As Canada proceeds to ride out the second wave of the pandemic and unemployment rates continue to fluctuate, many property owners across Canada are revisiting their monthly household budgets to eliminate the potential of unnecessary expenses.
Given that many homeowners didn’t budget for a pandemic, and the future remains uncertain, there has never been a better time to cut costs and prepare for what might come next.
Below are some simple ideas for homeowners to re-examine their household budget, so they can save more money now and moving forward.
Improve energy efficiency and lower utility bills
Did you know heating and cooling your home accounts for more than 60 per cent of your annual electricity costs? While many homeowners tend to overlook fluctuating utility bills, paying higher prices can be easily avoided. Now that many Canadians are spending more time at home, it’s important to monitor energy use. Beyond heating and cooling costs, leaving the computer on, running the dishwasher without a full load, leaving unnecessary lights on and doing laundry more than usual can all increase your monthly electricity spend.
Working towards a more energy-efficient home can not only allow room for saving but also lower your household’s environmental footprint. Some easy ways to be more energy efficient include: hanging up your laundry instead of running the dryer, paying close attention to your thermostat usage, using energy-efficient light bulbs and running your dishwasher and laundry machine with full loads during off-peak hours.
Reduce costs for monthly services and subscriptions
While it’s true that many of us are utilizing cable or streaming subscriptions more than usual, it’s important to review all subscriptions on a regular basis. Pausing or cancelling non-essential monthly subscriptions and memberships, such as movie subscriptions or gym memberships you might not be using right now, is a great way to free up some funds.
You can also call your cable, internet or other providers to negotiate lower rates for their current service if you aren’t interested in cancelling the subscription.
Contact your insurance provider to ensure you’re covered
If you are unsure about your current home or title insurance policies, make sure to connect with your insurance provider to ensure your coverage is updated to include unexpected accidents. As people continue to spend more and more time at home, there is an increased risk of unforeseen accidents within the home. Ensuring you are covered with the appropriate insurance policy – or extending your policy if you are not – can provide you with peace of mind.
Eat at Home
Preparing meals at home has always been a great way to save money – and there’s really no excuse given how often we’re all at home these days. Getting into the habits of weekly grocery runs, regular recipe research and meal prepping can allow you to monitor your funds efficiently. Avoiding excessive food purchases, such as buying your daily coffee or ordering from meal delivery services, can also help you save money on food costs.
That being said, if you enjoy supporting local or need a break from cooking once in a while, put aside a strict monthly budget to allow yourself to continue to support the restaurants you love in your area.
Shop with a minimalist mindset
Smart, minimalistic shopping habits can help homeowners cut expenses and limit impulse buying. Using coupons and bargain apps to stay aware of deals and signing up for free rewards programs are beneficial tools that can save a lot of money over time.
Some of the most popular household items come with a hefty price tag. Buying used items for your home can help you save a lot of money. TV’s, computers, cars, vacuum cleaners, decorations and furniture are just a few examples of items you can buy used online.
Optimize Saving for the Future
While the future remains uncertain, there are steps Canadians can take now to optimize their savings.
For property owners, in particular, it’s important to examine your finances and cut back on unnecessary spending while battling these challenging times.
What steps have you taken to save money? Let us know in the comments.