New Cost of Living Increases for 2017

Here they are folks; hold on to your money.

2017 comes roaring in with a vast amount of increases. These increases are in every area of our life, and each and everyone will hit us in the wallets, where it hurts the most.

I am here to help you navigate through 2017 with positive financial results.

In order to get where you plan to be financially throughout 2017 you have to follow a plan. Just like going on a trip. You need a navigator. Especially since you are getting into unchartered waters.

I will remind you of what the major increases coming your way this year, and I am here to help you navigate through them. I am your financial GPS.

First let’s look at the list of items going up.

  1. The cost of fueling up or vehicles.
  2. The cost of electricity.
  3. The cost of heating our homes.
  4. The cost of feeding our families.
  5. The cost of public transportation.

Well the big five. What can we do to help us come out on the positive side of these life-changing situations? I will discuss each item with tips to help you move forward in a confident manner.

The cost of fueling up or vehicles

  • Make sure the tires on the vehicles are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Keep up all service recommended by your mechanic.
  • Change your oil and filters when needed.
  • Avoid driving when walking is within normal limits.

The cost of electricity

  • Look for sales on energy saving light bulbs and take advantage of opportunities to replace your bulbs with low energy ones.
  • Turn off the lights and TV when not in the room.
  • Cook meals for at least two days when using electricity before 7pm or after 7am.
  • Do laundry on weekends or after 7pm in the evenings.

The cost of heating our homes 

  • Lower the thermostat by 2 points, by 3 points when no one is home.
  • Wear warmer clothing when at home. Like track suits and socks.
  • Make sure you are not losing heat through windows and doors left open for long periods at a time.
  • Replace your furnace filters regularly.
  • Lower the heating cycle on your hot water heater.

The cost of feeding our families

  • Check the pantry I mean all your pantries. Like the places you put the extra toilet paper, pasta, rice and flour.
  • Open the kitchen cupboard; make a list of the items in your cupboard.
  • The fridge, checks it out, what do you have in there. Can it be used?
  • The freezer; how much meat is in there? Chicken, Pork, Beef and Seafood.
  • Make a list of the items on hand.
  • Use them before purchasing anything new.
  • Watch your vegetable purchases. Do you like kale; because someone said it’s good for you is not a good enough reason to buy it. You must eat it.
  • Only purchase items you will consume.

Public transportation 

What can we do about it? If you have to use it you must pay. Make sure you are using it to your advantage.

  • Do your math, is it better to purchase a monthly pass?
  • Is it better financial sense to purchase a weekly pass, if you do not use public transportation on weekends? Work the cost out and choose the one that suits your needs.

These are a few tips to help you navigate through 2017. I trust that you find them helpful, or at the very least trigger you to make some changes to keep more of your income.

Tessa-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips On How You Can Decrease The Amount You Spend On Groceries

After the amount you pay for your mortgage or rent your food cost is the second highest expense. In some cases, it can run as high as 25% of your take home pay.

 

Our ways of shopping have changed. We can shop on line or we can have someone else do our shopping for us. The variety of items we purchase has also expanded. In spite of all the amendments to what we buy and eat, two things should not be altered they are, planning our meals and shopping with a list.

 

When you first begin the journey of managing the amount you spend on groceries, there are some things you need to do to make the entire process easier.

 

You should spend a Sunday preferable mid-morning going through your cupboard, fridge and freezer listing and categorizing every item.  Check for expiry dates, open jars to make sure that mold is not growing in the containers left in the fridge, look at the frozen items for freezer burns, and discard. The products that are no longer edible should be thrown out.

 

At this point, to get the full impact of what you just experienced, pause to consider the amount of money you have spent on items you did not eat, and are now in the trash. That is money down the drain. This cannot be recuperated. The list of food items that are still edible should be placed on the fridge.   Keeping the list on the fridge will avoid duplication in the future. Take a photo of the list and keep it in your phone. This is great for referencing while in the supermarket before purchasing an item

 

 

Planning meals require that you spend some time and effort in preparation, but in today’s tech age it can be simplified..

 

There are several Internet sites that help with meal planning from cooking for one or twenty-one.   All you need is to spend a few minutes searching the sites looking for recipes that you would like to try then shop accordingly.

 

It is extremely important to shop with a list. There are numerous free Apps that are exceptionally helpful in listing the items you need. Here are a few that I have tried: Buy me a Pie; Flipp – Flyers; Any list; Bring Shopping; Errands to go and Shopping list Free. This should be done prior to going grocery shopping. Entering a supermarket without a grocery list, is equivalent to going out in -25 degrees weather without clothes, you won’t last too long.

 

Supermarkets are ready to encourage you to empty your accounts or wallets, and they are prepared to make sure you do so. Your only defense is to shop with a purpose and the only way to do this is to have your purpose right in front of you all the way.

 

Sales items are great. So use your calculator on your phone to make sure you are getting the best bang for your money. Divide and multiply to get the unit price for items such as soft drinks, and items advertised as 3 for $4.00 and so on.

 

The supermarkets will not allow you to take the item if you are short a nickel. Make sure you find ways to keep your nickel.

 

One thing to remember when grocery shopping is, because an item is on sale, does not mean you must purchase it.