You'll Save If You Eliminate These 5 Daily Habits | Refresh Financial

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You Won’t Believe How Much You’ll Save If You Eliminate These 5 Daily Habits

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Most of us go about our daily routine without really thinking about it. Half of what we do is out of sheer habit. Do you consider how much these habits are costing you? It’s Friday, so let’s talk about something we can celebrate! I thought we’d take a look at some easy ways to save money, which is always a topic you can raise your glass to. What can you cut out of your daily routine to keep your bank account in the black?

Starbucks. Sorry, ‘Bucks, but we gotta call you out here. The price of designer coffees can be exorbitant. Even if you’re a Timmy H’s regular, you’re still dropping a good amount of coin on your joe every month. If you bought yourself a coffee maker, set it to brew at a certain time every morning, and bought your grinds from your favourite beanery, you’d save a mint, save some time, and even avoid the frustrations of having to wait in line or having the barista yell out your name wrong.

Starbucks coffees are around $2.50 for a large. Tim Hortons is about $2.00. Just one every weekday would run you $600/year for Starbucks and $480/year for Tim Hortons. If your drink of choice is a latte, you’re upping that total to even more. This doesn’t include the gas you use to get there and wait in the drive-thru, or the time it takes to wait in line. It doesn’t include the little extras you always buy – who can resist those pumpkin spice muffins at Timmy’s in the fall? This doesn’t include the inconvenience of making another stop on your way to work.

If, on the other hand, you decided to brew at home, a cup of coffee is around $0.50 each, depending where you buy your coffee from and how you make it. This takes into consideration the cost of paper filters. When all is said and done, if you buy your favourite ground coffee and brew it at home everyday, you’re saving around $480/year if you’re a Starbucks regular and about $360/year if you love your Tim’s. Even more if you can’t resist those TimBits.

Brewing coffee at home can save you: $480/year

Eating out. Put that naan down and pay attention. I love a great bento box as much as the next person, but eating out regularly can be a serious drain on your bank account. Let’s just say you eat out three times per week. With lunch combos averaging about $10 no matter where you go, that’s $30/week. You’re dropping $1,440/year on Big Macs. This doesn’t even take into consideration the new pants you’ll have to buy yourself every six months to accommodate your expanding waist size. Dude, just put down the Baconator, step away from the Crazy Bread and listen to me. You don’t need this. Homemade is always better. Instead of eating out, make bigger quantities of dinner the night before and pack some leftovers. Stir frys are the best reheated, and they’re going to fill you with energy and nutrients to tackle the rest of your day more efficiently. Doesn’t that sound better than that weighed down, sleepy feeling you get post-Whopper combo binge?

Pack a lunch and save: $1,440/year

Driving to work. According to CAA, the average annual cost of driving a mid-size car is $10,343. If you bought yourself a monthly bus pass with Translink instead, you’re looking at $2,010/year. Plus, if you get yourself a bus pass, you qualify for the transit tax credit. That’s even more savings. That’s 300 bones you get back from Ottawa if you get yourself the three-zone monthly pass from Translink every month. So, the total you pay for taking transit is $1,710.

That is a savings of $8,633. Eight thousand, six hundred and thirty-three buckeroonies. How many times have you told your kids you can’t afford that trip to Disney? Yeah. I think you can, buddy. I think you can.

Take the bus to work and save: $8,633/year

Bottled water! Sure, it’s convenient and if you keep it in the fridge or in a water cooler, it can be the most refreshing moment of a hot summer day. But did you know that all across Canada, tap water is some of the safest drinking water in the world? It’s true! According to Health Canada,

“All provinces and territories have comprehensive regulatory regimes in place to ensure the safety of drinking water, including appropriate treatment.”

Have you ever stopped to wonder how strange it must be to someone living in a place like Mexico, where tap water should not be ingested at all cost, to see Canadians have delicious, clean drinking water delivered to their home for pennies but we turn our noses up at it anyway, in favour of spending more on bottles of the stuff at the store? Yeah. We probably look a little… well, spoiled is the nicest word I could think of.

Let’s say you drink two bottles of water per day. At a dollar a pop, that’s $730/year. Spend thirty bucks on reusable bottles, and you’re saving about $700. You’re going to be paying your water bill whether you drink bottled water or not. If you start drinking what you’re already paying for, you’re $700 richer at the end of the year.

Put down the Fiji water, and pick up a reusable bottle. Not only can you save money doing this, but you can also leave less of a mark on the environment. Heck, get two reusables and keep one in the fridge while you drink the other, so you always have fresh, cold water on hand.

Switch to tap water and save: $700/year

Smoking. 5.4 million of you Canucks still smoke and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why. You stink, you age faster, you get all antsy at the end of every meal. Hey, I had to quit the stuff, too, you know, and it wasn’t easy, but at some point you have to see the writing on the wall: there are zero benefits to smoking. But I digress, I didn’t come here to lecture you about smoking, only to tell you how much you save if you quit the junk.

Let’s be generous and say you smoke a pack of cigarettes every two days. At ten bucks a pack in most of Canada, that’s about $1825. There’s nothing to compare this to. You quit and you just saved yourself nearly two grand yearly, a few years of life and maybe people will want to kiss you again.

Quit smoking and save: $1,825/year

If you make these five changes, you’ll be saving a whopping $13,078 per year. If you decide you want to put this away in a savings account each year, after ten years, you’ve saved yourself $130,780.

Yes. $130,780.

Now that is something to toast to. Happy Friday, savers!

Photo by Sarah Long.

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