There has been much talk lately about the rising cost of living. Inflation rates are at the highest they have been since 1983 and consumers are feeling the squeeze at every point of purchase. Human beings are a creative lot, however, and are coming up with simple, yet effective, ways to control their finances.
Here is a selection of some of the better resources we’ve found providing some great tips to help combat the cost of living.
MyMoneyCoach.ca’s “Strategies for Saving Money in Canada”:
- Pay yourself first with an automatic withdrawal
- Use different savings accounts for different savings goals
- Set up a tax-free savings account, a high-interest savings account, a GIC or an RRSP
Debt.com’s “60 Creative and Simple Ways to Save Money”:
- Restrict yourself from impulse spending
- Avoid ATMs
- Use libraries more often
CleverGirlFinance.com’s “30 Creative Ways to Save Money Right Now”:
- Declutter and hold a garage sale, consign some old clothing and sell things online
- Cancel the subscription services you do not use
- Get rid of some credit cards and lower the limit on the rest
SavvyNewCanadians.com’s “100 Creative Ways to Save Money on a Low Income”:
- Cut your energy bill by being smart about energy use
- Negotiate the cost of services such as cable, internet and telephones
- Spend the time and comparison shop for the best deal
NerdWallet.com’s “How to Save Money: 22 Proven Ways”
- Save your coins and small change in a piggy bank
- Delay purchases with the 30-day rule
- Place restrictions on online shopping
MoneyMentors.ca’s “10 Creative Ways to Have Fun on a Budget”:
- Sign up for discounting and coupon sites
- Enter contests to win free stuff
- Watch for “cheap” nights at local restaurants and theatres, etc.
While working to save on day-to-day expenses, it’s still important to try to keep putting money towards a solid reserve fund. This will allow you to avoid using credit should an accident happen and keep you free of debilitating high-interest loans. Just by making sure you have at least the amounts of your insurance deductibles tucked away can greatly ease the pressure if you need to file an insurance claim.
Experts also suggest having an emergency fund worth at least three months of living expenses, however more (up to six months) is recommended.
Revisit your insurance costs for potential savings
Revisiting your insurance costs can help lower your cost of living. Many insurance companies levy a premium on monthly payments, so one way to start may be to switch to an annual payment plan.
Auto insurance: There are a number of ways to save on your auto insurance, but the best is to access the expertise of an experienced insurance broker. We at Lane’s know the right questions to ask to find you the best coverage and rates available for your particular circumstances. Through our partnerships with a number of respected insurance providers, we are able to cross-compare policies and do the shopping for you.
Another way to lower your car insurance rates is to practice defensive driving, which greatly reduces the chance of an accident and is also much easier on your vehicle. A claims-free driving record also results in lower auto insurance costs.
In addition, it may be tempting to remove collision coverage from your vehicle to help lower your rates, but unless your vehicle is of low value, it is not advisable. As brokers, we are able to offer our best advice on this choice. Without collision insurance, you are not covered for common incidents such as hit-and-runs and collisions with an uninsured driver.
If nothing you do seems to be helping with the cost of your auto insurance, it may be time to think about swapping out your vehicle for something more affordable to insure. Find out how different makes and models face off against each other on the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) website.
Home insurance: Home insurance is all about risk prevention and mitigation. Always work to be aware of what your liabilities are (and remember they are always changing), and consistently address them with the necessary repairs or renovations. Also speak with children often about the risks and repercussions associated with dangerous behaviour, and fully explain the consequences of accidents.
Always keep an up-to-date home inventory to ensure your coverage is complete, and revisit your policy with an insurance broker. There may be a way we can safely reduce the named perils on your policy, or we can discuss ways to help lower the costs for your optional coverage. For example, if you are spending a lot for additional jewelry, art and furniture coverage, consider moving some pieces to a safety deposit box or selling them off to reduce the amount of valuables on your property.
Business insurance: In the same way that you run your home, you should also run your business on high alert for any type of risk. Depending on the size of your company, it’s worth it to either hire a risk management expert or bring a contractor in annually for a complete risk assessment. Being diligent means you will face fewer costs in the long run and avoid having to make a business insurance claim, which will almost inevitably raise your business insurance rates.
- Keep an eye out for anything that could cause a workplace accident. Keep equipment well maintained and work environments clean and in good repair.
- Train employees on workplace safety practices such as wearing personal protective equipment and ensuring workspaces are designed ergonomically.
- Unfortunately, fraud happens often in workplaces. Protect yourself and your company from crime by screening employees properly, teaching awareness of common scams, and provide cyber security training.
- Cargo theft is big business in Canada. The IBC has provided this safety assessment for companies to highlight potential risks and find ways to improve their safety and security.
- Owners of fleet vehicles may also consider usage-based car insurance (also known as telematics) as an option. Telematics tracks driving habits such as speed, cornering, braking force and frequency, all of which reveal overall approaches to driving. This data allows insurers to offer immediate and valuable discounts to commercial auto insurance clients who consistently show that their drivers operate their vehicles safely and responsibly.
Invest in life insurance
Life insurance is a way to make sure that your family and loved ones are not unnecessarily burdened in the event of your death. It is also a low-cost savings plan that can also act as an investment.
Life insurance policies:
- Enable surviving loved ones to pay off major assets and settle debts.
- Provide peace of mind that dependents, such as children or aging parents, will be properly cared for in your absence.
- Prevent your loved ones from having to meet final expenses, such as the cost of a funeral and cremation/burial, out-of-pocket.
- Are generally affordable benefits and payments through policies are tax-free.
Trust Lane’s for all of your insurance needs
Lane’s Insurance is a full-service Alberta-based insurance brokerage that works with the top carriers in the Canadian insurance industry to find our clients the very best insurance coverage at the lowest possible rates.
Visit Lane’s Insurance today to get a fast, free, no-obligation quote for your life insurance needs. We know exactly what questions to ask to ensure you get the right coverage for your needs and are clear and transparent about all the details of your policy. Simply put, we work for you, not the insurance companies. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, or Alberta offices to see what we can do for you.