One of the easiest ways we save money is by delaying or accelerating our everyday purchases by a matter of hours/days/months. Doing this regularly helps us save more than a thousand dollar per year and it does little to affect our quality of life.
Here’s what I mean:
Delaying/Accelerating Our Purchases By Hours
1. Electricity Usage – In Ontario, we get charged different electricity rates depending on the time of day and day of the week that we use electricity (http://www.torontohydro.com/sites/electricsystem/residential/rates/Pages/resirates.aspx). At the time this post was written, using/buying electricity in the off-peak hours (6.5 cents per kWh) is half the cost of using it during peak hours (13.2 cents per kWh). For example, we do our laundry and lawn mowing (we use an electric mower) on weekends or after 7pm on weekdays. We charge our phones/laptops before bedtime. Electricity used during this time is all charged at the lowest rates. I estimate we save about $60-$80 per year from changing when we use electricity.
2. Gas – We recently got a car. With gas prices hitting a high of $1.50 per litre this year, we realized we had to be a bit more strategic about when we filled up the gas. Gas prices are usually highest in the morning (when people start their day to work) and drops about 4 to 7 cents lower in the evening (after 7pm). Gas prices are usually cheaper mid-week (Wednesdays/Thursdays) as opposed to weekends and Mondays.
3. Lunch vs. Dinning Outings – If we’re eating out, we usually eat out for lunch instead of dinner. A lot of restaurants will charge more during dinner time than lunch time. The prices are generally higher because of the time the food is served and not because there’s been a change to the menu items/ingredients. It’s not uncommon for lunch menus to be cheaper than dinner menus by 20 to 30% for the exact same item.
Delaying/Accelerating Our Purchases By Days
4. Vacations – When we book our vacations, we tend to always look for trips that fly out on Tuesday as opposed to Friday night or the weekend. Almost always, it’s the cheaper option and it’s not unusual for us to be saving a couple hundred of dollars from doing this. We would literally be spending an hour playing around with all sorts of departure and return dates to ensure we’re getting the best deal at the time. It’s incredible what a difference the day of the week you depart and return makes in terms of costs.
5. Sporting Events – We really enjoy watching the Raptors. We try to go to some games during the regular season. We found it’s cheaper to get tickets to an early afternoon weekend home game than it is for an evening game (assuming it’s against the same team).
We sometimes even go as far as to wait until thirty minutes before the basketball game, before we buy the tickets on Ticketmaster. What we found was that we could get the tickets below face value if we were willing to buy the tickets last minute.
Delaying/Accelerating Our Purchases By Months
6. End of the Season/Year Models – We try to avoid buying summer/winter clothes at the beginning of their season. We try to wait until the end of their season to buy it when mark downs are generally the highest at 50-70% off. I remember wanting to get the iPhone 6 months before the iPhone 7 was going to be released. My phone was working perfectly fine at the time so I waited until the iPhone 7 was released. I saved a couple hundred of dollars on my phone tab from doing this.
It’s worth mentioning that all of the examples listed above didn’t stop us from doing the things we love buying or doing. I hope this gets you thinking about some of things you can immediately do to start saving more of what you make. After all, saving money doesn’t mean you have to give up anything at all. We’re living proof of that.