As Christmas expenses appear on credit card bills, families and individuals are feeling the pinch of inflation and increased costs. Anyone with a new or variable mortgage is also challenged to come up with more money to put toward their payments. Canwest Accounting has put together 4 tips for saving money in 2023; a list of ways to save money and to possibly find money you may have forgotten about.
- Check over your insurance policies
Some life insurance policies have an investment component that earns interest. The insured individual can choose to access the interest from the policy fund, which could be in the thousands or let it accumulate as part of the death benefit for the policy beneficiary. These are funds that a lot of people don’t think about when scraping together money to pay for increased living costs or unexpected expenses.
Additionally, consider whether you actually need the insurance policy. If you are single and have no dependents, you may decide it isn’t necessary and can save the monthly premiums. You can also shop around for insurance policies on your home and business to find lower rates for policies that still cover your needs. Another consideration is that typically mortgage insurance from financial institutions is more expensive than a life insurance policy that could cover the remainder of the mortgage owing.
- Shop around for phone plans
Since many phone companies encourage their clients to sign up for preauthorized monthly payments, it can be easy to lose track of how much you are paying each month. Additionally, those opting for a “free phone” as part of a more expensive phone plan might not remember when the contract ends and continue paying those high monthly fees. Review your cellphone bill; if you aren’t in a contract, shop around to see what other rates are out there. Before switching, if you are happy with your provider, contact their customer retention department and find out the best rate they can offer you.
If you have a landline at home, consider whether you really need it in addition to a cellphone.
- Lower bank fees and debt
If you owe money on your credit cards, investigate moving that debt onto a line of credit offering a lower interest rate. Review your account fees with your financial institution in case they can provide you with a plan featuring lower or no fees. If you have accounts at multiple financial institutions, consider consolidating your accounts to just one to lower your monthly fees. Also, watch for notices from businesses charging an additional fee for paying by credit card and change how you pay your bills to avoid these extra fees.
- Save energy
During the winter months, we use more energy to heat our homes and keep the lights on. This can raise our BC Hydro and/or gas bills by a couple of hundred dollars a month. Check out these BC Hydro tips for being more Power Smart to save money on your electricity bill.
“What I tell people is to review what they really need,” said Sharlane Bailey, owner of Canwest Accounting, with offices in Victoria and Langford. “It pays to check your monthly bills and shop around. These types of expenses can add up. I have one client who paid $1,200 more than she needed to in 2022 by staying on an old cellphone plan beyond the expiry of the contract.”
To have the exceptional team at Canwest Accounting save you time and money by doing your taxes, bookkeeping, tax planning for your business, recession-proofing your business, or filing estate returns, call or email us.
The suggestions and advice provided by Canwest Accounting should not be relied upon in place of professional advice. You are responsible for checking the accuracy of relevant facts and opinions provided.