As we find our ourselves in a new year, it is a good opportunity to look at ways to get your finances on track for the year.

Challenge everything

Review your monthly expenses and consider every one of the individually to think about if it is something you really need.

Negotiate everything

Cable, satellite, cell phones, home phones, internet, house insurance, car insurance – don’t take the pricing for granted. Negotiate on purchases too – you never know how much you can save.

It’s not savings until it goes into a savings account

If you challenge something and you managed to shave $150 off your monthly bills, it is not really saving unless it goes into a savings account. Open a separate account and transfer the money, otherwise you will likely just spend it somewhere else

Cut back on stuff that you want to cut back on

Evaluate what really makes you happy. Cut back on the things that do not.

Sell your old “stuff”

You can earn more each month by selling stuff you don’t use on KijijiEbay or even Facebook sites

Buy stuff second-hand

Consignment shops, KijijiEbay, Frenchy’s – there are lots of places to buy good used items

Buy everything with credit cards to earn points

This one only works if you are diligent about paying off the card in full each month.  If you can be certain of doing that, there are lots of different points cards out there.

Use cash

If you find credit cards and debit cards have you losing track of your spending, go back to good old fashioned cash. It is a great way to easily keep track of your spending.

Google “coupon” along with whatever you’re planning to buy

Coupons are available for big and small ticket items. The savings can really add up.

Google anything you plan to spend money on

Research not just the item, but the price of the item. This goes back to giving you negotiating power. Prices can vary widely and many places will price match to keep your business.