Canadian Money
By Sarah Deveau

“Where are we going to find the money for that?”

Have you ever asked yourself (or your partner) that question? Unexpected expenses can leave you strapped for cash, or the desire to take a vacation, pay down debt or begin contributing to your children’s educational fun can leave you wondering how you’ll pay for the things you need or want.

Here are ten ways you can find an extra $100 a month in your budget, without feeling the pinch.

• Check with your phone, Internet and cable providers to review your packages and see if you can reduce your packages to the basics. Consider eliminating certain services, such as cable TV, altogether, and swapping it for a service like Netflix.
• Utilize meal planning to reduce waste, and substitute generic brands for their more expensive counterparts. If you’re in the habit of eating a lot of chicken and meat meals, try recipes based on hearty vegetables instead.
• Take a break from buying items such as jewelry, clothing and sport equipment. These items are usually wants disguised as needs. Ask yourself, if you had to decide between the item and food for the day, which would you choose?
• Say no to events where you’ll be tempted to overspend – charity fundraisers, nights out at the bar or your favourite store’s customer appreciation sale.
• Stop outsourcing. Clean your house yourself, do your own nails at home and stop buying your lunch.
• Cancel memberships you’re not taking full advantage of, such as the gym, a magazine subscription or a weight loss program.
• Got clutter? Take time to purge your home (the backs of closets and cupboards, the boxes of clothes and toys in the basement) and sell unwanted items through used good websites or consignment shops. Not only will you make extra cash, you may be shocked by the extent of how much unnecessary shopping you do.
• Call around for to investigate better pricing on your home, auto and life insurance. You may be eligible for a significantly lower rate through a workplace program or alumni association.
• Consider taking a part-time job, approaching your boss for a raise, or offering your services as a dog walker, house cleaner or babysitter to friends and neighbours. Adult babysitters who can drive are in high demand – babysitting two evenings a month for just five hours will bring in $100 extra a month in most cities where the average sitter makes $10 an hour.