Below are a few quick tips you can follow in order to save money this summer. Remember that the difficult part of making any money saving measure work is applying it consistently.
Don’t ride when you can walk
If a large portion of your income goes towards maintaining and fuelling a car, try to limit your motor vehicle use by planning trips in advance and working out which routes are the most fuel-efficient.
Also consider the merits of public transit, which is safer, less expensive and equally reliable.
If you travel short or medium-length distances several times a day, try walking. It may take some getting used to, but the financial benefits will be immediately obvious, and you’ll get some exercise in as well.
The party does stop
If you go out regularly or even semi-regularly, you could be spending a small fortune. Consider the cost of having drinks out with friends. 28% of Canadian men and 16% of Canadian women between 18 and 24 report having between three and seven drinks a week.
Depending on your choice of venue, that expense could add up to more than $100 monthly, not including food or ticket prices – and it only goes up if you’re the last person to call it a night.
Similarly, one $20 meal a week adds up to over $1000 a year.
Try keeping track of how much money you spend in an average week. Use a monthly study if you don’t go out often. You may suddenly recognize the financial benefits of a few quiet nights in.
Cozy up with friends or family
A change of living arrangements can be an aggressive cost-saving measure under the right circumstances.
Living alone generally means paying a premium in rent. If you live in a space meant for two, consider finding a roommate.
While it’s rarely anyone’s first choice, living with family is becoming increasingly common. If it’s an option for you, consider how much your budget would loosen up if you suddenly took rent off the table.
Get another job
If you aren’t willing (or able) to cut your expenses and you have access to a second job, the solution may be right under your nose.
If you currently work one part time job, you may be able to find a second which complements your schedule, without leaving you run off your feet.
If you’re currently working full-time, make sure you’ve explored every penny pinching option before you risk overextending yourself.
Enjoy a theatre of the mind
Many thrifty modes of entertainment have the bonus of being intellectually stimulating.
For the price of a movie ticket, you could spend the afternoon in an art gallery or museum, getting better value for your dollar and learning something in the process.
Instead of going shopping, consider checking out a book from your local library (it’s free!).
If you have a surplus of free time, this might be the perfect moment for you to think about picking up a hobby: a new sport or exercise regimen, creative endeavour or musical instrument. These endeavours typically require an initial investment but provide a great return.
There’s no silver bullet to get more cash in your wallet, but these practical tips can help you start thinking about cutting corners in the right places. Even once you land that entry level or early career job, the ability to tighten your belt will always come in handy.