Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes, but I also love to save money. How do I combine those two passions for spending and saving bliss (without clipping coupons)? Read on and discover the 3 simple ways this Canadian spender saves those precious dollars!
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1. Begin with the bank
Let’s start with the place most of us keep our money, a financial institution. As a former bank teller of eight years, I can tell you with great confidence that most people who stand in line to see a teller don’t really need to be there. Unless you’re in desperate need of human interaction, why not do your banking 100% online? And without the nasty FEES? I have been banking with Tangerine (see link below) for many years now (since they were called ING Direct), and I have never been less than completely satisfied. I use the computer or the handy phone app to do ALL of my banking, including depositing paper cheques, and I have a really cool orange debit card with chip/pin technology. I honestly can’t believe more people don’t know about this awesome company! I have never paid a fee of any kind. No monthly fees. No transaction fees or minimum balances. Many products and services (everything from email money transfers to mortgages)! They even provide simple ways to move your direct deposits or automated payments to your new account. Worried about leaving your current bank? You don’t have to say goodbye forever… just get rid of the nasty chequing account with fees and switch it to a savings so you can still be a customer. Make the switch, I HIGHLY recommend it!
*bonus tip: Use my Orange Key 39403763S1 at Tangerine.ca and we’ll each earn $25
2. Get paid for shopping online
This is really my favourite one. Just the thought of online shopping gives me a thrill! First you get to easily find what you’re looking for without searching the racks and shelves of stores (with kids whining, pulling displays over, and laying on the dirty floor)… Then you get the bonus excitement of the package arriving followed by un-boxing your prized purchase. On top of all that fun, you can also look forward to cheques in the mail if you shop through Ebates. Most of the online stores I shop at are listed on Ebates, including Amazon, Gap/Old Navy and Staples! All you have to do is go to Ebates first, find the store you want to shop at (or browse their huge list) and when you open the store through their link and make a purchase, you’ll earn a rebate. A few times a year, I receive a cheque in the mail and use my phone to deposit it to my Tangerine account. Easy peasy!
*bonus tip: If you sign up for your favourite stores’ email newsletters, you’ll be informed of sales and get special coupon codes to save even more money.
3. Buy the right clothing items
I used to think shopping clearance racks was the best way to save money, but I was wrong. It’s true that I did find great deals and markdowns, however, the randomly chosen items I bought were rarely worn. What good is spending any money on clothes you’ll never wear? Rather than saving money, I was wasting it. I still look for clearance deals and great sales, but I know what I’m looking for… because I have a capsule wardrobe. When you create a capsule wardrobe, you are looking for a selection of clothing items that you can mix-and-match to make multiple outfits. Find a colour scheme that complements YOU, buy basic pieces that work in multiple ways (dress up/dress down) and then seasonally add trendy accessories as you can afford. If this is a daunting task, I recommend trying GYPO’s style challenges. I built my first capsule wardrobe using this website and I’m so glad I did. Alison gives you a list of items to have each season and then gives you 21 outfit ideas using those items! Even just her email newsletter is full of great style tips and advice. You know that feeling of looking through your full closet but having nothing to wear? I am finally free of that stress, and it’s a wonderful thing.
Shop smart, save money
Do your budget a favour and save money while spending! Whether you use only one of the above tips, or combine all three for the ultimate triple-threat, you won’t be sorry. Save well, my fellow Canadian spenders!