It is the first week of October and yet it would be safe to say that a whole lot of us are already struggling to cope after spending half of our salaries on the electricity bill, house rent, mobile tariff, and maid’s salary by now.
While some of us would still be wondering about how to pay the outstanding credit card bills without getting broke, there is no point crying over spilled milk (read last month’s over-spending). It is best to plan better to survive until the next salary arrives.
So, here are some practical money-saving hacks to help you get through the month:
1. Do you WANT it or do you NEED it?
While you might want to buy yoga bricks, cute handbags and practically every other accessory from your nearest Miniso store, just stop and think if you really need it? Do you really need to buy the latest iPhone or the speaker that your friend owns?
We often buy things even if they are of no use to us. A practical thing to do is to take a picture of the item and sleep over it. If you still feel the need to buy it the next day, then go ahead.
2. Write down your financial goals
Write down financial goals for a better clarity about how much to save. Saving for quantifiable goals like a microwave, Amazon Alexa, a vacation or a car serves as a good motivation.
3. Shop during SALE
Shop for those cozy jackets and comfy pullovers for winters during the summer sale and vice versa. This would ensure that you don’t shell out a bomb when winters arrive.
Also, compare prices and discounts on online shopping portals. This month, Flipkart is coming up with Big Billion Days Sale from October 10 to October 14. Amazon Great Indian Festival too is commencing on October 10, 2018.
4. Set a budget
Set a separate budget for each of these–household expenditure, party expenses, vacation money and emergency fund(for unforeseen circumstances like the arrival of guests or a visit to a doctor).This would help you stick to your disposable amount and limit overspending.
5. Switch off those lights
Turns out that our dads were right about this one! Switch off those lights, fans and ACs when not in use. Set your AC timer before you sleep. It would not only cut down your electricity bill but also help conserve energy.
6. Opt for a Car-pool
With skyrocketing petrol and diesel prices, switch to carpool instead of a solo drive. Take Ola Share and Uber Pool for saving money.
7. Buy pre-used car and furniture
Most of us live in rented accommodations and shift to new cites every 2-3 years. Then, why spend 50,000 for a sofa when you can get it for 20,000.
For furniture and home appliances, brands like Zefo provide both pre-used and unboxed options at reasonable prices. Also, opt for pre-used cars from reliable dealers instead of buying a brand new one.
8. Use an automated savings plan
As Warren Buffet always said, ‘save first and spend later’.
Do not depend upon your willpower to save money. Subscribe to automated savings plans like recurring deposits or Systematic Investment Plans(SIPs) which would force you to set aside a small amount of your salary. Start with as low as Rs. 500.
9. Hire a cook and eat at home
While many of us might find no time to cook after a long day at work, indulge a bit and hire a cook.
This would not only limit your online ordering but also help you eat healthily. You would be surprised to know how much money is being saved even after paying the cook’s salary.
10. Check out export surplus brands
Check out stores like Brands Bargain and Just Casuals which sell export surplus clothing at slashed prices. These stores brands like Tommy Hilfiger, asos, Gap etc. at unbelievable prices. The products might have minor flaws which are invisible to the naked eyes.
11. Sell what you don’t need
Sell old furniture, musical instruments or appliances on sites like olx.com or facebook groups like Garage Sale. Declutter and make some money.
12. Bargain always!
Chances are that you are good at it already. If not, always ensure that if going to local markets like Colaba Causeway, Lajpat Nagar or Katra Jaimal Singh, negotiate well.
Depending upon your bargaining skills, vendors might slash the prices of the products to as low as 60 percent!
Written by– Rukmani Bakshi