Saving money is not just about frugal living, as many are tempted to think. It’s about being smart, too. After all, it makes no sense to torture yourself with restraints just for the sake of having some more money in future. It is also about having the discernment to make the right choices.
We have some tips for you and we promise that, if you apply these, you won’t be suffering. On the contrary, you could start living a better, perhaps healthier life, with a new and more satisfying outlook. Here’s what you should be doing to save money with as little trouble as possible.
- Shopping around
Take a few minutes to go online and look for the better offer, regardless of what you’re planning to buy. Shop around for a better TV cable, phone and broadband bundle deal, for home and car insurance, for your favorite brand of cosmetic products or home repair contractor. There is significant competition in all fields and you are sure to find companies or stores with better prices than others. If recurring expenses are concerned, you will then come back to the cheaper vendor.
- Have fun at home
Are you a fan of movies? Instead of going to the cinema every weekend, better gather a few friends and watch a movie at home. Inspire everyone to bring something to eat or drink. It will be cheaper than a trip to the city cinema. Do you and your close ones like to have a meal at a restaurant every now and then? Replace it with a home cooked meal, it’s fun and bonding.
- Understand what you do out of pride
Many expenses are out of pride or simply demonstrative. They’re like saying, “I can afford this, I am high on the social ladder!” In truth,
this is usually only a sign of conceit. You don’t need a piece of clothing with e certain label on it if you can find cheaper alternatives of the same quality. You don’t need to impress anyone by buying yourself three expensive cocktails whenever you go to the pub. These are all useless things we employ to create the illusion of status.
- Replace the car with a bike
Whether you are used to driving or taxing a taxi, consider replacing this with bike rides. It will help you save a lot (and also tone up your muscles) during the warm months.
- Think green
Going ‘green’ does not only mean caring about the environment. It is healthy for yourself, as well as economical. There are so many ways to accomplish this: limit the electricity and fuel consumption, use less paper, wrap, foil etc., less detergent, make your own soap, cream, lotion, hair oil, tinctures and so on. It’s more convenient to buy the things you need from the store, but it’s much cheaper (and rewarding, too) to look for nature’s alternative.
- Cater to your real needs – Start a journal
We spend too much on what we perceive as a need, but in fact it is only a caprice. Make a journal with all your expenses, day by day. After a few weeks, ponder over each item on the list. Did you really need it or was it the impulse of a moment? Was it truly for yourself or to impress someone? Did you buy something just because everyone had it? Make it a point to avoid buying such items or services in future. Journals like these will help you realize how much money you’re giving away for things you don’t really need.
- Research cheap meal recipes
It’s amazing how much money can go on food that goes into various recipes, such as an expensive sauce, oils, side dishes etc. If you research cheap meal recipes though, you discover endless ways to prepare delicious meals with fewer and cheaper ingredients: pasta, casseroles, rice dishes etc. You can enjoy nourishing and tasty meals for a lot less.
- Learn to say no
It’s great to have friends who take you to different places, but sometimes their budget may not match yours. They could be taking you to expensive venues and make you order some of the more sophisticated items on the menu. You spend the money either out of shame or because you just happen to go with the flow. Next time a friend wants you to join them in an expensive location, you can politely refuse or suggest a different place. It’s in your power to control these things. Your expenses don’t have to match the ones of your rich friends or relatives.
You don’t have to limit the fun you have or make a radical change of lifestyle. These tips should empower you and inspire you to see more choices out there. There are great, cheaper alternatives to almost anything you are used to.