A few dollars saved here and there can often make all the difference.
When you make day-to-day transactions
- You know that making withdrawals at ATMs of any financial institutions other than caisse populaire member of L’Alliance or Desjardins costs you more in additional service charges. These can actually go as high as $3. Make your day-to-day transactions online or at those financial institution’s ATMs to save on service charges. See how much the fees add up to in a 6-month period; you’ll be surprised at how much you could save.
- Use your debit card (direct payment) instead of paying by cheque to reduce your service charges.
- When you use your debit card (direct payment) to pay for something, and if the retailer agrees, make a withdrawal at the same time. You’ll reduce your service charges even more.
- Use direct withdrawal to pay current bills. You can pay most of your bills this way. You save on cheque fees, stamps and potential late charges if your payment doesn’t arrive on time.
- Find out more about direct withdrawal on AccèsD.
- Learn to cook. Make your own lunches and have dinner at home more often instead of eating out.
- When you shop for groceries, take advantage of lower seasonal prices (e.g., in the fall, cook with apples).
- Learn to read the weekly fliers. The real discounts on the first and last page.
- Reduce your hydro bill by turning off the lights when you leave the room, by putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat and by lowering your thermostat at night and when you leave the house.
- Ask family members to give you their old furniture or decor items. Add your own personal touch and you’ll have a home that reflects your taste for a lot less money.
- Enjoy evenings at home with friends (it’s a lot cheaper than going out!)
- Avoid astronomical phone bills by signing up for a long distance savings plan tailored to your needs.
- Consider living with a roommate to save on expenses.
- Rent a film instead of going out to the movies. If you prefer going to a movie theatre, go on reduced price days.
- Do some research and apply for scholarships. You haven’t got a thing to lose, and a lot to gain!
- Check your tuition statement carefully to avoid paying extra charges (group insurance, for example, if you are still covered by your parents’ insurance policy).
- Bring your lunch sometimes instead of always eating in the cafeteria or restaurant.
- Buy used textbooks and sell back any books you no longer need.
- Whenever possible, borrow books from the library instead of buying them.
- Find out about campus discounts and take advantage of free student services.
When you shop
- Avoid impulse purchases. Take the time to evaluate your real needs and budget.
- Compare prices and don’t hesitate to shop around, especially for major purchases.
- Never shop for groceries when you’re hungry.
- When you do your grocery shopping, shop the perimeter of the store. Avoid the center aisles where more expensive, processed food can be found.
- Compare the unit price and not the shelf price. The price by weight is in the small print on every label.
- Buy house brands instead of known brands. Compare the ingredients and you’ll see you’re paying more just for prettier packaging.
- Keep an eye out for sales.
- Check your receipt before you leave the store. If you are charged more than the price published on the shelf label, the law requires merchants to give you the product for free if it’s under $10 or a $10 discount on the published price if it’s over $10. Merchants must let you exert this right.
- Buy family size formats, even if you live alone, and freeze the contents in individual size packages (hamburger, for example).
- Make a list before you go shopping and stick to it. Buy only what you really need.
- Use discount coupons.
- Avoid ready-to-eat meals, pre-cut fruits and vegetables and grated cheese. You’ll pay a lot more for processing you can do yourself in only a few minutes.
- Check out used clothing, book and record stores, flea markets, etc.
- If you want to buy clothes, start by listing what you should have in your closet. Then make an inventory of the clothes you already have. Whatever’s left on your list is what you should be shopping for.