have a long term savings account, retirement account, and other mediums of quick access cash which come with penalties, make a note of all of that. This section includes funds that you have direct access to and the penalties associated with it. For instance, if you have a tax free savings account, with funds tied to index funds or stocks on a brokerage account, you can write down the amount and the costs associated with withdrawing the funds. This section should also include your checking accounts and other investment accounts.

The primary reason to do this activity is to visualize the impact your longer-term savings funds can have on your budget. In case you ever need to dip into it. It’s not a matter of never using the money you save, it’s about understanding when and where to use it.

Create a personal net worth chart. Not just for your current situation, but also make notes on where you want to be. Visualizing where you are in terms of money and assets and checking where the money can be distributed to bring you closer to your financial goals is an important metric to follow. It helps to print out these charts and keep them handy just to assess changes over time. Similar to going to the gym, it is a good idea to monitor and track the changes to your financial health. Because it will help keep you motivated and not stray from your goals.

What do you owe?

While there is a lot of reasons to budget your money. It is especially important if you are currently stuck in high-interest consumer debt. Find out exactly how much recurring debt payments you are required to make every month. This is fairly simple especially if you have stopped incurring additional debt in the short term.

Overall, debt can be utilized as a positive entity, only if you know-how. However, that does not include high-interest debt. It’s too easy to over-leverage yourself and get stuck in a rut of interest for the rest of your life. Understanding what you owe and where your payments need to be diverted is a crucial aspect when you need to budget your money.

Three values are needed in this section; Total amount owed, Interest percentage and minimum monthly payments.

Budget your money by printing out and having all statements in front of you.

What is your average monthly expense?

Many people suggest it is important to track every single penny that you spend. Unfortunately, that is not possible for the majority of people. Here is a simpler way to track the metric. Print out your statements for the last 6 months and look for reoccurring monthly payments, this includes hydro, water and utilities, phone bill, etc. Things that come in monthly and has been certain over the last 6 months. Once you have that, feel free to use an app such as Mint to generate a report of an average of miscellaneous expenses over the last 6 months assume everything else can be lumped into that amount.

The reason why this helps is it gives you a general guideline to how much you are spending on average. With that, you can set up something engineers call a factor of safety (FOS). Which is just a multiplier of the amount you are spending a month with a small cushion. For instance, when designing loads, we will find the minimum capacity of the beam and multiply it by 1.5 to make sure there is space for mistakes.

Similarly, you should find an amount that works for you and the aggressiveness of your spending. If you are impulsive or feel as if you are prone to more emergencies (Not maintaining your car, not having health insurance, etc.) Then perhaps set a higher factor of safety in your budget for the funds that go into your checking account which should be automatically diverted after you get paid.

Create and adjust your budget according to reality.

Create a section for all your expenses, and divide them by your total income to check how much each aspect of your expenses is eating into your earnings. We love using percentages, they are easy to monitor and also adjust. This way you can allocate higher percentages to paying off your debts forcing yourself to be more frugal earlier and then let off the gas as you reclaim more percentages from the debt payments and utilize them in other aspects of your life. This is the magic of budgeting your money.

In a later post, we want to show you exactly how to automate your budget allocations so there are fewer human interactions. You want to find the golden ratio when it comes to the percentages in your budget allocation and just let the computer do the rest. You should only have to check in every few months to monitor and establish changes.

Here is a budget I created in my first year of university. It was simple, and sometimes to get started simply is all you need.

If you live in a community where the price for oil and food is rising, I would not suggest you budget your money once and stick to it for the rest of your life. Depending on how difficult it is to stick to your budget, you should be continuously changing your allocations over time.

Therefore should you budget your money?

It’s not difficult to budget your money. The difficult part is the discipline required to actually use it. It’s difficult looking at a bunch of numbers on a page and willing to believe in it 100%. By following the few steps noted above you will be on a path to efficiently budget your money and achieve financial freedom.

That’s why we are working on a simple budget builder and we hope to share it with the community for free. So if you are interested please register your email and keep an eye out!

We hope this helps you figure out another approach to your personal budget by taking out the stress. Do you have a budget? What do you use and what has not worked for you in the past? Please share how you budget your money in the comments below.