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How can I Save Money in Canada?

If you could cut out some of your current expenses without changing your lifestyle whatsoever, in the process freeing up cash to invest, or spend on something of value to you, would you do it?

Most of us are guilty of having one or more regular expenditures that add little to no value, yet we keep spending our money out of habit. In this article, we identify and describe 10 expenditures that are worth cutting out immediately. Doing so will free up extra cash you can use to spend on things that matter more to you, and give you greater happiness and satisfaction. These tips will also help you achieve financial independence more quickly, if that's what you're after!

Here are some practical and easy ways to save money in Canada:

Cancel Unused Subscriptions

How can I save money in Canada?
We're all guilty of having at some point signed up for a gym membership, club or subscription service with great intentions, only to get busy with other things and before you know it, it you're barely going at all. But you keep paying the fees, telling yourself, "I'll go back again soon". But that seldom happens!

Gyms in particular love this type of customer. They pay their dues, but don't occupy space at the gym or put wear and tear on the expensive equipment. If gyms explicitly asked people every month, "would you like to continue working out here?", a lot of people would opt out and the gym likely wouldn't remain open for very long.

If any particular ongoing subscription service you're currently paying for isn't bringing you joy, get rid of it, and instead spend that money on something that has more value to you.

Cut out Cable TV

How can I save money in Canada?If you've ever had digital cable or satellite, you likely realized at some point that you don't watch 90% of the 300 channels available to you. That's like buying $100 worth of groceries and eating $10 worth!

Streaming services such as Netflix, Crave TV or Hulu offer you access to the best shows on TV as well as hundreds of movies, at a fraction of the price of cable. These services also allow you to watch your favorite shows on demand, instead of having to watch shows when they're scheduled, or record them via PVR for later viewing.

If you're really keen on keeping locally broadcast channels such as your local news, downgrade to basic cable and supplement with streaming.

Get Rid of Your Landline

How can I save money in Canada?
If paying for cable channels you don't watch is like throwing out uneaten groceries, hanging on to a landline you only use to speak to telemarketers is like tossing your money into a bonfire!

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days (or at least a cell phone). This means you're already paying for a line that goes with you anywhere in the world. Why continue to pay for another one that's restricted to a single location?

Avoid High End Grocery Stores

How can I save money in Canada?
Fancy frills at grocery stores such as high end flooring, impressive product displays, coffee bars and hot tables are all built into the price of your food.

Shopping at these stores means you're paying more money for the exact same products available at other nearby (or online) stores.

You may feel that high end grocery stores have better produce - which is sometimes true! Buying produce at a high-end grocery story and shopping at Walmart or on Amazon for your non-perishables still will do wonders for your bank account. You might also want to consider Costco for both non-perishables and produce, as they often stock premium yet fairly priced quality foods in all categories. You'll just have to be okay with buying your non-perishables in bulk.

Avoid High End Drug Stores

How can I save money in Canada?

Similar to the grocery store situation, high-end drug stores have better lighting, more staff per customer and a premium atmosphere. But they also charge considerably more for the same products you could get at Costco, Walmart or Amazon for substantially less money

Buy a Brita Filter instead of drinking Bottled Water

How do I save money in Canada?
A Brita filter provides the same amount of high quality water as about 300 500mL (16.9oz) water bottles. Even at the low cost of $4.47 for a 24 pack of Nestle Pure Life water bottles at Walmart, it would cost you $58.57 to buy 300 water bottles. Compare that $8 for a single Brita Filter.

The Brita Longlast Water Filter lasts 3x longer, so it replaces the equivalent of 900 500mL (16.9oz) water bottles. Brita says one filter will last you six months. It's available on Amazon for $12.99 USD plus shipping, which is great value for six month's worth of high quality water.

If you want great tasting water on the go, you may also want to consider the 700mL (20oz) Brita filter water bottle, which replaces 300x 500 mL (16.90oz) disposable plastic water bottles. For $17.99 you get a high quality hard plastic bottle with a built in filter, you can take anywhere, wash and re-use.

Don't Spend Full Price to Go to the Movies

How can I save money in Canada?If you enjoy going out to watch movies, you're well aware of how expensive a night out at the movies can be! We suggest joining a movie rewards program, such as the Scene program, which allows you to accumulate points when you shop at affiliated retailers, and redeem these points for free movie tickets and concessions.

For movie buffs, I highly recommend Scotiabank's Scene debit card, which gets you points with every transaction you make. With this card, you get one point for every $5 spent on everyday purchases, and 5x points when you spend money at a Cineplex location. My wife and I both use this debit card and we haven't paid to go to the movies since we joined Scotiabank.

Bringing your own concessions can help the cause as well. Load up on snacks at your local bulk store instead of spending $17 on two fountain drinks and a bag of popcorn. 

Stop Using Credit Cards for Day-to-Day Transactions

How can I save money in Canada?
Having a credit card is important if you're working to build good credit - an essential prerequisite to qualify for a mortgage or business loan.

With that said, using your credit card for day-to-day transactions makes it very difficult to keep track of how much you're spending, causing you to build up a credit card balance over time.

Instead, reserve your credit card for major purchases, and make sure you have to cash available to pay off your balance right away. This way, you build credit without accruing any interest.

Consolidate Your Credit Cards

How can I save money in Canada?
Unless you own a business and have separate credit cards for personal and business use, there is no reason for one person to own more than one credit card. Having multiple credit cards gives you the false impression that you have lots of money at your disposal. As a result, you end up spending more than you would if you only had a single credit card.

Having multiple credit cards also makes it more difficult to keep track of your expenses, adding one more account to your life that you have to monitor and keep tabs on.

Pay Yourself First

How can I save money in Canada?
By far the best way to save money is to put it away before you even get the chance to spend it.

Anthony Robbins wrote a fantastic book called MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Tony interviewed a large and diverse group consisting of some of the greatest financial minds of our time. He consolidated their advice, and broke it down into 7 simple steps that almost anyone can understand and apply.

What's the first major piece of wisdom the financial wizards impart, and the first step to achieving financial freedom? Pick some percentage of your income and have it automatically withdrawn and deposited into a separate account, where it then can be invested. (Many investment firms and financial institutions even offer a service that automates the investment transactions themselves, so you don't have to worry about that either). 

I've been doing this for many years, trust me, you won't even notice the money isn't there to spend. Every time you increase your regular contribution to the investment account, you quickly and easily adapt to the new amount of income you're earning.

This method is so simple that many people are shocked to find out how powerful it really is when their earned interest starts to compound! Paying yourself first is truly one of the easiest ways to achieve financial independence.

How can I save money in Canada?
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