By Yeldi on April 13, 2017
10 smart ways to save more money
As the saying goes one can never be too rich or too thin. All of us would definitely love to have some extra money put aside at the end of each month. These 10 tips are not life changing on their own but when combined with discipline and a good savings plan, it can really have an impact in the long run. Not all tips will apply to everyone but we can apply the ones that are the easiest to start with.
1. Lead a minimalist lifestyle
Most of us love to collect or buy plenty of beautiful things that we see when we go shopping or travelling. The thrill of it all is amazing to begin with. But in the long run, more items means more maintenance costs as well as more money spent on things we can do without. We can practice to live with less materialistic things and collect more memories. What do you do if you already have plenty of items with you? Give yourself a deadline, diligently take stock and donate items that you do not use to orphanages, libraries and old age homes. If it's too difficult to part with some of the items for sentimental reasons, you can click photos and store those for the future. You can also try reselling some of the items - books on Amazon, small appliances on eBay or furniture in auction houses like Murray & Co.
2. Gift homemade
One can save money, tickle one's creativity as well as add a personal touch by making gifts at home rather than buying from a store. Whether it is baking jam biscuits for the new neighbour or making aromatic candles for your boss's house warming party or even homemade soaps for your best friend's baby shower, YouTube and the internet are full of ideas and easy tutorials. You can also make homemade coupons and give the gift of your time to loved ones - a snakes and ladders game date with your child, a head massage for your husband or a baby-sitting offer for your sister-in-law. The pride and joy one gets in gifting homemade gifts is unparalleled to the money that you save.
3. Cut down on processed food
Home cooked meals not only save money but are also better for one's health. In a day and age where both the husband and wife work with equal responsibilities, it is very easy to buckle and order food regularly from outside. Even if you aren't going out to a restaurant with the family, small things like aerated drinks, chips & snacks, pre-packaged food which are of the heat and serve variety are all money sappers. With efficient meal planning and about 2 dedicated hours on the weekend to chop, fry, grind and store basic ingredients, one can reduce the work on weekday mornings as well as save resourcefully.
4. Do an energy audit of your house
Get a good electrical contractor to check all the electrical points and appliances in your house. High electricity bills despite being disciplined and switching off appliances when not in use could be due to energy leaks. Your refrigerator could be overheating or your Air Conditioner could be cooling inefficiently. Seal all the gaps to save money and also do good to the environment.
5. Avoid stress spending
Had a bad day with your boss or maybe an argument with your husband or colleague? It is so easy to just go out there and make ourselves feel better by ordering a milkshake or biryani for dinner or pick up that handbag that you have been eyeing. These impromptu purchases mostly end in regrets and we do not address the core issue on hand. Instead of stress buying, other options like meditation, reading a book or a long hot shower can calm you down without spending a rupee.
Tune your car or bike for better mileage rather than speed. Take care to fill air in the tires. Did you know that driving on half filled tires reduces your vehicles efficiency by 60%? Which means you are using more fuel to cover the same distance everyday. You can car pool with your colleagues or use public transport wherever possible, to cut costs. An even better idea is to travel half the distance by vehicle and walk the rest of the distance. Not just beneficial to your wallet, but also to your health and the environment.
7. Grocery shop the local way
Shop smart by buying local generic brands the stores stock. Most people have observed that the quality of rice, dal, tamarind etc. is the same whether they buy it from a reputed brand or what has been packaged by the store themselves. Using coupons provided by some companies or the special offer sales that are run by huge supermarkets can also be availed regularly. Sometimes buying in bulk can also bring down costs but one needs to be careful that what has been bought shouldn't be wasted and definitely used up before the expiration date.
8. Earn more
While it is not practical for most of us to take up 2 jobs at the same time, it is not impossible too. One can earn additional money on the side by converting hobbies into businesses. If you can design well, make & sell custom stationery books or greeting cards and earn a little through exhibitions and stalls. Is coding your thing? Then you can take up freelance coding assignments over the weekend. Online surveys that pay money for participating, transcription jobs that pay per file, teaching the kids in your building, or even selling cakes & biscuits in your locality will all bring in the extra bucks.
9. Sign up for cards that give you amazing discounts and cash backs.
Eg: The Yeldi Folks card has tied up with a number of stores ranging from groceries to apparels to restaurants and even beauty parlours. This is a sure fire way to save or get good deals through recash offers.
10. Start a garden
You needn't have a green thumb or a large space. Just a couple of sacks filled manure and soil to grow basics like tomatoes, ladies finger, brinjals etc. You will not just save money but also have peace of mind knowing that what you are eating is completely organic and great for yours and your family's health. Don't have a balcony or terrace space? Worry not. You can have a kitchen window sill herb garden to grow pudina, coriander, methi etc.
Saving money is not an overnight process. It is built over the months through small steps. Next time you are tempted to spend on something, try the 10 second rule. Take a step back and ask yourself why you want to buy that item? If you do not have a compelling reason, put it down and walk away. Your wallet will thank you.
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