Financial Plan

Easy tips to effortlessly save cash

The things we do every day can be tweaked to become things we do every day and save money. We present a few simple ways to cut your expenses without major lifestyle changes.

The pattern of most of our lives is similar in many aspects: we work hard all day, go home to crash and have dinner in front of the TV, party with friends over the weekend and then undergo the same grind the following week. This routine is interspersed with lunches or dinners at restaurants, going for the latest film releases, shopping for new clothes and maybe even exercising every morning.

As fantastic as it sounds, everything that you do has a price tag. The morning cup of coffee and breakfast you eat at the local restaurant after your workout costs you daily. The cab you take instead of the public bus costs you. Even the late night TV binge watching of shows costs you in the form of large electricity bills. It’s true what they say about there being no free lunches in this world!

And yet, there are ways to have inexpensive lunches, if not free ones. Simply tweaking your everyday habits can help you save a lot of money. Here are some pointers on cutting your spends:

#1: Review your exercise. If you love to run, why buy an expensive gym membership to run on the treadmill? Just run outside in the fresh air – you’ll enjoy it more and for free! If you like to participate in Zumba, power yoga and other recreational exercise activities, why buy classes at several different places? Enroll in an exercise centre that regularly offers different activities and take a yearly membership to save money.

#2: Curtail your appliance usage. When Netflix, torrents and Hulu are available, why spend a lot of electricity watching shows on TV? Simply use the office WiFi or the free Internet at cafes and airport terminals to download all the shows you want to watch. You can also change the way you use your household appliances. If you or your family members are in the habit of leaving fans, switches and computers on all night, your house is guzzling up a lot of power. Invest in timer switches that shut off automatically after a certain period of time – you will save a lot of money this way.

#3: Shop wisely. If you eat out at least once a week, you should reconsider loading your shopping trolley with enough supplies to last a month. If you’re not going to cook much, why buy a lot of vegetables, bread and spices? When you order from your favourite restaurant, chances are that the food portions are large and can easily last you for two meals – another saving. If you need to periodically purge your refrigerator of uneaten, unopened food items, it means that you are wasting a lot of money on groceries that you don’t need.

#4: Wise personal banking. If your bank offers you excellent Internet banking services, should you be wasting cheque leaves or driving your car to the bank to get account statements? You can use the Internet for all your personal banking needs and save a lot of money. Besides this, it is cheaper to issue auto debit instructions for utility bill payments rather than dropping off the money in different outlets yourself.

#5: Not using loyalty points. The department store you often visit or shop online from gives you loyalty points that you can redeem on your next purchase. These points lapse after a certain period of time, after which you cannot redeem them. Not redeeming these points is a waste of money. The points are not gifted to the customer, they come from earlier purchases and are already paid for. Hence, not redeeming them is fiscal imprudence.