Saving in sweatpants – What staying home could save you
It’s been approximately … infinity months since many of us started working from home, socializing from home, exercising at home, and eating at home, and it got us to thinking - why not reframe it as a positive? What changes have you made over the past months that have benefitted your nest eggs, savings accounts, or debt payments? Here are our top three.
With many of us under stay at home orders, the nightlife has become a vestige of the “before times”. While we may miss crowding around a table at our favourite eatery, there are advantages to spending more time bonding with our spouses, pets, kids, or houseplants, and saving money is one of them.
Let’s start with the obvious – drinks and dinners out. While many eateries were able to open for outdoor dining in the summer months, it’s likely you have been dining out significantly less than you were prior to the pandemic. When you find yourself getting bored of your dining room table, kitchen counter or couch, remind yourself of the money you’re saving because you aren’t being tempted by a proffered dessert or drinks menu. According to LowestRates.ca, the average Torontonian spends an estimated $282 per month on takeout and dinners out – imagine the savings you could sock away now!
If you want to share the wealth, many are supporting their beloved local businesses to help them through these troubling times. Consider purchasing a gift card, or placing a to-go order with your favourite spots to support your community.
And I am telling you I’m not going
It’s no secret many of us missed out on an epic trip we might have been looking forward to in 2020, so if you’ve been saving for a getaway, why not park those savings in a high interest savings account, TFSA or GIC? By the time the world is once again our oyster, perhaps you’ll have more to shell out for souvenirs!
Trips with Uber or Lyft have likely decreased to very little or perhaps zero for some. We aren’t looking for a quick and easy ride home after a night out with friends. Pre-pandemic, the average Torontonian spent $120 per month on ridesharing. That’s $1,440 over the course of a year!
Unless you’re an essential service worker, chances are you’re currently working from home. Among the benefits of signing in from the home office; cashing in on some extra coffee time (or sleep time) in the morning, and saving between $90 and $150 per month on transit, depending on the province you live in, and assuming you typically purchase a monthly pass.
Keeping up appearances
Obviously, we all bought a pair of sweatpants for every day of the week back in March of 2020. (No? Just us?). After we levelled up our loungewear and made sure we had enough masks for our grocery trips … what else is there? There’s no need to buy a new outfit for that upcoming wedding, or that big presentation to the CEO. In 2019, the average Canadian spent $278 monthly on clothing and accessories. These days, even fashion bloggers are “shopping their closets”, and #OutfitRepeater is trending on Instagram. Why not give endless scrolling a rest and set aside an afternoon to take a good look at what you already own, what you might be able to repurpose, and what won’t make its way back into the rotation when we find our “new normal”.
So many of us have tossed aside our makeup bags for the time being. It’s unsurprising that a global event that has us all covering half our faces has rocked the beauty industry. Lipstick sales are down, and many of us are abandoning our daily makeup routines or fragrances. A quick Google search will reveal that your daily beauty routine could easily put you through an Ivy League school, so when you break that down, not only are you giving your skin a break while you let Zoom touch up your appearance, you’re saving on average $300 per month.
A haircut can cost anywhere between $35 to $150, depending on the stylist and the complexity of the service. It goes without saying that a lot of us skipped a lot of visits to the salon in 2020, and depending on future events, a handful in 2021 as well. Whether you’ve enlisted a trusted friend or family member to tame your mane, or let it run wild, assuming you would visit a salon 3-5 times a year, that’s between $105 and $750 in savings!
Bottom line, taking the time to go through your average expenses, it’s abundantly clear how quickly seemingly small costs tend to add up. Curious where you can find some hidden savings? We recommend going through three months of bank statements prior to the pandemic, and comparing them to three months post March 2020. It’s like hunting for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but less likely to be a mirage.