1. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it
Have you ever wondered why most stores stack numerous smaller items right next to the check-out counter? It is common to be tempted to pick more than you need from a grocery store. Even stronger is the temptation to buy things that you may not necessarily need but that feel good to buy. The impact of both habits can be a huge drain on your finances, not to add the guilt that may creep in later. Draw up a shopping list and stick to it – try not to succumb to any temptation. You will not only enjoy your shopping, but will also save money on things you may not need.
2. Party home
Watching a match with friends at a restaurant on the large screen has a high, but it comes with more costs – not to forget the side effects of binging. How about calling your friends over to watch the match at home over a potluck meal? You will have the same company at a lesser cost and may even end up having more fun.
Though it may sound like an old idea, it is one habit that can change your outlook. Not only will you get to spend time with friends, you will also be able to see the route to office a lot better. Naturally, the larger benefit of saving costs on fuel, parking, and car maintenance will accrue; you will also do your bit to save the environment. If carpool is tough, think of public transport once a week to start with.
4. The 30-day rule
Online shopping is convenient and many a time the sale offer seems unbelievable. The side effect – your desires rise and you tend to buy things that you may not need. Control your urge, do buy the essential and hold on to the impulsive purchase for 30 days. After the 30 day self-imposed embargo, ask yourself if you still need it? On most occasions, the urge would have died and you would have saved the money by simply waiting. You would also have learnt to control impulsive buying.
5. Save electricity
Electrical and electronic goods have besieged our lives. We wake up in the night to check the phone and spend most of our free time watching TV. All this leads to enormous usage of electricity. Make a start by leaving a lesser electrical footprint. Save and conserve electricity, install CFL or, even better, LED bulbs wherever it makes sense. These bulbs might cost more initially, but they both have a longer life than normal incandescent bulbs and they both consume far less electricity. Saving electricity goes beyond saving for your personal benefit. In fact, most of us don’t realise it, but we consume electricity even when we don’t use a device – for example, a charged cell phone that is still connected to a plugged charger uses electricity, nevertheless. Or how about that office laptop that has been left on or plugged all night!
6. Compare prices
Who does not love a good bargain? The pleasure of haggling with the vegetable vendor and coming victorious gives most people a different high. However, the same effort is rarely replicated when buying high cost good like a fridge or a car. With several online websites allowing for price comparison for best priced goods, all you need to do is go online and find out the best price for your shopping wish-list. If you are lucky, you may find items from your shopping list available online at a deep discount!
7. Save the raise
If practiced in a disciplined manner, this tip can tremendously help you in the long run – invest a significant part of your increment and bonus. Typically 30% is a good amount to save – the more the better. Invest this additional sum towards retirement or any other financial goal where you are falling short. Not only will you make living within means a way of life, but also save yourself from the financial bump that each salary raise brings in the form of increased standard of living.
Source :L&T mf