19 Money-Saving Tips: How I Save $14,000 A year

Money is easy to spend and hard to save, but there are a few things that you could do to make it a little bit easier to save money.

In this post, I’m going to share 19 of my money-saving tips.

I Change your lifestyle to understand the money-saving tips


These are things that I’ve applied in the last few years and they’ve saved me roughly fourteen thousand dollars a year. That’s Canadian dollars, not US dollars but it’s still significant.

If you’re interested in learning from my experience keep reading the post. Hi! Welcome back to Finance & Savings blog.

So, I wanted to say a few things before we dive into the tips.

But I do think it will be useful to know the context. So, the first thing is all of the dollars in this post are Canadian dollars, not US dollars.

The second thing is all of the tips here are based on my personal experience.

Things that I’ve chosen to cut down on and I’m not saying that you need to do that.

It’s just me sharing my experience with you guys and hopefully, you can take something away from it something that resonates with you.

The third thing I wanted to mention, which is an important thing is a lot of the changes that I’ve made in terms of how I spend money as a result of changing my lifestyle.

When I was living in downtown Toronto (downtown core) I had so many temptations! Places to go eat, bars, shopping centers.

It’s endless the amount of temptation there is and you’re spending a little bit every day and it really adds up. I don’t live that way anymore. I live in a very simple and minimal way and as a result of that, I’ve been able to save all this money.

My personal money-saving tips


Money-saving tips Number 1

I no longer buy books the way I used to. I used to buy at least a book a month in the past and I don’t do that anymore. I get my books from the library and that saves me a lot of money.

I’m not saying I never buy books. I occasionally do buy books but only if I truly love them and I want them to be part of my collection.

I don’t buy everything the way I used to. So, I would say that I save $20 a month by not buying books. That amounts to $240 in the year.

Number 2

I got rid of cable TV. So, I used to have both cable TV and Netflix but I never watched cable TV. It was just waste so we got rid of it. I’m saving roughly $60 a month by not having cable so that amounts to $720 in the year.

Number 3

And this is a big one. I don’t eat dinner out as often as I used to. When I was living in downtown Toronto, I would be eating dinner out at least four times a week.

Two times with my wife. Two times with friends but I don’t do that anymore. I would say I eat dinners out maybe two times a week now.

So, it’s half of what I used to and earlier I used to get appetizers and dessert with every meal. I don’t do that anymore.

I just get the main and that’s pretty much it. I’m happy with that. I would estimate that I save roughly $45 a week. $45 a week amounts to $2340 a year.

Number 4

I no longer buy bottled water and bottled beverages the way I used to in the past, I never really bought bottled water for a daily thing. I had a filter but I would buy bottled water on the go when I was out and I would buy things like ice tea and this was a regular occurrence.

I no longer do that. I take a water bottle from home with me all the time I put it in my hand  and I’m good to go. I don’t buy bottled beverages and that saves me roughly $50 a month which is $180 in the year.

Number 5

I eat more plant-based meals. So, I wanted to mention that I’m not a vegan but I do eat a lot of plant-based meals. I used to eat a lot of meat in the past and over the last three years, I’ve reduced that significantly.

I would estimate my savings to be roughly $20 a week because I’m not buying red meat like lamb, I’m not buying seafood as much. So that $20 a week amounts to $1040 in the year.

Number 6

I have unsubscribed from all of those emails that tell me to buy things! So, you know you sign up for emails from stores and then you get those promotional emails 40% off 50% off? That is super tempting!

I was buying things I didn’t really need that didn’t serve a purpose. It was just buying for the sake of buying. I would put my estimate at $80 a month.

Number 7

cancelled magazine subscriptions. I used to have four magazine subscriptions in the past and now I have none.

If I want to buy a magazine, I’ll buy it but it’s a rare occurrence. But I won’t subscribe to magazines the way I used to and I get them from the library. I’m quite happy using the library magazines so I would estimate my savings to be $60 in the year.

Number 8

I don’t drink as often as I used to and I don’t drink out as often as I used to. So, when we get drinks at a restaurant, especially for an expensive city like Toronto you’re getting a cocktail. Sometimes it can be upwards of $12 a cocktail and that adds up.

Now if I do drink which is very limited because I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to, I’ll drink at home. I have a small amount at home and it’s not that expensive when you’re having it at home.

Restaurants have a huge markup. I estimate my savings to be $50 a month which is $600 a year.

Number 9

Meal planning. I’m not talking about meal prep but meal planning. So, meal planning is where you’re figuring out what you’re going to make. a rough plan for the week and you go grocery shopping based on that list.

I didn’t do that in the past. In the past, I just went to the grocery store and got whatever I felt like and by the end of the week there were a few items that went bad and I had to throw them out which was a waste of money.

And I was buying too much stuff. I was buying junk that I didn’t need. But now with a list, I stick to it and I don’t buy all those extra things and there’s no food wastage. So, I would estimate the savings to be $35 a month which is $420 a year.

Number 10

I enjoy staycations more often. So, this one’s a big item for me, it may not be for you. I used to be a big vacation person in the past. Would go on twice a year.

I would spend several thousand dollars. It was something I valued at that time but now that I’ve changed my lifestyle, I don’t value big vacations as much.

 I’m okay having one vacation and then having one staycation instead of two big vacations a year.

This year my wife had to go to India to attend a wedding and I thought ” You know what? I don’t need to attend this wedding it’s not necessary for me.

I can enjoy a staycation and save some money and enjoy the time to introspect and just be by myself.” And that’s what I did and I truly enjoyed it. And I saved roughly $250.

