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100 Innovative Ways To Save Money On A Tight Budget

Are you looking for different ways to save money? Do you also want to save money while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle? Do you feel tight as the month ends and want to do something more? If the answer is yes then this article is for you. There are so many quotes on saving money.

“Never spend your money before you have earned it.” 

Thomas Jefferson

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”

– Warren Buffett

“The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It’s simple: to master money, you must manage money.”

– T. Harv Eker

“You can make money two ways – make more, or spend less.”

– John Hope Bryant

“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.”

Benjamin Franklin

That is why it is important to have a healthy relationship with your finances. It doesn’t matter if you have more money or less, managing it to avoid having a second thought for buying something is crucial and the crux of life. 

Read: How to Buy Stocks in Canada: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

The Need to Save Money

Saving money is crucial and important if you want to achieve financial freedom. A lot of time people confuse it with putting in a lot of effort or hiring a financial advisor. But if you want to save you can also do small things in your daily routine and that can lead up to a healthy financial lifestyle. It can be as simple as turning off the lights or buying groceries in stock.

In this way, today’s $1 saved would be tomorrow’s $1000. In this article, we will talk about a hundred ways to save money. It can be setting up a daily budget, saving on the utility, and implementing investment strategies. So, without any wait, let’s get started.

Also read: How Much Money Do You Need To Retire In Canada?

100 Ways to Save Money

Save Money on Your Daily Expenses

Saving money doesn’t mean that you have to stop enjoying your life or make drastic changes. It can be done with small but big significant steps. By following the below tips, you can save thousands of dollars. 

budget

1. Make a budget: This is the most basic thing, right? The first thing you should do is create a budget for yourself and stick to it. You can do so in a traditional method with a pen or paper or you can use various apps available for budgeting like Mint Wally, etc.

2. Make your own lunch: Maybe you are a working person or maybe you just like to have taken out lunch as you enjoy it. It does not cost much but if you calculate the total it can be a considerable amount. Thus, making your own lunch would help you save.

3. Eat at home: 30% of expenses are contributed by eating out in Canada so making meals at home can be one of the great ways to save money.

4. Stop excessive movies: You would probably know that when you go out for movies it’s not just the movie that is going to cost you but along with that the money will be spent on coke or popcorn. So, try to save on that.

5. Have coffee that is homemade: Going out for a coffee can cost $1155 each year. It can be a great contribution to a savings plan.

6. Save electricity: Switch off the lights when you are not using them or install lights that utilise less voltage and can help you save money.

7. Go for cheap insurance: No, I do not suggest you opt for insurance that is not going to be helpful to you. What I mean by buying cheap insurance is that you should look out for insurance that can save you money but also provide you with most of the facilities that you are looking for. This can be done by researching well.

8. Try to pay an upfront premium: This option will help you to get discounts on annual insurances and in the end will help you save money. 

9. Buy insurance from one place: When you look out for insurance at different places for different purposes it will cost you more. But if you consult one company or agent that provides all the necessities then it can be a great opportunity for you to get a bundle discount.

10. Smoking is injurious: A lot of people are hooked up to smoking and it can be a challenge for them. But leaving it or reducing the intake and eventually stopping it can save you a lot of money. 

11. Save on your commute: If the distance is not too long, you can try taking public transport to save money. You can do a carpool, you can even just walk or ride a bicycle. It will save the environment as well as your pocket. Indeed a great way to save money. 

12. Multiple uses for kids products: Raising kids is pretty expensive and obviously we cannot cut down on the necessity that is needed for their growth. But what you can do is buy hand-me-down clothes or toys. This will cost you a lot and will give your kids a good childhood as well. 

13. Invest in a pocket-friendly vehicle: Now riding a fancy bike or a fancy car is a common desire but what comes with that is a lot of fuel cost. Buying a fuel-efficient vehicle can help you and become a great way to save money.

14. Try a pre-owned car: If you prefer driving a car then you can look out for options in the pre owned car section. It will cost you a lot less than the original price of the car because frankly owning a vehicle is not an investment as it is not an asset. It is a liability and its value decreases with time. 

