Money Moves: Ways to Save Big in 2024

Save Big in 2024

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Are rising mortgage payments making you sink? Want to go on a vacation? Want to buy a house? Are you trying to retire? If just one of these tips helps your bottom line, we’re glad you took the time to read (or watch!) Here are some top ways to save and earn extra cash in 2024.

Set up automatic deposits into a savings account.

Set up your banking to automatically move a set amount of money weekly or biweekly into a tax-free savings account (TFSA). From there, you have many options for investing the money in that account. It’s the old adage of “pay yourself first.”

The key here is that the money automatically transfers rather than being done manually because there’s no risk of forgetting to transfer the money or falling into the trap of finding new reasons to spend the cash instead. Once that money is out of your account, it’s much easier to forget.

Sticking away $100 per month over 25 years at 5% annual interest is about $44,000. The amount doesn’t matter as much as being consistent. The earlier you start, the bigger the payoff.

Order food and dine out less.

How many people buy their lunch out every day? These days, lunch costs $15 to $20 on average. Even if you treat yourself twice a week, you’re spending about $1,750 a year.

Conveniences like Uber Eats, Door Dash, and Skip the Dishes can inflate the cost of your meal by almost double. Even having groceries delivered instead of doing your own shopping can add an extra 25% to your food bill.

Eat out less and skip the convenience services you can’t afford. It’s easy to get lured into the luxury of not having to make your own meals or even pick them up, but if you’re eating out three times a week and spending $20 per meal, that’s roughly $250 a month. Compare that to homecooked meals you can make for $5 and save $200 a month.

How much do you tip at restaurants? Do you tip when picking up take-out? Here’s our thoughts on it.

Purchase coffee no more than once a week.

Spending money on lattes and frappuccinos at Starbucks is no way to save money. Brewing coffee at home saves you money, and it’s more convenient when you consider it may take an extra five minutes versus waiting in line in a store or drive-thru. Making coffee at home is even more accessible when you can set it on a timer so it’s ready when you want it. Plus, using a travel mug instead of disposable coffee cups that add to the landfill is even better for the environment.

Manage your subscriptions

There’s no shortage of subscriptions out there. It’s easy to forget exactly what you’ve subscribed to. You may be surprised to learn how much money you’re spending. After checking Amazon Prime, Ariel discovered he was paying for channels he’d never even heard of.

Those 7-day free trials will automatically bill you once that period is over. Adrian’s tip: Sign up for the free trial but immediately cancel. That way, you still get the free period without getting billed unexpectedly. Review your subscriptions and cancel any that you rarely use.

Periodically calling your insurance, cable, or internet company to tell them you’ve found a better deal elsewhere will often result in them offering you a lower rate. It’s worth a phone call.

Do laundry and dishes during low-cost times

Changing when you run appliances can save you money on your monthly hydro bill. During off-peak hours, the cost of electricity is less than half. For example, until April 30, 2024, winter off-peak hours weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. cost 8.7¢ per kWh versus 18.2¢ per kWh during peak hours from weekdays 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Avoid impulse buying

This one requires some willpower. It’s easy to succumb to temptation and buy things on a whim. Fear of missing out can also be a strong motivator. But often, the initial thrill fades quickly, leaving you with regret and less money in your account.

Make a list of things you need, and then wait at least 24 hours to see if you still want them. It’s also a good idea to avoid third-party companies you see on social media. They’re known to grossly inflate prices. Go to the source instead.

Sell unused items and find great flips

Plenty of consignment and vintage shops are looking for used clothing, especially if it’s a brand name. Vintage electronics, records, books, and other odds and ends around your house can also be converted into cash.

According to Ariel, there’s always something you can find at a thrift store, Salvation Army, garage sale, auction, or even a big clearance at retail stores that you can turn around and resell on eBay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace to bring in extra cash.

Inspired? Confused? Comment.

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