11 Money-Saving Tips You Need to Implement Right Now
Whether it’s finding a $20 bill in a winter jacket or a few coins in couch cushions who doesn’t love finding free money? If you are someone who wants to save or find more money, then this list is for you.
Below are 11 money-saving tips that you need to implement right now. Some of them will straight up save you money and others will help you find and claim free money. All of these tips take minimal effort and some will result in thousands of dollars in your pocket.
So without any further ado, here are 11 money-saving tips you need to implement right now to have a positive impact on your income (and budget).
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Checkout 51 is a coupon-like app for your phone. Every Thursday the app downloads new offers that are only good for that week. There are online offers for everything from pet supplies to alcohol and everything in between. If you purchase that item that week then you scan your receipt into the Checkout 51 app and the credit starts to accumulate in your profile.
The one downfall with Checkout 51 is that the offers change every Thursday. So if you made a qualifying purchase that week you have to remember to scan in your receipt and claim your offer before the next Thursday.
Once your profile has over $20 you can request a payout. You can be paid out by cheque or through PayPal – it’s your choice.
I know it sounds like it’s too good to be true but it’s not. It really works. I’ve requested a cheque from my profile a few times and have had it mailed to me without incident.
If you’re not already using Checkout51, download it today. If you use my referral link, you will get $5 as a bonus when you sign up and claim your first offer.
High-Interest Savings Accounts⠀
If you have money in an emergency fund or just have cash saved put it in a high-interest savings account. The majority of high-interest savings accounts are offered by online banks. They can offer higher savings rates because they do not have brick and mortar bank branches.
If your chequing account is only offering something like 0.1% interest, it is worth your time to look into a high-interest savings options. Currently, EQBank is offering 2.3%, Motive 2.8% and Laurentian bank is offering a whopping 3.3%.
*interest rates are per annum. Interest is calculated daily on the closing balance and paid monthly on the last day of the month into the account.
Let’s look at the numbers. In a chequing account earning 0.1% interest, $100 would earn $0.10 in interest a year. That same $100 in a high-interest savings account earning 2.3% interest would earn $2.30 interest in a year. That’s 23 times more money that ends up in your pocket.
Every little bit helps and by moving your money into a high-interest savings account you are exponentially increasing your money every month.⠀
PRO TIP – Have your savings account at a different bank than your checking account. Make it difficult to spend your savings and you will spend less of your savings.
Great Canadian Rebates
Great Canadian Rebates lets you earn cashback from all of your online purchases. Very similar to Rakuten (previously ebates), but a Canadian company. Why not support local?⠀
I use Great Canadian Rebates for all my online purchases. If they do not have a partnership with a particular company then I will look at Rakuten.⠀
If you buy things online and are not using a cashback site you are missing out on free money (for something you were going to do anyway).⠀I’m not a big online shopper, besides the grocery store I don’t really like shopping at all. Even with not being a big online shopper I am still earning free money on all my purchases.
If you are not earning extra money on your online purchases, get $3 just for signing up with my referral link.
Did you know the library has more than just books?!⠀
My local library has video games, movies, free music downloads, online language courses and in-person activities for my little one.⠀
I love the library.⠀
Although using the library will not result in earning bonus money, it will save you from spending your hard-earned cash. Some libraries will put a total on your receipt of how much you have saved using your library card.
Although my local library does not do this, I know of people who have saved thousands of dollars from using their local library.
If you do not have a library card this is your action step for the day – save yourself TONS of money and go get a library card.
Have you ever want to be a secret shopper? Or just want to earn money on your phone while laying in bed?⠀
Field Agent is an app that lets you earn money for doing tasks at certain retailers. You can earn money and free food just for doing a few tasks at local retailers.⠀
The “jobs” are sorted by distance from your current location so as you travel to new cities, new jobs will come up.⠀Once you accept a job you have 2 hours in which to complete it. The more jobs you accept and complete the higher your ranking is. The higher your ranking the more jobs you will see in your queue.
Some of my favourites are the Costco scavenger hunts (earn $3.50 just for finding an item in the store and answering a couple of questions), and the Anywhere Surveys (earn money while laying in bed).⠀
In order to qualify for the Anywhere Surveys, you will need to complete the Screener surveys. These surveys do not earn you any money but they will screen you in or out for future opportunities. And they often only take a few minutes to complete.
I know of people who have earned over $100 in their first month of using Field Agent. They just check the app when they are going out and see if there are any jobs in their area. If you are going to the store anyway, why not earn some money or free products at the same time?
Store Loyalty Points
When shopping, do you take advantage of the loyalty programs from your favourite stores?⠀
If a store has a loyalty program and I shop there frequently, I sign up for the program (if it’s free). Yes, this often means more emails in my inbox. But I have a dedicated email for this reason. And, I can always just unsubscribe.
One of the store loyalty programs I am trying out this year is the PC Insiders program from PC Optimum. I took the plunge and signed up for this paid program for a year to see if I can earn back more than the membership fee. As a mom of a toddler still in diapers I think this is possible. But time will tell.
