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Navigating New-fee-land

How to find cost savings in the wake of NL's 2016 budget
My family and I love living in Newfoundland and Labrador and I hope you do too. Let’s pull up our socks, tighten our belts and right this beautiful ship we call home. With the help of ideas from my family, I have come up with 36 ways to spend less and continue loving living in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As a follow-up to my post last week about the impact the 2016 NL provincial budgetwill have on individuals and households I thought it would be helpful to provide a list of different ways we can all cut costs.

With the help of ideas from my family, here are 36 ways to spend less and continue loving living in Newfoundland and Labrador:

1) Cut cable and get Netflix (you can also get HD CBC and NTV for FREE with a simple antenna)

2) Review insurance and gather quotes annually. Consider pre-paying insurance if an option to avoid financing charges.

3) Give the gift of labour (offers of babysitting, dog walking, yard work, shovelling can be more appreciated than something store bought)

4) Pool a Costco membership between families.

5) Make your own coffee/breakfast at home or at work rather than buying en-route.

6) Have a garage sale (or use Kijiji) as part of your spring cleaning.

7) Discuss payment plans for emergency repair work etc. with contractors/tradespeople. Get quotes.

8) Hold your child’s birthday party at a playground or at home. Make their cake. An incredible amount is spent on toddler’s parties.

9) At the grocery store, by whole items (fruit, cheese, vegetables etc) and ‘process’ them yourself. Pre shredded/chopped food is so much more expensive.

10) Cook at home, prepare lunches and snacks and reduce meat intake.

11) Use your public library! In addition to books they offer cd’s, dvd’s, magazines, language learning sets, etc.

12) Walk to nearby destinations instead of driving.

13) Car-pool.

14) Don’t have car idling unnecessarily. If more than 10 seconds turn it off.

15) Maintain your vehicles regularly including monitoring tire pressure.

16) Keep an eye on your thermostat. Turn it down a degree or two;, slippers and sweaters are made for winter.

17) Buy a programmable thermostat if you can.

18) Assess your cell phone package and pare it down as much as possible.

19) Start a vegetable garden.

20) Avoid going to stores or malls unless there is something you need to get.

21) Make a list before you go shopping and stick to it.

22) Comparison shop for groceries and use coupons.

23) Hang clothes to dry.

24) Swap clothes, recreational equipment, toys and tools.

25) Instead of hiring babysitters, consider swapping a date night with friends or neighbours. Go for a walk or do something free to recharge.

26) Look for free recreational activities such as those offered by the City, playgroups/playgrounds, free days at the Rooms etc.

27) Plan a staycation – Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world come to our beautiful province (despite the expensive flights!!) to experience our stunning natural landscape and amazing history. This, in turn, will help the local economy!

28) Trip Advisor has lists of Top 10 Things To Do, check out the St. John’s and Newfoundland links and see how many great things are actually free of charge:

Trip Advisor Top things to do in St. John’s

Trip Advisor Top things to do in Newfoundland

29) Buy generic brands instead of brand-name products (food, toiletries etc.)

30) Use any gift cards and accumulated rewards points.

31) Cut down on your use of personal care products.

32) Do your research and possibly appeal your municipal property tax assessment.

33) Focus on paying down your highest interest credit first.

34) Get help with your taxes, you never know where you might find an increase to your refund.

35) Go outside. Hike, walk, run, bike ski, snowshoe – all can be done at little or no cost.

36) When shopping try to support locally owned, locally grown and locally made. This supports local businesses which promotes job growth and benefits our economy as a whole. You might even feel a touch of pride in knowing where your food was grown or who knit your sweater. Makes a great gift too.

Above all, be consistent with your plan to cut costs. If you start to feel overwhelmed speak to someone you trust, their ideas and encouragement are invaluable. Mental health is so important, don’t let the stress of your finances bring you down.

My family and I love living in Newfoundland and Labrador and we hope you do too. Let’s pull up our socks, tighten our belts and right this beautiful ship we call home.

Did You Know?


Many people who file for bankruptcy get to stay in their home.


In Newfoundland and Labrador, you can keep your RRSPs – even if you file for bankruptcy.


Many people who file for bankruptcy are able to keep their vehicle.


Most bankruptcies are NOT published in the newspaper.


Student loans can be included in a bankruptcy if they are more than seven (7) years old.


A consumer proposal is an alternative to bankruptcy that can only be filed with a licensed trustee in bankruptcy.


In NL, people ages 30 to 39 years old file for bankruptcy more than any other age group. [source]