Saturday, August 11, 2007

Every little bit counts when it comes to managing your money

Today I was going through some of the blogs I read often and came across The Simple Dollar post on Six Habits I've Given Up In Order To Save Money and it inspired me to write my own saving techniques that my family has implemented in order to save a little extra cash.

Coffee: Every blog that writes about personal finance, debt, savings or investing they all seem to list this and for good merit. As you figure my average day with Tim Hortons consist of 2 XL black coffees at a cost of $3.16 a day or $1150.00 a year! By making coffee at home equals significant savings as a can of coffee $8 and filters at $3 last me about a month it drops my coffee habit down to approx. $132 a year a savings of $1018! Now granted I haven't actually tallied exactly how many cans and filters I go through in a year but even if you placed it at the high end maybe your hitting $300 in which case your still saving $850 a year. No wonder a Tim Hortons Franchise goes for upwards of $400,000!

Driving Habits: It's funny you hear all the time about how slowing down saves you gas mileage but it's hard when you travel the same route everyday you just want to get from point a to point b as quick as possible. Here's what I found out though by reducing my speeding habits from 100 clicks down to 90 clicks and setting it on cruise control my tank of gas went from on avg. 500 clicks over 600 clicks a savings of roughly $3 a tank but when you do as much driving as I do in a year it translates to approx. $750 a year not to mention an additional trip to and from work before filling back up and less chances of speeding tickets always a good thing.

Hydro: We replaced all our traditional light bulbs with fluorescents about 3 years ago, over that time we had to replace I believe 2 bulbs as opposed to changing light bulbs on average every 5 months or so. Also we found when we first did it, it reduced our bill by approx. $25 a month or $300 a year.

Auto Insurance: I decided to do some calling around earlier this year to see if any other Insurance companies could beat my current rate of $122 a month. A friend recommended PC Financial Insurance my rate dropped from the $122 a month to $96 a month a savings of $26 a month or $312 a year.

Snacks: With brown bagging it to work and with the kids in school we were lucky enough to come across a Vachon Outlet Store. Vachon carries numerous snack products from themselves as well as Hostess. For example last week I picked up a box of 20 Hostess Cupcakes for $3.60 where if I went to the supermarket a box of I believe it's 6 would have costed I think $3.95 it's been awhile since I checked the price so I could be wrong, but I do know that 20 cupcakes at $3.60 is a steal anyway you look at it. The savings in this area are hard to measure I would assume it would be in the ballpark of $30-$40 a month or a couple of hundred bucks a year.

Clothing: As stated before I do work in retail so luckily I have my employee discount as well as a mall discount for the other retailers in the mall. Also we pick up quite a bit from the local thrift stores, yard sales in town and working in trade with our sisters for their kids clothes for ours, thank god for big families. If you don't work in retail the one thing that really hasn't caught attention in Canada the same as it has in the States is Outlet shopping, most Canadians don't believe that there are big saving in the Outlet Centers speaking from first hand experience most Outlet Centers you walk into the majority of the stores in the center are actual company outlets stores with average saving of 30% or more off of the suggested retail price. Unfortunately there are quite a few retailers at the same time which can lead you into believing that none of the stores are outlets. You just have to search through the stores to discover which are outlets and which are retailers.

These are just some of the more significant ways that we use to save money in our family.


Frank said...

You know that those CFL's have mercury in them? I hope you never break one. Why not try LED?

Riggings said...

Haven't seen the LED's yet except in Christmas lights, where can you pick them up at?