It is easy to focus on the big expenses when starting a savings plan due to larger variability and flexibility in pricing. After managing the big expenses, you may notice that the little daily expenses still take up a decent portion of your savings at the end of the month.
So how do we chip off from these little expenses which accumulate?
Here are 5 simple tips you can think about doing without compromising your lifestyle and improve it even more than you have done.
Buy in bigger quantities with a relative/friend
Usually things can be bought in larger quantities at lower prices per unit. This is true for about every item you can find in any mart. Meet up with a relative or a friend and share items that you usually would not buy in bulk. Bonus points if you go with one who has similar taste to make the decision process easier!
If you shop for groceries this way, you can also end up with much more variety of food for meals!
Go for the big bottle ketchup, 10-pack forks and spoons (instead of individual ones), bundles of work socks etc, for a few possible examples.
Learn to make stuff yourself
After buying stuff in bulk (as mentioned in the previous tip), you can bring it up a notch higher!
Prepare ingredients for meals in advance, and freeze them in sealed storage bags in the freezer. For a start, try preparing for the next two or three meals. This not only saves your time preparing each meal, but also the effort in preparing meals when you had a long day after work. To save more time, try preparing meals that can be easily heated up in a pot. On top of that, knowing that you have prepared meals can help you resist going for unhealthy takeaway food that most likely cost more than your prepared meals.
This does not only apply to food - learn to fix small tears in clothes, shoes, curtains, blemishes on furniture etc - DIY tools are mostly cheaper than purchasing a brand new replacement product!
Stop buying low quality stuff
Saving on daily expenses does not mean being cheap. It is tempting to go for lower-priced products to save money short-term, but you may end up paying for more as time goes by.
For example, instead of going for the cheap flimsy backpack/bag with straps that look like they will break any time soon (and most of the time, they will), invest in a better quality one that can last with reasonable pricing, especially if it's something you know you are going to use frequently.
Take a few seconds when something breaks, and learn why they did! Is it because of the way you used it, or because of a weakness in design? This will help you make better decisions when replacing them in future and save money in the long run.
Make saving fun and set small challenges
Sometimes the bigger goals may not be sufficient motivation for the days when you just crave a little more. Saving does not have to be boring and mundane!
Come up with small challenges for yourself:
- Resist going to your favorite unnecessary purchases section
- Challenge your sibling/spouse/roommate and see who can spend lesser for a week in a month, and the loser has to prepare dinner for the other!
- Challenge yourself to fix little things around the house! The internet is a vast resource of tutorials and guides, and you'd be surprised how much you can save from fixing them yourself.
What other challenges can you think of? Share with us on Facebook!
Be observant; Be creative!
Sometimes it just takes a little effort to come up with an ingenious idea no matter how simple it might seem.
Observe not only your own spending behavior by keeping track, budgeting and reviewing which is extremely easy in Expense IQ, but also someone you can consult. Take a step further and observe how retailers are trying to show you the bad choices and avoid money traps!
What about YOU?
Share tips and ideas! Share your personal philosophy or little tips and you'd be surprised how much you can learn from each other.