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Recession Beater!

AN OPEN LETTER DURING THIS RECESSION TO ALL CLUB MEMBERS AND INVESTORS

If you have studied the path to financial freedom, you will know that it consists of these two things:
  • Lowered Expenses
  • Increase Income
And you will also know that freedom is attained only when your Independent Cashflow Income (money you don't have to actively work for) > (greater than)  Monthly Expenses.  
We have all been studying how to find cashflow properties to increase our income, and all who have worked on this and stay focussed on cashflow properties have been successful to varying degrees.  What we sometimes forget is that it is even easier to spend some time reducing your expenses:  this will equal the same thing.   Imagine reducing your expenses by $400/month just by spending one Saturday afternoon doing some work.   Did you get that?   Spending one Saturday afternoon reducing your monthly expenses will net you a $400/month reduction on your expenses!   Isn't that the same as locating a cashflow property that will increase your income by the same amount?   Only, this is a lot easier and you're less likely to be rebuked by your local mortgage broker or banker!  
Here are some tips to reduce your monthly expenses, so that you can increase the rate at which you become financially free:
  • Before buying anything new or at retail prices, check out sites where you can buy or find stuff much more inexpensively than retail:  www.kijiji.ca, www.ebay.ca or www.craigslist.ca
  • Learn how to monetize a website to give yourself independent income without quitting your day job.  For example, you could start a blog, or website, publish it free to search engines, grow an email list and start selling your wares.   You could even create a simple website called: "EducationalBooks.com", (less than $50 for a domain name and three months hosting at www.yahoo.com) to Amazon as an Associate (for free), set up a Store (simple to do at www.amazon.ca) and load it up to your website.  Begin earning money quickly!   Use www.paypal.com to effortlessly and securely get people to 'buy stuff' from your site.  
  • If you can't build a website, or are afraid of the job, get a website developer to do it for you:  www.cheapinternetwebsite.com.  At this website, you can get an inexpensive website for $500 or a bit more complicated website for $1000 - no extra fees except the domain registration and monthly hosting - which can be as little as $10/month.  
  • Reduce your banking fees by switching to some of the no fees accounts from www.pcfinancial.com,   http://www.sbicanada.com, www.hsbc.ca
  • Check out the following for great interest rates for your parked money... www.icici.com, www.hsbc.ca.
  • Transfer your credit card balances (with high paying interest rates) to other companies for drastically reduced rates.   (Capital One Mastercard and TD Emerald are good examples  of cards with great rates.)
  • Call all your credit card companies and ask for a reduction in interest rate!  If they refuse, ask to speak to a supervisor and say you'll switch over to the company who's ad you just received in the mail promising .009% financing for 6 months, then 10% after that (or whatever)... you'll be surprised!
  • Analyze your credit cards by lining them up and organizing them by interest rate (after you've phoned each one to inquiry on what you're paying).  Write up a table with the amount owing on each one, and the interest rate - in order of interest rate - highest first.  Pay the minimum on every other credit card (but put them ALL in ziploc bags - see below), but pay as much as you can on the first highest interest card.  Once that's paid off, move down the list.
  • While we're on credit card spending, a tip I overheard from some wise person goes like this:   fill a ziploc bag with water and insert your credit card, close and insert in freezer.  Let it freeze.  Next time you want to use it, you'll have to wait until it thaws out.   If it does thaw out, hopefully you've had a chance to think about whether you really want your purchase or not.
  • Reduce your insurance costs by checking out the following sites:  www.insurancehotline.com and www.kanetix.ca as well as www.pcfinancial.com!
  • Reduce your long distance payments by NEVER using your Bell line to dial out of town!   Buy phone cards for $5 and yap as long as you like across the world.   Or get a bulk rate organized with your provider.   Try www.skype.com for free or VOIP plans.   PC International and MagicJack are also cheap phone options.
