When we think about saving money, we often ignore the smaller expenses believing they won’t amount to much. We squander away tiny sums not on necessities but on small comforts we seek in our daily lives. No, we are not asking you to give up your love of comforts. But, if you can get it for free, then why pay for it? You’ll be able to save more than a couple of thousands every month. Isn’t that incentive enough? All you’ll have to do is steer clear of the small denominations you dole out on-the-go.
We have aggregated a list of 11 wasteful expenses most of us undertake on a daily basis. If you learn to turn your back on them, you’ll be rewarded with a richer bank account.
Additional Reading: Be a Finance Ninja: All about Good Financial Habits
The next time you go shopping or for a coffee with your friends, carry your own bottle of water. Honestly, it doesn’t really pinch to pay Rs. 20 at a time. But if you do this 5 times a week, you’ve spent at least Rs.500 on buying bottled water in a month alone. Moreover, if you buy bottled water at a movie theatre or at coffee shop, you land up paying a premium on the marked price.
Nothing like a frappe topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. And, how many times do you indulge in it in a month? It’s absolutely fine to treat yourself to a cup of nice, expensive coffee now and then. But you can save a heap of money if you show a less expensive cup of coffee some love. Even better, if you get yourself a coffee maker. Top up your coffee flask and you are set for the day. It’ll certainly be lighter on your pocket and help you retire richer. Even research agrees with us on this one!
Most of us keep a bag aside for grocery shopping. And most of us stop at that. Just like we do for groceries, we can save money if we carry our own bags for shopping. Nowadays, most shops ask you if you require a carry bag and they charge you anything between Rs. 10 and Rs. 40 for it. By carrying your own bag, you can save on this wasteful expenditure.
Life has become easy with ride-hailing apps. A few taps on our smartphone and an A/C cab is at your doorstep in minutes. Don’t look at us quizzically. We are not asking you to give up cabs. All we are saying is that instead of travelling solo, choose the ride-share option. It will win you a hefty discount on your total bill. Journeys, after all, are all about meeting new people.
If you drive your own mean machine, save up on fuel costs by starting a carpool group. It’s easiest to carpool if you share the same destination with a bunch of other people. Find people in your office you can pick up en route to work.
Public transport is the sure shot way of covering longer distances at a very affordable price. Walk those few metres to the nearest bus stop and get a ride to your destination. Give public transport a try for a month and see how much you save. You might just become a regular patron.
Walk, Walk, Walk
It’s shameful to hire an auto rickshaw just to cover a distance of a kilometre or two, unless you are hurt and are in absolute need of one. Next time, walk it up. It’ll barely take 10 minutes, and by doing this regularly, you’ll also shed those extra kilos.
One of the most notorious evils. Avoid it! Impulse shopping is when you buy something on a sudden whim, even though you are not in need of it. Grocery stores take advantage of this trait by placing some inexpensive tit-bits next to the billing counter. Aha, now it makes sense; doesn’t it? Don’t overstock on groceries or buy things thinking you’ll need them in the future. Next time you go shopping, stick to your shopping list and keep your hand from straying to that packet of delectable chocolate cookies. If you need something, you can always make another trip to the grocery store.
Save Water, Save Electricity
We know that water is a precious resource, yet we do not treat it with enough care. Make sure you don’t leave the tap running when you are brushing your teeth, washing clothes or utensils. This leads to severe wastage of clean water.
We also need water for electricity. Every time you leave your house, make one quick round and check that all fans, lights and other electrical equipment is switched off. It’ll barely take a minute. The result? Lower water and electricity bills, of course!
Credit Card Interest Rate
Is your Credit Card bill always more than your salary? Follow some of the above mentioned tips and you will be able to tame it down. By not paying your complete Credit Card bill on time, you are not only hurting your Credit Score but also attracting a high rate of interest on the balance due. So, buy what’s necessary and avoid swiping your card for small amounts.
Too many trips to the ATM?
Using a Debit Card to withdraw cash, multiple times a week, is one of the most overlooked expenditure. Most of us don’t pay too much attention to the fee we pay for each cash withdrawal. Banks usually allow 5-10 withdrawals free of charge, after which there is a charge for each withdrawal which can go up to Rs. 20. A mere 10 cash withdrawals up and beyond the free limit will cost you about Rs. 200 a month, and Rs. 2400 for a year. Quite an amount, isn’t it? There are two ways to cap it; withdraw money in lump sums, so you stay within the free withdrawal limit, or ask your bank for a card with an unlimited cash withdrawal facility. Keep in mind, cards with an unlimited cash withdrawal facility come with a yearly fee.
Additional Reading: Steps to Develop a Healthy Saving Habit
It will be tempting to revert to your old habits. But stay put! With time, your savings will grow and you can further invest them to get more returns. Once you get into the habit of saving, you’ll be surprised to see that you aren’t really missing much and your bank balance will look a lot healthier too.