It’s hard to believe spring is here with this weather, isn’t it? Judging from the seasonal forecast, even when it gets warmer later, we’re still stuck with constant rain. Well, that’s Vancouver for you. But even if the weather doesn’t improve, your financial situation can! With a new season comes new ways to save money. Here’s what you can do to breathe some life into your wallet:
- Lowering your phone and internet bills
You may not have noticed, but service providers can change their rates just like that. Which is why it’s important to call them regularly to take advantage of the deals they don’t tell you about. A lot of phone companies have deals in their actual stores from time to time to attract new customers, and it’s up to you if you want to switch your plan the moment your contract expires. Talk to your friends that live in different areas and get the latest info. Even if you can’t make it there you can always negotiate with a representative on the phone and haggle a deal out. A lot of moms keep each other posted in their network of friends and coworkers, so take advantage of it too.
- Save on fitness
If your ancestors can get fit without a gym, you can too. You might be surprised to hear that you can exercise your muscles in different ways, in the great outdoors (or even at home), for much less. It’s the perfect weather to do a little running, swimming, or hiking (not to mention the team sports). You want to train your biceps and quads? Do bodyweight exercises, there are many exercises that make use of your own body that can give you quite a workout. There are several different ways to do push-ups alone, so change it up! Even if you signed a contract, it’s possible to freeze your membership. You might still need to fork over a few bucks, but it’s a better deal than only going every once in a while.
- Regrowing your vegetables
Depending on the vegetable it could range from pretty easy to quite hard, but it all starts with keeping the roots which you won’t eat anyway. The principle is simple: put the rooting/leafy part in water for a few days until you see new roots, stalks, or leaves and then put it in soil. Potatoes are even easier, every eye you see on a potato can grow into a new potato so just cut it apart and put it in soil (takes a while though). You’ll have to water and keep an eye on it, but you can skip out on buying groceries once it’s done! Just don’t give up and try to eat it halfway through, a lot of components in growing plants are toxic so be sure to check (like the eyes or sprouts). A lot of edible fungi are dangerous in certain conditions too so take extra care regrowing mushrooms. There are plenty of instructions online so look it up and get started!
- Just cut your cable
I’m sure most of us are only ever going to use Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu anyways. But if for whatever reason you don’t really use it and still have it, it’s a waste. Cut it off like a bad relationship! If you still use it but only for the news or some random program, there’s a good chance you can find it online. Compare prices from various sources and save enough for a meal every month.
- Track everything!
How much data do you really use? Whether it be your internet or your phone, you can’t really tell how much you use unless you actually measure it. Talk to your provider, or use one of the many apps designed to track your usage every month. Don’t know where to start when somebody tells you to organize your budget? There are apps for that, like Quicken or Mint. It’s almost tax season, isn’t it? There are apps for that, but I suggest you take it easy and do it on a pc.
- Establish a “fun fund”
Do you feel you never have enough money for anything you want? You must have at least $50 extra per month. Opening a second account, and automatically transfer it into that account every month. Eventually, you’ll have enough money for something you want, like the next Persona game or a tv. Saving isn’t the deprivation of your current life, it’s an effort for something you actually want.
- Seriously, don’t do takeout
No matter how convenient and tasty it might be, don’t do it if you want to save up. Think about it, the price of the ingredients would have to be less than half of the dish’s to make any sort of money. If you want a healthier wallet (and a healthier body), cook. There are plenty of easy one-pot, one-pan, and one-bowl meal guides on YouTube. If you have the time to watch cat videos or daydream, you have time to do it.
- Fiddling with the AC
In case you forgot, the temperatures aren’t negative anymore so there’s no need to crank the heat up so high anymore. It’s also the best time to take a look at your insulation to prepare for summer. Duct leaks and broken window seals can cause you to lose a whopper combo’s worth of money every month, so it pays to hire a pro for a check-up. The filters in your HVAC system need changing every three months too. Something as simple as a dirty filter raises energy use by 15% because it has to work that much harder to take in air.
Now that you saved up some money, don’t waste it on impulsive shopping or something stupid like a cheese slicer. Set aside some for the future, and then waste it on something stupid (lol). But seriously, just have fun with your newfound power. Life is only worth living if you can still be a kid once in a while. Go somewhere during spring break, like the Hotel de Glace in Quebec City. It’s still open this time of year, and you might as well take advantage of how much colder it is in Eastern Canada.