The typical Canadian maintains a debt load of approximately $22,000. This is indeed a staggering amount of debt, and it is only getting worse every single time Statistics Canada publishes its quarterly report. We can perhaps blame stagnant wages, inflation, and a tough economy, but we also have to look in the mirror and realize how much money we waste.
Do you not know exactly what your hard-earned income on? Here are seven financial habits to break today to save money:
😰 1. Excessive ATM Fees
On average, Canadians spend between $3 and $4 to access their money in an out-of-network ATM. This is money down the drain, especially if you do this on a regular basis.
😩 2. Buying Lunch Everyday
The best way to always be strapped for cash is to purchase lunch every workday. Rather than brown bagging your lunch for work, you’re heading to the cafeteria and forking over $8.80 – as per an extensive 2012 study – for that sandwich, cookie, and can of soda. That’s a lot of money over time!
😒 3. Your Morning Lattes (or Double-Double)
OK, you may not be spending $10 on lunch everyday – and you should be commended for this behaviour – but you’re offsetting those savings by constantly purchasing a morning latte from Starbucks or a Double-Double from Tim Hortons. This is known as the Latte Factor.
Like a brown bag lunch, you can bring your own canister filled to the rim with coffee. Or, if applicable, you can use the office’s complimentary coffee and tea. This will save you a lot of money in the end.
The exact amount Canadians are spending on their morning java fix is difficult to gauge, but all you have to do is take a look at the morning line-up each day and you’ll likely see the same (groggy) customers.
😫 4. Groceries You Hardly Eat
Canadians waste a lot of food. In fact, food waste in the Great White North is estimated to cost $31 billion, and it isn’t slowing down. You are at fault, too. Why? Because you buy groceries that you won’t eat. Everything from those brussel sprouts to that carton of milk, most of it will eventually go in the trash because you didn’t consume these items in time.
😨 5. Brand-Name Products You’re Obsessed with
Are you a person who always purchases brand-name products? If you are then be sure to attempt to scale back on this habit. For the most part, no-name or generic products are pretty much the exact same as brand-name items, except that they are cheaper. Once you start buying generic, you’ll notice the savings on your bill.
😣 6. Impulse Buys You Instantly Regret
You had a hard day at work, you’re standing in line to buy yourself a bottle of aspirin and you notice a magazine you want to read or a candy bar you want to eat. Without thinking, you buy these items, and now your bill is an extra $10. Once you walk out of the store, you instantly regret it. Impulse purchases are dangerous and can eat away at your wallet.
😢 7. How About Your Unused Gym Membership?
January has come and gone and your New Year’s Resolution of getting into shape has already been put aside. This also means that your $50-a-month or $800-a-year gym membership is also going to waste. Don’t worry, though, you’re not alone in this endeavour. Next year, be sure to remember to not be so impetuous when you walk by a gym.