Friday, September 5, 2008

25 ways to save money

As the economy getting horrific lately, I think back one of the articles that I’ve read last month. It’s on 25 ways to save your money each month.

1. Track every expenses

I’ve done this last time… When I was single… I got one book specially for this budget, as I don’t have laptop that time… I tracked all my monthly expenses daily… From car fuel, parking fees, food etc. After I got married, hehehhhe… Don’t know why so hard for me to maintain that habit… As to date, I don’t really track my expenses unless the big monthly budget like cars installment, fuel, phone bills and some other expenses which I’ve to consider monthly.

2. Vacation in the Off-season

Actually, this one should apply for those who always go for holiday vacation (need a hotel rental etc).
Since I got married, the only vacation that we have, only to my hometown, Tawau…. Yes, we bought our ticket in the off season period at very cheaper price. However, when the time comes, only myself and my in laws manage to go back to Tawau. Due to my hubby’s commitment to his works, we wasted his ticket. After that, we never plan any vacation anymore. We may need to wait for next year when my career and hubby’s getting established.

3. Cut Out Investment Charges and Fees
Maybe am not really involve with this. If I’ve any, maybe on mutual fund… I got one, but not that active. I put some amount of money in year 2006, then keep quiet until now… There is some letters of this mutual fund came to my house. Sadly, I don’t understand what the letters trying to tell me… So, I let it be what it wants to be… Sigh…

4. Cut back on Eating Out
As for this one, I think, it depends on the number of families that you have. Like myself, only two of us. We’ve tried last time to cook for our daily dinner…However, we found that the cost for the groceries much much higher compared to the cost if we dine outside. So, it doesn’t really work for us… Maybe we would consider this when we have additional members in future :-) (Read: I do cooks if my mum around here in our house :-)).

5. Downsize Your Car

Mine and hubby’s car already downsized. I owned Kelisa and hubby owned Myvi. Last time, we had some discussions on to let go one of those cars. Then, my in laws advised us not to, as we might need it for outstation purposes. So, we maintained our 2 cutees though we have to spend our car’s installment akin to imported car monthly. And not to forget, my sister’s car in Tawau as well (I share with her in paying the installment for this car monthly as an obligation to our parents, so that they don’t face any hassle to go to anywhere by bus like before. Praise to Allah!).

6. Cut Utility Bills, Especially Electricity

Am practicing this since I was very young. So, does not a big issue for me. I only had problem with my hubby in early stage of our marriage. He used to turn on the toilet lights even in daytime! We always argue about this. It was so hard for him to change the habit, ever since he has been doing that from his very young age. So, as a wife, I always make sure that I turn off all lights when not needed including his toilet light on daytime :-)

7. Make Sure You Don’t Have Too Much Insurance

Last time, I used to have 4 insurances at one time… After about 4 years, then only I realized that, insurance can be a bad deal to me. I don’t think I need those insurance since I’m now servicing the government. I can get admitted for free in government hospital. Or, alternatively, we also had insurance covered by my hubby’s company. So, I stop three of them and maintained only 1 insurance, which I might need to consider terminating as well.

8. Find Cheaper Beverages to Drink

I don’t have a problem with this because I am not a coffee fans and I don’t really go for my tea break at office. I always prefer to have sky juice, cheaper and healthier. So, check!

9. Examine Your Phone Service

I am really concerned about this. Last time, I and hubby used Maxis line. At that time, our bills could reach more than RM150 for 2 lines monthly. After using it for about 4 months, we change to DIGI packages which in fact save our cents a lot. Our bills went down to about RM110 monthly for 3 lines. I manage to cover for my moms at Tawau as well. Free voice call, SMS, MMS and some other things which I don’t remember. It’s worth it!

10. Stop Paying for Premium Cable
We don’t have astro at house. We less spends our time in front of our tv at house, because we commit to spend our night time at my in laws house for weekday's dinner :-)

11. Drive Less; Consolidate Trips
Planning your trip is good. We do travel a lot. But, only to my in laws house which 5km away from our house, sometimes to my auntie’s and uncle’s house at Serdang and visiting my brother at Bangi. Still, I think we need to plan and run many errands on the same car trip.

