The (Mostly) Simple Life

Stay ahead of inflation with these tips on how to spend less

April 27, 2023

We’re living through an era where all the everyday things we spend money on cost a whole lot more than they did a year or two ago.

With that in mind, Save with SPP decided to do a little digging for some new (to us) ideas on how to keep more of your money in your purse or wallet.

The Asterisk blog offers up a few, including the idea of ditching your landline (if you haven’t already). “Paying… for a landline you barely use just doesn’t make sense,” the blog advises.

Other ideas include getting rid of traditional cable and making do with programming from an antenna on the roof, and/or the free streaming apps offered by major TV networks.

The blog also suggests you review your credit card statements each month to look for any subscriptions you can live without.

At the Millennial Money blog, we are urged to “stop paying for music” via streaming services. This is a good one. Here at home, we “ripped” all of our old CDs, stored them in the cloud, and used the Cloud Beats app to listen to them when in the car. You already paid for the CDs, so why not listen to them?

Another good idea from Millennial Money is to make use of your local public library.

“There’s really no reason to buy books or media on Amazon when you can just as easily visit your local library for a virtually unlimited selection of items,” the blog advises.

“The thing to remember about libraries is that you pay for them with your tax dollars. So, if you don’t frequent your local library, you’re literally flushing money down the drain,” the blog adds.

Our late father would like another of the cost-saving suggestions — “turn off the lights.” The blog notes that “people often lose a lot of money because they leave lights on around the house.” Check to see if this is true at your house!

The (Mostly) Simple Life blog offers up a few more.

A good one is to borrow, rather than buy or rent. “I’m sure that I could find a family member or friend to borrow from instead of purchasing something that’s just going to sit around most of the time,” the blog advises. “We’ve borrowed tools, suitcases, and extra bedding for guests instead of buying something we might only need once,” the blog adds.

Another nice idea is to shop with cash, rather than with debit or credit cards.

“If you have a hard time sticking to your budget, don’t bring more cash than you are supposed to spend,” the blog notes. “If you only have $50 to spend on groceries, bring $50 of cash into the store.” Boomers will recall that in the days before widespread credit card use, cash with truly the Monarch of Money — the main, and most common way to pay.

The My Money Coach blog has some great ideas as well.

The blog advises us to “give every dollar a job.” Huh?

This strategy involves finding “a home for every dollar in your budget so you’re not tempted to make thoughtless purchases by thinking `if I have the money sitting around, I’ll spend it,’” the blog explains.

“Start telling your money where to go once you deposit your paycheque: pay all of your bills first, then move the remainder to other accounts, such as a savings account or your retirement fund. By ensuring that every dollar has a home, you’ll be less likely to spend away your entire paycheque. To make things easier, you can set up an automatic transfer on payday to divvy up your paycheque into separate accounts, so you won’t be tempted to spend it,” the blog explains.

Other good advice from My Money Coach includes leaving credit cards at home when you go shopping, and the classics of having a budget and tracking spending.

We’ll add a couple that have worked for us over the years. Guaranteed investment certificates are basically a savings account that pays you interest, but can’t be accessed for a specified term, typically one to five years. Money that you can’t easily get at to spend tends to grow. It’s a piggy bank that can only be opened every few years.

Shopping at thrift stores is another great way to have fun hunting for treasure while saving money. It’s amazing what you can find, and you are usually paying a few bucks instead of $50 or $100. We brag to our friends at the golf course, especially after sinking a long putt, that our vintage putter cost $3 at Value Village.

The Saskatchewan Pension Plan makes it easy for you to automate the building of your retirement nest egg. SPP allows you to make pre-authorized contributions (PACs) to your account. Through PACs, you can have money directed to your SPP account every payday, so that you’re literally paying your future self first! Check out SPP today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.