Just as COVID-19 lockdowns have limited the activities of many Canadians under quarantine, they’ve also provided us with the time to explore surprising ways in which we can save money, now and on the other side of the pandemic. Here are seven ways that we’ve learned to save or stretch a dollar in recent weeks.
Eating out less often
We’ve often been told that buying daily take-out coffee can add up to a big year-end tab — anywhere from $400 to $1,500 for one cup alone, depending on where we buy. Now throw in a daily restaurant lunch at work, a few sit-down meals each month with the family and a handful of fast-food pitstops. Canadians have found that, without these options available, a month of savings is adding up to serious cash available to pay off loans, fund educations and build a healthy savings account. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying restaurant food or visiting a local coffee shop, but being more selective can add up to big savings.
Selling items from your own online store
Many Canadians run a side business to bring in extra income and rely on outside sales platforms that cost them money to use each month. With a little extra time available, they’re finding that it’s easy to set up their own customized e-commerce and shopping cart sites, using products like fesh
Do-it-yourself auto repair
With automotive shops shuttered, some of us have found that it’s not too difficult to perform simple car repairs using an inexpensive OBD-II scanner that identifies many car problems simply by plugging it into a small port underneath the dashboard. Look for an OBD-II reader that actually suggests the best ways to repair the problem, then watch YouTube videos that show mechanics performing those repairs on your own model. Can you avoid the garage forever? Nope. But even fixing one or two minor problems yourself can save hundreds of dollars each year.
Switch to a lifetime VPN subscription
Using online connections, whether at home or on public Wi-Fi, can expose your data to hackers and assorted bad actors. Many of us protect our data using a virtual private network (VPN) a service that protects a user’s privacy and data, no matter how they surf the Net. Services like KeepSolid VPN Unlimited have lowered the cost of that security and peace of mind by switching to a lifetime subscription model that completely eliminates monthly VPN fees with a low, one-time payment. No additional bills? No, never.
Cancel memberships you never really use
Do you routinely renew annual memberships to fitness clubs and other activities that you never really used or enjoyed? Thirty days under coronavirus lockdown are helping to separate the memberships we really miss from the ones we no longer need. In fact, many of us are finding that online fitness and yoga classes, for example, are both less expensive and more convenient than in-person training.
Simplify your online education for common business tools
We’re inundated with offers to subscribe to various online seminars and buy expensive education guides to learn more about the common business tools we use every day. Products like the Ultimate Microsoft Office Certificate Mastery Bundle can provide lifetime access to more than 92 hours of training for every major Microsoft product, from Excel, Word and Outlook, to PowerPoint, Access and VBA. Pay a small fee once and learn at your own pace online — forever.
Talk down the cost of your regular services
We frequently complain about the costs of telephone, Internet and cable TV services, but keep paying regular rates because we’re too busy to do much else. Now you’ve got the time to wear down those customer service representatives by threatening to switch to a competitor. Tell them you don’t really want to leave, but… Ask to speak to their manager and then their manager’s manager. Cook a gourmet meal while on hold. Some providers will reward your patience and offer a money-saving deal in exchange for long-term loyalty.
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