“Do not save what is left after spending but spend what is left after saving” - Warren Buffet
“Saving” is as important as “investment” and Both are obviously related. Here are a few actionable ways you can save money everyday without compromising too much on your lifestyle. These habits may take you long way if practiced consistently and seriously.
21 Actionable money saving tips while maintaining a family
1. Prioritize clearing your debts if any for saving money
Paying EMIs is a cause of constant money drain. You are obviously getting a benefit but think about it. You can save a lot if you pay off the loan as soon as possible. It is a wise decision to cut down on your non essential expenses so that you can pay off debts as soon as possible. Debts are usually heavy on the pockets because they include a good INTEREST amount along with the PRINCIPLE. Sooner you pay off debts, lesser interest you pay and more you save eventually.
So, work out financials before taking a loan and see how you can reduce the tenure of the loan. Paying unnesassary interest amount, is no good and also try to teach your kids about organized money management tips
If you have any debt/loan, Think of clearing it before any other investment or saving plans.
2. Save an amount every month from your income
Whether you are salaried or earning from a business, it is a good idea to have some amount of money transferred to an account you have vouched not to touch. Financial planning is a good thing when it comes at the time of earning, beacause earnings can make into proper savings if you are doing it wisely.
The amount can be anything that does not disturb your regular spend. The recurring amount that accumulates every month can turn to be a huge saving in a few years without letting you feel the pinch or compromising on your lifestyle. Power of compound interest is also there for you to see with such savings!
3.Get rid of your bad habits
If you are serious about money saving, You have to quit or at least minimize your habits that makes you spend some amounts everyday unnecessarily. Just take account of the amount you spend on the pack of cigarettes or that bottle of alcohol every now and then. Now just multiply this amount with the approximate but honest number that you spend in a year.
I bet the amount will be huge. If you save this money, you will be having a considerable amount at the year end in your account.
This is also good enough a motivation to kick your wrong habits that you have been thinking for sometime.
4. Reduce expenditure on entertainment
Entertainment is an essential…according to me. We need to survive in a happy state of mind and entertainment of any form keeps us going.
Well all of this is true….but where many of us go wrong is….going overboard with entertainment and not having a pre defined budget and going by it.
A vacation or two a year is needed…no doubt…But if we are thinking seriously about saving we can do some minor changes. For example, instead of going far off spending heavily on transport every time, we can go to a nearby place once.That saves on the air fare after all.
If you are used to five start luxury, try home stay or beach shacks for a change once. Different kind of exposure in life is always welcome…we learn to see other side of things while saving.
Go slow with parties and entertaining and reduce the frequency or the number of invitees if you want to save money. A webinar meeting with friends is an option if you all want to get on touch once in a while. Instead of having 10 parties in a year with lots of people you can do 5 at home or club and the rest can be virtual meetup…Its fun if you try it once.
5. Be energy efficient
This looks to be a very small thing…but trust me it can save you a good amount.
The car, the household gadgets, the water heaters etc….needs to be maintained well and checked for efficiency at least once a year. This keeps them energy efficient and you end up saving a good amount in petrol, gas, electricity etc. Individually these amounts may look small but if you sum them up annually, the difference is significant.
It is also a good idea to install solar energy efficient equipments wherever possible. The enable you to eliminate some running cost and maintenance is usually cost effective
6. Reduce food from outside
Ok, now many of you are going to make a face with this point….but its true…
Just to be realistic, just take any usual month and make a note of all your food bills that you had outside of your home.
End of the month just add it up. I know you may say not all months are the same, but you can do this for few months and take an average. You will know if it is worth cutting down this expense at least to an extent.
This practice will not only keep you on track with your budget but may ultimately do some good to your health by cutting down on outside food.
Confession to make: I was seriously surprised with this spend…never realized how much we unnecessarily spend on impulse food…that too unhealthy ones many times…This exercise was worth the save…I tell you…
7. Budget annually
Most of the time when we spend in amounts that are not too big for our standards, we do not feel the pinch. Spending in segments for anythings doesn’t let us actually figure out how much we are spending annually and what is the effect of this spend.
It is best to budget annually and easier to keep track this way. You can always adjust one big spend with a small one the next month. This is possible only when you have a track of it and budgeting annually.
8. Evaluate second hand goods before a buy
Planning to buy a new set of furniture? Thinking of renovating your kitchen or washroom? Need a cot for the baby? Tired of disposing almost new costly baby toys / books / party dresses ?
Well, it is a common story for all of us at some point or the other.
Next time, do give a consideration to buying second hand furnitures which may be used for just a few months or maintained well and looks just new.
They are much lighter on the pocket and you do not compromise on anything actually but save.
Specially for items which won’t be used for long, like baby cots, toys, books etc, buying seconds at one fourth the actual cost makes lot of sense.
You do not always have to buy also. Get it from friends and relatives who may be having an unused piece lying at home.
