Lately I have been freaking about how we will be able to afford to live when I’m off on parental leave next year.  Because of how quickly the adoption process has been coming together, we have had less time to save up – and what we have been saving is going towards paying for the adoption process – so not much left for saving for parental leave.  I’ve created some sample budgets for next year with the paternity benefits factored in – and we will be fine – but I’m still freaking.

I thought I would share some of the things we have been doing to save some extra cash:

  • USE THE LIBRARY!!  Libraries are no longer just books – they have cds, dvds, magazines, free (or very cheap) programs, downloadable audiobooks/videos/music.  Why pay to rent a dvd from a video store for $5 when you can go to the library and borrow one for FREE- just return it on time.  Since I am a librarian I dont’ get fines anyhow, but I can’t imagine how much we have saved by using the library.
  • Make a Menu.  We make up a menu at the beginning of each week and try to stick to it.  When you know what you are going to have it makes it much easier to go to the grocery store and get what you really need – and as a result, the grocery bill is less. 
  • Don’t eat out – well we try… but we love to eat out – we have reduced it to about once every 2 weeks…
  • Use Coupons – I love coupons – Free money!  Even at our favourite grocery store you receive coupons for cash off your groceries if you buy gas at their gas station – Free is good.
  • Save your change – roll it – you will be surprised how much it can add up to.
  • Turn down the thermostat – I try to be as green as I can – so we live a little cooler in the winter and a little warmer in the summer – and you really can see a difference on the hydro bill.
  • Compost / Recycle – by doing this, you reduce the amount you put in the garbage and you then save on garbage tags (we have to pay to have our garbage picked up here)  Same goes for yard waste days – put it out on the curb in the special bags – don’t pay to put it in the landfill.
  • While this one doesn’t really save cash, it does help out when the time is right – we put $50 away in a Xmas account each pay – then when it comes to Christmas shopping we have about $1200 and we don’t need to rack up the credit cards and deal with the January bills… 
  • Use points – we have Air Miles and Club Z points – and use them to buy gifts for either other people or ourselves – and you can even get gift certificates for stores!  Free shopping – I love it!

Please share any other ideas you might have on saving money on a daily basis – I’d love to hear them!