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Regardless of your current job situation, it's likely the pandemic has affected your personal finances to some degree. And like many other students and new grads, you may be looking for ways to trim your spending.

Regardless of your current job situation, it’s likely the pandemic has affected your personal finances to some degree. And like many other students and new grads, you may be looking for ways to trim your spending. Finding ways to cut back on your spending now will help set you up for later!

Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Negotiate recurring fees: Call your service providers to see if you may be able to able to negotiate down the fees for your internet, phone, or subscriptions. You will be surprised at the positive impact it will have on your budget; month over month the savings will really add up.
2. Become a champion home chef: Meal kits and ordering delivery can be tempting, but the costs can add up quickly when you factor in the delivery fee, service fee and tips. Meal prep or batch cooking can be healthy ways to save time and money. When you make a large meal or dish, store individual portions in the freezer to reheat for meals throughout the week, this can help reduce the temptation to order delivery. Cooking at home will be healthier for you and your wallet.
3. Comparison shop before you buy. There are many online tools to help compare prices or provide price tracking info for the items in your shopping cart. Try looking at the prices listed on a brand’s e-commerce site as well as big name retailer sites. Before you head to the store (or online), search for coupons and digital flyers to see if the items you need are on sale. Necessities like toothpaste, laundry detergent (and coffee, of course!) are often on sale. A quick search can help you ensure that you don’t pay full price. Another tip is to sign up for emails from the stores you shop most often, so you can be among the first to know when there is an upcoming sale.These are small steps that can help you easily trim your spending.
4. Take advantage of loyalty programs: Loyalty programs and rewards points can help you save when you shop. You can use loyalty programs or rewards to help reduce your total bill at checkout, purchase gift certificates, or trade in for products at your favourite stores. Stay on the lookout for loyalty program promotions and track your rewards points or levels online or through your retailer’s app to take full advantage of the loyalty programs.
5. Find free entertainment at your library: It might sound crazy, but consider cutting the cord on your streaming services. Many local libraries offer digital collections, allowing you to use your library card to access movies, music, online books, comics, online learning, and more. Don’t have a card? Many libraries are making it possible to sign up for a library card online.
Every little bit counts. Trimming your spending and being smart and thrifty now will help you out in the long run.By staying committed to spending less, you might be able to put some of your money into savings or towards a purchase you’ve been eyeing. These small steps can pay off big-time over the rest of the year.