If you’re trying to pay off debt or save up for an emergency fund, it’s important that you divert as much of your income towards that goal as possible. The more money you can send to your debt, the faster you’ll become debt free. To do this, you should take a careful look at your budget and cut anything that doesn’t need to be there. You can ditch your cable package in favour of Netflix, you can disconnect your home phone and use your cell phone instead, and you can insource as many services as possible.
Insourcing is the act of doing services yourself that you might normally pay others to do for you. Insourcing is a great way to cut even more from your budget, and the practice of insourcing usually helps you learn a new skill along the way. Here are five services you can easily insource instead of paying someone else a premium to do.
Car Detailing and Oil Changes
Changing your car oil used to be a task that many car owners performed themselves. I still have childhood memories of my Dad changing the oil on our cars. Somehow this task has become a standard to outsource, but doing it yourself will save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your car.
In the same vein is car detailing. Cleaning your car is not a fun process and takes at least a few hours, but it will save you at least several hundred dollars per year. Sure, it’s tedious and difficult, but the savings are worth it if you are trying to get out of debt.
Long haired dogs typically need to be thoroughly groomed several times per year and doing it yourself is possible. There is some skill involved in being a good dog groomer, but fortunately, there are many tutorials and YouTube videos online that explain the technique and best practices when grooming your dog. Pay special attention to the tutorials on trimming a dog’s nails, because if done incorrectly, could result in a yelping canine and a permanent scar for the owner!
If you’re a man and on a budget, cutting your hair with an electric shaver is a very easy process that shouldn’t require much time or effort. For women, the process is a little more nerve wracking and takes more skill, so again I suggest you take to YouTube to figure out the best way to go about it. If you want to save money on your hair style but you don’t want to take the risk of doing a bad job yourself, you have a few options. You can opt instead to stop colouring your hair, choose a hair style that looks good grown out to minimize visits to the stylist, and find a stylist that cuts hair in her home to save on salon fees.
If you have a job, an RRSP, and a few tax deductions, there is no reason you can’t do your taxes yourself. Nifty programs life TurboTax has made it easier than ever to file your taxes yourself, and you’ll save at least $50 by going the DIY route. Just make sure to have all of your receipts, T4’s and contribution records on hand before you sit down to file, and remember that you can pause the process at any time to hunt down information that may be missing. Once you do it a few times, you’ll be a pro, and you’ll fly through the process.
Investing is an important part of any healthy financial future because it ensures you’ll have a cash cushion to rely on during retirement. While most Canadians go to their local bank when they want to start investing, Canadian banks charge some of the highest Management Expense Ratios (MERs) in the world, which is a percentage fee for managing your money. Over time those fees can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash that you’re losing due to high fees.
But if you aren’t a savvy investor, I’m not suggesting you jump into the investing world and start picking stocks yourself – that’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, there is a middle ground. You can choose a passively invested; self-managed fund at an organization like Tangerine or WealthSimple which will allow you to invest your money with no hassle and much lower fees.