10 Ways To Cut Your Health Care CostsIf you haven't already received your company's health insurance renewal notice this year, bruce yourself. Average cost per employee scem certain to surge by more than 20 percent for the second year in a row.
Among Nations Business readers who responded to an August health care survey, nearly one-third reported health-insurance premium increases of 30 percent or more. Thirty-seven per cent reported increases ranging from 16 percent to 29 percent.
At that rate, the average cost of health insurance per employee will exceed $3,000 in 1990, up from $2748 in 1989, recording to A. Foster Higgins & Co., benefits consulting firm based in New York.
A recent, survey by Nobel Lowndes, in employee benefits firm in East Orange, NJ., found that 79 percent of senior executives believe health-care costs will continue to increase 20 percent or more each year for the next three years. These gloomy executives tre primed for the worst, knowing that costs have already gone up eightfold since 1970.
Moreover, business shouldn't count on Congress for a big fix. Although some lawmakers favor Canadian-tyle nationalized health-care system or mandated coverage for all workers, those legislators comprise . vocal minority that is better at capturing public attention than winning converts on Capitol Hill. In addition, both of those proposals focus on broadening coverage to the nation's 81 million to 37 million uninsured, not on controlling spending.
The message here is clear: If you haven't already gotten serious about cutting your company's health-insurance costs, now is the time. It can be done. Just ask Philip Leber, who slashed his small company's monthly premium from $10,000 to $2,500.
The first thing you should do is learn how the system works-or doesn't work. Most small employers spend few er than four hours a year thinking about their company health plans.
Learn what your options are. Your insurance agent can help you shop for cheaper plans. But don't stop there. Compare plan benefits, insufitncc-COMpany records and service guarantees.
Consider Blue Cross and Blue Shield plus and HMOs (health-maintenance organizations), even if your agent lireas offer clear advantages to small companies. Experts regard HMOs as the best buys in health care.
Find out if your company is eligible for new, low-cost health insurance plans now available in five states. In addition, foundation-funded pilot projects in several parts of the country are demonstrating that it is possible to eut health-coverage costs 30 to 10 percent.
In short, health insurance isn't as simple as it used to be. And the pace of change is accelerating, offering new hope for a truce in the business battle with exploding health-care costs.
The next couple of years present as much potential for change as at any time in the past 20 years," says Gail Wilensky. administrator of the federal Health Care Financing Administration, which ovence Medicare.
You can be part of that change by putting at least some of the following 10 idens to work for your company.
1. Increase Cost Sharing By Employees
This recommendation is at the top of every consultant's list. Small companies tend to pay for more of their workers' Local healthcare bill than large companies do. Yet research shows that insulating employees from the costs of care encourages unnecessary use of health services.
Fifty-two percent of the companies responding to the Nation' Business health survey said they pay 100 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums. But 45 percent said they intended to implement or increase employee contributions to these premiums. An equal number said they plan to increase employee deductibles.
Insurance companies first attached $100 deductibles to major-medical plans in the early 1950s. But 40 percent of employers still set deductibles at $100 or less.
Celtie Life Insurance Co., a small business health insurer based in Chicago, calculates that raising . $100 deductible to $250 would eut premium COKLS for single coverage by about 11 percent. A 3.500 deductible would cut costs by about one-fourth. A $1,000 deductible would save about one-third.
2. Allow Employees To Pay For Health Premiums With Tax Free Dollars
Set up a so-called flexible spending account, which allow your employees to pay their share of health insurance premiums and we reimbursed health-centre expenses with pretax dollars. A flexible spending account could save employees 20 cents to 35 cents on the dollar, because state and federal income taxes and Social Security taxes аrе nоt imposed.
Moreover, the company saves by ducing the employees base salary on which it pays Social Security and other taxes.
Hire an outside payroll accounting firm to handle the paperwork. You can pay the service fee and still come out with a net savings, by Dan Brown, 1 Silver Spring, Md., insurance broker The monthly administration fee would run between $2 and $5 per employee.
3. Transfer HighRisk Employees To The State's High-Risk Pool
Insurance premium sonr' whenev. er someone in a small-group planbecomes very ill with cancer or heart disease, for exam. ple. As an employer, you should explore the possibility of moving employees with serious health problems into 1 state high-risk pool and then negotiating a lower premium for the healthy members of your group.
Twenty-four states have high-risk pools for people whom insurance earners don't want to cover, although some of these pools are not yet operational, Risk-pool insurance generally sells for 150 percent of the typical individual premium. The insurance is comparable to that offered by i standard munjon: medien health policy.
Rules governing coverage differ from state to state. For example, some states won't allow employers to move high-risk individuals into the pool if only the uninsured are admitted. Other states encourage it. Some state pools have waiting lists.
Call your state insurance commissioner's office for details if you live in one of the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Geor gin, Illinois, Indiana, Iow, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota Missouri Montana. Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
4. Switch To An OpenEnrollment Blue Cross And Blue Shield Plan
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans operate as de facto high-risk pools in a number of states by providing open enrollment periods during which any group can buy insurance. Among the 74 Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide, 21 offer open enrollment.
Open-enrollment plans are better than state risk pools because Blue Cross offers coverage at substantially less cost than the rates charged by state pools," says Greg Scandlen, director of states services research for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Washington, D.C.
Employers who buy open-enrollment plans are insulated from the premium spikes they can experience with other insurers once someone in the group becomes very ill. These plans une so-called community rating to calculate premium increases. All companies buying one of these policies are in the same risk pool, and all pay the same rates.
All the Blues once tried community rating to set premium levels. But that began to change in the 1960s when commercial insurers started to lure away firms with low risks by offering them cheaper health insurance. The Blues in: increasingly found themselves writing policies for groups with above-average health claims. As a result, premiums went up. And most Blues today use the same health screening and rating practices used by commercial insurers.
Five of the open-enrollment plans limit applications for insurance to speeifle periods during the year. Some will tazke groups no smaller than 10 employees. For details, contact Blue Cross pilates in Alabama, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, the National Capital Arel (Washington, D.C.). New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (six different plans), North Carolina, Pennsylvania four different plans), Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.
5. Replace Your Traditional Health Plan With An HMO
Unlike traditional health insurance, HMOs cover all medical needs, in eluding routine preventive care, for a flat monthly fee that typically is less expensive than traditional health insurance. Moreover, two types of HMOs, the staff and the group models, have proven to be more effective at controlling costs than any other form of health-care delivery. Staff models employ physicians directly and put them on salary. With group models, the HMO contracts with a multispecialty group practice and caps payments for services.