12. Use Warehouse Stores Wisely

Warehouse stores like Giant, Tesco and Carrefour can be a great place to get deals. Nevertheless, we also have to be smart to shop at these stores. If possible, we have to watch our expenses and compared groceries price between each stores because different stores offers different price. We might end up buying our household needs higher than we should pay for. Also, I think, we only need to shop at these stores if we need a bargain on bulk item. If shop only for very little things, then we may go for mini market. Save our time, petrol (on looking for parking) and discourage over-spending on unnecessary items.

13. Lay Down the Law with Your Free-Spending Friends
I also don’t have problem with this, since most of my friends that surrounds me have more or less similar budget as mine. So, check!

14. Find Free Entertainment
This applies to movies, tv packages, book purchases and concert tickets. I am not a bookworm, I don’t have Astro and I don’t like concert. But, I do watch movies, and I don’t know how to get free movie tickets. So, I failed on this. The most that I could do is to limit the nos of movies that we watched. Others wait for free watching on local tv :-) So, check!

15. Consider Alternatives to a Gym Membership

I used to plan to sign up for gym membership last time. After calculating and considering my monthly budget, I just can’t afford it. It’s like burden for me as I am not sure whether I can allocate my time to fully utilize the gym facilities. So, as a replacement, when we free, hubby will accompanies me to the nearest park for jog in the evening.

16. Cut Your Own Lawn

We don’t have any. And our future house also doesn’t have lawn. So, this one not applicable for us! But, I think we might waste our money in future paying the developer to cut the lawn at the condos area. Hmmmm…..

17. Be Smart with Credit Cards

We only have two credit cards, and only one of them active. Active here means only for emergency or paying Airasia tickets. That’s all. Other than that, usually we use cash. So, check!

18. Annualize Your Expenses
As I said earlier in item 1. Aiyak! Will try to re-track it using our Excel spreadsheet (Actually, we had done this spreadsheet in January this year. But, never use it!)

19. Force Yourself to Save

We have forced ourselves to save. Usually, my hubby will calculate his budgets for every month. Then, he will give the balance for me to save. However, as the purpose for saving is to use it when you in emergency or when you broke, usually, we will take it out back to cover for unplanned expenses in the end of the month. Sometimes, we also take it out to lend it to others. When come to this kind of situation, I always keep in mind on what one of my friends told me “Allah doesn’t grant all of our salary to us. We might not realize that some of it was dedicated to other people who need it more than us.” So, I keep thinking positively when I couldn’t save much every month. Praise to Allah for everything that He given to me and my family. Alhamdulillah…..

20. Institute a Waiting Period for Major Purchases
The article wrote this “Wait at least 48 hours before deciding to buy anything over a certain price limit—$50 for example. After the waiting period is over, you may decide that the object desired really isn't worth the price". Hohohoho….
Wait for 48 hours? I just couldn’t wait even for 24 hours to buy anything that I like, because my mind would definitely bring it into my dream at night. Hahahhaha…. So bad of me! I had tried few times for this tip, and I never succeed…
So, to overcome this problem, I rather not go to the shopping complex even for window shopping. I better stay at home and blogging… ekekekkeke…. Ok what?

21. Pay Bills Online-Save on Stamps, avoid Late Fees

I had practice this for more than 6 months if Im not mistaken. Yes! It saves your money a lot! No petrol, no stamps, no bank charges, no parking fees and no interest charges (for late payment) and save your time too! But, now I pay more to subscribe the internet monthly to make sure that I pay the bills online! Uwaaa…. Never mind, I could use the internet for blogging :-) and keeping in touch with my friends through the internet (email, friendster etc). So, check!

22. Make Sure You’re Deducting All Business Expenses
This one applies to people who use their credit card for personal and business in one card. For me, not applicable.

23. