2019 is Right Around the Corner
As I write this it is December 20, 2018 meaning that it is almost 2019. And with that, I plan to take all of the money-saving techniques I have implemented in my life after the past several months and kick them into overdrive. In order to accomplish this, I have made a list of the 7 things that I will need to do to save even more money in 2019, and I would love for all of you to join me!
7. Less Driving
This is a tip that, for those of us living in a rural area may be a bit harder to accomplish. However, it was recently announced that the small town I live in would be beginning a bus route to our closest and largest city! So this summer I will be taking the advice of every other blogger in the Financial Independence space and eliminating my vehicle!
Now, unfortunately, because of how much equipment I have to carry for work I won’t be able to bring it all on the bus, but my goal for 2019 is to take the bus or my bike at least 2 days a week for whatever I may need to do in town. I anticipate that this could lead to me saving at least $40 a month
6. Zero Credit Card Debt
Up until recently, I had really struggled with my credit card debt. My only credit card, which had a limit of $1,500 was always at or near that limit. As you’ll see in my upcoming financial update, however, I have been able to eliminate this debt entirely. This measure alone, if I simply use what was actually charged to my card over the last 12 months in interest, will save me $809.37 a year, or $67.44 a month! That is an insane amount of savings and is definitely the easiest way to decrease your spending in 2019!
5. Renegotiate Bills
One thing I had known about for a while but had never properly implemented was the loyalty department of my cell phone and internet companies. However, when I received a bill of $150 for my internet this month I decided enough was enough and called them up. Just by doing this, and spending about an hour on the phone threatening to switch companies, I managed to get them to take over $60 a month off of my bill, end my two-year contract, and get a $200 credit applied to my bill. So because I spent an hour of my life on the phone I get free internet this month. It doesn’t get any better than that!
4. More Gym Time
This may sound counter-intuitive and is somewhat unique to me, but there are many others that I have seen replicate it.
For me this started because I noticed that as I’ve begun going to the gym on a regular basis my energy has been up, I’m 10x more productive in a day, and overall I’m healthier. Normally going to the gym would cost money, either by buying equipment for your own in-house gym, or buying a membership to a public gym. However, because I am a member of my town’s fire department I get free access to the local gym.
I have also heard of people getting free access to a gym by volunteering there for a couple of hours a week, offering website development for them, social media for them, and many other ways. So definitely look into your skillset and see if this can work for you. It really is a life changer!
So while this doesn’t directly save money the changes it instils in life certainly help save money and time!
3. Cancel/Share Subscriptions
This is another tip that is used everywhere, but that’s because it works wonders. Just by cancelling one subscription, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.
As an example, this will be my final month of Barkbox, a subscription box that gives you toys and treats for your canine companions. I knew this going in, as I was simply using it as a way to slowly get a backstock of toys and treats for my dog. However, by simply cancelling this subscription in January I will save myself $23ish dollars a month. Over a year that is $276!
So take a look at those small charges that hit your credit card every month and try and find some that you may be able to do without, it could end up saving you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
2. Perfect Your Shopping
It is one of the few things in life we’re guaranteed to need to do in one way or another. Eat. And it’s a large expense. For many households, it is their second-largest expense in their household behind their rent or mortgage. So why not learn to do it better?
There are a couple of easy steps that you could implement as soon as tomorrow:
Stop Eating Out
So to start, outright saying “stop eating out” may seem a bit radical, but it is the easiest way to begin limiting yourself. Force yourself to go one whole month with eating every meal at home or packing it to go. I guarantee after that month is done your desire to eat out every single meal of the day will be all but gone, saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
Sale hunting is intimidating to many people, but it is honestly worth the little bit of effort. you may think it isn’t worth it to go 2 blocks down to a different grocery store, just to save yourself $10. But, Canadian insider tip, you don’t have to. For any grocery store coupon you find, if you bring it to Superstore they will honour all of them. So, find yourself some coupons, or good sale prices in flyers and head on down to Superstore to do all of your groceries.
Buy No Name
Finally, buying no name is easily the best way to save money. Now, I understand that there are some things that can’t be switched to no name (toilet paper, take my word for it). But for everything else that can; switch. For many no-name products it is the exact same, if not nearly identical product, but for half the price. Switching from name brand to no name in my own life has saved at least $20 a month in groceries, for essentially the same food!
1. Tax Optimization
I made this number 1 because this is the single largest strategy I will begin implementing in 2019. When done right the amount you can save on taxes by optimizing them is in the thousands, or, depending on where you live, the tens of thousands.
I will have an article coming out next week (keep an eye on the blog or Twitter to know when it goes up) regarding this very concept. Taxes, above almost anything else, are the largest expenses in our lives. Eliminating, or at least minimizing this high cost can be the difference makers when it comes to saving for the future.
So that’s it!
Those are my seven tips, and ways I plan to improve my financials for 2019. Let me know if you have any more ideas, and which of these you plan to implement in your own life in the comments down below!