Look for an HMO that operates in Accordance with voluntary federal standards, 50-called federally qualified HMOs. These HMOs are barred from refusing health coverage based on medical screening. Their premium rate increases are tied to the experience of everyone in the HMO, which protects a company from sharp increases based on heavy claims from a few of its employees. There are 307 federally qualified HMOs covering more than three fourths of all persons enrolled in HMOS tuationwide.
The catch with an HMO is that those who are covered have to use the HMO's doctor and the hospitals that it designates. Those unwilling to surrender their freedom of choice can go for an "open-ended" HMO, & new hybrid that will allow the insured to see doctors outside the HMO if the covered person is willing to pay out-of-pocket deductibles and coinsurance. Enrollment in open-ended HMOs jumped 39 percent in 1989.
Because HMOs typically can't afford to market to small companies, start your search in the Yellow Pages.
6. If An HMO Is Dut, Shop For A Traditional Plan With Managed Care Or A PPO
Switching to a mannered-care health plan with built-in restraints on the use of health services should cut your costs by 5 to 10 percent.
The context health insurance you can buy is a traditional indemnity plan. Under such a plan, employees choose their physicians. Insurers, acting as a passive pass-through mechanism, reimburse doctors and hospitals on li fee for service basis. They also increase employer premiums as necessary to keep pate with rising costs. Many experts predict that traditional indemnity health insurance will be replaced by mariage-care indemnity plans by the mid-1990s. Mina ged-eare plans attempt to hold down costs by placing controls on the use of medical services.
Most insurance carriers already aller variety of managed-care features as additions to traditional indemnity plans. They include prior approval for elective hospital admissions, second opinions for surgery, utilization review, case management, and discharge planning.
A number of insurers also offer preferred-provider organizations (PPOs), which also may be organized by hospitals or sponsored by large employers. PPOs are groups of doctors who have agreed to discount their fees, usually by about 10 percent to 20 percent. By definition, PPOs build in managed-care fenturen to hold down expenses. To encourage use of PPO doctors, employees pay only a small fee of $5 to $10 per office visit. Employees my use doctors outside the PPO, but out-of-pocket expenses rise sharply with the addition of deductibles and coinsurance.
7. Purchase Your Health Insurance Through A Business Group Or Coalition
Individual small employers have little or no lever age in buying health insurance, but when a number of small employers band together to purchase insurance they can wield real clout in the market.
The Small Business Service Bureau, an association based in Worcester, Mass.. arranges group insurance through HMOs and Blue Cross organizations for 35,000 small businesses most with fewer than 10 employees, across the country. We negotiate the terms of the benefits, and we have trained staff members who explain the options to small-business owners," says Lisa M. Carroll, health-services director.
Fred Rohm, president of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, in Newark, Del, manages a group-purchasing arrangement for seall employers in his area. Premiums for 350 small employers covered by the chamber's indemnity plan went up only 1 percent this year.
The chamber in San Francisco launched a group-purchasing arrangement in March. It lets small employers in the Bay Arel choose an indemnity plan, an HMO, or a PPO, Ask your local chamber or business association about group purchasing.
But we caution in signing up. Some insurance agents and many business trade associations offer group-purchase. ing plans known as multiple employer trusts (METS), "METS were everybody's answer to the problem of rising costs several years ago," says David Helms, president of the Alpha Center, health policy and planning center in Washington, D.C. But METR in general have not lived up to their cost cutting expectations, primarily because insurers lure away low risk groups with rock bottom rates, says Helms. This leaves the MET with higher-risk groups, which erodes its ability to negotiate low rates. Make sure the MET you choose is backed by an insurance company. Self-insured METS—those not backed by an insurer have experienced high failure rates.
8. Purchase One Of The No-Frills Insurance Plans Now Available in Five States
Virginia, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, and Washington this year exempted small firms from regulations requiring them to provide certain types of health coverage. Typical mandates cover chiropractors, well-baby care, dental checkups, and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Some states require coverage for more exotie procedures, such as in vitro fertilization and acupuncture. By exempting small firms from such mandates, Insurers may offer no-frills plans with premiums costing 20 to 10 percent less.
"To prevent employers from canceling existing insurance, some states restrict the new. lower cont plans to companies that have been without insurance for at least a year. Call your state insurance commissioner for details. More states are expected to remove mandates for small companies next year.
9. Determine if You Are Eligible For One Of The Low-Cost Pilot Projects Operating In 10 States
Pilot projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, NJ have helped nearly 2,000 small businesses in 10 states purchase health insurance at sayings of 30 percent to 40 percent. The projects were designed to attract small unit: sured companies. Although these projects typically exclude firms that have offered group insurance within the past year, there are two notable exceptions-in Florida and Colorado.
The Florida Small Business Health Access Corp. in Tampu accepts firms that have gone uninsured for only six months. The corporation currently provides health services to 560 small businesses covering 2,856 individuals. It uses state funds to subsidize marketing and administration. That lowers the cost of premiums employers pay to enroll their workers in a local HMO, A 35 yer old adult male pays $75.52 a month for the standard option plan; family coverage is $198.96.
Eighty percent of the companies enrolled have three or fewer employees. says Rod Sailors, the corporation's director. The legislature more than doubled the plan's subsidy this year to $4.7 million permitting it to expand into 11 rural counties by next June.
In Denver, the Shared Cost Option for Private Employers (SCOPE) accepta small companies seeking to switch to s lower-cost health plan, as well as those currently uninsured. SCOPE, in operation less than a year, is providing health Insurance to 171 companies covering 4,296 individuals.
SCOPE's health plan is the only project funded by the Robert Wood John son Foundation that operates without a government subsidy. It cuts premium costs by requiring relatively high deductibles and coinsurance (the percentage of costs not covered by insurance) and by relying on a select group of doctors and hospitals. Routine visits to a doctor's office require a $15 payment. Hospital admissions require an individual to pay a $250 deductible plus half of the first $5,000 in charges. But the plan also covers a wide array of preventive Care at no charge.
The high enst-sharing with employees allows U.S. Life Insurance Co., the Neptune, NJ.. insurer offering the plan to keep rates low. A single 31+ year-old male pays $18.91 n month: family coverage is $148.47. "In the first five weeks of the plan]. 8,000 businesses called for information," says Judith Glacner, SCOPE's director.
Other Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health-care pilot projects are those operating statewide in Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin as well as those in Tucson, Ariz Brunswick, Maine and San Francisco.
10. Seek Out New, Low-Cost Plans Offered By Some Insurers
The low-cost health-insurance plan offered by U.S. Life Insurance through the SCOPE program in Denver already has inspired similar plans, says David Dunn, a senior vice president of U.S. Life. Just because of SCOPE, most of the carriers in Denver have tried to design similar products to appeal to the same market," says Dunn.
