Spending Hacks That Save You Money
We’re all looking to spend less, or ideally, to get the best bang for our buck, and in most cases, this is thankfully more of a reality than a fantasy. The best spending hacks won’t even cost you a cent! Without further ado, here are a few for you to try:
Lists are useful. They help you stay on track and stave off distractions. Grocery lists, to-do lists, debt lists, and meal plans are a good start. Say goodbye to discount distractions at the store, because if it isn’t on your list, you better think thrice before you buy it – you might not need it at all, and redundant items waste money that can be otherwise spent elsewhere.
Have you an auto loan, personal loan, or mortgage loan? Call your lender to renegotiate your interest rates, tenure and repayments to see if you can snag a better deal. You never know what you might be eligible for now compared to when you first applied for your loan.
Of course, some loans, such as your PTPTN loan, have non-negotiable interest rates, so go for the next best thing and watch for announcements from the government for discounts for full repayments and so on, such as the one they announced in Budget 2015 ending 31 March 2015.
Compare, compare, compare
After challenging your financial assets and liabilities, it’s time to practice comparing items that you’re looking to buy. Shop around for the best credit cards, loans, groceries, home appliances, and other things besides. Mobile apps like SmartShopper Malaysia make it even easier for you to compare grocery prices without even stepping out of your home.
Use the 30-day rule
If you see something you really want to buy but don’t really need, take a step back and employ the 30-day rule: go back home, sleep on it for a month (give or take), and consider whether you need it at all. You may well find that the item you so longed for isn’t so desirable once you’ve slept on it. If it’s a luxury purchase, at least it won’t be on an impulse.
Gift-shop right after the holidays
It might seem counter-intuitive to buy Christmas gifts after Christmas day, but that’s what you can do if you’re looking to score juicy discounts on seasonal items. Most items, such as Halloween candies, Christmas lights, or Chinese New Year or Hari Raya condiments containers can be kept for a long time and therefore bought even when they’re out of season.
In fact, buying them when they’re freshly out of season brings you the best discounts as retailers look to clear their stock before the next big festival.
Go for plain water
You might find that plain water, or ‘sky juice’ as it’s also fancifully called, is by far the cheapest drink you can find in restaurants. Fizzy drinks, coffee, tea, or milkshakes are easy and cheap to make at home, and they may cost restaurants even less. In other words, they’re ridiculously over-priced. Going for plain water will save you a few ringgit every meal and potentially hundreds every year.
Buy in bulk
When looking to lower your costs, one way to do it besides couponing and comparing prices is to buy items in bulk. Tesco’s, Giant and Jusco are but a few retailers who are more than happy to cut you some slack if you buy a lot of the same items at once.
In fact, sometimes you won’t be able to buy in small quantities as they’ve been packaged in bigger bundles for you already. If you’re sure you can finish them before they expire, take advantage of it!
Hands off surprise money!
Don’t consider any extra funds you stumble upon as spending money! Instead, sock it away for a rainy day. You can accumulate your spending money every month to make big purchases. Anything extra should be funneled towards debt repayment or investments until you’ve comfortable funds built up.
Saving money with prudent choices means that you’ll have more funds left over to lead a better lifestyle. Some hacks are easier than others, so why don’t you give these baby steps a try? If you like them then you can move on to bigger hacks!