« Ontarians shorted in Roll Up The Rim contest | Main | Down $14,000 each, Canadians still spending »

March 16, 2022

Quick ways to trim expenses

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

With job losses taking both salary and benefits, people are once again learning to live on a tight budget … just like a student.

And while this may bring back fond memories of KD and cheap vodka, your expenses are probably a bit higher than they were then. Here are a few suggestions to stretch those dollars.  

Get a new dentist. Novice dentists and hygienists need real patients to practice on. That’s why costs at university-run clinics are heavily discounted, often by as much as 40%. The work is supervised by veteran dentists and your caregiver won’t be a sleep-deprived first-year rookie. Visits may take considerably longer than what you’d expect from most full-service dentists though.

Switch your phone. For years, phone companies have tried hard to discourage users from bridging the vacuum between PCs and cellular networks. Fight back by visiting Skype or Truphone, which host cheap long-distance calling through the Internet. For $9.95 per month, you get thousands of minutes to call close to 40 countries. There are other choices, of course. Google, for instance, has also launched a VoIP service for mobile phone users. 

Stop buying books. Although the library will always be your most economical choice, book-borrowing sites offer the same options that movie buffs get from If you’re interested in new hardcover books, look at BookSwim. There you keep two titles at a time for as little as $14.99 a month, with graduating pricing for heavier users. The best deal though is probably Booksfree where plans start as low as $9.99 a month for two at a time, unlimited paperback rentals.

If you have more suggestions, we'd love to hear them.



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...