He has encouraged other insurers to copy the plan and offer it elsewhere. A number have shown some interest in doing so. Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations also have launched a number of low-cost plans designed for small companies and the uninsured. Blue Cross of Tennessee offers a comprehensive, nongroup program called Impact, for employers with four or fewer workers. Premiums for individuals start as low 18 $28.13 a month.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oregon offers a PPO for small groups. Premiums ire about one-third less than those of regular Blue Cross plans. there are, of course, other ways to eat health-care costs. The additional options that follow are common among midsized and larger companies yet are within the reach of many small firme:
- Start a wellness program that promotes healthful behavior. By some estimates, about one-half of nll health problems are related to lifestyle choices such as smoking and neglecting to get рrореr еxеrсіѕе.
Explore the feasibility of using a mail-order prescription drug program if you have employees who need large quantities of high-cost maintenance dngs, Mail-order pharmacies do a high volume business and offer unit prices based on that volume. They are often more aggressive in providing lower cost generic drugs, which can be a cost saving in itself when appropriate.
Eliminate mental health and drug dependency care from your health plan, and contract for this coverage separately, using a quality managed-care company that specializes in these services. This strategy can save you 10 to 40 percent of your health-care costs. Mental-health and drug-dependency care are the fastest growing segments of medical plans today. Experts say that much of the treatment now provided is inadequate or unnecessary.
- Offer a cafeteria-style benefits plan. Cafeteria plans allow employees to tailor their benefits to their individal needs, and they also enable employers to establish limits on company contributions.
For small companies, the frontier in health-care cost management lies in direct contracting with doctors and hospitals. Fred Rohm, of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, is eager to test how well this works. Although his plans are still in the formative stage, Rohim knows what he wants:
health center staffed with salaried doctors who would provide basic services to employees and dependents of hundreds of small companies in his area. Patients would receive routine care at the center, including X-rays and laboratory tests. As necessary, the staff doctors would channel patients to outside specialists who would work for discounted fees. Hospital treatment would be paid according to a set fee schedule reflecting significant reductions from sual charges.
I think we can sell the plan if we can price it at 360 to $75 per month per individual," says Rohm. That's about 40 percent to 50 percent less than the typical health-insurance plan.
Rohm is negotiating with JSA Health Care Corp. of Columbia, Md, to set up the proposed health center. JSA is one of a handful of companies nationwide breaking into the business of setting up health centers with company doctors for corporate clients.
Joseph L. Falkson, JSA's director of primary health, says the company currently runs seven similar health centers for dependents of US military personnel, and those centers have succeeded in holding down costs. We have calculated that between 1986 and 1989, we had 1 million patient visits at the centers," he says. "Our estimate is that we saved the military $40 million over what it would have spent if our patients had been purchasing typical fee-for-service medical care."
Company health centers represent just one approach for solving the health-care problems faced by American business. Clearly, there is no one solution best for all, but there are many small ways in which individual companies, business groups, insurers, and government can chip away at the problems today while contributing to a lasting solution for the future.
Time will tell whether any of the recent innovations in health-care delivery will lend the way out of the current Crisis. But workable solutions need to be developed sooner rather than later. The nation's employer-based health-insurance system can't take too many more years of 20 percent price increases.
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8 Easy Ways to Save Money
Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is getting started. This guide to saving money can help you step-by-step to develop a simple and realistic strategy so that you can save for all of your short-term and long-term savings goals.
Record your expensesThe first step in starting to save money is determining how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses; That means every cup of coffee, household item, and cash tip. nce you have the information, organize the numbers by categories, such as gasoline, grocery shopping, and mortgage, and get the total for each. Use your bank and credit card statements to make sure everything is correct and that you didn't forget anything.
Tip: Get a free spending monitor to help you get started. Choosing a digital program or app can help automate part of this task. Bank of America customers can use the Spending and Budgeting tool, which automatically categorizes their transactions to make budgeting easier, on the mobile app or online.
Budget for savings
Once you have an idea of how much you spend in a month, you can start to organize the expenses you recorded and establish a budget that you can live with . Your budget should give you an idea of how your expenses compare to your income so that you can plan for your expenses and limit overspending. Be sure to take into account expenses that occur regularly, but not every month, such as car maintenance.
Tip: Include a savings category, and try to save 10 to 15 percent of your income.
Find ways to cut your expenses
If your expenses are so high that you can't save as you'd like, it may be time to cut back. Identify nonessential categories that you can spend less on, like entertainment and eating out. Find ways to save on your monthly fixed expenses like television and cell phone expenses, too.
Here are some ideas to cut down on everyday expenses:
Use resources such as community event listings to find free or low-cost events to reduce entertainment expenses.
Cancel unused subscriptions and memberships, especially ones that renew automatically.
Aim to eat out only once a month and go to places that are in the category of "cheap meals".
Give yourself some "time to reflect" - When you're tempted to make a nonessential purchase, wait a few days. Will you be glad you didn't, or be ready to save up to do it.
Set savings goals
One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal. Start by thinking about what you might want to save for, maybe you're getting married, planning a vacation, or saving for retirement. Then decide how much money you will need and how long it can take to save it.
Here are some examples of short-term and long-term goals:
Short term (1 to 3 years)
- Emergency fund (3-9 months to pay for daily living expenses, just in case)
- Down payment for a car
Long term (4+ years)
- Down payment to buy a home or remodeling project
- Your children's education
If you are saving for retirement or your children's education, consider putting that money in an investment account, such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a 529 plan. Although investments come with risks and can lose money, too They present the opportunity to grow when the market grows, and could be convenient if you plan for an event well in advance. See step no. 6 for details.
Tip: Set a small, achievable, short-term goal for something fun, and big enough that you won't have the cash to pay for, like a new smartphone or holiday gifts. Reaching smaller goals, and enjoying the nice reward you've saved for, can give you a psychological boost that makes the rewarding feeling of saving more immediate and strengthens the habit.
Decide what your priorities are
After your expenses and income, your goals are likely to have the biggest impact on how you distribute your savings. Make sure you have long-term goals in mind; It is important that planning for retirement does not take a back seat after short-term needs.
Tip: Learn how to prioritize your savings goals so you have a clear idea of where to start saving. For example, if you know that you will need to replace your car in the near future, this would be a goal that you can start saving for now.
Choose the right tools
If you're saving for short-term goals, consider using these FDIC-insured deposit accounts:
- Savings account
- Certificate of Deposit (CD) , which freezes your money for a fixed period of time at a rate that is generally higher than savings accounts.
