Money saving and managing debt goes hand in hand. That’s why for this post, we are giving more practical money saving tips that you can implement immediately. Buying small items, big ticket items, or you just want to have more cash? The tips below can help you.
Stop eating out
If you are someone who eats muffin and Starbucks on the way to work, lunch out with coworkers, pizza and beer on dinner…every night, all week..you might have fallen into big-salary-eat-out-because-i-can trap.
You have to stop this, it’s killing your bank account and financial freedom.
“How do I stop eating out??? The food out there is soooo goood!! And cooking is sooo hard!”
What to do:
The easy solution for this is to buy a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Get one with a timer that switches to warm after the cook settings. You can put the excess in the refrigerator (in serving sizes so you just pop them on an oven or warm them in a pot) and heat them later when you need it.
You can also cook on weekends so by weekdays you just have to warm them up as well.
This site has a lot of quick recipes that you can try. Bon appetit!
Keep your receipts and check them when credit card bill arrives
There are instances that you can be billed wrongly, and it can go unnoticed if you don’t check your receipts.
For instance, there was a couple who went out to dinner and their bill was $19. However when they got their credit card statement, the charge was $228. If they did not check their receipts, the restaurant have gotten away with it.
Get a bike and use it
This can be a case to case basis, however a bike can still save you money in Uber expenses and gas. Even if you drive a car to work or use a transportation, you can still use your bike to go on other places and save you $$$.
- Use a good bike lock and cable
- Park in good, safe, visible places
- Others have advised riding a humble looking bike that no one will put much effort into stealing (depends on your area though, so we’re leaving this to your judgement)
- With cable, lock your frame into something, not just the front wheel.
End your Amazon Prime membership (or any similar services)
There are people who claimed their online shopping dropped by almost 50% when they unsubscribed from services like Amazon Prime. It also stopped their accumulation of stuffs that they don’t need.
If you are not an impulse buyer and you only use Amazon and other similar shopping sites to buy your essentials (there are items cheaper than your local grocery store), then there’s no need to unsubscribe. Online shopping can be worth your time especially if you have kids and you can’t go out to buy item like diapers.
But if you are an impulse buyer, try these tips:
- Add things that you want first to “wishlist” to give you peace of mind and ease that impulse buying craving.
- Add to cart, forget it in a week or two, then remove from cart. By that time you might have already lost interest
Decluttering (or minimalism) means getting rid of stuffs that you don’t need anymore. Like for example, clothes that you haven’t worn for a year, or stuffs around the house that you don’t use anymore.
You can also ask these questions to know if an item is ready to throw (or sell/give away):
- What do I want more, the item or the space?
- Will I be able to get it again later?
- What about it am I attached to: the item or the potential I see in it?
There are times that it can be hard to eliminate an item due to an “attachment” to the potential of the items instead of the items themselves.
For example, Allyne collects special cookbooks because she wants to learn how to cook beyond the basics. However, Allyne has been busy lately and relies more on Youtube tutorials and haven’t used the book. She won’t dispose the book because if she does, it’s throwing out the potential that she could. She never considers that she could get the book later.
If you are someone who feels bad with decluttering:
If you think you are a failure in decluttering and keeps on berating yourself why you bought that item, don’t.
- You can do decluttering a little at a time. Those feelings and attachment to items are real issues and they are important to work through, but there’s no need to overwhelm yourself.
- Try to sort through a little per week, like maybe a box in a month. Throw out one or two things a day, a quarter or a box each weekend, depending on what is less psychologically taxing for you. It’s also a form of free therapy.
- There’s no need to blame yourself for buying those items, what you need to think is, “where is it going?” Someone out there will surely be thrilled to receive your stuff. You can think “how could I prevent this again” later when it’s relevant.
- It’s alright to keep items that you are not ready to let go yet. A little at a time is fine, slow progress is still progress.
If buying a car, choose a car that you can afford
One father has this advice to his son, “If you can’t afford monthly payments to pay off your car in 3 years, then you can’t afford that car”.
Some will argue that interest is low nowadays and there’s no need to heed the above advice. However, the question is not merely on interest, it is the fact that dealers allow people to buy way more car than people need or really afford.
Depreciation has to be considered too, because the longer the loan, the less value the car would be, and it can be a problem if you decide to sell it later during emergencies.
However the above is not a strict rule, you can adjust it to 5 years depending on your current situation (job stability, financial standing, living status).
The point here is, (also comes with rental properties), always assume the worst scenario that can happen before getting a car or a mortgage. For example, losing a job, rents not paid on time or sickness. Choose the best option that won’t get you in a lot of stress in case you encounter problems.
Sleep it out and get educated
Sometimes you might encounter situations like your car breaking down and you see a car dealer saying, “$160 for 24 months and you can drive this car tonight”. It’s so tempting to get this offer right, especially if you need the car tomorrow for work.
However, before purchasing big ticket items like cars, and getting into more debt (the guy above did not mention the downpayment), it’s important to sleep this out first and get yourself educated so you get a clearer head. Get to know what you need (search for reviews, information, prices, how to spot bad purchases, and anything related) so you are prepared when you get to encounter similar deals or salesmen. The only real way to remove that fear, uncertainty and doubt is to go in fully educated.
Most of the time, the item they are offering is not really a good deal after all, there is a quick and cheap fix for your current problem, there are cheaper alternatives, or you just don’t need it at all.
Here are more tips:
- Walk out as soon as someone says , “one time only”,” just for today”, or “if you sign up now”.
- Don’t fall for FOMO (fear of missing out). It is never “once in a lifetime” thing. In fact, you claim the leverage when you walk out. (This depends on the situation, so learning how to recognise and act on those rare opportunities is also important).