15. Save money on fuel: There are different variations when it comes to fuelling your car with gas. It can be a premium option or it can be a cheaper option. Trying a cheaper option is obviously going to save you money. You can also utilise cashback points to gas your car or vehicle.

16. Do things on your own for your car: Try your hands on DIYs. If the tyre is flattened, do it yourself. You want to wash your car, do it yourself. This can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

17. Do not overload your car: This is something that you don’t need to put extra effort into. Removing unnecessary things from your car and making it lighter will make your car more fuel efficient.

Read: Gap Insurance In Canada: What Is It & How Does It Work?

18. Try a yard sale: You can find a lot of items for a very cheap rate in a yard sale. Search for the nearest yard sales or you can use online web websites like Garage Sale Hunter, Craigslist, etc. to get a good deal.

19. Do you really need a gym membership? A lot of people in the adrenaline rush buy gym memberships at the beginning of a new year. But the question is do you really go there and exercise? If the anshwer is yes then it’s a good thing but if you are not visiting your gym regularly then you can consider cancelling it.

20. Give yourself a haircut on your own: Do you know that if you do your own haircut, you can save more than a thousand dollars each year? This can be one of the simplest ways to save money.

21. The Dollar Store: This is the place where you will find items for a very cheap rate. From a backpack to dishes to even greeting cards are all under the roof and very cheap.

22. Rethink your subscriptions: Do you really read that fashion magazine that you have a subscription to or do you really need that newsletter you subscribe to? Rethink your subscriptions and if you actually utilise it, keep it otherwise you can scrape it to save money!

23. Instead of buying books go to a library: It is quite self-explanatory that you can have plenty of books from a library and can save money from not buying them. You still get to read them, right?

24. Try sewing your clothes: If you sew or repair your clothes on your own it will save you money. You can sew your kids’ clothes or you can even do something on your own in your free time which can help others and give you some extra earning.

25. Try registering or buying a ticket package early: As I mentioned earlier, saving doesn’t mean that you don’t have to leave or enjoy life. If you plan for big expenses in advance, that can become a good way to save some bucks. For example, if you book a hotel or a flight ticket a good time in advance it will end up saving you a lot of money.

26. Be a DIY king or queen: A lot of times, we seek professional help but if we can do it on our own for example cooking, cleaning, etc, we can save. 

27. Curb unnecessary expenses: This is a very basic thing but we incur expenses for things that we don’t really need. But remember that someone else is not going to pay your bills. So, save on that one more dress or one more video game expense!

28. Learn the skill of negotiation: While a lot of things cannot be negotiated, there are a lot of things that can be. For example, your phone or internet bill, and even your credit card dues. I am not saying that you should negotiate on your credit card because this is the money that you already spent but you can give it a try. Negotiation can be a good way to save money.

Ways to Save Money on Grocery Shopping and Miscellaneous Shopping

Food is one of the frequent expenses that we do in our life. A lot of us are fond of eating out and having fancy dinners; ye, it does feel amazing but will also empty your pockets. As per a survey, in Canada in 2019 the cost for one household’s food expenditure was $12,157. This is just for one household and that too an average so the actual amount can be pretty much higher.

That is why savings on grocery days can reduce this expense considerably and can become one of the witty ways to save money. But how you can do this let’s find out!

shopping

29. A grocery list is a must: As much as you stay organised you will not deviate from your goal of finding things that are necessary. It will stop you from incurring expenses on things that you don’t need. You should stick to the list, that’s it.

30. It’s time to earn the cashback: If you order groceries online by using a cashback providing app such as Caddle, you can save a good amount of dollars each year.

31. Bulk shopping: Going to buy groceries every day or every 2-3 days can be tedious and also doesn’t make any difference in terms of saving money. But if you buy groceries for a week or for 10 days, it will save you a lot.

32. Keep your eyes open for organic products: Eating healthy is good and will benefit you in the long term. But the thing is whether the organic product is really organic? For that, you need to do your research and compare items for organic elements, their credibility, and prices.

33. Go seasonal: By buying seasonal food, you can save a lot of money because it’s the season and thus it wouldn’t be on a soaring side.

34. Go generic: A lot of times brands are unnecessarily expensive. Buying products from a generic brand can give you the same thing for a really cheap price. And let me tell you that not all generic brands are worthless; some actually are treasures, not yet famous.

