If you live in Canada you’re well aware of carbon taxes being implemented, and depending where you live carbon costs may affect your pocket differently. I reside in Alberta and our carbon tax for 2017 will be $20 per tonne of CO2 emissions. As easy as it would be to discuss if a carbon tax is warranted, this post will not address the politics that come with that. So no need to pull out your boxing gloves.

Based on my research this carbon tax will cost families in Alberta with an income over $95,000 a year , no rebate, approximately $50/month or $600/year. If you’re single with an income over $45,000 a year, again no rebate, this will cost you approximately $25/month or $300/year.

As much as I don’t like seeing money go out of my pocket, as well as yours, I have compiled a list of different ways you can adjust your living to cover not only the carbon tax, but reduce your carbon footprint.

Get yourself a tent and plenty of clothes and be ready to bike, or in Canada, sled around.Alternatively here are some other options:

 

 


Vehicle use

  • Plan your route: I know this sounds silly however, just think of all those times you possibly travel home from work and get home just to realize you have to go to the grocery store, post office or some other errand. When chances are you drive by these locations on your way home. Just think of all the unnecessary fuel you are burning.
  • Fuel up your vehicle at lower prices: Some grocery stores offer 10 cents off per liter when you purchase groceries from them, some have reward programs, such as Costco who offer amazing gas prices and top tier fuel.
  • Drive with fuel economy in mind: I know it feels awesome to race someone off the line or cruise way above the speed limit however this type of driving affects your pocket. Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Shop around for an energy efficient vehicle: These options are either electric, solar power or hybrid. Over the next several years there will be many more coming out where not only do you fill up less but you get the most amazing gift……. Less fueling up, giving you more time , while helping decrease your carbon footprint. With the carbon tax increasing over the next several years this may be a good time to seriously look at this option..
  • If you no longer have the luxury of a maintenance package and you have the basic skills to do so, change your own oil. The average family drives 20,000 km’s/year per vehicle. The approximate cost of an oil change at your location facility is about $165 for a truck and $99 for a car/SUV using synthetic oil. So to break it down this would work out to four oil changes for a family with two vehicles. To keep it simple we will use one truck and one car for this breakdown. $165 + $99 x 2 =$528. Now doing it yourself, my suggestion is look for good deals on oil and oil filters. One way of doing so is downloading the “Flipp” app on your smart phone. This app gives you access to all items within weekly flyers for almost all consumer products around you, The best part is you can search for specific items. So let’s say you bought 4 liters of synthetic oil for $35 and $15 for a synthetic oil filter per oil change. $35 + 15 x 4 = $200. This would be an annual savings of $528 – $200 = $328. This alone covers over 60% of the cost of the carbon tax.


How you pay for purchases

  • Why use cash or debit in most cases when you could use a cash back credit card that actually pays you every time you swipe. Just make sure you pay it off each month or it kind of defeats the purpose.
  • They’re some places that not only accept credit card but also a rewards card at the same time. Take advantage of it when you can to help pay for that next gadget or even a trip.


Your monthly utility bills 

  • Have you upgraded your lights and appliances lately? If not this is a great way to lower that monthly power bill and reduce the amount of power you’re currently using. High efficient light bulbs use about 25-80% less energy while lasting 3-25 times longer depending on which ones you purchase. Take a look around as it could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
  • Do you have a smart thermostat installed in your home? If not I would suggest getting one. These have schedule options that you can set different temperatures for different times of the day. Does your home really need to be at 23℃when you are sleeping? Probably not, and the savings could be huge over an annual period. Most manufacturers make claims of $10-$20 savings a month.
  • Your cable and internet provider. Give them a call and negotiate a better price. This works!Most people think the price is the price, That’s what they want you to think.
  • It does not hurt to find an insurance broker and see if they can find you a better price. I personally did this a couple years back and surprisingly saved my family $1,500/year. That’s plenty of extra cash that could be used elsewhere.
  • Got a cell phone? Okay I already guessed you and everyone you know over the age of 10 do. Call your provider and see if you can get a reduction on your plan. What is the worst thing that can happen?

So far here are 12 possible ways to offset the carbon tax. Who knows, maybe you will not only save the cost of the tax you might actually put additional funds back into your pocket. Many of the suggestions above not only save you money and time but also reduce the amount of carbon you use.

Part 2 will be out soon so be sure to keep an eye out 

Invest in yourself

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Carbon tax got you down? 12 ways you can relieve those costs and also reduce your carbon footprint. Part 1 of 2


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