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Tips to reduce the expenses you can’t fully avoid

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If you are trying to get your personal finances sorted out and your spending reduced then you have probably complied a monthly budget to organize how you can go about it. The mistake that many make when they do this is that they think that the only areas where they can reduce their spending is to change the way that they spend money day-to-day, and that the monthly bills are something which cannot be changed. You may not be able to completely eradicate your internet, insurance, energy, rent/mortgage costs, but you can most certainly find ways in which to reduce those costs, and here is how.

Switching and Saving

Many of your monthly bills can be reduced if you switch providers when it comes to your internet, energy and insurance provider. Let’s use home insurance as an example, the first step to reduce these fees is to research what prices are out there so that you can understand whether or not there is scope to save. Let’s say that you currently have your home insurance with the bank and it is up for renewal, you should always compare home insurance quotes before going with your bank’s offer because you may very well be able to save big each month. The same goes for broadband providers and energy companies, there is often a better deal out there, find it and switch to that provider to save money.

Energy Saving

Saving energy around the home is about much more than just being environmentally conscious, it is also about saving you money. There are hundreds of ways in which you can save money on energy around the house from installing a thermostat and timer, ensuring that windows are properly sealed, closing doors, switching off appliances and re-insulating the loft and cavity walls. These are jut a handful of examples but there are many more which will guarantee that you save some cash on your water, gas and electric bills each month or quarter. Don’t pay for energy that you aren’t reaping the benefit from, be energy conscious and save cash.

Mortgage

If you are in a rental property then you are unlikely to be able to get a better rate than what you are already paying as these are generally steadfast, you may be able to sub-let a spare room out however which could help with the rental cost. If you have a mortgage however then this may be an area where you can save some money. Interest rates change all the time, so too do people’s individual circumstances. If you are looking too squeeze some extra money out of your pay packet each month then make an appointment with your bank and see what options you have around your mortgage deal. You may find that you can extend the mortgage or opt for a different mortgage which will give you more cash on the hip going forward.

You can’t full avoid paying these bills, but there are steps which you can take to reduce how much you are paying.


Surgery Day

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Howdy from the bus, on which I am journeying to the hospital for my surgery. It’s a quick bus ride for me and I have to Uber home (Mike is meeting me at the hospital), so I thought I’d save money one way. I’m a bit nervous, and this is a welcome distraction. Like Hope’s post earlier, this is a bit of a personal update from me. This is composed on the WordPress mobile app, so I’ll take a look later to see that the formatting is ok!

City Blues

Anxiety has plagued me since the moment I pulled out of the driveway at the cottage. I’m not a city person. I had to deal with a work “emergency” yesterday, which annoyed me. Why bother even taking vacation time? I dread checking email, dread going to the office, dread new requests piling on to my crazy workload. I. Am. Done. My job is generous and I knew what I was signing up for, but family and spending time outside are just so much more important to me. I am now working on a concrete plan to be out of Toronto in the next two to three years. It’s going to be tough, because my salary is almost certainly going to drop, potentially significantly.

At a bare minimum, I need to do the following before I go:

  • Eliminate consumer debt and student loan (I’m not worried about my car loan for now, but if I can pay it off early, I will)
  • Figure out if I’m going to try and stay in tech. There are hardly any jobs in my field outside of Toronto. I would struggle in Vancouver or Montreal, let alone in the country where I’d like to be. Software is done in Toronto and Waterloo, Ontario, for the most part.
  • Save for a down payment for a house

That’s a tall order but I am happy that I’m beginning to figure this all out. I’m not used to having a plan. It’s funny, as soon as I started making a list, my anxiety started to wane.

Speaking of Plans…

Hope has me thinking about the holidays. I don’t buy anyone fancy gifts, but I do like to show up with wine and homemade goods for people as I’m visiting or hosting friends from near and far. There is no savings allocation for this in my budget, and I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.

Another worrisome upcoming expense is pet-related. My 15 year old cat has pretty bad breath, and I think he’s due for some extractions. The vet noted the bad teeth about four years ago and said we can leave it until it affects his ability to eat. We aren’t there yet, but I don’t want my little old man cat to be in pain. His teeth are brown and gnarly, but otherwise he’s playful as ever. He fetches, pounces on bugs, and bullies the dog all day. Euthanasia doesn’t seem like a great option when extracting all his teeth would be about $700, and could prolong his life for a few years. He hasn’t been to the vet since 2015. He’s an easygoing kitty.

For many readers, both of the above items are discretionary and could be avoided. To me, they greatly impact my well-being. Something has to give in my budget, because I can’t see myself having any boarders or rover gigs for the next couple months. Well, maybe a boarder but definitely not a rover gig while I’m healing from hand surgery.

I understand the need for a proper, specific, 100% allocated budget to account for these items. I can’t move forward with debt reduction and savings goals unless I commit to doing the work of figuring out exactly where my money goes. Money is such a mental hurdle for me.

Time for Surgery!

Thanks for the distraction, readers. It’s time for me to head in. I’ll post an update Monday to let you all know how it went, but I’ll check comments here over the weekend as well.

 


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