Interest rates are rising, the cost of everything from milk to gasoline is going up, jobs are evaporating, and a recession appears to be looming.
Many Canadians are in financial crisis.
The impact of dollars and cents on a house hold can seem insurmountable. The current situation for the wallets of millions across the country is one that has forced many to look towards new plans of attack for their financial future.
How do you save money? What can be done to increase financial flexibility, how can families be afforded more wiggle room on the books at the end of the month?
Tenille Lafontaine is a blogger from a family of five – and she has some incredible money saving techniques.
“I have three main ideas that people can be using that are not too difficult to implement. Starting with using loyalty program and rewards points!”
Lafontaine suggests that we all have reward programs, and loyalty cards that we hand over at grocery stores – but we don’t always use them. She suggests that consumers should start actively using these programs.
Credit card reward point programs, and loyalty cards provide an opportunity for consumers to get a little extra back, or save big dollars on items says Lafontaine.
“Grocery stores have reward programs, Indigo has reward programs, Shoppers Optimum has some great redemption days. Look at what you have and start cashing in. There are also some great apps that can help you save money.”
Flash food is an application that lets customers know about grocery stores with food near expiry. They will discount the items by at least 50% and you can pick them up that same day.
Secondly Tenille encourages you to sell your junk!
“I love this one – I am a family of 5, and I have things that aren’t being used that are sitting in the garage to sell. Think like a store and sell items that are seasonal.”
Underutilized toys, water shoes, sports equipment – these are all things that can be sold to people who can use them. “Think ahead to fall, come September people are going to be hunting for Halloween costumes, or back to school clothes. When the kids are heading back to school we’re all trying to save money.”
Additionally Lafontaine has a suggestion for what to do with funds made from selling your items.
“When you sell items – use the envelope method. Put the cash from sales away into an envelope and watch it grow. That money will add up quickly if you dedicate the time to getting rid of those items.”
Thirdly – take advantage of your talents and skills to create a side hustle.
“we all have talent and skills we can market and sell! Some people are great at baking, or sewing- market yourself on neighborhood Facebook groups and make a little money on the side.”
If you’re in a tough financial situation Lafontaine has some additional tips.
“We’re all in the same boat – and sometimes it feels like it’s sinking with costs going up. Think purposefully when you are going out shopping.”
Avoid quick trips to the grocery store to offset fuel costs, and plan meals for the week based upon things that are on sale or available on discount apps like Flashfood. Just like shopping on an empty stomach can cause you to spend more – so can shopping without a plan.
Tenille Lafontaine is a blogger and the owner of Feisty, Frugal and Fabulous – more of her tips for budgeting and securing your financial life can be found here.