For long-term goals consider:
FDIC-insured Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), which are tax-efficient savings accounts
Securities, such as stocks or mutual funds. These investment products are available through investment accounts with a broker dealer. Remember that securities are not FDIC insured, are not deposits or other obligations of a bank, and are not guaranteed by a bank. They are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of your capital.
Tip: You don't have to choose just one account. Take a careful look at all of your options and consider things like minimum balances, fees, and interest rates, so you can choose the products that will best help you save for your goals.
Make automatic savings
Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money, and even split your direct deposit so that a portion of each paycheck goes directly to your savings account.
Tip: Splitting your direct deposit and setting up automated transfers are easy ways to save money, since you don't have to think about it and generally reduce the temptation to spend the money instead of saving it. With Mobile Banking and Online Banking, Bank of America customers can easily establish automatic transfers between accounts.
Watch your savings grow
Review your budget and see your progress each month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan, it will also help you quickly identify and correct any problems. Knowing how to save money can even motivate you to find more ways to save and reach your goals faster.
8 Tips to Save Energy in the Summer
When we think of saving energy, we mainly think of winter. But you can also save energy in the summer. These summer tips will help you with that.
Keep the house cool
It is best to keep the sun out of your home as much as possible. It may seem uninviting, but by leaving the sun protection (shades or curtains) down during the day, your house will heat up much less. Close your windows and doors during the day and only open them when it is cooler outside than inside.
Use nature or a fan, but no air conditioning
It is often cooler in the evening, at night and early in the morning, so feel free to open a number of windows or doors against each other.
Do you still need extra cooling at home? Then opt for a fan instead of air conditioning. The use of an air conditioner is considerably more expensive than a fan and that easily saves a few tens per year.
Dry your laundry outside
You may use a clothes dryer in the winter. But in the summer you can also use the natural drying sources: the wind and the sun. A rotary dryer in the garden or a clothes rack on the balcony is a free clothes dryer.
Spray the garden with rainwater
Every year we water our garden with hundreds of liters of drinking water. Of course, your garden needs water in the summer. How do you prevent a dried out garden, but do you water as budget-friendly as possible? Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater!
A rain barrel can save hundreds of liters of water every year. In the Netherlands, 1 out of 6 garden owners already collects garden water from the rain barrel (source: Milieu Centraal ). Is there a swimming pool in the garden for your (grand)children? Then you can also reuse that water to water the lawn.
Get rid of the (possible) extra fridge
Some families have an old refrigerator in the shed for ice cream, beer or frozen products. However, that second refrigerator is often an old creature and consumes a lot of energy unnecessarily. On average, a second refrigerator consumes tens of euros of electricity per year, but if the refrigerator is older and less efficient, that amount quickly increases.
Use solar garden lighting
Cozy in the garden in the evening, but not sitting in the dark? Use solar powered garden lighting. The lamps can soak up the sun all day, so you can sit in a lit garden in the evening. This also saves you having to extend power cables to the garden.
Turn your heating off or on summer mode
With the thermostat set to summer mode, you prevent the heating from starting at times when it is slightly cooler in the house, for example if you open the windows and doors in the morning or in the evening. A shame if the thermostat sees that as a signal to start heating – especially in the summer!
Turn off devices
Devices that are continuously on give off heat in the house. For example, think of laptops, lamps and (game) computers. Cooking also makes the house warmer, so opt for a fresh salad instead of a hot meal in hot weather.
15 Things You Should Never Buy at Gas Stations
Many of us spend thousands of dollars every year at gas stations… and not just on gas! Get better value for your money the next time you stop to refuel by avoiding buying these items.
While you're lining up to pay, a magazine's headlines and cover page grab your attention… Don't give in to buying this copy of the latest gossip magazine. Gas stations and grocery stores place these kinds of items (magazines, treats and gadgets) in strategic places near the cash register, to grab your attention. And when it does, they cash in on your impulse buys.
Sandwiches and wraps
A 2016 survey by HuffPost reveals these findings from a food safety inspector: Many gas stations were not storing food properly. Normally, perishable products like sandwiches and wraps should be kept at a temperature of 4 ° C or less. Beyond this temperature, they become places conducive to the proliferation of bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. So, before you indulge in this turkey wrap, make sure the refrigerator thermometer isn't reading over 4 ° C. HuffPost also recommends choosing products near the cooling element and avoiding foods at the top of the stack.
Each year, the 7-Eleven convenience store in the United States sells 45 million gallons of fountain soft drinks. According to this chain, that's enough liquid to fill 68 Olympic swimming pools. However, it's best to think twice before filling your glass: Due to the moisture that builds up inside the machine, soft drink dispensers are an ideal environment for mold growth. Ban Coke and 7-up , and opt for water in your bottle instead. When you think about the costs of these drinks and their negative health effects, your wallet and waistline will thank you!
If the sodium and fat content of hot dogs doesn't stop you, think about how they were stored. Hot foods should be stored at 135-140 ° F to prevent bacteria growth. The storage of hot food at gas stations is rarely within standards - always according to HuffPost. We suggest that you avoid hot dogs at the bottom of the heating rack, especially if they have a "glassy" appearance. There is a good chance that these sausages have been stagnant on their shelf, at low temperature, for too long.
Bag of chips
A small (28g) packet of Lay's Potato Chips contains 146 calories, which at first seems harmless… until you find out that more than half of those calories are from fat. And that's without counting its sodium content. Additionally, you should always check the product's expiration date before purchasing it - especially at a gas station. The HuffPost investigation found that expired food was one of the most common food safety violations at gas stations.
From key chains to decorative napkins: anything with the name of a city or province is not worth the money you spend to buy it. Not only will you pay a premium price for a cheap item, but souvenirs bought at gas stations are designed to entice you to spend more while you stop. Take photos of your trip, they will be much better memories (and much more economical!).
Stay away from mokas and slats as well. Between the milk, syrup, and all the other added ingredients, the calories in this drink can add up quickly. An average mocha with 2% fat milk and chocolate sauce, for example, could have up to 660 calories and 8g of fat. Worse, swallowing a Starbucks Vanilla Bottled Frappuccino is like eating 32 Nilla Cookies.
Sometimes when you need a little “boost” on the road, a large energy drink might seem like a good choice. The contents of this kind of drink can give you a boost, but research shows that it can also lead to heart problems, anxiety and insomnia. With about 62 grams of added sugar per 16-ounce packet (that's the equivalent of six Krispy Kreme donuts!), You'll be consuming far more than your recommended daily intake of sugar.
