There are a million and one talking points on budget optimization, but I found a metric that works really well for me. When you’re travelling, you often look at what day-to-day costs are for your trip, because it is typically measured in days. When you live somewhere, you usually look at it in months, because that’s how bills are paid.
I’m challenging you to look at what your current life costs you per day, it should give you a unique perspective. Until recently, living in Toronto costs me about $48/day. I think that’s pretty high, so I found ways to get that down to $45, and hopefully I’ll have it below $40 in the next 6 months by moving.
Look at all of your required expenses, and determine if you can reduce or eliminate any of them WITHOUT giving up anything you love. Myself, I dropped a couple domain names I haven’t used in over a year, got rid of my gym membership, reduced my meat and cheese consumption, and stopped buying lotto tickets. This got me to my goal. $3/day seems trivial, but that’s over $1000/year!
Try slimming down, you’ll feel better!
Currently, I only have two paid services: phone, and internet. Every 6 months or so, I shop around a bit and see what going rates with other companies are. Sometimes you can find better service for the same money, or the same service for less money.
Recently, I moved from Freedom Mobile to Public Mobile after a trip to Montreal. Freedom doesn’t have a network in Quebec which was problematic. Public Mobile is on the Telus network, and they had a great deal to move over from Freedom. I was paying about $54/month for 8GB of Data, Unlimited Text/Calling, and 1GB of Data/month in the USA.
I’m now paying $120/3-month period for 4GB of Data, Unlimited Text/Calling per month. They even offer a bonus to hookup your credit card, giving you $2 off per month. This brings me down to $38/month. The switch saves me $16/month, or $192/year. I like the concept of having extra money not leaving my account. Assuming I have a phone for the next 50 years at the same price, I’ll have saved myself $10,000 over my life, not including interest on that money. Sweet! Getting a better deal on my Internet is the next step.
Do your wallet a favour and shop around.