35. Make sure that you’ve read your bills: Now again you don’t have to put in a lot of effort but sometimes people make mistakes while calculating. And that is why once you are done grocery shopping and have bills in your hand, just cross check it with the items you bought.

36. Calculate the discount: A lot of times when you go to a shopping centre, you may get attracted to sale discount pictures like by one and get another one free. But in actual fact, no one is there to make a deal at their expense and thus there would be no difference in rate. Use your phone’s calculator and make sure that you are not getting yourself fooled.

37. Get your own bag: Plastic bags can cost you a few bucks. But if you are getting your own bags to the shopping centre, you don’t need to buy one and like that you can save money and the environment, too! 

38. Have some snacks before shopping: It’s a common habit to eat something when shopping. So keep your stomach full and you won’t spend that extra dollar on eating out.

39. Scanning can save you money: Companies like Nielsen home scan actually pay customers for scanning their weekly grocery purchases. A good way to earn some extra cash.

40. Do cooking prep: It can be a tedious process to cook meals every day. But if you just cook for the entire week and save it in a refrigerator, it will save you the gas and will also give you some extra time.

41. Cashback on online shopping: Just like cashback is available for grocery shopping it is also available for buying various things online. Apps like Great Canadian Rebates, Dosh, MyPoints give you this type of cashback.

42. Research before you shop: It is always a good idea that if you want to buy a laptop just search online and then come to a conclusion for getting the best deal. The same applies to various items that you buy on a daily basis. It is all about researching once and then you know the deal. This is one of the most important ways to save money.

43. Coupon codes are a great deal: You can just subscribe to a lot of online portals that provide you with coupon codes. If you want to find coupon codes you can go on save.ca, coupons.com redflagdeals.com, and more.

44. Purchase only quality products: I know I said that you should buy cheap but when it’s the thing that is going to last for a long time it is necessary that you go for quality instead of the price. For example, if you are buying a bedsheet, some good quality ones can last for a longer time.

45. Do you really need an extended warranty? A lot of time when we buy electronic items we are offered with extended warranty but that also comes with a cost. Try to avoid it if you are not a Butterfinger.

46. Utilised brand sales: Every now and then brands declare sales for the clothing or footwear items or end of season sales which offer a really good discount. If you are fond of buying branded products, this can be your chance.

47. Holiday shopping: Who doesn’t like holiday shopping, right? But finding things for it in advance can help you save costs. For example, when Christmas is coming, items are going to get expensive but if you can buy a gift in advance a month or two where prices are not on a higher side.

48. No shopping when you are impulsive: A lot of time we feel a sudden urge to get something. We just want those things but that is not actually needed. So sleeping on it; takes three or four days. If you still feel that you really need it and that is a necessity, go for it. 

49. Window shopping is a big no: This is very common when we have free time. We just go online shopping or we can just go out and look for random things in a mall. But this casually looking around is tough on your finances, so restrain yourself from doing so.

Ways to Save Money on Actual Finance Deals

When I say finance, it means jobs, banking, investing, and managing your debt and credit cards. With the easy access to everything around us, it is a curse and a boon at the same time. You get access to financial services easily but at the same time, it will cost you something. So, to save in this space, you need to level up your personal finance game. Let’s see how! 

debt payment

50. Opt for a free bank account: There are fees for opening a bank account but there are also accounts available that are free. So, utilise this tool and save on your banking expenses. If you’re looking for banks in Canada that have a free banking account, you can go for EQ bank or Simplii Financial.

51. Opt for a free investment account: Investment accounts are costly but based on their type, you can save money. You can also opt for a Robo advisor to save money on investment advisory.

52. Go for a high yield investment savings account: If you research, you will always find banks that offer interest higher than the other banks. So just go for it and choose the best option available to you. Even a basis point can make a lot of difference when accounting for it for the long term.

53. Automate your savings: This will save you money and will also force you to save money. You can use various apps available such as Moka or hu Wealthsimple to automate your payment to an investment account.

54. Invest in a high CD or GIC: Both of these are a good option to save money. Look out for CDs that provide flexibility but still offer you a good interest rate. This is one of the best ways to save money in Canada.