Beware: Cream-filled cupcakes can contain around 35g of sugar and 16g of fat - and almost 50% of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat. On the other hand, chocolate chip cream pies can contain 33 g of sugar.
If you're in the mood for something sweet, opt for trail mix or dried fruit instead.
Beer and wine
Unless your favorite beer is on special at the gas station, you'll find the same brands in the grocery store, for much less. For wine, avoid these kinds of places at all costs: it's not a question of price, but a question of taste!
It's no secret that nachos are NOT a healthy option. But it turns out that they can also be fatal. In 2017, one person died and several others were hospitalized after eating contaminated nacho sauce at a gas station in California.While these kinds of cases are rare, gas stations try to do multiple things at once, which can cause them to slow down food security, HuffPost says. The safest choice is to snack on a granola bar or some nuts until you can stop by a restaurant for a balanced meal.
The Slushs and "Slurpees" may have been the highlight of your childhood road trips, but know they can have a huge impact on your waistline. A 44-ounce Dr. Pepper Slurpee contains approximately 825 calories, most of which come from sugar. And as with soft drink dispensers, Slurpee machines harbor mold and pathogenic bacteria. Forget the nostalgia and go for healthier alternatives.
Like many things at a gas station, donuts are far from low in calories. In fact, you would need to ride a bike for over 30 minutes to burn a pack of four mini donuts. Say no to glazed donuts too. Even if they are delivered fresh to the gas station every morning, they will likely be stale after just a few hours. Instead, opt for a banana or an apple to satisfy your sugar craving.
Although breakfast is an important meal - one that should never be skipped - it should not be swallowed up. An English muffin with sausage at your local gas station is about 500 calories and 1030 mg of sodium.
Make a “protein” stop on the road? Avoid prepackaged beef sticks. A single stick can contain over 550 mg of sodium - almost a quarter of what you should eat in a single day. In addition, this type of product contains a lot of preservatives.
see also finance and business knowledge
17 Easy Budget Tips to Save Money
Are you often short on cash and do you not know how you can save more money? Then read the 17 easy budget tips below and make sure you don't have to worry about saving even more money.
1. Get a bottle of cleaning vinegar at home. Vinegar is good against limescale, foul odors and it also seems to help against athlete's foot.
2. Swap one or more scents with your friends. If you've been using one scent for some time, you'll want to use another scent. By exchanging a scent, you don't have to spend money on expensive scents and you smell nice and different. Nice swap deal, right?
3. Get your fruits and vegetables on the market. Market prices are significantly lower than supermarket prices.
4. Compare items you want to buy online. If you have seen an (expensive) product in the store, first look on the internet to see if you can buy it cheaper.
5. Set savings goals. In this way you provide some extra reserves and you can spend this money on unforeseen expenses or a nice holiday of course. Earlier we wrote how to set savings goals.
6. Cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions. It is much cheaper (and even free) to check the news online.
7. Make sure you know what your fixed costs are. This way you have a good and clear overview of your finances. Via my free fixed costs Excel file you will find out in one go what your fixed costs are, all in a handy overview.
8. Take a snack with you when you go into the city , so that you can not be tempted by all kinds of tasty snacks.
9. Have a fleece blanket or blanket in the house. Take this in the evening when it gets a bit cooler and leave the heating off as long as possible.
10. Pick up mainly the house brands in a supermarket, both at the AH and at other supermarkets there are plenty of cheaper and tasty products to be found than those expensive A-brands.
11. Know your income and expenses. Enter your fixed expenses and income in our free Excel sheet and see how much money you can save or lack.
12. Do your shopping less often during the week and limit getting your groceries to 1 or 2 times a week. This ensures that you have fewer snacks and other tasty snacks at home. Another good budget tip: make a weekly menu to save a lot of money on groceries.
13. Buy your winter clothes a little later in the year. The later you buy your winter clothes, the greater the chance that that nice coat is on sale. This also applies to buying your summer clothes, the closer to summer you buy your summer clothes the cheaper it gets. Clothing is also cheaper to get by looking at discount codes.
14. Halve the meat and double the vegetables with the meal.
15. Drive 80 kilometers in fifth gear. By driving less fast on the highway, you save about 10 to 15% in fuel costs if you drive according to the new way of driving.
16. Do you still buy expensive detergent bottles? Then easily make your own detergent yourself and save many tens of euros per person per year.
17. Use a shower coach. This ensures that you, your partner and your children are not in the shower for too long. Earlier we wrote an article about how to make your children shower shorter.
17 Tips to Help You Save Money Fast
These 17 tips for saving money fast could just help you reach your savings goals in record time.
While it might seem odd to save money during a pandemic, having a goal set during a time of uncertainty can be a source of stability - to an extent. It can also allow you to project yourself into a brighter future, which should improve your overall well-being! So if you are wondering how to save money fast, check out these 17 tips to increase your savings fast.
How to save money fast
Before you can start saving money each month, you need to have a clear overview of your cash flow. This means that you need to factor in all of your incoming and outgoing money flows, including your possible debt repayments, your monthly bills, and how much you save each month. Let's break this process down into several steps.
1. Learn to manage your budget and understand your finances
The most important thing in saving money fast is learning to manage your budget. If you control your budget, you control your finances. Becoming financially independent is critical if you want to achieve your short and long term savings goals. Here's how to create a budget so you can start saving quickly:
- Track your finances over a 30 day period. This includes all of your income and expenses.
- Compare your monthly income to your expenses to estimate how much you are currently saving, or how much you are overspending each month.
- Classify your expenses into fixed and variable costs. Your fixed costs include expenses that are usually difficult to adjust, such as rent or utilities. Your variable costs include expenses such as shopping, entertainment, and memberships.
- Identify all the variable costs you can save on in order to increase the amount to be saved each month.
- Evaluate your progress regularly and make adjustments if necessary. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed, there are plenty of business apps available to help you keep tabs on your budget.
2. Pay off your debts (if you have any)
Before you start saving, you'll need to pay off your debts. Because interest accumulates over time, the longer you wait to pay off a debt, the more it will grow. Pay off your debts as a priority before focusing on your other savings goals.
To do this, consider adopting the 50/30/20 rule . Created by US Senator Elizabeth Warren while she was a Harvard bankruptcy specialist, the 50/30/20 rule is a simple way to manage your budget and therefore pay off debt. It works as follows:
- Use 50% of your income for your needs i.e. fixed costs such as rent and utilities.
- Use 30% of your income for your cravings, that is, variable costs such as dining out and subscriptions.
- Use 20% of your income for your savings. If you earn € 2,500 per month after tax, that means you can set aside € 500. In just one year, you will have paid off € 6,000 in debt.