  • Call your cable company and get rid of all the extras on your bill!   Drop as many features as you can.  Do we really need 500 channels?   (And if you watch a lot of TV, cut it off completely....then there will be no excuse for having no time for your part-time real estate career!    Or check out the new "Free To Air" receivers to cut off hundreds of dollars in costs yearly.  
  • Call your cell phone provider and drop features and get a better rate.  If you've tried that, contact Hilary (a club member) and have her reduce your cell phone bills immediately at www.savecell.ca.  
  • Contact club member rstaubin60@hotmail.com if you want to find out how to pay $20 and get $100 worth of gas coupons!  While we're on gas, don't drive an extra 10 kilometres for a few cents less.   Fill up when you see reduced costs (don't wait till Friday of a long weekend to fill up).   Cehck out the points from Real Canadian Super Store or www.canadiantire.com to get points for gas.
  • With home heating, there are many websites that offer tips to reduce your heating footprint.  Check out www.energyshop.com  for tips on how to lower the temperature on your water heater a few degrees to save hundreds over the course of the year, switch to an automatic thermostat to reduce energy consumption overnight (when you're sleeping anyways), switch to energy bulbs, insulate your hot water lines, use low usage showerheads, and more.
  • Shop at outlet stores like the ones on Orfus Road in Toronto, or Cookstown near Barrie, or the outlet malls near Niagara Falls.   Get the same nice stuff - just pay a LOT less.
  • Take another look at your life.   Decide where you spend money frivolously and remove the problem.   For example, if you shop a lot for frozen foods, try "Almost Perfect" in Toronto instead of the grocery store.  Or, if you buy paper cups for your  office coffee, go the dollar store instead and get 20 plain white ceramic mugs for $20 bucks and never pay another cent in styrofoam fees!   If you truly scruitinize your purchasing habits, you will find hundreds of ways to reduce your expenses.
  • Don't forget "The Latte Factor" by the famous author of www.finishrich.com.  Discover what your Latte Factor is and do something about it today!   (If you're not convinced, check out the example on his website where $30/week on coffees and muffins will equal $950,000 after 40 years!)   Your own personal Latte Factor is really worth figuring out!
  • Go through everything in your house that you don't need and photograph it.   Upload to your computer and then create a free ad in www.kijiji.ca  to sell it off.   (Wouldn't it be great to get an extra $1k in cash just from the extra stuff lying around your house that you don't need and don't use?)
  • If you have an extra room in your home (or a vacant basement), rent it out!  If you're concerned with renters, try one of the international students hosting programs, especially if you're close to subways or transportation.
  • Use Points Programs from various retailers:  www.pcpoints.ca/en/index.asp?refId=topnav, www.airmiles.ca, www.aeroplan.ca.  These are great ways to save money.   I hardly ever pay for a movie anymore.  I just redeem airmiles points for a movie certificate and go with that.
  • Barter your goods and services and reduce your cash outlay but still get what you want!   (www.barterforfree.com, www.swapsity.ca, www.barternetworkltd.com, www.itex.ca, www.oktrade.ca ).  These are great places to conserve cash, get rid of stuff you don't need anymore, and generate additional income! 
  • Coupons or Freebies:   Check out www.Attractionsontario.ca for freebies in Ontario theme parks, museums, and galleries.  Or check out www.save.ca, www.canadianfreestuff.com, www.bestbuys.cawww.shoestringshopping.com, www.frugalshopper.cawww.free-samples.ca,  for additional savings. 
  • If you'll be travelling, google the internet for cheap flights (www.redtag.ca or www.cheapoair.com) to save hundreds on flights!
  • Reduce your interest payments on your mortgage by renegotiating your mortgage now that it's gone down so far - even if you're in a closed mortgage situation.   The savings will far outweigh the cost.  If you can, with the savings you just renegotiated, turn around and ADD 20% to your monthly mortgage payment to pay down your mortgage even faster! 
  • Check out the following websites for more money saving websites:   www.moneysavingmoose.ca 
  • Make sure you work daily to beat the effects of the recession; you'll come out wiser (and richer) on the other end!

     

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Comments

Hi Paola,

GREAT SITE!!!

Thank you for sharing your suggestions on how to save $. Have already contacted some of the members in your group.

Looking forward to learning more about your organization.

All the best!

Josephine Vaccaro-Chang

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