BUDGET PLANNING can be tricky these days, but two money experts named Steph and Den found clever ways to do it and helped them halve certain household bills.
In 2019, the Toronto-based couple launched a YouTube channel with a username of the same name, which has grown to over 60,000 subscribers.
The two, now both 26, decided to capitalize on the lack of money content from a Canadian perspective.
“Whether it’s the cash accounts, the basics like budgeting and saving, we’ve seen that gap,” Den told The Sun.
“We decided to make money from content and it just grew really easy.”
The two had different career paths with Den in finance and Steph in human resources but they were able to combine them into one.
In the early stages of the pandemic, both ramped up their content and started posting multiple times a week on YouTube.
A year later, in 2021, YouTube transitioned from a side job to a full-time job for Steph and Den.
They even expanded to TikTok last September, which has already surpassed 300,000 followers.
Not only has their social media presence brought them an income, but the duo has been able to save money in the process.
Above all, they were able to reduce expenses around the house.
Steph and Den in particular have seen big savings on their internet bills.
Your ISP can increase your Internet bill every year without you even noticing.
“Essentially, year after year, our Internet bill has [we] I haven’t brought it up in about two or three years,” Steph said.
But what many households don’t know is that not only can they stop it, they can even reduce their bills.
To do this, you need to pick up your phone and negotiate.
“If you don’t call [and] You don’t say anything, you just keep paying, especially if it’s a recurring withdrawal from your account,” Den said.
By calling their ISP and confronting her about the issue, Steph and Den were able to reduce their bill from CAD$122 ($94.69) to CAD$62 ($48.12).
So your bill has essentially been halved.
A money expert named Ezekiel Bentancourt showed how you can lower your bill by asking your provider to cancel your internet service and then threatening to switch to a competitor.
Energy costs have been a major concern for families around the world this year.
Whether it’s filling up your gas tank or heating your home, you’ve probably felt pain at some point.
The high costs are due to insufficient supply, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and price gouging.
For Steph and Den, using their appliances, like washing machines, during off-peak hours made a difference.
This is defined as the time when hours are more favorable for electricity consumption.
“We can speak specifically to Toronto where we live, it’s a lot cheaper per hour to do your laundry, basically the night hours are 7pm to 7am,” Steph said.
She added that doing your laundry at the weekend also helps with energy bills.
Note, however, that opening hours may vary depending on the utility company.
However, these typically do not occur during normal business hours when electricity costs are at their highest.
According to New York-based Con Edison, off-peak hours are any hour outside of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
By taking advantage of these off-peak hours, Steph says you could save 10 Canadian cents (CAD) an hour.
Another smart thing you can do is hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer.
These two tips can help halve the laundry portion of your bill.
Washing eight loads a week costs an average of $528.32 a year, according to on-demand maintenance service Lula.
This could result in savings of $264.12 per year.
There are also a few other easy ways to cut some other important expenses.
A small fee that you may miss on your bank statements are bank charges.
It’s possible that your bank will charge anywhere from $5 to $25 per month, depending on the financial institution.
In Den’s case, his previous bank charged him a $15 monthly fee because he didn’t meet the minimum balance of $5,000.
“I had maybe a few $100s in the bank,” he said.
“So does it really make sense for someone who has a couple? [of] Pay $100 in the bank and pay $15 a month?”
After his bank refused his request to waive the fee, he closed his account and opened another at a different financial institution.
As a result, he’s saved $180 a year since 2018.
Another big problem is unused subscriptions like video streaming services.
Steph said you should make sure you monitor your monthly spending to ensure you’re only billed for what’s used regularly.
“I signed up for this free trial on another streaming platform and I completely forgot to cancel it [within] the seven-day period.”
But luckily for Steph, she caught it early before the same charge could recur every month.
Steph and Den use an app called Mint that helps manage finances with a budget tracker that keeps track of transactions.
That way, Steph said, you could probably save at least $10 a month ($120 a year), depending on how many subscriptions you have.
Finally, you should always check if your favorite store has a loyalty program that you can sign up for and be rewarded for.
This can be fast food restaurants like Starbucks, McDonald’s or local grocery stores.
Steph’s local grocery store offers a loyalty program that doesn’t require opening a credit card.
She said that she was able to “just get points [buying] Food.”
As a result, Steph has saved $10 every few weeks, which equates to another $120 a year.
To learn more about how to save money, a money coach shares how you can cut your grocery bill by $250 a month.
A budget-conscious mom bought two dinners at Walmart and Aldi for $2 each.
And another bought $30 worth of groceries from Aldi to feed two people for a week.
https://www.the-sun.com/money/5988354/internet-bill-expenses-save-money-expert/ I’m a money expert – how I cut our internet bill in half and saved $100 on other essential expenses