Read: GIC vs. Mutual Funds – Which One is Best for You?

55. Use your money for something in return: If you are expecting to receive any inheritance, bonuses, commission, or tax refund, you can then plan its usage in advance. It will stop you from incurring expenses without necessities. You can pay off your debt which will also improve your credit score.

56. Put aside an increase in your salary: It is a human tendency that we get happy and spend money when we expect that we are going to get a raise. But here you can act conservative and save the extra amount of salary hike in a separate account which can be your future income. If you invest in high yield instruments then it can also help you build wealth.

57. Use cash: When you are using cash, you have a limited amount of it which you could limit. Even if you have more cash reserved, there is going to be a limit. This is not the case when using a credit card because you have a good limit of money you carry in the form of a card. Thus make sure that you use cash or you use a debit card instead of a credit card.

58. Loose change can be a game changer: Remember when you were a kid and used to save every single penny in your Piggy Bank? Well, do it now as well. This is very effortless and if you count for a year or so you will be surprised to know your savings. This is one of the most effective ways to save money.

59. Your debt: If you have multiple debts, try to pay off the debt that has the highest interest rate. It will reduce your overall spending and eventually you will be able to pay off the rest of the debt faster.

Read: What Does Your Credit Score Range Really Mean?

60. Credit card rewards: Check the terms and conditions before buying a credit card. A lot of credit cards provide reward points or cash back when you use them for purchasing products if they have partnered with multiple brands. So make sure that you utilise this.

61. Opt for a 0% balance transfer credit card: Using this card will help you to pay off your debt faster and save money. You can try to pay off your debt within the given promo timeframes.

61. Set up your bill payment automatically: If you are someone that has a habit of delaying or forgetting bills, this can be your strategy. All you have to do is automate your bills and you are good to go.

62. Improve your credit card score: A credit score impacts your overall financial situation. If you have bad credit then you may find it difficult to even get a credit card. And that is why make sure that you pay off your debt, improve your finances, and eventually improve your credit score. You can use this way to improve your credit score.

63. No overdraft fees: If you have a habit of spending more than you have then it can lead to overdraft or over-limit of credit cards. Thus make sure that even if you do this, you pay the amount within the grace period so that you don’t have to pay a higher interest rate. Though the best thing is that you should avoid overspending.

64. Use your RRSP: Registered Retirement Accounts can be a great way to save on income tax as they are tax deductible. It will save you money on taxes and at the same time, you will get the advantage of investing your money.

65. Tax refund waits: It is not a good idea that you wait for a whole year to get a tax refund. All you have to do is ask your employer for updating the Form TD1, that’s it.

66. Pay attention to your employer’s saving plans: A lot of times, employers also contribute to their employees’ savings. The contribution can be the same as you make or less. Just utilise this opportunity for your better future! 

Ways to Save Money on Home

Buying a home is a big life decision and the dream also comes with expenses that are lifelong too. The first and foremost cost is mortgage payments. Along with that, the other cost followers like closing cost, maintenance, and more. And that is why you must try to save money herehouseRead: The Ultimate Guide on How to Buy a House in Canada

67. Becoming a landlord: If you have an extra room in your home, rent it out. In this way, you will earn something and you can also pay off your bills or mortgages.

68. Use water efficiently: Using water efficiently will make sure that you have some money saved on your water bills. Turn off the tape when you don’t need it, run it on the lower side while washing dishes or clothes.

69. Finish your mortgage as soon as possible: Mortgage payment is one of the largest expenses associated with buying a house. The faster you pay off your mortgage, the sooner you will become financially free.

70. Find a good deal on the mortgage: It is essential that you find a lower interest mortgage rate in order to reduce the monthly expense after buying a house. 

Read: 7 Vital Tips For Paying Off Mortgage Faster

71. Variable mortgage rate: You can go for a variable that can help you to save money in the long run. 

72. No mortgage life insurance: This one costs a lot and at the same time, the benefits start to reduce with time. You can go for life insurance or disability insurance to protect your loved ones instead of this one.

