Financial experts say one needs discipline to save money. However, it is very clear this is hardly ever practiced. It is, indeed, challenging to save if your mind is not appropriately conditioned. Therefore, the primary thing one needs to do is to set one’s mind that “There is a need to save!” After that, one is now ready to save on everyday expenses and there one sees how simple decisions help one to save money.
The most common means to save would be bringing one’s lunch or snack to work, as this helps save a large sum of money yearly. One can also save in the supermarket, as there are practical ways to trim down one’s shopping bill. Creating a list of things one needs to buy is advisable to avoid impulse buying. Before making the list, consider your cooking and eating habits. Plan your meals ahead of time. Challenging yourself to eat at least one more meal at home each week should also be an excellent strategy. This helps you avoid wasting money on groceries or dine out in a restaurant. Buying groceries in bulk could also help you minimize your bills. If feasible, you can put your own garden to grow some veggies or fruits.
Taking advantage of coupons or vouchers, using mobile apps to look for good deals or even looking at the price per item helps you get the most of your money. Sales and discounts can be great opportunities to save, but you need to be very vigilant. Spend on what is vital, save on what is not. The idea is you don’t need to stop spending on important ones but, rather, look for ways to cut or reduce those that are less important.
Turning off the lights when leaving a room and unplugging gadgets when they are not used are brilliant ways to reduce household bills. Unknown to many, most electricity companies charge more at particular points of the day. Generally, peak hours, like at midday when many of us use electricity the most, are charged significantly higher rates compared to, say, early morning or late nights. Proper water usage, like turning off your faucets when not being used, will definitely reduce your water bill. Consider using energy-efficient light bulbs, utilizing timers and power strips technologies, controlling your telephone, mobile and Internet data usage, among others. These are also examples contributing a lot to everyday saving.
If you have your own car, you may consider a gas station in your area that is often offering the cheapest price. Public transportation vehicles, such as buses, jeepneys and tricycles, are options available for everyone on a tight budget. Transport Network Vehicle Services also help you save on transportation costs. Walking or biking, especially if your office is near your home, is a cost-effective and healthy alternative to driving and taking public transportation.
At times, one is influenced by family, colleagues or friends into overspending. However, one can try to plan activities ahead of time to avoid temptations like unplanned and recurring meal outs. Saving does not mean one ought to forego fun. In fact, one can still have fun with inexpensive entertainment options, such as getting a good deal online for outdoor activities.
You just need to check where you’re spending and what items you’re willing to cut back. You don’t need to do math and adjust in the budget on every single decision you make. That could be exhausting. Being careful of where your money goes, and looking for other options contribute a lot to the habit of saving in the long run. It can help you be creative and find ways to trim costs daily to achieve the discipline in spending.
In conclusion, always be aware to spend within your budget, avoid unnecessary costs and try to keep saving a daily habit. When somehow tempted to overspend, go back and remember that you need to save!
Do not just stop. You can do it. You must do it.
Don-Don Adolfo Crisostomo is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more financial planning, join the 65th RFP program this October 2017. To inquire, e-mail [email protected] or text <name><e-mail> <RFP> at 0917-9689774.