“Anything that we can do to raise personal savings is very much in the interest of this country.” – former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
The savings rate in the United States is nearly four percent (2.9 percent in Canada). Meanwhile, household non-real estate debt is at $2.7 trillion. It seems Americans and Canadians are trying to sustain a lifestyle akin to Donald Trump, but avoiding the necessary saving similar to Scrooge (or at least someone living within his or her means).
Fortunately, a household doesn’t have to give up a lot in order to save a few bucks each month. Actually, a family just has to be smarter about their purchase decisions and follow necessary steps in order to be in the black each month.
Here are seven steps to take to save big on the little things.
When tackling financial issues at home, the very first thing any household should establish is a budget. Conducting a personal and family audit is beneficial to creating a sustainable budget. This would also help the man, woman and child in the household get a grasp of how much they spend and on what.
It’s crucial to find necessary efficiencies in your household. One measure to take is to ask yourself questions with honest answers: do you really need that VIP cable package? Why do you need a long distance package for one call a month? How many times have you used that gym membership?
Answers to these questions will not only help your budget, but also your goal of saving more money and still living a nice lifestyle.
Why spend $2.50 when you can spend $1.50 somewhere else? Let’s face it. When the economy is contracting and there is a paucity of growth, it’s important to watch every penny, nickel and dime. It’s important to perform research to see which establishment has the better prices for your groceries, household items, clothing and whatever else you and the family need.
One dollar may not seem like a lot of money at first, but $1 on an item will lead you to find $0.50 less for that can of beans, $0.15 less for the bottle of club soda and $2.25 less for dish soap. It all adds up in the end.
Similar to researching for stores with the best prices, it’s pertinent to look for coupons. There are various websites to get coupons (by print or mail), such as save.ca, websaver.ca, mycoupons.com, EverSave and so on. Shoppers can also get the weekly flyer for coupons.
Thrift Department Stores
It’s surprising what one can find at the local thrift store. Heck, there have been numerous news stories of shoppers finding million-dollar paintings!
Heading on over to any thrift department store can save you a lot of money in the end, while also treating yourself. If you’ve never been, be sure to check it out at least once because you will be shocked by the name-brands that are available for a fraction of the price.
Whatever you’re looking for, books, clothes, kitchen appliances, electronics and music, a thrift shop has everything.
Are there any really good deals going on in your city? Has there been any news of free promotions or heavily-discounted goods and/or services at a restaurant, cinemahouse, sports arena, concerts, museum or theatre?
One year in Toronto, a movie theatre was offering free movies over a two-day period (all of the latest films). The Royal Ontario Museum offers free admission for one hour on Wednesday afternoons. A local store offered 1,200 free turkeys for Christmas.
No matter where you’re located, there is plenty to take advantage of.
Spending time with family, walking around the city, sipping on a coffee and enjoying the four seasons can be living big as well. And it’s free! One doesn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars at a restaurant, movie theatre or festival to have fun. With a little bit of imagination, a couple of bucks and energy, you can life like you’re Ray Jay Johnson.