7 Ways to Save $1000 a Year
- 1. Lose the Landline
If you haven't already done this, it's way past time that you do. Very few people need a landline anymore now that communication is more mobile. In fact, communication is so immediate that even if you have a landline number, people will often forego that in favour of your cell number. Plus, it will save you money. The only risk is that it may be more difficult for emergency services to trace your location when you call from a cellphone, depending on where you live.
Approximate savings: $360 a year (at $30 per month)
- 2. Cut the Cable
C'mon, you don't need cable and you certainly don't need to buy movies or other Pay Per View events in this day and age. Most network websites, such as CTV and Global offer the bulk of their primetime line-up through free streaming video and a subscription to Netflix – despite its slimmer selection compared to the U.S. -- only costs $7.99 a month. These days, you can always find a free Torrent for any show you can think of, whether it airs in Canada or not, and for those too impatient to wait for a download to finish, there are also sites that provide links to streaming versions of classic shows from the past and shows still on the air today.
Approximate savings: $2,000 a year, depending on how much you cut.
- 3. Double the Deductibles
Raising the amount of money you're willing to pay for insured expenses out of pocket, such as health, dental and home insurance, will substantially lower your monthly cost. The insurance company can tell you exactly how much you'll be able to shave off your premium, but you could potentially save 10 to 15% just by bringing your deductible from $250 to $1,000. It's also important to choose an independent broker with relationships with a number of insurance companies, so they can comparison shop and get you the best rate possible for your particular circumstances.
Approximate Savings: At least $200 a year.
- 4. Bring the Brown Bag
People spend at least $2,000 a year on lunch and $1,000 a year on coffee. If you pack your own lunch and bring a thermos for coffee, you'll be able to cut that cost by at least half. Maybe you'll have to get up earlier or do a little meal planning on the weekend, or before you go to bed, but for a huge potential savings, don't you think it's worth it?
Approximate Savings: $1,500
- 5. Axe the ATM Fees
You know all of those times you needed money, but couldn't quite reach your native bank to make the withdrawal? Well, every time you use a foreign ATM you're charged between $1.50 and $2.00 per transaction. Everybody knows this, and yet, everybody does it. Unfortunately, if you make such a thing a habit, it could cost you an average of $20 a month, which adds up exponentially over the course of a year.
Approximate Savings: $240 annually
- 6. Kill the Car
When you really think about it, do you really need a car? In most cities, parking is expensive and scarce. Insurance is expensive, car maintenance is expensive and if you break the law, even in the most minor of ways, tickets and vehicle recovery fees can really mess with your bottom line. Try walking, it will help you get in shape and public transportation can save you an average of $9,200 a year. Most cities have a bike rental system on various streets around the city, so even if you don't have a bike, you're still free to use one at your convenience. A car sharing service is also a great option.
Approximate Savings: $8,000 a year.
- 7. Jettison the Gym Membership
To workout, all you really need is a few basic items: a chair, milk jugs and your own body. With these three basic pieces of equipment, you can lift weights, do crunches, leg raises, stretches, dips, jumping jacks, pushups, stretches and body weight squats. It's a full workout if you ask us, and that doesn't even factor in walking and jogging. You can join free sites such as LiveStrong and SparkPeople to find workouts and visit Craigslist or Freecycle for free or inexpensive equipment and gear. At about $42 a month, a gym membership can add up big time.
Approximate Savings: $500 a year.