|15 Easy Ways To Save Money
Let's keep this simple – these are just a bunch of relatively easy ways to save money. As you incorporate more and more of these tips into your life, the savings add up and you save a lot over the course of a year. It will take a little work on your part but those thousands of Rupees in savings is what helps us get out of debt and pays off our extra expenses.
1. Cook at home often: If both the husband and wife work, this is likely to be very difficult. Start out with the habit of cooking at home once a week and slowly increase the frequency until you find a balance between saving money and getting stressed out.
2. Make your own coffee: You don't have to entirely ban drinking coffee, but skip it as often as possible unless you make it at home.
3. Take lunch at least a few days a week: Lunch times are great opportunities to network and make connections that could improve your career growth. So unless there is a common eating area for lunch, you may choose to limit homemade lunch to three days each week. Find a balance between saving some money and making the connection.
4. Make a list before going for shopping: They call it impulse buying for a reason. Humans simply have a very tough time resisting the temptation to purchase extras while shopping. Without a list you will buy items that you simply do not need. Even worse is when you forget to purchase the actual item you came to the store for in the first place. If you plan on cooking at home, pre-plan a rough menu and make a list before you go to the grocery store. Getting all that you need in one trip can help avoid another unnecessary trips and temptation.
5. Watch out for expiry dates on perishable goods: There is no point in getting a gallon of milk if it is going to turn sour within a couple of days, same goes for meat, eggs, yogurt, frozen or bakery items.
6. Buy in bulk whenever possible: When it comes to non-perishable items, buy in bulk whenever you find something on sale. The items one should usually stock up on are, tinned goods, rice, pulses, flour, coke etc. For such items, shopping at departmental stores can help you save quite a bit of money.
7. Pay your bills on time: Get organised about your regular bills. If possible, automate the payments. Most utilities and other recurring bills can be set to be charged to a credit card or deducted from a checking account these days. Also, many banks offer free bill pay programs, so there really is no excuse for forgetting to pay a bill on time and forking out the late fees.
8. Avoid ATM fees: Be aware of the ATM withdrawal fees charged by your bank. While some banks waive fees for all ATM transactions on any ATM machine, most don't. So be sure to use only those ATM machines where your bank will not charge the fees, or withdraw directly from your bank.
9. Avoid credit cards with annual fee: Credit cards with their cash back bonuses and reward points are a great way to save some money. Just make sure that the card does not charge you any annual fees!
10. Disconnect land line if possible: Unless you have small kids in the house or older people to take care of, it is more than likely that you will be able to survive with only the mobile phones and can get rid of the land line.
11. Price check before buying anything expensive: For other items that are expensive, do a price check before buying the item. If you can wait for a while, you can track the prices and grab a great deal when it comes along. This is especially true while purchasing any electronics.
12. Ride your bike or carpool whenever possible: Just because you have a car does not mean you have to use it every day. Whenever possible, ride your bike or share a ride with your colleagues and save both on fuel and reduce the environmental footprint.
13. Regulate your electricity usage: When not in use, unplug electrical appliances. Apparently, unplugging the TV instead of just switching it off can save a lot of electricity! When not in a room, switch off the lights and the fan. Use a programmable thermostat to control your air conditioner usage. If that's too much, at least know what each appliance uses and unplug a few of them.
14. Plan vacations ahead of time: Vacations are a necessary part of saving our sanity in the busy lives that we lead. But vacations are also a huge drain on the family finances. You can cut the cost of a vacation significantly by planning and booking ahead of time.
15. Finally, keep distance from lavish friends: If you have lavish friends who buy a new car every other year, have large screen TVs and every other conceivable electronic gadgets, eat out at fancy restaurants every other night and just live way beyond their means, keep the distance. They may be nice people and mean you no harm, but hanging out with such people often can lead to a lot of unnecessary desires and discontent. What's more important – your friends or your peace of mind?
Make it a sub-conscious habit to save money in things that you do every day, even if it is a few rupees. All that money saved can add up significantly and you can save it or spend it on things that really matter!