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What is your best, all-time favorite ways to save money? it could be as weird or as crazy as it sounds, but it may work for you.

Mine is a simple one and millions do it: payroll deduction! Nothing beats the simplicity and convenience.



Please share yours, you never know who will benefit from it.
 

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I use "pay yourself first", but I automate it.

My paycheque is bi-weekly, and goes into my chequeing account. I setup an automated transfer from my chequeing to my Ally HISA on the same day.

If my chequeing account balance drops below $1000 (when my bank starts to charge me fees), I know I have overspent for that month, and adjust accordingly.

PS: One thing to improve on is to have a way to know quickly when I'm about to overspend. Right now, I don't find out until a month later. I also don't want to track every penny. I budget by broad categories.
 

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One way I've found of controlling spending is to give things a time value. For example a fancy dinner takes X hours of work to earn.

If you look at things as a % of a paycheque they may seem insignificant, but if you reduce the period (1 week, 1 day, 1 hour) the price of things seems higher. By looking at how many hours of work are required to buy something, I get a feel of whether it's worth it or not. Often it is, more often it's now.
 

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I make a forecast of income and expenses for the entire year. This way I can allocate my monthly savings goals in advance while keeping track of the months where those sneaky one-off expenses catch you off-guard. I find it works much better than a traditional monthly budget which is basically just tracking your spending after it happens.

http://www.boomerandecho.com/forecasting-income-and-expenses/

My other savings strategy is make a meal plan for a couple of weeks in advance and then match that to your grocery list. This can have a big impact on your monthly budget since you can avoid all of those impulse fast-food trips when you forget to take something out for dinner or you're missing a key ingredient.

http://www.boomerandecho.com/tips-to-save-money-meal-planning/
 

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One way I've found of controlling spending is to give things a time value. For example a fancy dinner takes X hours of work to earn.
Funny. I do the same thing to justify my purchases.

My wife and I both find saving quite natural/easy so we use a method like Echo's.

We make an annual budget, and earmark ALL surplus as savings. I like thinking about and managing my investments too so its not like I perceived that money as going into a bank vault and not-accessible.

For those one-off expenses, we have this weird ability to tighten the purse strings during some months so we have settled on an average variable expense category that is quite representative over the entire year.
 

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Discipline.

Occasionally I will think about the whole "Do I really want to work 4 hours to buy this?" strategy.

However, I have automatic payroll deductions and then I also limit my Visa to $450/month. This $450 includes gas, entertainment/food and anything else I wish to buy. This will keep my monthly spending at a minimum.

If my statement period ends on the 27th, and its the 24th and my Visa is only sitting at a cool $300, then I have $150 to spend in the next 3 days, if I would like.

On the contrary, if its the 13th and my statement ends on the 27th, and my Visa balance is showing $420, I only have $30 to get me through the next two weeks, which means all I'm doing is purchasing gasoline to get to work and back and eating mr. noodles from the cupboards :p

This method works great because you always hit your target (unless an unexpected expense comes up) and in fact, you will most likely exceed your targets by only hitting $410, $415, $420/ month, scared of going over. You may actually save a few more extra bucks!

You cannot "roll over" extra money. If you spend only $420 one month, you do not have $480 the next.

But of course, it takes discipline.
 

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-no inpulse buying. we will walk away and make a final decision a few days later. It is surprising how many of those must haves seem to drop off the radar after a few days.

-never, ever carry a balance on our credit cards

-with the exception of a car, never, ever borrow money for a depreciable asset like furniture or a consumable such as a vacation

-never take the extended warranty. always ask for a discount

-increase mortgage payments and reduce amortization period.

-buy term insurance only and only when there is an actual risk-stay away from whole life.
 

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We use a cash flow sheet that tells us exactly what to do with our money every pay day. What ever is left over, is used to pay the credit cards that we pay off monthly but charge all expenses to it, (for cash back reward)

We track ever dollar on a spread sheet, so we can look back and see what we are spending too much money on.

Also, any extra money, not normally expected, (ie hst relief cheque, extra income) is used to pay debt or invest.

Sometimes I will write a forcast to pay off or save for a certain money goal. We must follow it. If something comes up, I look for extra income to cover. Such as, selling items on kijiji, liquidating gift cards through private sale, or earning extra income. Even cutting on grocerys works, for example, eating more pasta meals to save money, instread of meat. $20-30 can be saved.

Today I am selling a gift card to help pay for gifts. Then I might cut some lawns for extra money on my days off. I only work 14 days a month now, so this might be a good thing. (give me something to do :) )
 

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-no inpulse buying. we will walk away and make a final decision a few days later. It is surprising how many of those must haves seem to drop off the radar after a few days.

-never, ever carry a balance on our credit cards

-with the exception of a car, never, ever borrow money for a depreciable asset like furniture or a consumable such as a vacation

-never take the extended warranty. always ask for a discount

-increase mortgage payments and reduce amortization period.

-buy term insurance only and only when there is an actual risk-stay away from whole life.
+1 :cool:
- when something new comes in, something old must leave to keep a handle on our stuff.
- for depreciable assets, always look for good used rather than new, only buy new when there are unique benefits for doing so.
- minimize number of credit card accounts, put an extra card for partner on existing card.
- maintain annual budget and look for annual savings initiatives for every major class of expense, e.g. cell phones, LD, internet, drugs...
 

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A method I've used is simply take my monthly bank statement and plot the total deposits on a chart in green. I plot the total withdrawals (minus any withdrawals towards investment accounts) in red.

The object is to keep the green line above the red line.
 

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1) ASP (Automatic Savings Plan) and payroll deductions into a high interest account
2) No credit card debt (after I pay off my remaining balance)
3) Sleep on any purchase over $100.00
4) Brown bag my lunch and only eat out when I have to or there is no other choice
5) Repeat steps 1 to 4 monthly

Example: If I have a goal to save up $10,000.00 a year, I basically divide $10,000.00 by 52 (since I am paid weekly) and send that amount to a HISA (High Interest Savings Account) automatically.

$192.00 from every pay check!
 
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