Nickle and Dime

I asked my coworker today, who makes decent wage, pays little mortgage and doesn’t have car payments how much money he’s saving he said almost none.

It’s not uncommon, despite making a good wage very few of us end up with a steadily increasing saving. Why is it so hard to save?DSC00213_1280

“I would rather make more money than save more money!”

You have probably thought about that many raises ago and yet still have not find the money to save despite making twice as much or more than when you started. It is hard to save because our spending keeps up with our earning.

The hardest part is keep spending low even while earning increases, that is the only way to save. Surely we need some material goods to reward ourselves for a job well done, that is no problem on it’s own but becomes one when we make a habit of it.

Eating out once in awhile is a fantastic way to spend time with family or friends, but eating out three or four days a week it comes a huge drain on the good old wallet. Each meal averages out to about $60, three times a week is $200 per week and $800 a month, $9600 a year, almost $10,000 a year just by eating out three times a week.

Entertain at home is such a great way to have a fantastic time with friends and family without breaking the bank. While it does take more time and effort, but for me it is better. Not only does it cost much less, in my experience we always have a better time because we are in complete control of the environment, no noisy customers, no music that is too loud for you to hear yourself talk, and no waiting for the waiters to ask “would you like another round?”

The other thing is pack lunches, it seems like a bit of a hassle, but if you ever make dinner just make some extra and you have a packed lunch. Or try meal prep, I personally don’t do it. My wife and I make food for lunch about twice week, once on Sunday and once on Wednesday. If you can pack lunch 4 days a week, that’s anywhere from $40 to $80 saved, that’s $2000 to $4000 a year.

I like to buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store and build my meals based on that. For some people it’s hard, I think you can buy whatever you want from the grocery store as long as there is no eating out, cutting out restaurant would save a lot more than saving a dollar or two at the grocery store. At my local supermarket they clear out the unsold prepared foods by the end of the day around 8pm, that is usually when I go to the supermarket, lucky me. Sometimes I find meals with rice, vegetable and chicken for $3, that is pretty hard to beat.

Buy second hand stuff. Not everything is good for buying second hand, don’t buy underwear, or toothbrushes second hand. However just about everything else you can buy second hand. I won’t mention cars for now because I think that is a huge topic all on it’s own.

Books are the best thing you can buy second hand, not only do you get a deal, you can feel good about recycling, and sometimes there might even be a nice note on the first page or a bookmark. Another thing I love to buy second hand is electronics such as cameras, monitors, TVs, or even lights. it won’t be the latest and greatest but the hefty discount is totally worth it. Home decor and furniture are great to buy from your local thrift store or craigslist/kijiji.

I’m not suggesting not to spend money, just a bit of attention and care before spending will result in a much more responsible buying behaviour, saving money and reduce financial woes.

Armed with these few tips you will sure to keep money in your bank account working for you and not working for someone else, you can also read about how to get your money working here:

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