I have got a ton of free things and have saved so much money by doing this, just from buying what I had already planned to.⠀Some of the free things I have “bought” with my store loyalty points are free food and groceries, a waffle iron for my parents, and snowshoes.
I don’t believe in buying extra things for the points, but if you were going to buy it anyway, why not get rewarded with free stuff?⠀
Buy Second Hand
Growing up we always shopped second hand. Then as a teenager and young adult, I thought that I was too cool to shop second hand.⠀
Now as a new mom, I try to only shop second hand. Not only is it good for my budget, it’s also good for the environment.⠀The average American throws up 81 pounds of clothing a year, and 95% of that could have been re-used.
I never realized how many brand-new, still have the tags on products you can find at the thrift store. Combine that with a sale and you can get a whole new wardrobe for a fraction of the cost.
My daughter can get a whole new wardrobe every season because right now that’s how fast she is growing. And it usually costs me less than $30.
Whenever. I am looking to buy something, my first instinct now is to try and see if I can find it second hand. The opposite is also true when looking to get rid of something, instead of just throwing it out I try to either sell it or donate it.
Retirement Account Contribution
I have a confession. We are not currently maxing out our retirement accounts. But we are making sure that we are contributing enough to get my husband’s employer match.
As a teacher, I don’t have an employer match for my RRSP contribution. I have a defined benefit pension that I contribute to with every paycheque.
So why is a retirement contribution a savings tip? ⠀
In Canada, there are two reasons, 1 – the year you contribute to your registered retirement savings account (RRSP) you can get a tax benefit in the form of a tax refund from the government. And 2 – if your employer has an RRSP match that is “free money.” It is a benefit of your employment, but you have to contribute in order to get that benefit.⠀
What does that all mean?
If you contribute $100 and your employer has a 2% match, your $100 becomes $102. That’s a guaranteed 2% return. The more you contribute, the more your match amount. Just be aware that some employers have limits to the amount they match. For example, your employer may match 2% of your first $5000.⠀
Not contributing enough into your retirement accounts to get the full matching amount from your employer is leaving money on the table. That contribution match is a guaranteed return on your investment.
Don’t know if your employer has a contribution match? Make it a point to meet with someone in HR and ask. The conversation will be well worth your time if you learn your employer does have a contribution match and you have not been taking advantage of it.
Buy Generic Brand
Buying generic brands can save you hundreds of dollars on groceries every month. Most of the time, you can’t even tell the difference between the generic and the name brand. ⠀
I will be honest, there are some things I can tell. And on those things, I buy name brand. But for everything else I buy the generic brand.
There is a rumour that some generic brands are made in the same facility as name brands.
Don’t believe me? Kirkland is the generic Costco brand and their alcohol is made in the same facilities by the same people as name brand alcohols such as Jim Beam and Grey Goose.⠀
Job Spotter is an app for your phone powered by Indeed. When you are out and about and come across a help wanted signs you take a picture of them with the app. Then are rewarded with “cash back” in the form of Amazon gift cards.⠀
The key to making more than just pennies on this app is to find help wanted signs for smaller mom and pop shops. The more obscure the help wanted sign, the more points, and money you will be awarded.
If you upload signs from big-box retailers chances are someone else has too so you will earn less points for those help wanted signs.
I’m experimenting with the idea of using Job Spotter to save up money for Christmas gifts. I know of lots of people who have made hundreds of dollars with this app.⠀
Credit Card Points
Credit card points and rewards can be very powerful. Careful implementation of credit card rewards can save you tens of thousands of dollars a year. But you MUST pay off all your credit cards every month to make this worthwhile.⠀
We personally use our credit cards for travel rewards. This has enabled us to take amazing trips for a fraction of the cost.⠀We have used our points for flights to Thailand, Chile, Bermuda, and South Africa.
Currently, we don’t know where our next big trip will be, but we keep saving up our points while we figure it out. Once we decide on a time and a place, chances are we will have more than enough credit card reward points to get free flights.
But travel rewards aren’t the only credit card reward points. You can use your credit card points for cashback. Nothing wrong with free money for something you were already going to do anyway.
11 Money-Saving Tips – Recap
- Checkout 51 App
- High-Interest Savings Accounts
- Great Canadian Rebates
- The Library
- Field Agent App
- Buy Second Hand
- Retirement Account Contribution
- Buy Generic Brand
- Job Spotter App
- Credit Card Points
This list is not a fully comprehensive list of all possible money-saving tips. But it is a list of 11 money-saving tips you can implement right now to have an immediate impact.
The majority of these tips do not require a massive behavior change. They are ways that you can optimize what you are already doing in order to keep more of your money in your pocket. The only trick is remembering to do them.
Some of the money-saving tips can be automated – using a high-interest savings account or contributing to your retirement account to take advantage of your employer match. And some of them will require more thought on your part. But of the 11 money-saving tips will have an immediate impact on your budget.
Which of the 11 money-saving tips will you implement tomorrow?