By Deanne Gage
It’s often the small changes in your budget that make the difference. This month, I’m giving you 10 small ideas of how to save money. I got the ball rolling last week. Here are two more suggestions.
Make better use of your library card
Say goodbye to purchasing books and magazines and renting classic DVDs. Borrow things from your local library for free instead. Some libraries even allow patrons to borrow family passes to various local museums and zoos—the sort of places that would charge a $10 to $20 per person entrance fee. If you’re a book lover who isn’t a fan of e-books, you’ll be in literary paradise. Like to read the latest bestseller now? Put books of interest on hold as soon as you’ve heard about them. Faster readers can take advantage of some library’s quick read section, which features bestsellers that patrons can only borrow for a week instead of the traditional three. Finally, most libraries schedule regular story times, puppet shows, book clubs and other activities for kids all year long—all at zero cost to you.
Eating out at lunch is a guilty pleasure. As someone who detests leftovers, I get it. When I worked in an office downtown, there’s nothing I enjoyed more than purchasing a hot meal, salad or sandwich made to order. I’m not alone. A new survey from Visa Canada found that 61 percent of Canadians purchase their lunch once a week or more. They generally paid about $8.80 per lunch—not a lot but it adds up if eating out is a consistent habit. Do it three times a week like I did, for instance, and you’re looking at $150 a month or $1,800 a year. Last year, I reduced my lunch take-out to once a week instead of three times a week. That small move saved me $100 a month.
What small changes have you made to save money in your budget?
Deanne Gage has written about all matters financial since 1999. She writes, edits and strategizes out of her Toronto home that’s partially under construction. Besides money issues, she enjoys running fast, jazz music and drinking a quality glass of Merlot. Her two-year-old daughter is quite familiar with money: she borrows it from mom’s wallet for her toy cash register.