With all the money going toward rent, mortgage, or bills, it can get tough to find some money to put aside and save. That being said, you can do a few things in your life to give you a little more money you can either spend or save. Here are easy ways to save money year-round.
Lower your tax bracket.
Every year, you’re required to submit a tax return based on the amount of money you’ve made. From there, the government will tell you if you either owe them more money, or are going to be getting money back. The way they determine this is by looking at your tax bracket and seeing how much money you’ve already paid. If you want to save a lot of money, it’s in your best interest to lower your income bracket, therefore reducing the percentage you’ll be taxed.
There are a few things you’re going to have to look at and take into account to do this. The first thing you have to do is figure out where you stand in terms of your income bracket. The experts at https://taxfyle.com/tax-bracket-calculator mention that there are many tools across the Internet that you can use to help determine your income bracket based on how much you’re making and your marital status. Once this is done, the next thing you have to do is determine the lower limit of your tax bracket, and find out how far away you are from it. If you can get your taxable income under that lower limit, you’ll be taxed a lower percent on your income, saving you plenty of money. How can you go about lowering your taxable income?
Some of the biggest ways to lower your taxable income would be to look at what you can expense out or claim as a tax credit. If you take the bus to and from work, for example, you can expense all of that and have it reduce the amount of money you make. Tax credits are another great example of a way to lower your income. If you have children and enroll them in a physical program, you’re eligible for a tax credit. There are also many other ways to reduce your income and save money.
While this is always something you should look to do, it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, you’re so close to the upper limit of the tax bracket that there’s no way that you could possibly lower yourself to reach the lower percentage. In that case, don’t worry and just pay the government whatever you have to owe them come tax season.
Turn off what you’re not using.
The next way to save money is to look at how you’re using power in your own home. Do you leave lights on when you go to sleep? Or, do you need the television on at all points in the day? These types of things will greatly increase the amount of energy you use in the house, increasing the amount of money you’re going to pay on your utility bill. A simple rule to remember is: If you’re not using it, turn it off. It might take a bit of time to develop the habit, but with enough patience, you can save a ton of money on your utility bill.
The other thing to watch out for when it comes to power consumption in your own home is what’s known as phantom energy appliances. Phantom energy appliances will use up power in your home even when they are turned off. Things like your television, computer, or PVR, will always use power regardless of if you’re using the device or not. While one of these devices won’t make the biggest impact on your bill, having a handful of them around your home definitely will. What’s the solution to this?
Try to figure out what’s essential to have in your home. Things like a router, for example, have to be on at all times as you need the Internet. However, a video game console can easily be unplugged when it’s not in use, therefore saving power. Always do what you can to reduce energy usage, and you’ll be surprised as to what it can do for your bills.
Have you ever thought of traveling to work with other employees, instead of driving your car by yourself? Carpooling has a lot of benefits you can definitely take advantage of. The first thing is that you can save a lot of money on gas year-round. Let’s say, for example, you take two other employees with you to and from work. Those employees will all contribute to the gas that your car is using. Now, instead of having to pay for a full tank of gas by yourself, it can be split between three different people. The other benefits to carpooling are that it’s good for the environment, and that it also helps to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads. Overall, if you have several co-workers who live in the same area as you, try to take advantage of carpooling as it will help to save you and them a lot of money each year.
Use appliances during non-peak hours.
One of the easiest ways to save money year-round is to ensure that you’re taking advantage of the electrical plan that you have. If you have a plan that has two different rates depending on the time of day, you can save yourself a lot of money. Often, electric companies will charge you more money for using energy at peak time, which is generally the evening. While there are some things you can’t avoid using, try to do things like the laundry later when it’s outside of these hours. You’ll be charged a much lower amount for energy usage, and you’ll be happy when you see your bill at the end of the month. If you don’t have a dual-rate system in place with your energy provider, you don’t have to worry about when you use your appliances as it’s the same no matter what time of day it is.
Determine what’s necessary and what’s a luxury.
If you find yourself spending a lot of money on clothes and groceries, it might be time to sit down and take a look at your spending habits. If you want to make a difference, look at the last three months of spending in your life and see what you’ve purchased. From those purchases, determine what you consider to be essential or necessary to your life and what’s a luxury. While it might be hard at first to give up some of the luxurious items, you’ll get used to it in time and have much more money in your pocket because of it. That type of money can be invested and, later down the road, can be used to buy some of the finer things in life when it has accumulated. If money is tight, you have to find a way to cut down on some of your purchases.
Go for regular inspections.
When we mention regular inspections, we mean taking your car in to get looked at, having your heating looked at in the house, and even getting your teeth checked out at the dentist. How does this help you save money if all of these cost money to use? By getting all of these things checked out once a year, you can have any problems spotted early and dealt with before they get out of hand.
Take your car, for example, and your transmission. If you take your car in for servicing on the scheduled year, they can spot an issue early and charge you maybe $100 to get it all looked after. If you miss the appointment and the transmission breaks, you’re looking at paying several thousand dollars to get it all fixed. If you’re looking to save your money in the long run, it makes sense to get things looked, as it will greatly help you save money. The final thing to remember with inspections as well, is that the experts can offer insights on something you own. They will be able to tell you if something is worth fixing or not.
These are all great ways for you to save some money year-round. If you really want to grow your money, put it into TFSAs or invest them into safe stocks that can gradually accumulate wealth over time. By doing this, you’ll put yourself in a position where you won’t only be able to easily pay all your bills, but finally, be able to buy yourself some of the finer things in life that you’ve always wanted. What are some strategies you plan on employing to help save money?