3. Open a dedicated savings account
In order to save money quickly, you will need to separate the money you use for your daily needs from the money you intend to save. For this, it is necessary to open a dedicated savings account. Thus, you minimize the risk of digging into your savings funds to cover your daily expenses. This will encourage you to follow your daily budget while keeping your savings safe.
4. Program your savings
If you have a fixed monthly income, remember to schedule your savings each month: you can schedule an automatic permanent transfer from your current account to your savings account each month. Thus, you reduce the risk of using these funds to cover your daily expenses.
5. Schedule the payment of your invoices
Note that you can also schedule the payment of your bills. Businesses often charge late fees if you don't pay them on time, so paying your bills before the deadline will help you avoid any extra charges.
6. Set the spending limit for your card
Want a great way to save money fast? Set a spending limit on your credit or debit cards. This will keep you from overspending and encourage you to evaluate your daily purchases in advance. Many banks offer this service. At N26 for example, you can set daily spending limits and choose whether or not to authorize ATM withdrawals in seconds from your N26 app.
7. Use the envelope management system
Another possibility to help you save money fast is to use Dave Ramsey's Envelope Management System. This system involves withdrawing your monthly cash income from the bank (yes, in full) at the start of each month and dividing it into different envelopes based on your management goals.
This will provide you with envelopes for your fixed costs (eg, rent, utilities) and for your variable costs (eg, clothing purchases, dining out, groceries). By paying everything in cash, it is practically impossible to break your budget! But we grant you, it is probably not the most practical in 2021!
8. Save on your rent
Saving on rent is one of the fastest ways to save a certain amount of money each month. If you live alone, one of the easiest ways to do this is to share a flat with you. This will immediately cut your rent in half, and if you choose to live with two roommates, you'll pay about a third of your current rent.
So if you are currently paying € 1,300 per month for a three-room apartment and find a roommate, you will save € 650 per month.
If you already live in a shared flat, you can move into a smaller room. The rents are generally calculated according to the room which is to be rented. So you can make big savings every month. In addition, it would encourage you to resell some of your furniture, and allow you to earn some money.
Of course, the ways to reduce your rent depend on the configuration of your home, your needs and where you live ...
9. Reduce your costs
Another tip for saving money fast is to reduce your expenses. Your electricity and gas bills represent the bulk of your fixed costs. If you can manage to reduce them, you will end up with a certain amount more each month. Here's how to do it:
- Change your energy supplier. By making sure you've purchased the best deal on the market, you can save several hundred dollars each month.
- Replace your light bulbs with LEDs. Not only do they consume 75% to 85% less energy than traditional light bulbs, but their lifespan is 15 to 25 times longer.
- Invest in a smart thermostat. This will allow you to adjust your central heating intelligently and potentially save you some money.
- Plug all air leaks. Air leaks around your windows and doors can increase electricity bills because your radiators will have to run longer to heat the room. Instead, plug those leaks with compressible thermal sealing strips to keep the air warm.
- If you own your home, consider doing energy renovations. There are many public aids to make your home a well insulated cocoon that will reduce your carbon footprint.
10. Carry out an additional professional activity
If you want to dramatically increase your monthly savings, you can try finding some extra activity. It could be working a few evenings in a bar or restaurant after your job, finding a few freelance contracts, becoming a virtual assistant, or maybe babysitting.
If you can afford it, it can be very motivating to transfer all of the income generated from these additional activities directly into your savings account. But it is important to be vigilant to the risk of burnout.
11. Cancel your unused subscriptions
Subscriptions are incredibly lucrative for many businesses because once customers sign up for their service, they're less likely to cancel their subscription, even if they rarely use it.
This is largely due to the sunk cost bias. If applied to a subscription, the sunk cost bias means that it is difficult to cancel a subscription that is rarely used because you have already invested a huge amount of money. Thus, canceling the subscription would be accepting that the money spent so far has been wasted. Postponing the termination of the subscription maintains the illusion that this subscription can still be used. In general, very few of us fully use our subscriptions. That's why it's more beneficial to cancel unused subscriptions now than to keep them in the event that you use them later.
How to save quickly for a car?
There are several options available to you if you want to quickly save money for a car. It should be a little easier to save for a car, as you usually don't need to save as much as you do for the down payment for a new home. However, it will still be necessary to be tactful in managing your money if you want to get behind the wheel of your car quickly. Besides, even if it means changing your car, why not opt for an electric vehicle? Many conversion bonuses have been put in place to lower the bill and guarantee a greener future.
12. Make small daily repairs yourself
Trying to fix what you've broken yourself is a great way to save real money - we're talking about small repairs, of course. Thanks to YouTube and the Internet in general, it is easy to find online how to repair many everyday items. From leaky bathroom pipes, to changing the belt on your washing machine, to fixing the zipper on your jeans, it is always better to fix these things yourself rather than paying someone. 'one to take care of them, or replace them completely.
13. Think before you buy
Giving in to temptation is the biggest problem when trying to save money fast. Before you make a big expense, whether it's a compulsive purchase or not, give yourself at least three to four days to think about it. This will prevent the impulsive part of your brain, looking for a dose of serotonin after a purchase, to gain the upper hand.
If you really want to test yourself, try not to make a big expense until after 30 days of thinking. It's a sure-fire way to keep your impulse buying under control and give yourself plenty of time to make sure there isn't a better deal.
14. Buy a car at the end of the financial quarter
If you want to get a good deal on a car, the best time to buy is usually at the end of March, June, September, and December. Why ? Because most dealers have specific sales targets to meet in order to claim their financial bonus. While these sales targets are set on a weekly and monthly basis, the big bonuses are given out quarterly. This means that you are likely to get a better deal on a car at the end of each financial quarter because the car dealership will be keen to meet their quarterly sales target.
15. Reduce your shopping expenses
If you manage to cut back on your spending on groceries each week, you'll be amazed at how much you can save in just a few months. One of the best ways to do this is to plan all of your meals in advance. This means you can accurately calculate how much you're going to spend before you shop and reduce your chances of going over budget.
Another tip would be to consider not consuming meat once a week. Because meat is generally more expensive than vegetables and vegetable products, it can pay off to go without one day a week. These little weekly savings will add up over time.
On top of that, be sure to look at the products sold at the bottom of the shelves. Supermarkets often put their more expensive products at eye level, to encourage you to spend more, and the cheapest products closer to the ground, making them harder to spot.
16. Set one free day per month
To get used to saving money, decide on one day per month that you spend absolutely nothing except fixed costs. You can prepare all your meals from the ingredients you have at home, choose to socialize at the park or at home, and spend a relaxing evening reading or watching TV. Once you get used to it, you can do this two days a month, and maybe even one day a week to really increase your monthly savings amount.