Number 11

I’ve built a more intentional wardrobe and I no longer spend on clothing, shoes that I don’t truly love. in the past, I used to do a lot of impulse purchases and I don’t do that anymore.

I really think about the clothes and things that I buy to see if I’m going to be wearing them long-term and I have a post on this if you’re interested which I link in the description box below.

I would estimate my savings from not buying those impulse purchases… not buying extra shoes that would be roughly $80 a month which is nine hundred and $60 in the year.

Number 12

I watch more movies at home now. When I was living downtown, we were very close to the movie theater.

It was probably a 10-minute walk from our place and I would go for movies almost every weekend.

Not quite every weekend but almost every weekend. And it’s not just the movies, you end up getting popcorn as well. It adds up. So, I don’t do that anymore. I would estimate my savings to be roughly $400 a year.

Number 13

 I avoid obligatory gift-giving. Underline the word obligatory because I’m not saying I don’t give gifts.

I don’t give gifts that I’m obligated to give that I feel that I need to but I don’t really want to. That’s what I mean by obligatory gifts. Because what I find about obligatory gifts is it’s a cycle.

I give someone a gift and they’re obliged to give me a gift and then I then I’m obliged to give them a gift and then that cycle keeps on going on and I honestly do not want to be part of that cycle.

Because I think gifts should be given because you truly want to give them not because you’re supposed to give them. That’s my view, you may not agree but I save roughly $30 a month on that. That is about $360 a year.

Number 14

I no longer buy extensive cleaning products. So, I used to buy a lot of disposable cleaning products such as disinfecting wipes, paper towels, mopping pads, all that stuff, and because it’s disposable you have to continually buy it and it truly does add up.

So, I don’t do that anymore. There are other ways of cleaning with reusable items and cleaning very simple products and I would estimate my savings to be about a hundred dollars a year.

Number 15

I cut my own hair. I have not gone for a professional haircut in two and a half three years now. It’s been a long time.

I’m not the best at cutting my hair but I’m getting better! So, I think it’s something to practice, and to be honest I never wear my hair fully straight so we can’t really tell the mistakes.

So, I used to spend roughly $60 every four months to get my hair cut, sometimes it was more but I don’t do that anymore. I would estimate the savings to be roughly one hundred and $80 in the year.

Number 16

I don’t use a dryer as often and as a result I’m saving on my electricity bills. So, the savings are roughly $60 a year.

Now that’s not a lot compared to all the other things I’ve talked about but the fact that I’m using the dryer less means that my clothes last me longer so that’s actually a big saving which I haven’t counted in the full savings of $40,000 I’ve talked about earlier.

But it is a savings in a way because your clothes last long, they look good for longer and you’re not going to buy as many clothes, so there’s that as well.

Number 17

I use the instant pot more often. So, the Instant Pot or if you have a slow cooker the slow cooker tends to use a lot less electricity compared to an electric stove or an oven. I think it’s roughly 70% less so because of that my electricity bill is lower.

I would estimate my savings to be about $50 in the year which is not a lot but I find that with the instant pot I can cook in batches and because of that I’m not eating up as often so there’s that aspect of the savings too.

So, I definitely think having and an instant pot or slow cooker is a good way to get meals on the table without having to do too much work. I don’t buy coffee and tea at a cafe every day like I used to.

So, when I was living downtown and working downtown, I would go for coffee with my friends and I would go get a nice caramel latte or something like that and then I would get some sort of a dessert. It was just a thing I enjoyed it so much but I don’t do that anymore.

I make my own tea at home and I enjoy that and I don’t feel the need to buy something at a cafe on a daily basis. I’m not saying I never do it’s not on a daily basis. So, I would estimate the savings to be roughly $50 a month which is $600 a year.

Number 18

I pack lunches and snacks. When I was downtown, I would go to the food court at least two lunches out of the weekend then I would go for snacks as well and I don’t do that anymore.

I also pack my husband’s lunches so I would estimate my savings to be roughly $35 a week which is really not that much if you think about it.

$35 a week it adds up. So, $35 a week is one eight two zero dollars in the year. One thing I wanted to say is all of the big-ticket items in this post have been pretty much food items.

Food, when you eat out, tends to cost a lot especially if you live in an expensive city and I’ve cut that out significantly.

And not only has it helped my budget, but it’s also helped my health and I think that’s a huge reason why I feel so much healthier than I used to because I’m actually in control of what I eat. So, I just wanted to mention that.

Number 19

I no longer go for weekly yoga classes. When I was downtown, I used to go for weekly yoga classes and I think it was a good thing that I did.

I’m not saying I shouldn’t have spent that money it was money well-spent but I don’t feel the need to go for classes all the time now.

If I really want to go to a class, I will go, but I can also workout at home. I have an app on my phone that I use and I love using the blog as well for yoga. I’ll put a few in the description box below.

I would estimate my savings tube $45 a month which is five hundred and $40 in the year.

So, what is the sum of all these things?

It’s 14130 Canadian dollars. I just wanted to say that this has been a result of changing my lifestyle, priorities, and going from a somewhat more of it to a simpler one.

I think cutting out the eating, out all those expensive meals, the alcohol and at home, whole foods have also helped a lot. I still enjoy my life but I don’t it in the same ways as I used to.

I enjoy it in different ways and my priorities have changed and that’s ok. So, I hope you enjoyed this post and you learned something new from it and maybe you can relate to some of my experiences.

Read more:

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

Savings Challenges | Tight Budget Tips


How to Save Money: 20 Simple Tips

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