7 Clever Ways to Save Money Without Cutting Expenses
How we live depends on only one man-made commodity — money. True, money cannot buy everything. It cannot make us happy or healthy. But the lack of it significantly affects our well-being.
In conversation with Sharan Hegde, the founder of Finance with Sharan, we talked about the How and Why behind him educating people about finance, money management, and investments.
Here are 7 amazingly simple but clever ways to save money with doable and realistic methods that do not ask you to stop spending!
Here’s a peek into our conversation on Figuring Out:
1. Create a concrete saving goal
Looking at your budget is the first step to starting your savings journey. Have precise data about your earnings and expenses. Then you can plan ahead.
Not achieving the first goal can discourage you from taking further steps. So, start small. You may have a considerable expense coming up that may stretch your monthly budget. It can be buying a cool gadget or upgrading shabby furniture. Create a savings fund for that expense in advance.
You should also consider saving up for emergency expenses. A backup fund of INR 50,000 or USD 1,000 may not buy you the world, but it will keep your mind at peace. In case of sudden financial changes, you will have something to sustain you for a month or so.
2. Learn to say no
You do not need to live the life of a monk and avoid all social gatherings. But neither do you have to give in to peer pressure and agree to participate in every activity your friends suggest.
Spending your week’s earnings on one night of dinner will not feel much amusing when you will look at your bank balance. So, suggest alternative places. Thanks to the internet, we can always find many choices in minutes.
And it is more than likely that your friends have been trying to save some bucks as well. So, instead of fearing judgment, confide in them. This way, you can spend less on your next get-together without compromising the fun factor.
3. Quality over quantity
Before choosing the cheapest item on the shelf, check if it is long-lasting. It may save you a few pennies initially. But its rapidly deteriorating quality may make you repurchase more frequently. That is not at all cost-effective.
From clothing and footwear to furniture and electronics, we need many products. Check if they have flimsy material, subpar construction, or poor customer feedback. Those are usually clear enough indicators of why you should steer clear of certain products.
Three pairs of shoes in six months will cost significantly more than one slightly higher-priced pair that lasts a year or more. Spend more on the higher quality product to save more.
4. Shop during sales
Buying when is as important as buying what if you want to get the most bang for your buck. Be it ecommerce websites or brick-and-mortar shops; there are particular seasons when things go on sale.
Thanks to the Black Friday sales, November is a good time for buying electronics. And the end-of-season sale on clothing is usually offered in January and August.
On sale does not mean cheaper quality. Stores often offer discounts to clear their stocks, increase sales and attract more customers.
5. Need vs. want
Have you ever been to Amazon and saw a discount timer counting down seconds until the flash sale ends? It may be something that we do not need. But we immediately start worrying if we should miss such a great deal. Marketers utilize this FOMO (fear of missing out), and we end up shopping on impulse.
Wait before you buy. Be it another trendy jacket or the third streaming service subscription of the month, wait for a few days.
You will often end up realizing you do not need a particular product, although you initially wanted it. Plus, when you buy without being impulsive, you can enjoy things without guilt.
6. Credits can be good
Credit cards can be a slippery slope when used without caution. But they can help you save money if you pay just a bit of attention. It builds up your credit score over time and offers various loyalty and rewards programs.
You can get cashback, discounts, vouchers, and other perks with each transaction. Plus, you get 45 days (for most cards) to pay back the money you spent, without any additional charges.
Ensure you make a habit of paying the total amount before this period ends. That can only be possible if you only spend the money you know you already have or will have in 45 days.
7. Earn more
To save more money, you have to focus on earning more. Salary increment, job switch, or side hustle can be a few ways to accomplish this goal. Of course, it all depends on where you are in your career. You must analyze all the pros and cons before deciding the course of action.
You can negotiate for a raise. Be tactful and professional while doing so. Share your performance report to show the value you bring to the table. It will help your employer support your progress.
Another option is looking for a side gig. Remote jobs have become popular in recent times. It helps people find part-time or contractual jobs with a bit of digging.
Saving money is important for your financial independence. It also plays a role in maintaining your emotional well-being. But do not alter your life completely to accomplish this goal. Start early but start slow. When done correctly, achieving the small goals should give you joy. If they start stressing you out 24x7, it is time to slow down.
For more such in-depth financial contents, listen to my podcast here.