- Vanity and personal maintenance
According to research conducted by The Hindustan Times, an Indian family spends almost 10% of the total monthly income on self-grooming, clothing, and appearance. While this may seem nominal, compare it with the percentage spent on education on a monthly basis, it is only 4%.
Most of us enjoy our monthly hair spa, body massage, haircuts and not to forget the super-relaxing pedicures and manicures but seldom do we realize how heavily they cost us in our monthly budget.
If you really feel the need for a spa or pedicure, learn how to do it at home. For example, an average salon charge around Rs. 600-700 per hair spa which if you pay attention is the price of a whole half kg box of spa cream. All you need to do is apply the cream on your hair.
While you are reading this article, it has to at least be a smartphone to gain access to this post. What are you reading this at- an iPhone, a tab, a MacBook, a ‘super latest high-end smartphone tablet laptop television’ or any xyz thing? Something of which you do not even know or use most of the features? And of course, none of that come for free. Did it cost you a month or two’s salary?
Take a look around in your room or your home- see all the gadgets you possess. Can you certainly say you need all of them? while all of them came for a good price but not all are of utility.
Not that I am against any electronics-making company but yes, it is not necessary to get the latest versions of gadgets. A version or two old phones or laptop would make no big difference in your day-to-day usage while the difference in their prices definitely will.
- Daily take-aways or eat-outs
Everyone loves to eat out once in a while or grab a cup of coffee while on the go. But what if that eat-out eats a major chunk of your salary. Now, yes, I know we live to eat and eat to live but do you have to follow it literally? Wait I will rephrase my question, can you afford it literally?
Most of us can’t. While an Rs. 25-cup of coffee does not make much difference on a daily basis but if you do the math, it adds up to Rs. 300 per month and Rs. 3600 per year. And if you are a fan of the famous coffee chains, the prices will shoot up exponentially. Rather invest these Rs. 3600 in buying a coffee-maker and save the yearly bills over these coffee-sips.
- Falling in the advertisement traps
This is the era of socially active people. While social media helps in connecting with people all around the world, it serves as an excellent platform for people or companies who wish to advertise their business or product and reach out to a huge customer base.
The most clicked or visited ads are of slimming products. A slimming tea or sweating belt or multi-stage exercise trainer or whatever, do not fall in this trap. If you really wish to get slim or fit, have a look at your food chart and meals. Cut down on fired and packaged food. Cut down on sugar. Exercise at home. Go for a run. Do whatever suits you best but do not fall for these ads. Adjust your lifestyle to feel better rather than spend money and feel broke.
- Impulsive grocery shopping
After the introduction of presentation racks and beautifully arranged food shelves, the monthly bills of an average family have gone up many-folds. There are a lot of stores out there which have excelled the art of presentation and this attracts the customer attention a lot.
Do not impulsively buy things which are of no use to you just because they look good. Before you leave your home for grocery shopping, make sure you have visited your home shelves and made a list of things which you need. Once you are at the store, go straight to the racks or piles of stuff that you need. Do not roam around and buy things that you do not need.
A lot of food and perishable products go waste, unused. Do not be guilty of that.
Tip: Never go to grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
- Shop on cash rather than credit cards
There is nothing wrong with shopping on a credit card but I think to save it for the time when you absolutely need it. Shopping with cash makes you spend limited. If you have Rs. 1000 in your pocket, you cannot spend even a penny more. This will save you from the side-effects of window shopping and the charming effect lucrative offers have on people.
While you go for normal shopping, do not carry your cards with you. At least not the credit cards. Carry cash and if you need, carry debit cards only. Follow this ritual and you will notice a drastic improvement in your monthly savings.
- Say no to coupons
10% off on your next purchase or buy 1 get 1 free or 5% cash back on your next purchase, I am sure you must have been offered some of these and many more such coupons. A 10% off on your next purchase coupon will have a line written at the bottom saying “Minimum purchase Rs. 2000”. So, a discount of Rs. 200 will make you spend a minimum of Rs. 1800. And most probably this expenditure will be on things that you do not need.
Be wise enough to decide to who’s advantage is the coupon of- yours’s or the company’s?
- Long-delayed medical treatments
If you have a toothache now, go for a check-up immediately. Do not wait for the right time. One tooth treatment now will be much cheaper than multiple tooth problems later because of delayed treatment.
Go for regular check-ups rather than waiting for a problem to show up.
- Food waste
This is the most tormenting thing that affects your pocket, your conscious, the needy, the economy and the world. According to the Agriculture Ministry of India, food produces worth Rs. 50,000 Crores is wasted every year in India.
This is not just your personal problem but a global crisis. While you buy all that fancy looking stuff in the name of healthy food and most of the times end-up eating your favorites, your budget gets crashed.
Be vigilant of where your money is flowing. A little attention paid towards your monthly bills and expenditures can make a huge difference in your savings. if you have money saved, you can grow it to create tremendous wealth. But not before you take note of such details and start eliminating the unnecessary.
Smart Saving, smart Investing!