I do not feel there is anything wrong with this at all.
You may do something more useful with the money you save actually.
9. Prepare grocery list before shopping and avoid useless expenditure
Almost all of us I think are guilty of this….well at least I was…we go to the shopping store for grocery and just go crazy. While looking for the necessities, we end up doing so much of impulsive shopping!
It is a good idea to make a list of your required items and stick to it. The fantastic packaging and marketing strategies do work well with most of us for sure, but if you have a list with you you will know exactly which are the items you are buying on impulse. This will keep you on track.
Another trick writing does for you is being more vigilant of what you are doing. If I write down something I and more mindful and active …that’s a personal observation.
So this way probably we can reduce if not eliminate unnesessary shopping !!
10. Reduce the paid subscriptions
Again, write down all the subscriptions that you have taken for the year and next to that also write down how much you use them. If you actually use them, keep it.
But if happen not to use them or use very minimaly, its time you cut them off.
Almost every household have useless subscriptions these days is what I observed. They keep paying the small amounts and don’t relish that over a period of one year they end of paying a good sum.
The TV, the games, the news, the clubs, the restaurants, the taxi….everything is subscription driven these days. So choose wisely!
11. Set up proper investment goals for your kids age
12. Do not hesitate to borrow / rent items that you rarely use
There are always items that we use rarely or just once. For example, When I went for my first trek, I realized that the arranging the essentials for a high altitude trek is itself a huge activity. So many things, trekking gear, pole, special bags, garments, shoes so on and so forth…. I decided to borrow from friends who had already done it. The rest I rented…it was cheap….and saved me a good amount. Now I do the same for every trek.
Items like baby cots, swings, rocking chair, toys etc are also used only for a few years. If possible you can borrow or ask a relative who will definitely have some such items that don’t use any more. Instead of buying, re use such items. Its an environment friendly act too and avoids wastage!
13. Shop during sale
Many of us do this I am sure. Never miss a sale.
Garments, furniture, cosmetics, gadgets, electronics almost everything has a sale season in a year. Cumulatively if you see, they save you a lot!
I love sale. They are generally timely, like during festival, year end etc and they allow you to save that extra buck just when you need.
14. Use free services
Just in case you require to do lots of calls each day and you need to shell out the huge phone bill from your pocket, try free calling services that are all over the place.
Keep the phone only in case you don’t have connectivity or its really urgent.
15. Sell old and unused items
Not only it relieves you from that clutter and helps you organize your space, they can also get you some money which you can save.
Specially old furniture, antique crockery etc can be sold at decent prices and they are like an extra income for you.
This also reduces wastage and you are being environment friendly by giving the goods a chance to be reused rather than wastage!!
16. Rent your assets
Rental income is very fruitful. It saves money for you. A piece of land, a house, that spare car, watch, boat ,machineries of any kind all others can give you rental income which helps you to save money upfront. Instead of keeping them unused, rent them out. Every month you are loosing opportunity cost if your assets are lying unused.
17. Have your own kitchen garden
Eat organic and save money with a kitchen garden.
Herbs and some basic veggies or fruits can be easily grown with little bit of consistent and seasonal efforts. Since they cost minimal we don’t even know how much we spend on these must used items in the kitchen. But considering we consume them almost every day, the accumulated amount will be a good sum of money.
I was once told by one of my friend who grows greens and fruits in her garden almost all season, she is able to cook her meals most days even if she missed veggie shopping.
Only elaborate cooking days needs her to get veggie shopping which can be just twice or thrice a month that too because she docent like stocking up veggies too much!!
So you can give this one a try!! Not to repeat the health benefits you get as you will not be using harmful chemicals or hormones on your veggies!
18. Use local, they are cheap
Cheap in terms of money not nutrition is what I mean.
Local produce that need minimal transportation and middlemen are fresher and cheaper. Farm to kitchen is simply cheap as they are able to avoid these add on costs.
They also require less preservatives and chemicals as their shelf life need not to far away.
So eat local, fresher and save that money!!
19. Diversify your investments
This is an established fact. More you diversify your investments, more you reduce the risk of losses.
But again be careful, diversify them to the extent you can handle. Your hard earned money should be safe and savings with investments is good as long as they are safe!!
20. Utilize discount coupons while shopping online
We spend good amount shopping online for various things. Some discount is available somewhere for almost all products sometime or the other. Before shopping online for anything, check if you can get any discount coupon somewhere.
Specially if you are a frequent buyer, this will save you a good amount end of the year!!
21. Keep a track of your bank accounts and cards
You get charged annually for maintenance of bank accounts and credit cards etc. If you are not using all of these, it is a good thing to apply for closure. Most of us use one or two cards and accounts only. We have the others because some point of time we would have opened and never closed.
If you have any such financial instrument which is not used optimally, yo may decide to close them to avoid charges.
Even if you follow some of the above, you will be saving for good. If you follow all you will be saving huge!!