10 ways to save money from your monthly expenses at this inflationary situation. It is not difficult, but need some mindset to change.
1. Credit Card / Personal Loan
-Do not use credit card without knowing your repaying capacity. You will be surprised when you see the Interest & other charges when you default a payment or pay only the Minimum Amount Due.
-Some credit card companies attract people by offering Interest free EMI. This is a catch. They will charge a one-time, upfront service charge, which will almost translate into your interest cost.
-If you have personal loans and have some surplus cash, better to partly close the personal loans.
-With RBI increasing the rates do not get into a debt trap.
2. Be diligent in buying
-One thing most of us do not do is bargaining. Of course, in supermarkets, the prices are fixed. But you can still ask for a product with different brands at a cheaper rate. Why pay for brand cost?
-Look for per unit cost. A shampoo sachet (2ml) may cost lower per ml than a 100ml can. You can check for yourself. Buying huge quantity will not only becomes waste, but also is not cost effective.
-Look for the expiry dates. If you are buying in bulk, it is better to buy a recently packed/manufactured goods.
-If you have discount coupons, use it when required. Do not buy because you have coupons.
-You may get a good bargain outside your supermarket. Of course, you will not get the convenience of shopping there.
3. Plan your travel. It has a cost
-Do car pooling. It saves money for you and for nation. Plan your travel time. Less traffic means fuel efficiency & less stress.
-For short distance & traveling alone – use two-wheeler (of course, wear helmet)
-If you plan to go to a place and have time – look for Public Transportation If you have no time, take an auto-rickshaw and give a thought to taxi finally.
-Plan ahead and book a train / Bus for an overnight journey. If not, you will end up driving or flying. Plan your flight trip well ahead, so that you can get a better deal in the net.
-Fill fuel early morning (before 7am). Once the heat sets in, the petrol expands and you pay more for less fuel. Always fill your tank full and fill when your tank is half.
-Regular service and proper tyre pressure will save you fuel.
-Nowadays, the communication cost has come down. It is psychological that when you know something is cheap, you dont mind spending and end up paying more. So, use your mobile & land-line diligently for long distance (Domestic & International).
-Look at other avenues like Chat, Skype, etc., Few of them have video facility too. Above all, they are free. This can be used for chatting with friends.
-Remember – mobile phones not only comes with charges but also with heath hazards like radiation.
This is what I have done in my home.
-Take bath at a particular time – This will improve the Geyser usage. This is the main contributor for the bill. If possible and you are used to – take cold water bath. It is good for health & purse.
-Switch off lights & fans when not. Use CFL bulbs.
-Accumulate your clothes for ironing and do it once or twice a week, depending on the requirement. This will save your time and also power.
6. Cooking cost
-Eat together – this will reduce the separate heating cost and it is good for family to have food together. Remember, the subsidy on LPG is going out slowly and Microwave is not good for health.
-Prepare yourself with the vegetables before cooking. Buy vegetables, which has good shelf life, once a week and use them. This will reduce your trip to the stores. Do not waste food.
-For those in multi-storeyed apartments & individual houses, water cost is a nightmare. So, use the water diligently. We use the recycled water (from the water purifier) for plants.
-Use bucket for bathing than using Shower.
-Don’t keep the water running while washing vessels/clothes, brushing teeth, shaving etc., -This is applicable for washing vegetables & fruits.
-Take water from home in a pet bottle. It is good for health and also on your purse.
8. Entertainment & shopping malls
-While we crib about increasing cost, we do not want to restrict ourselves from spending. Look at possibility of reducing the number of visits to multiplex. There are cinema theaters still, which are air-conditioned, with DTS effect. Only thing that will be missing is the luxury chairs. Remember, we are going to be there only for 2-3 hours. Why spend money when you have plethora of channels for entertainment.
-If possible, avoid visiting malls. The offers will attact you and you may end up buying, which you may not really need. It is better to keep the credit card at home when you go there.
-When in need for buying, look for offers around your place.
9. Exercise regularly
-Keep your body fit and in good condition. The medical cost itself will kill you. It is better not to fall sick nowadays. Sleep well, exercise regularly & have a good eating habit.
-Take a medical insurance, if you do not have one.
-Look for some stores, which offer discounts on medicines & other items sold by them (example: MedPlus).
-Prepare a monthly budget and spend some time in monitoring your expenses against the budget. It will work and is working for me. If you have any annual payouts like Investment for tax savings (PPF, LIC Premium, etc.,), annual fee for the kids, start a Recurring deposit with a bank and make sure the amount is made available for your use.
-Plan and spend for essentials & necessities. Avoid luxury items if possible.
-Monitor and revisit your budgets atleast once in 3 months.