November 10th 2011

6 things you’re wasting money on

There are a lot of things we spend our money on that aren’t really negotiable: mortgage, bills, groceries, just to name a few.

But the thing is, there are a lot of things we spend our money on that are completely negotiable. And these perks are, well, just simply wastes of money.

Here are 6 things that you’re wasting your money on… and what you can do instead.

1. Fancy Coffees

Yes, we sure do love our daily cups of joe, but it can really add up if you’re paying up to $5 for a version of a latte. Unless you’re planning on breaking down your habit to a basic brew (and even that can add up), consider saving a few bucks and making your own. If not, consider it a once in a while treat, or choose a coffee most days and a fancy drink just one or two.

2. Your hydro bill

Yes, it’s imperative to pay it, but there are loads of ways you can lower it. One of the biggest ways to reduce your hydro bill is by reducing how often you use your washer and your dryer. The dryer, especially, is a huge energy drainer. And if you are running only small loads, your wasting water, energy, and money. Run the washing machine only when it’s full, using a cold-water wash. Some hydro companies have certain times of day (peak versus off-peak hours) where hydro is cheaper, too.

3. The corner store

You might just head there for an item or two, but it can really add up. Whether you’re swinging by for gum, lotto tickets, a drink, a magazine, or even the essentials (bread, eggs, milk), the price you pay should keep you at bay.

4. Brand name foods

Did you know that most brand names actually manufacture the store brand? Sure, some things don’t taste the same (we’re talking Heinz Ketchup here), but others do the same job, if not better (spices, herbs, canned foods, sugar, salt, and the list goes on). Spend a little more on your favorites and scale back on the rest. If your taste buds really protest, then go back to the original – and try again with a different product.

5. Eating out all the time

If you work five days a week and pay for a lunch each time, the dollars can really add up. Think of it this way: spend $8 on lunch every day… well, that’s almost $2000 a year! Add a daily $4 latte and you’re up to nearly another $15. Consider choosing one or two days a week to eat out, and plan the rest of your meals at the beginning of the week. Have ingredients on hand, throw a load in the slow cooker, or bring leftovers from the night before. Once you find a routine, it will be easy to keep going.

6. Gasoline

Yes, sometimes we need it, especially if we commute long distances or have a lot of errands. And in some areas, public transport just won’t do it. But you can easily cut down on your gasoline consumption by using your car to its fullest potential. Drive slower, don’t use the air conditioning when not needed, and carpool if you can – just to get you started.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.