Ok. Yay! Everyone has less disposable income than they did a couple of years ago. NOT.
Right. Well, the good old saying goes: “It isn’t what happens to you in life but how you handle what does.”
The real estate market isn’t turning a 10% profit this year like you’ve been seeing for the past 3 years. If you’re like me, your mortgage payments have recently gone up $500 to $1000 depending on your rates and your stock portfolio is too scary to look at. It’s important to take control of your finances instead of crying about the realities of our current financial markets. They are what they are.
Have no fear… it’s time to get smart instead of scared.
I’ve been doing a lot of financial cleanup lately and narrowed down some categories where I could be more financially responsible. I wanted to share with you my real-life costs (against all better advice from my husband). Let’s break it down:
This is an obvious one, but seriously, cutting out Uber Eats, Door Dash and picking up your food through Ritual will save you hundreds a year. The delivery fees, the extra “service fees” and the fact that the restaurants charge more for the item on that app than in the restaurant, make it a very expensive dinner. Just stop doing it. You can get in some extra steps or GFB make your own food at home.
Have you gone through what you’re paying for and thought about how much it might NOT be contributing to your happiness? Do you need 3 online streaming services? Do you need apps that change your appearance? I got rid of $50 worth of app subscriptions last month, that’s $600 a year.
This is a big one. I was the victim of two car thefts in the last 2 years and am proud to say that I was forced to downgrade from a Range Rover Sport to a shiny new Volkswagen Atlas. My payments of $700 per month went to zero when I could successfully purchase the car outright. Buying a non-luxury car also puts my gas into the regular category; big savings. My insurance also went down $300 per month. People don’t really care what I drive anymore as a realtor, they just care that I do good work. I now save 12k a year with my new car. I put 1k into a savings plan with Safebridge Private Wealth to help me build my wealth for decades to come.
I was such a proponent of having a nanny before. I loved having someone do my laundry and that I could just walk out the door without having to dress my child first and drop them off somewhere. When I started putting one child in Montessori school and the other at home with the Nanny I was spending $5,500 a month for other people to watch my kids.
When Rosie was old enough to join Rafi at Montessori school, I was able to reduce my spending from $5,500 to $3,600 a month. I saved $19,00 per month on putting my kids in great programs, but I do my own laundry again 🙁 . The government subsidy programs are coming to most daycares in your area, your costs will be reduced by 25% by this time next year, it’s time to take advantage of this.
Before kids, I was the type that generally shopped at small grocers and stores when I needed things. When I had children I found myself going to Loblaws or Whole Foods for my large grocery shops. After I got back from Europe this year, I had sticker shock at Loblaws. I had gotten used to spending 50% less in Europe for similar items and now wasn’t prepared to break the bank for crackers. In fact, stats Canada says The average cost of groceries went up 10.8% this year. ￼
I decided to switch my regular shopping from Loblaws to No Frills (same company with slightly worse produce). I’ll still go and buy nicer cheeses or fish from a local store when entertaining or treating myself, but a regular shop is happening at the Frills. I’ve noticed that I’m saving $50 a visit from switching stores and not items. That’s around $200 a month from the switch.
To Sum Up the New Sum
In total, I’m now saving roughly $3,250 a month and my life hasn’t changed much aside from doing my own laundry, driving a non-luxury SUV, and getting yellow bags instead of greys. I’m saving almost $40k per year now with these changes and I’m equally as happy.
In the near future when the market picks up and I’m flush with disposable income again, I will indulge. For now, I’m satisfied knowing I’m being financially responsible in a time of uncertainty.