17. Sell your unused items
If you want to quickly start saving money for your vacation, it's worth making a list of all your unused items and selling them on an online shopping site like Le Bon Coin, for example. This not only helps to declutter your home, but also saves you small amounts of money that you can save for your next vacation. Conversely, you can also start buying second-hand items more frequently, in order to save a lot of money and avoid over-consuming.
25 Tips to Save on Groceries
Do you want to find out more tips to help you save money when you go to the supermarket? Here are 25 as simple as they are effective!
Making a monthly budget and trying not to deviate from it is the first way to avoid spending too much. Do you have trouble respecting it? To motivate yourself, put aside the money you would have spent on unnecessary purchases. The amount raised at the end of the year can be invested in a trip or in a project that is dear to you.
2. Buy in Bulk
When shopping for ground meat, chicken drumsticks or pork chops, for example, get family size packages. In general, these cost less. Always check the price per kilogram to make sure you are getting a good deal. Don't you need that much? Pack the excess and freeze it for later use!
3. Opt for the
President's Choice, No Name, Compliments, Selection house brands … at regular prices, private label products are generally more affordable than those of the big brands. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, they are 20 to 30% cheaper. On the quality side, it is often difficult to tell the difference, especially when it comes to basic products such as sugar, flour, salt, oil or spices! So why pay more for the same product?
Making your own chicken broth, tomato sauce (or bolognese) and pâtés (meat, chicken, salmon) is a good way to save money. To avoid it being a chore, we put a few Sundays “meals with friends” on our calendar. Thus, we can cook large quantities that we share at the end of the day. The art of combining business with pleasure!
5. Don't go to the supermarket on an empty stomach
Nothing worse than going to the supermarket when you are hungry! At these times, we tend to overfill our basket and buy foods that are not always very good for your health. If you go shopping a bit before mealtime, consider eating a snack!
6. Growing our herbs
Dill for the fish, basil for the pasta, cilantro and mint for the spring rolls… Fresh herbs can add to the price of our grocery bill in amazing ways, especially during the winter. ! To save, grow them! Take advantage of the beautiful season to grow them outdoors and bring them indoors around mid-August.
7. Stick to our list
Write down all the meals you want to put on the menu during the week and make a list of ingredients to buy in order to prepare them. Once at the supermarket, just rely on this list. By avoiding buying superfluous products or unnecessary food, it will prevent you from wasting money ... and maybe even putting on a few pounds!
8. Buy in bulk
By opting for bulk products, you won't be paying for packaging. Think about it! Flour, sugar, nuts, peanuts… several products are sold in this way. Some grocery stores even make it their specialty! To avoid having a mess of bags in your pantry, get pretty containers from a “dollar store”.
9. Make your menu based on discounts
Consult the flyers of grocery stores near you and plan your meals for the week based on discounts. For example, if chicken thighs are on sale, put them on the menu! You can even buy more for freezing. However, since the discounts return cyclically every three or four weeks, there is no need to stock up on them too much.
10. Couponing Couponing
consists of using a discount coupon to buy a product already on sale in order to obtain it at a very reduced price… or even for free. Although it is not as profitable to do couponing in Quebec as in the United States, it can still save us a lot of money after a year! How to get these coupons? On the Web (websaver.ca, quebeccoupon.com, gocoupons.ca), in newspapers, in stores or by mail. The Quebec couponing community onmagasine.ca can also help you get more for your money! Go take a look!
11. Say no to processed products
Ready-to-eat meals, marinated meats, precooked and seasoned rice ... in addition to unnecessarily increasing our grocery bill, these products are often less healthy and less tasty than the small dishes that we concoct ourselves from ingredients that we have selected. Also note that ready-to-eat meals are taxable: one more reason to avoid them!
12. Buy according to the season
Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Favor berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) in summer, apples in fall and citrus in winter. Do the same with vegetables, favoring those that grow in abundance in Quebec during the summer. It is also a good way to encourage the local economy!
13. Avoid Individually
Wrapped Say no to individually wrapped juices and yogurts. Instead, prefer large containers that offer you more at a lower price. For lunches, get reusable plastic bottles and containers. A solution that is both economical and ecological!
14. Look everywhere
The most expensive products are often placed on the shelf at eye level. Outsmart this marketing technique by looking a little higher and a little lower. You could find great deals there!
15. Be vigilant
Beware, because some products are showcased on shelves as if they are on sale when they are not. In addition, just because it is written “special” in red does not mean that it is necessarily a godsend! Always look at the price per unit (or per 100ml or 100g increments): this will let you know which product is the most advantageous to buy.
16. Buy as much as you need
Are canned tomatoes on sale at three for $ 5? Note that unless otherwise indicated, you will benefit from the discount even if you buy only one (in this case, the unit price of a box would be $ 1.66). For products that have a long shelf life, it may be beneficial to buy three if the promotion is worth it. However, for perishable foods, you just buy the amount you need. Thus, we avoid paying unnecessarily for food that we risk wasting.
17. Grocery shopping without the kids
"Mum, I want this, daddy, I want that!" Children create a multitude of needs when they are in the supermarket and sometimes they know how to be so insistent that it is difficult to say no to them. For this reason, it is more economical to shop without them. If that is not possible, let them know that you will not buy anything that is not on your list… and be consistent!
18. Stock up on vegetables at the end of summer
We take advantage of harvest time to visit the fruit and vegetable markets and to stock up! Peppers, beans, tomatoes, leeks… so many vegetables that you can buy in large quantities for freezing or canning. It is also an opportunity to get apples that can be transformed into compote, jelly or pie. Much less expensive than buying these products at the supermarket… and how much tastier!
19. Cut and grate yourself
Cheese and carrots cost much more when sold grated. The same goes for mushrooms and other vegetables that are offered sliced or ready to eat. When we think of the savings we can make, preparing our food is not that tedious! Psst! When there is a considerable special on brick cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, gouda), take the opportunity to stock up! Grated and packaged in an airtight container, cheese will keep in the freezer for up to six months.
20. Playing butchers
Rather than buying your chicken cutlets, cubes or strips, slice it yourself! Since the price per kilo is higher when the meat is sold cut, it will save you a lot in the end. Do the same with beef, pork and lamb, and take advantage of discounts to stock up!
21. Eat less meat
Animal protein is much more expensive than vegetable protein, which is found in legumes and tofu, for example. By replacing a few meals of meat and fish with protein-rich vegetarian meals, you save money by enjoying an equally complete diet.
