Every dollar counts, so count every dollar

If you’re not tracking your spending, you won’t know where and how you can save. At the end of the year, look at your top expenses and decide whether or not you can trim on services or make lifestyle changes – even if you’re saving $10/month, do it because in the long run, you could be saving a lot more.

After our first year of doing this, we realized we were spending close to $2,000 on our phone bill. So we made a few lifestyle changes and decided to share one phone between the both of us. It’s interesting how limiting resources forces you to become more resourceful. We found creative ways to communicate and cheaper alternatives using the internet and 3G network on our iPhone.

We also decided not to have cable. It was hard at first, like coming off a drug, but slowly we were able to wean off our favourite television shows. Not only have we saved thousands of dollars over the past 6 years, we’ve probably gained 1 year of life not wasted on tv shows.

We also noticed that David spent over $500 on coffee/year at Starbucks or Tim Hortons. $3 here, $4 there, it all adds up and eats away at your savings. When you see how just making small adjustments in your lifestyle can save you big at the end of the year, it becomes easier and easier to save.

Bottom Line: Not everything that can be counted, counts. Not everything that counts, can be counted. – Albert Einstein