To use a rather inexpensive cliché, money is like sand in your hands. The more you try to close your fist, the more falls away. But one can surely try to save the peanuts for a loaded peanut butter sandwich on a nice and sunny day. Or for paying the medical bills for the blocked arteries of the heart once the peanut butter has nicely settled in there. Why you want to save it is your business, or the loan sharks’. But how you can save it is right here. Scroll down to know about the 7 essential lifestyle changes that save your money:
7. Become Jack of all trades:
Now, this is not easy. With such humble marks in physics, chemistry and biology and common sense a rare species, learning the working of taps and bulbs may seem like a challenge. However, a basic tool kit, Mr. Google and Miss Wiki go a long way and making you Mr. Fixer around the house. You really save up on a lot of money by not looking for, finding one and paying a million to the plumber, carpenter and the electrician. Add to that the hospitality expected over and above the service fee and you will be left poorer by much more than that glass of Roohafza you so generously made. DIY keeps the brain sharp and the wallet happy.
Good music, clean movies you name it and www will have a site offering it for free. I mean do you even remember what Music World is? It’s already history. Whereas internet is here to stay and is planning to outlive humanity. Sites like raaga.com even let you listen to your favourite numbers, without even requiring downloading. And then, with movie tickets costing upwards of Rs. 300 in most places, the bigger your family the more you buy and the more silver-coated popcorn you eat. Whereas at home, all you need to spend on are Rs. 10-a-packet microwavable ones and a cola that does not come with half a glass of ice, and the rest water. That should help the ‘Indulgences’ big time, unless you list movies/music in ‘Essentials’.
5. Whole-sale buying:
Keep on the lookout for sales, the bulk variety. Supermarkets and Bazaars are not called ‘super’ or ‘big’ for no reason. There is domestic wisdom in buying everyday stuff from lentils to cosmetics to washing powders at whole sale rates or in bulk, rather than half-a-kilo at a time ordered over the phone from your favourite kirana shop. Maybe a visit to the nearest one at the start of the month will help you get an idea. Plus, you might just end up getting a shampoo free with the soap or vice versa, depending on the generosity of the company. All too often, even ‘buy one get 5 free’ may come your way. So what if they are deodorants? You know how handy they can be to lure women kind, haven’t you seen on TV?
4. Star-rated appliances:
The higher the number of power-saving stars on your appliances, the better they say. An added cost at the time of procurement is all, since more the number of stars the more expensive the appliances. Making this a habit at the time of purchase of anything that works on the demi-God of expenses called Electricity goes a long way in saving you some money each passing billing cycle. And perhaps enough to buy the cycle mentioned in Point 1 sooner than later.
3. Pre-paid plans:
We fly towards the sky only when we know we have big wings. A post-paid plan on your family’s phones is a talking invitation to the moon. Get your plans changed to pre-paid, after you have figured out your usage and know you can comfortably manage within the limit. ‘Limit’ being the key word here. What is the worst that can happen? You run out of balance in the middle of getting an earful from your wife or your boss. Not that bad, is it? Yes, you can say already – what an idea, madam ji!
Forget eating, a family that budgets together stays together, and even shops together. At the start of every month, sit down and make four columns, something like – Essentials, Indulgences, Travel and Exigencies. Fill up the blanks as the wallet gets lighter. Now, at the end of the month, after the mild heart-attack has ebbed looking at the ‘indulgences’ column, see where you can cut costs or plan your finances better. It helps to know where the money goes. If you still cannot find ways to stop the outflow, you are a spoilt child and you can burn this post.
Stop knitting those brows. It’s not that impossible and there’s always a first time with a new sport. With petrol selling at the price of gold there is no other way to bring your family expenses plummeting down than peddling to office or Mother Dairy, whichever is farther. I know, cities are big and distances far and wide. Add to that lack of cycling tracks and stands, stamina and fitness and the problems multiply. However, once you get the hang of it, imagine what you save up on not just petrol but medical bills too, when you become fit-as-a-fiddle. One Europe trip for four, for sure. Do it for a year, and the world tour company will be standing at your door offering packages galore.