22. Shun bottled water
Is your tap water of good quality and tastes good? No need to spend on bottled water! To keep it fresh at all times, fill a pitcher and keep it in the fridge. Do you doubt its quality? Get a water filter and a gourd. With just one filter, you will get the equivalent of 300 500ml bottles of purified water. Greatly beneficial for the health of our wallet… and that of our planet!
23. Avoid waste
We try to get fruits at different stages of maturity. If a few have withered away before they can be eaten fresh, they are given a second life by using them to make muffins, compote or fruit salad. As for wilted vegetables, they can be used in a soup or in a stir-fry. Every time you throw away a food, imagine that it is your money that you put in the trash.
24. Having a loyalty card
Some loyalty programs allow you to accumulate points that give entitlement to discounts or free items . It can also be interesting to be part of a co-op, since a percentage of the annual profits is redistributed to the members in the form of dividends. Think about it!
25. Becoming a member of a “club”
type store This type of store can allow us to save a lot of money… on the condition of respecting our shopping list! Once there, it's so easy to be drawn to items that we don't really need. This is the trap to be wary of!
35 Tips to Save Money and Optimize Your Budget
Has your financial situation changed? Has your income declined? Do you want to save for a project that is important to you? Now is the perfect time to review your budget, even if it means adopting new habits to save money. Here are 35 tips to reduce your expenses, without suffering too much, and have extra dollars in your pocket.
Save on a daily basis
1. Avoid impulse buying by taking the time to think. Wait 24 hours or even a week before buying. This will help you put your needs into perspective. For example, you can allow 24 hours or even a week to pass before making your purchase to put your needs into perspective and consume responsibly.
2. Reduce your electricity bill by applying the good habits of Hydro-Québec. For example, did you know that washing your clothes in hot water can cost up to 18 times more than washing them in cold water?
3. Buy private labels, they are cheaper than the big brands and often of just as good quality.
4. For your home improvement projects, rent tools that you won't use often. It's more economical and you won't clutter up your space unnecessarily.
5. Your morning coffee is now taken at home? You save without even realizing it. Set aside the amount spent weekly at the café to complete a project.
Save at the grocery store
6. Shop for groceries after a meal or grab a snack right before. Going on an empty stomach would encourage spending more. And prepare a list to avoid impulse buying.
7. Plan a budget and a shopping list by checking online flyers to spot deals. You can even use apps like Flipp or Reebee.
8. Look at the top and bottom shelves of the shelves in the grocery store. The cheapest products are often placed there.
9. To find the most economical size, compare prices by quantity by looking at the labels on the shelves.
10. Prepare your own fruits and vegetables. Already assembled snacks can cost double the price of unprepared foods.
11. Cut down on your meat consumption to save on your grocery bill. Why not start with one or two meatless meals a week?
Save on transport
12. Get around by bike. This is a convenient way to save on gasoline costs while playing sports. Let your insurer know that you use your car less often and you could save money.
13. You can not do without a vehicle for your trips? Bet on a used car and you will avoid depreciation. If not, have you thought about a hybrid vehicle? You will save on gasoline.
14. Before buying a car, use the CAA calculator to find a cheaper vehicle.
15. To reduce your gas bill, take a step back. Driving at 100 km/h on the highway, instead of 120 km/h, reduces fuel consumption by 20%, according to the CAA.
Save on the Internet, TV and cellphones
16. Analyze your usage patterns to see if you are paying for the superfluous. Do you spend more time at home? Chances are, you're spending less on cellular data. You could change your mobile plan to better suit your new daily life.
17. Consider renegotiating your package. Competition is so fierce in telecommunications that sometimes it is enough to ask for a discount on your plans to be granted. Shop the plans according to your actual usage patterns, think about discounted providers, or get a second-hand device.
18. Consolidate your Internet, telephone and television services. This will allow you to save money.
Save on expenses for children
19. Limit the number of gifts to birthdays and holidays. Give homemade gifts or second hand items. It's good for the wallet and for the planet.
20. Buy your children's clothes from thrift stores. Several second-hand shops are accessible online. You will find durable parts here at a fraction of the cost.
21. Buying used hockey or ski equipment will save you big money. Some specialty stores even offer credit for your undersized sporting goods.
22. By contributing to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), you could get up to $ 10,800 in government grants for your child's future education.
23. Several CEGEPs and universities organize used book sales at the start of the semester. It is possible to get between 25% and 50% off the base price. Finds can also be found on social media or in school discussion forums. It is a good way to save on student expenses.
Save on travel
24. Rather than flying across the Atlantic and spending on lodging, you could encourage local tourism and go on an adventure in your own province.
25. You might find free accommodation for your next vacation. Visit sites like Trocmaison.com or Home for Exchange to follow the latest developments.
26. If you are visiting another province or country, see if you should change your phone plan to avoid receiving a hefty bill when you return.
27. Shopping for your vacation? Being flexible with your travel dates could save you money. Analyze different dates for your accommodation. Leaving a few days before or after the anticipated date could prove to be less expensive.
Save on outings
28. Several cities offer free cultural activities, such as conferences, shows and museum visits… online. A great way to have fun at a fraction of the cost.
29. Host picnics at the park rather than ordering food online. It's much nicer and it's a great way to enjoy the summer. In addition, you will avoid food waste.
Save on financial services and taxes
30. Are you starting to have good savings habits? An accelerated mortgage payment could save you tens of thousands of dollars. For example, by making an additional payment of $ 2,000 per year on a mortgage of $ 300,000, at a fixed rate of 5% amortized over 25 years, you will pay a total of $ 41,252 less in interest and you pay off your mortgage sooner than expected.
31. Try to pay off the full balance of your credit cards each month. Otherwise, watch out for interest : a purchase of $ 2,000 at 20% is $ 4,240 if you only make the minimum monthly payment due.
32. Give preference to your bank's automatic teller machines by planning your withdrawals to avoid fees for each transaction.
33. Whether you really need to spend on insurance policies, the answer is yes. Auto, home and civil liability protections are often necessary to avoid many worries. On the other hand, nothing prevents you from shopping for your auto and home insurance with each renewal. Premiums vary a lot from one insurer to another. In some cases, you could reduce your premium by consolidating all your insurance with the same insurer.
34. Consider participating in the pension plan for which your employer pays an additional amount. You will contribute more and this is usually very beneficial.
35. If you are in a relationship and one of you is retired, you may be able to split your pension income to pay less tax. This tax operation consists of transferring (on paper) part of the retirement income of the spouse with the highest income to the other spouse. If the more affluent person moves to a lower tax bracket, your couple will pay less tax.