1 – Do you have a budget?
We know, everyone says this. But there’s a reason for that –it’s good advice. A budget can be at the heart of staying on top of your finances. It’s just facts: knowing how much money you have coming in and going out helps you prepare for whatever life throws at you.
Want to amp it up? Use your budget to set aside a certain amount of money each month. Build an emergency fund so you’re ready for, well, emergencies.
2 – Do you keep track of your digital subscriptions? (all your digital subscriptions?)
During the pandemic, many of us signed up to all of the streaming services (what else could we do?!). But now is a good time to take another look: do you really need all of the apps? Netflix, Crave, Apple TV, Prime Video, Disney+… the list goes on. Not to mention premium podcast feeds, subscription boxes that come in the mail – it all adds up!
Here’s an idea to save yourself some money: Choose one app per month, and watch the series and movies you want to see on that app. Once you’re done, unsubscribe and try out another service.
You can also do a full audit of all your digital subscriptions. Add up every monthly subscription you are paying and multiply by 12 — 5 subscriptions at $5 a month is still $300 a year. (Does anyone else miss the glory days of cable TV?)
3 – When you need something, are you looking to buy used first, or better yet borrow?
We all know about buying clothes at thrift stores. You can also buy second-hand for things like books, toys, sports equipment, furniture and accessories. Besides local thrift stores and specialty resale shops like Play It Again Sports, there are now so many online platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, PinkBike, Craig’s List, ThredUp and Poshmark. And did you know that in 2018, 85% of Canadians participated in the second-hand economy? That’s a lot of us! During the pandemic thrifting became even more popular, with Google Trends reporting a 103% increase in online searches during late 2021 and early 2022!
Or maybe you don’t need to buy it at all – think about whether you could borrow what you need. Libraries are obvious options for books (including audiobooks and e-books), and there are even lending libraries for things like tools, toys, artwork and more.
And here’s another tip: you’ve probably heard about renting sports equipment (like skiing and hockey), but did you know you can also save money by renting musical instruments instead of buying them? It’s a good way to find out whether your kid actually wants to commit to those guitar lessons before investing in the guitar. 😊
4 – Do you really need to drive so much?
Ditching the car is better for the climate – but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about when driving is really necessary.
If you don’t have good public transit nearby, having a vehicle is likely essential. But there are still ways to cut down on your driving. You could try walking to the grocery store if you only need a few things (as an added bonus you’ll also get those steps in!).
Or consider carpooling (with or without the karaoke). Travel with a friend to that event or hop in with a colleague for your next offsite meeting.
And if you have to drive, you can save money on gas with little adjustments like reducing your speed on the highway and keeping your tires inflated to the right pressure.
5 – Are you using your credit cards wisely?
Credit cards can be very useful tools! Just make sure you’re using them in a smart way. Don’t make impulse purchases (remember that budget from step 1?) and be sure to check over your statement each month. (We suggest setting a monthly reminder in your calendar – if you spend 10 minutes reviewing your statements once a month, you could save yourself lots of unnecessary headache in the long run.) Also try to pay off your balance at the end of the month to avoid those interest charges. Otherwise, you could end up paying way more than you think you are for that new iPhone!
Want to make sure you’re doing all you can to beat inflation? It’s easy to set up an appointment with a Prospr advisor. They’ll help you prepare for whatever comes your way, including pesky inflation.