Steven and Chris

Find the Hidden Costs -- and Savings!-- in Your Day

Cost conscious people know the perils of buying daily lattes and the wisdom of bringing your lunch to work. But did you know about these other ways to save? Personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq is here to tell us about the not-so-obvious ways we are still wasting money!

Put Down the Card

Curb impulsive and emotional purchases: A recent poll shows impulse shopping costs us $3720 a year. That is money spent on things we want, but don't need -- a whopping 59 percent of money goes to clothes, shoes and eating out. Control you impulses by walking away from those temptations and building time between the find and the purchase.

Shop Savvy

Eat up the sales: There are plenty of ways to track sales and coupons at specific locations for stores you frequent. Most of us make list of things we need by opening up our fridge to see what has to be replaced. Next time you go shopping, do a quick inventory of what you have but couple that with building your meals based on what's on sale in the flyer. This way you waste less food and buy your weekly groceries at the lowest price.

Buy a better bundle: From magazines to cable and phone packages, there is always room to negotiate a better deal for your household needs. Do some research or just get on the phone with your provider!

Watch out at warehouses: Warehouse stores like Costco or Sam's Club can be great places to get deals, but they can also encourage overspending. Just make sure you go with a list and only buy those things that you are actually going to consume. It's not a bargain if you throw half of it away.

Consider Your Car

Do you need the second car? A two-car family in North America is the norm. But each car is costing you on average $10,000 a year. Most don't realize how expensive car ownership really is. By organizing your life so you can live on just one car, you can put thousands back in your pocket ever year.

Raise your car insurance deductible: Upping your out-of-pocket deductible from say $250 to $1,000 can save you 15% or more off your premium.

Spend to be a member of a roadside assistance program! Whether you locked your keys in the door or ran out of gas, an emergency involving your car can be stressful and expensive. The best protection from unexpected events is to get roadside assistance membership. For example a basic CAA membership costs $70 and that allows you up to 4 calls a year.

Bank Better

Forget fees: If you paid even one bank fee last year to withdraw or deposit your money then you need to rethink which financial institution you bank with. There is a wide range of no-fee choices. There is no reason why anyone should pay a bank fee again. Demand your bank give you no fee banking or leave.

Credit card with no (or unsuitable) rewards: If you collect points are you getting rewarded for your shopping, and are the rewards something you can really use? In my experience, rewards that help bring my grocery bill down are a good way to reduce my household bills. For others it may be travel or free movies, but whatever it is, make sure you are using the rewards and reaping the financial benefits.

Pay down your mortgage: We have all heard people say "the biggest purchase you'll make in your life is your home." And it's true for the majority of us. It also means mortgage debt will cost the average person more money than any other loan they get in their life. One of the best ways to save money is to: 1. Negotiate the best mortgage rate possible 2. Pay your mortgage as fast as possible.

Dine In or Dine Out on This Day

Go out on Wednesday! This might be the hardest sell, but eating out during the week can cost you less and makes more sense. Most restaurants have great deals during the week to attract customers and you will appreciate not having to cook and do dishes on a work night. But remember, it's cheaper to eat at home, so don't overdo this one.

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