Soaring gas and food prices are the main reason why the cost of living in Canada is rising at the fastest rate in decades.
FROM Inflation in Canada reaches nearly 40-year highpeople are inventive in their attempts to save money in any way they can.
Students, seniors, families and financial experts shared their inflation hacks. Cross-country check host Jan Hanomansing.
Car parked in favor of an electric tricycle
Birgit Arnstein, a 75-year-old retired grandmother and nurse from Osoyoos, British Columbia, recently bought a tricycle and converted it to be powered by an electric motor. She said she did it to cut down on the gas she bought to drive around the city.
“I go to meetings, I buy groceries, I drive around the city to meet friends for a walk—I would normally drive my car for all of that,” Arnstein said.
WATCH | How Toronto residents are coping with rising food prices:
“It didn’t make sense with the price of gas [to drive my car]. It ended up costing about $100 every two weeks. Admittedly, getting this hang glider is an investment, but I quickly pay for myself by hardly driving my car.”
Recently, Arnstein also started working two days a week as a dishwasher at a bakery to earn extra income, she said.
“It’s a tough job, but I have some big dental bills, so this will help me with that.”
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Meticulous food preparation helps cut food costs
Keith Schutz of Calgary said meal planning has become a cost-saving tool for her family. They follow two sets of meal plans, depending on the season, each with 21 different dinners served on the table. three week rotation.
“I thought we were going to get really fed up with this, but these are foods that we will probably cook anyway. It just helps us to be a little more organized and avoid impulse shopping or multiple trips to the grocery store every week,” she said. .
Schutz estimates that this saves them at least $100 a week in groceries.
“I think [my family] how to know what to expect. Everyone knows that today is the third week, for example, “Wednesday Three” tonight. It really helps with shopping and reduces food waste.”
Schutz, her husband David Ronneberg and daughter Heidi also rely on a large vegetable garden to grow fresh produce. They say they mostly buy from thrift stores and reuse things when they can.
- Electric vehicle repairs could be costly and difficult to find in the future, the mechanic said.
Do more, spend less, save a little
Personal finance educator and writer Kelly Keene says there are three key categories to keep in mind when trying to deal with the rising cost of living:
Cut your expenses. Track all your expenses for 30 days, or review your 30-day reports to see what you can cut. Call your mobile operator, Internet and TV to negotiate better deals. She says the same goes for your home and auto insurance. Keene recommends revisiting or postponing purchases of expensive items if possible.
Get more income. Whether it’s a second job or part-time job, Keane says making more money can be more fun than cutting costs. She advises focusing on your skills and trusting that others will pay for them. Another approach Keane recommends is to rent out a room in your home to a student as another source of extra income.
- Stretch your budget. Keane suggests extending your mortgage amortization to get a lower payment if you’re able. You’ll pay more interest in the long run, but the reduced payment will help you weather the inflation storm so you can pay more later to catch up, she said. If your mortgage has a good record, you can miss one payment a year without penalty, and that could net you thousands of dollars right now, Keen said.
WATCH | Kelly Keane on how interest rate hikes are affecting Canadians:
Financial journalist René Sylvester-Williams recommends putting some money into an emergency fund whenever possible.
“Depending on which economist you listen to, either we are in a recession or we are in a recession and it could be bad,” she said.
While people tend to put off living expenses for three to six months, a more realistic goal could be cashing in on one paycheck, Sylvester-Williams said.
Student hostel on wheels
Soaringly high rental prices in Vancouver have led a couple of international students from the University of British Columbia to look for alternative housing options.
Italians Alessio Brandolese and Paolo Ferronato bought an inexpensive motorhome. to Craigslist.
“Otherwise, we would have spent all our money on rent and we wouldn’t have leftovers to enjoy Vancouver,” Brandolez said. “We’d rather spend the money on travel, skis and cooking so we can enjoy our stay in Canada more.”
When traveling, Brandolez and Ferronato try to take friends with them to share the cost of gas.
The couple admitted that despite the large unexpected cost of repairing the van, they do not regret buying it. They added that their goal has always been to spend money on things they enjoy doing, not just to save money.
“One man’s trash is another’s treasure”
Darlene Sovran of Sudbury, Ontario helped create an online clothing exchange with Holly’s friend Louise Graham.
Since then, the Facebook group has grown to hundreds of people, and in addition to clothes, users also exchange things like tools and other household items.
“People are exchanging really good things, knowing that everything will work out – there is a lot of trust and generosity in the group,” Sovran said. “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.”
In addition to exchanging clothes, Sovran, who has an old van, limits the distance and frequency of travel to keep costs down.
Written by Bob Becken. Cross Country Checkup by Steve Howard and Abby Plener.
Share your inflation hacks in the comments below.