73. Do more in your down payment: If you are paying more than 20% of your house’s purchase price in down payment, you can get a good deal in the market. You also don’t have to buy mortgage default insurance

74. Save on the bulb: By using LED bulbs you can save a lot by reducing electricity consumption because LED bulbs use energy 75% less.

75. Keep a timer on lights: If you have a porch or if you have lights in a room that you are not going to spend the night in, installing a timer to dim the light or turn off the light will save you cost on the energy bill.

76. Purchase energy-saving appliances: Yes, it will cost you a little while installing or when you buy these appliances. But it will save you at least 10 to 50% on energy bills.

77. A power strop: If you have installed any vampire power, standby power, etc. it is continuously going to use electricity and increase your bill. Thus you should install a smart power strip that can save you more.

78. Give it a try to get your house summer proof: You can summer proof your house by installing thicker curtains, ventilation fans and just resetting your thermostat.

79. Give it a try to winter proof your house: The way you summer proof your home, in the same way, you can winter proof too. This can help you save more than 25% on energy bills.

80. Water temperature matters: If you have set the water heater at 140 F, you can reduce it to 120 F and save 10% on bills on your water heating.

81. Use layers while clothing: In summer, you can wear thinner clothes, which can give you natural coolness. In winter, you can just pile those clothes up and that way you can turn down the thermostat a little in order to save some money on energy.

82. A programmable thermostat: You can program your thermostat in order to maintain temperature as per your schedule.

83. Clean your AC on your own: By doing this task on yourself you can also save electricity as well as you can save from calling a professional to help you out.

84. Grow your own vegetables. As it is obvious, start a garden and grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs in order to save money.

85. Say no to cable: If they are already using online platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc. then you don’t probably need a cable. So why waste money when you can save!

Save Money by Earning More

When I say earning more money, I do understand that a job or a business can have limitations for increasing income in the short term. But what you can do here is a side hustle. There are various side hostels you can indulge in to save more money. Here are a few popular side hustle ideas for saving money. 

86. Sell meals: If you enjoy cooking, you can consider this option as it will give you the joy of doing things you love and at the same time earn you more money. 

87. Start a blog: If writing stories is your passion, you can choose this option to save some money. 

88. Sell photographs: Selling photographs on websites that pay you for that such as Shutterstock can give your skills recognition and will help you save for your future as well. 

89. Teach a language: In case you are versatile in more than one language, you can use this skill to make it work for you. 

90. Do babysitting: You can also babysit for your neighbours or friends in favour of money to yield your extra time and earn cash to save for your goals on a tight budget. 

91. Affiliate marketing: This can be a good way to save money if you already have a suited audience over Instagram, YouTube, or any other social media platform. You can get such products without any charges and at the same time earn money when people buy them using your links. 

92. Make a mobile app: If you know how to code, this can be one of the great ways to save money by earning more through building mobile apps.

93. Car advertisement: This is a very effortless way to earn money. All you have to do is put up an advertisement on your car and when you drive it, you earn money which can be your future savings. 

94. Audio/video transcription: If you have a few hours free on weekends, you can utilise them to transcribe audio and videos and earn from them. Daily Transcription, My Other Office, etc. are websites that provide this type of work.  

95. Social media marketing: You may have heard of this option. It has gained quite a popularity in recent times. So, use this in your favour and save money by increasing your income.  

96. Use your parking: You can rent your parking space to earn money. Based on your location, you can get $5 to $45 per hour or so. 

97. Online surveys: This is one of the easiest ways to save money by increasing your earnings. Websites such as SurveyJunkie, Swagbucks, and more allow users to fill surveys and earn money. 

98. Walk a dog: Yes, this is an actual job. All you have to do is take a dog for a walk or you can also babysit a dog to earn money. 

99. Online tutoring: If you are good at academics, you can teach kids online to achieve your saving goals. 

100. Reselling business: This can be a good alternative for you to increase your income and yield long term advantages of starting your own business, too. 

Read: How To Create Passive Income? Top 10 Ideas!


Devanshee Dave

Devanshee is a staff writer at YourFirst.ca. She is a finance enthusiast and has completed her Master’s degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. She is currently pursuing CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and has worked as a journalist in a local business newspaper, multiple start-ups as well as finance and economy-related online media houses.

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