BUDGETING can be tough these days, but two financial experts who pose as Steph and Den have found savvy ways to do it, helping them cut some household bills in half.
In 2019, the Toronto-based couple launched a YouTube channel with a namesake username, which topped 60,000 subscribers.
The pair, now both 26, decided to capitalize on the lack of monetary content given from a Canadian perspective.
“Whether it’s money accounts, basics like budgeting and saving – we’ve seen that gap,” Den told The Sun.
“We decided to start creating financial content, and it really grew.”
The two had different career paths, Den working in finance and Steph in human resources, but they were able to combine them into one.
At the start of the pandemic, the two ramped up their content and began posting several times a week on YouTube.
A year later, in 2021, YouTube has gone from a side hustle to a full-time gig for Steph and Den.
They even expanded to TikTok last September, which has already exploded to over 300,000 followers.
Not only has their emergence on social media provided them with income, but the duo have also been able to save money in the process.
Most notably, they were able to reduce expenses around the house.
In particular, Steph and Den were able to make big savings on their internet bill.
Your Internet service provider can increase your Internet bill every year without you even realizing it.
“Basically, our internet bill has been going up year after year, [we] hadn’t touched on it in about two or three years,” Steph said.
But what many households don’t know is that they can not only quit, but even lower their bills.
To do this, you will need to pick up your phone and negotiate it.
“If you don’t call [and] you don’t say anything, you’ll just keep paying, especially when it’s set up as a recurring withdrawal from your account,” Den said.
By calling and confronting the issue with their ISP, Steph and Den were able to reduce their bill from $122 CAD ($94.69 USD) to $62 CAD ($48.12 USD).
So basically their bill was cut in half.
A financial expert who poses as Ezekiel Bentancourt has shown how you can lower your bill by asking your ISP to cancel your Internet service, then threatening to switch to a competitor.
This year, energy costs have been a major issue for families around the world.
Whether it’s filling up your gas tank or heating up your home, you’ve probably felt the pain at some point.
The high costs can be attributed to insufficient supply to meet demand, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and rising prices.
For Steph and Den, using their appliances such as washing machines during off-peak hours has made a difference for them.
This is defined as when the hours of electricity use are less expensive.
“We can talk to Toronto specifically where we live, it’s a lot cheaper per hour to do your laundry, basically, overnight it’s 7-7,” Steph said.
She added that doing your laundry on the weekends will also help reduce energy costs.
But keep in mind that hours may vary depending on the utility company.
However, these will generally not be during normal business hours when the cost of electricity is at its highest.
According to New York-based Con Edison, off-peak hours are every hour outside of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
By taking advantage of these off-peak hours, you could save 10 cents Canadian (CAD) per hour, according to Steph.
Another nifty thing you can do is hang your clothes instead of using the dryer.
These two tips can help you cut the laundry portion of your bill in half.
Doing eight loads of laundry a week costs an average of $528.32 a year, according to on-demand maintenance service Lula.
This could therefore translate into savings of $264.12 per year.
There are also a few other easy ways to reduce some other major expenses.
A small fee that you might overlook on your account statements is bank charges.
Your bank may charge between $5 and $25 per month, depending on the financial institution.
In Den’s case, his previous bank was charging him a $15 per month fee for failing to meet the $5,000 minimum balance.
“I had maybe about $100 in the bank,” he said.
“So does it really make sense for someone who has a couple [of] $100 in the bank and pay $15 a month? »
After his bank refused to waive the fee when he asked, he closed his account and opened another with another financial institution.
As a result, he’s saved $180 a year since 2018.
Another big problem is unused subscriptions such as video streaming services.
Steph said to make sure you watch your monthly expenses to make sure you’re only charged for anything that’s used regularly.
“I signed up for this free trial for another streaming platform and completely forgot to cancel it [within] the seven-day period.
But luckily for Steph, she caught it early before the same accusation could keep reoccurring every month.
Steph and Den use an app called Mint, which helps manage finances with a budget tracker that monitors transactions.
By doing this, Steph said you could save at least $10 per month ($120 per year) depending on how many subscriptions you have.
Finally, you should always check if your favorite store has a loyalty program that you can join and get rewarded.
This could include fast food restaurants such as Starbucks, McDonald’s or local grocery stores.
Steph’s local grocery store offers a loyalty program that does not require you to open a bank card.
She said she is able to “collect points for only [buying] races.”
This saved Steph $10 every few weeks, which equals an additional $120 per year.
To learn more about how you can save money, a financial coach reveals how you could reduce your grocery bill by $250 per month.
A mom on a budget bought two dinners at Walmart and Aldi for $2 each.
And another at Aldi bought groceries for $30 to feed two people for a week.