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Reducing Expenses: 4 Tips for Those on a Small Budget in Canada

In collaboration with Bravo Telecom

Saving money is a bit like going on a diet. It’s easy to decide you want to do it, but the actual doing of it is another story. This is especially so if you don’t really know how to manage your budget and repaying your debts every month is a struggle.

To control your expenses to grow your assets in Canada, you’ll need to change your habits. Whether you’re getting by on a small budget or are new to Canada, we have some tips and general tools that will help you save on your vehicle, transportation and other expenses.

1.    Choose a used vehicle!


Everyone needs to be able to get around, but the reality is buying a car in Canada can be costly. To reduce the amount you spend on your car, we recommend that your first decision be to look at buying a pre-owned vehicle instead of a new one.

You can be sure the range of used vehicles available to you is massive. Buying pre-owned also allows you to choose a car that’s to your liking and even a more-premium model than you could realistically buy new. You’ll be sure of paying a lot less, and that’s because new vehicles depreciate in value when they’re no longer brand-new, even after a few months.

Take your time and follow the right precautions before buying a used car, SUV or truck. Don’t forget that it’s important to get informed before you buy a used vehicle to avoid common mistakes and to ensure you don’t spend more than you should.

The equipment featured on the pre-owned vehicle you’re interested in is important as well. For example, if it’s fitted with energy-efficient tires, that will allow you to spend less at the gas pump. Once you own the car, regular maintenance will help you save money on upkeep and repairs in the long term.

Then there are expenses related to owning a used car, insurance for example. When it comes to choosing your car insurance, compare offers from different insurers and brokers; there can be a substantial difference and you could save money. If you’re not sure how to go about finding and choosing car insurance, has a few tips to guide you when getting insurance for a pre-owned vehicle.

If you’re nervous about buying a used car in terms of its reliability, keep in mind that many pre-owned models are still covered under the original manufacturer’s warranty. Even if that’s not the case, there are legal protections in the form of minimum warranties that provide at least some coverage.

If you’re hesitating about which pre-owned model to buy, don’t hesitate to call on the opinions of automotive experts. In Canada, is the number-one source of information for both new and used vehicles, which includes road tests and reviews, vehicle specifications and more. Our car and truck experts can guide you to help you determine which solution is the best for your needs.

2.    Lodging: Tips for renting
Like transportation, lodging is a primary expense for those on a budget or those new to Canada. On average, it represents about 20% of a household’s expenses. And like with your vehicle, it’s important to be well-informed to avoid traps and keep down expenses.

Before renting your lodging, take the time to evaluate the neighborhood and, especially, the distance from there to your workplace (or school). Being close will go a long way to helping you minimize your gas expenses. If you’re not sure of your choice for lodging, opt for a short-term lease for the first few months so that you’re not stuck staying and spending money there if you don’t want to.

You can also look at the possibility of living with one or more roommates. This would allow you to save on many expenses and give you an easier way to adapt to your new environment if you have just arrived from another country. If you do choose to take this route, don’t delay when openings come up – they tend to disappear quickly!

3.    Groceries: ways to save!
Doing groceries and saving money are not incompatible. Let us show you how you can minimize your food expenses!

First of all, take time to prepare a list before you head for the grocery store; this will help you avoid buying things you don’t need.

Stay away from prepared meals, which are very expensive for what you get. Look instead at getting economy-sized packages of different products, it will work out to a lot less money in the long run.

You may not have considered this strategy, but it’s worth doing: leave your debit card at home and bring enough cash to buy what you need and no more! Don’t forget about available discount coupons found in flyers, from consumer groups or on websites. These can translate into great savings!

4.    Internet and telephone: Know your budget and respect it!


An internet connection and a phone package are pretty much indispensable these days. But getting these comes at a cost, and that cost can skyrocket quickly!
If you’re on a tight budget, or you have just arrived in Canada, you’re probably not familiar with all the phone/internet packages available out there. It’s definitely worth doing a little investigating, because some plans are much cheaper than others.

This makes it very important which phone/internet supplier you choose. Online you can find comparison tools to see what the available deals are in your area.

These tools allow you to get an overview of the different offers available from different suppliers, so that you can make informed decision to choose the plan that best fits your needs and your budget.

When starting out in your research, we suggest you visit the website of Montreal-based internet supplier Bravo Telecom; there you’ll be able to get an idea of the different plans available in the province of Quebec. This is particularly useful for those on a budget. Remember that even the smallest savings add up in the long run!

Finding ways to save on your expenses shouldn’t be a difficult or stressful experience. It’s possible to benefit from substantial savings on a big purchase like a car, and even little savings on small items or services can quickly add up. As you can see, there are all sorts of ways you can save more of your money all while getting the services you need and want.