One of the easiest ways to save is to avoid late fees and penalties.
To do this, I called several other companies, including Rogers, to get prices on their television packages. Armed with this knowledge, I called Bell to negotiate a better price.
You can save hundreds of dollars each year by comparison shopping your services and asking for a better price from your service provider. Last year, I reduced my phone and television bill by $23 each a month by speaking with Bell's retention department and changing my telephone plan.
If you're scared to open your credit card bill each month, it may be time to put away the plastic. Based on your budget, take out the amount of cash you'll need for the month and put it in envelopes for your various expenses, like bills and groceries. Having a set amount of money to spend on these items will help you avoid splurge items and not go over budget. When you wean yourself back on credit, you will have a better sense of your budget and how much you can spend.
If you are late making your credit card payment one month, you will pay $23.75 on a $1,500 balance, considering a 19% interest rate. This will continue to compound over the year and add up quickly.
"There is a tendency for people to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to really reviewing how they spend their money," said Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. "A few simple changes to a person's spending habits can save thousands of dollars a year, without a huge disruption to their quality of life."
A lot of people shop online for its convenience, with popular items including books, clothing and electronics. So why not earn money while you're at it? Ebates is a site that lets you earn cash back on your online purchases. Four times a year or more, Ebates will send you a cheque for the money you've earned, or transfer it to a PayPal account. The percentage of cash back varies depending on the retailer, but typically ranges between 3 to 12 per cent.
2. Steer clear of spending triggers
6. Go on a credit card cleanse
With summer heat just around the corner, fans are also a great use of energy and can help keep your bills down. If you run them at the same time as the air conditioner, you can raise the temperature setting by 2C, reducing your energy use by at least 10 per cent, according to the Ontario Energy Board.
By bringing these competitor prices back to our service provider, we reduced our television price from $44 a month to $30 a month.
If you're an impulse shopper, steer clear of areas or stores that will entice you to make an unnecessary purchase. For many, this includes browsing online retail stores, or simply strolling around the mall.
If cutting your land line isn't realistic for you or your family, call your provider and make sure you're on a plan that is the most cost effective for your needs. This is another opportunity to speak with your provider's retention department and ask them to reduce your monthly bill.
It also turned out I was only using half of my monthly phone minutes. Given this, I changed to a 500 minute per month plan and reduced my phone bill to $42 from $51.
Also, invest in a programmable thermostat, which can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10 per cent when properly set.
If you're an emotional shopper, avoid going to your favourite stores when you're in a funk. You may end up buying something simply for its 'retail therapy' value.
This same approach applies to a number of services, including insurance. When your car and house insurance is up for renewal, don't be so quick to sign on the dotted line. Take the time to call other providers, and see what price they can offer. Taking this information back to your current provider will motivate them to match or beat the quoted prices. Shopping insurance prices may take a few hours of time, but the savings will be worth it.
And don't be shy about looking cheap. According to a 2011 survey by Consumer Reports, people who asked for a discount usually got one. More than 80 per cent of survey respondents who bargained over apparel or jewellery received a discount, as did around 70 per cent of those who bargained over appliances or electronics.
Home energy costs can really add up if you're not careful. You can cut your lighting energy cost by 15 per cent each year by simply replacing your light bulbs.
10 easy ways to save money
Companies are driven to provide customers with positive experiences, hoping to retain future business. While it's rare for a company to voluntarily offer a discount, they often have the wiggle room if asked.
What it will take is some effort and time. This will include calling retention departments, shopping competitor pricing and prioritizing your time to cut down on fast food or coffee runs.
With free, online services like Skype, the need for Canada Goose Hybridge Jacket Singapore Outlets a dedicated land line is becoming increasingly obsolete. Cutting your home phone can save you hundreds of dollars a year, and you don't need to sacrifice personal connections or time chatting with family and loved ones. A basic phone package costs around $50 a month. By cutting your land line, you could save $600 a year.
The saying "if you don't ask, the answer is always no" applies to saving money. Whether it's speaking with the retention department of a service provider, or asking for a discounted hotel rate, vocalizing your desire to save money and pay a reduced rate can go a long way.
Don't forget to review your bills each month to check for billing errors.
According to Toronto Hydro, the average home has 30 light fixtures that consume close to $200 worth of electricity every year. Replacing five bulbs with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs in areas that require more than three hours of light a day saves approximately $30 a year.