‘Save money’- the first and foremost thing we understand about budgeting. Do you know that a majority of the new generation is not able to save enough to invest for future goals, even if they think that they are just spending to meet their basic needs?
So, how to save money out of your hard earned income?
Our lifestyle has changed in the last couple of decades and due to that nowadays even a couple earning good is not able to save even Rs. 10,000 a month.
Well, in cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad etc. if you are able to earn really good, then you can live a decent life but not the best one.
I have a couple of friends, who are earning good enough (Rupees 1 lakh/month+). But not at all satisfied with their incomes and are literally shivering to handle their monthly expenses. But, I personally believe that Rupees 1 lakh/month is a huge amount in any city in India. I strongly feel there might be some problem with those, who are not able to manage their finances with such earnings.
In this article, I will share some lifestyle changes or habits that will simply control your expenditures and help you to increase the surplus amount every month.
If you don’t know the meaning of surplus amount, then let me tell you that: the surplus amount is the remaining figure after your monthly expenditure from your income. If you can’t increase your surplus amount, you will not be able to save more.
Anyway, let’s explore some good financial habits that will help you to save money in everyday life. And above all, you will start understanding the value of money management and learn to budget. Here are the simple ways to save money.
1. Evaluate Your Friend Circle or Peer group
Do you know that these days most of us are driven by peer pressure? Whether you need the stuff or not? As your friend has done that you have to come up with something better. This is a very common problem many of us are going through.
In our society, we judge people by their purchasing power. And to stay in their level of status, we simply spend even we don’t need the same. This is the first and most dangerous mistakes of our life.
Personally, like everyone I have been through such problems. But later on, I realized that I am happier to maintain my lifestyle, as I actually want. That has gradually helped me to keep faith & confidence in my abilities and off-course save extra money gradually.
So, if you think that due to your friend circle or office colleagues you are spending too much to meet up with their status, then I think it’s time to clean your mind and stay cool. If possible, avoid such gatherings and look for someone who understands your thoughts or believe in simple living.
2. Follow DIY Lifestyle to Save Money
Although I have never been to outside India, many of my friends have. And I got to know many positive stories about the people and their lifestyles over there. One thing I really liked about their lives is the attitude to solve every household problem on their own.
E.g. whenever there is a problem in our home related to electricity, gas connection etc. we generally call the service stuff.
Many such things happen in our daily life for which we prefer to hire someone and fix the problem. I am not saying you are going to save huge money by fixing the problems on your own. But you will be able to build a habit by doing this. This will also pass a positive message to your next generation and they will learn a good lesson at home. And off-course at the end, you can save money that you used to spend on such services.
E.g. I am sure many of us are using Split ACs these days at home. In general, it is good to clean the internal parts of a split AC, at least the filters 3-4 times in a year. Every time the service center people visit your home, they will charge a minimum of Rs 1000 – 1500 as per the brand. But that is really a simple activity and you can do it easily if you follow how they do that once carefully.
3. Control Your Greed for New Things
These days in many cases we tend to replace our old gadgets or staffs with the latest ones. Even if the gadget might be reusable after a repair, but we simply prefer to go for a new one. There are valid reasons also like the new product has many new & useful features, latest design, it looks trendy etc.
But frankly speaking, how many of us are actually utilizing those fancy features of any gadget these days, beyond the basic features? If you take the example of a Smartphone, people have made it a trend to change Smartphone in every 1 – 2 years, whether there is a need or not.
This is simply an unnecessary expenditure we generally do. If there is a need to upgrade then it’s always understandable, but just for the sake of the new trend, spending money on such staffs is simply wasting.
We can easily list out such staffs and check whether we can avoid a new purchase by repairing the existing one.
4. Stop Visiting Shopping Malls
In our urban life, shopping malls play a very big role in the entertainment segment. It has become a trend to visit a shopping mall on weekends with your entire family. Do you ever realize how many problems you are actually inviting by visiting such places?
Let me share some common activities in any shopping mall:
- Eating junk foods
- Watching movies in multiplexes
- Buying staffs whether it’s needed or not
- Habituate with Video games etc
And while buying something, in the name of 2-3 items, you end up with buying many unnecessary staffs. Moreover, your kids start indulging in video game parlors which they might have spent playing in a park or by participating in some physical activities or sports.
So, I think this is one of the very common lifestyle habits that we can change and find out some better alternatives to spend quality time with the family and of course, save money. I am not saying visiting a shopping mall is a crime, but one can surely reduce the frequency of such visits.
5. Go Cashless & Be Smart
After demonetization, I think Government has forced people to go for a cashless economy. This is a very good move as this habit of shopping cashless can actually help you to save more money.
Credit cards and debit cards are convenient to use while saving some good bucks. If you are not comfortable using credit cards then let me tell you that there are various benefits of using a good credit card. Here is a glimpse of my personal experience.
- I am using a credit card with which I buy groceries from the leading grocery stores like Spencer’s, BigBazaar etc. and get 5% discount on total value.
- I have a travel credit card, with which every time I get discounts on buying flight tickets or earn air miles.
- My card also allows me to avail the buy 1 get 1 free movie ticket offer every month.
These are few of the benefits that I think are simply awesome. On top of that, you also earn reward points with which you can get some gifts after accumulating a certain amount. However, you should not spend beyond your limit to avoid the debt trap. Also, always make sure to repay the bills within the due date.
So, these are the 5 simple lifestyle changes that have helped me to save money in my everyday life. Not only that, I have also started thinking about saving more as the amount of my monthly surplus grows gradually. Moreover, this has changed my attitude towards life and how I can enjoy the max without spending unnecessarily.
Did you make any of these lifestyle changes? What was your experience? Please share if you have made any other habit change that has helped you to save more.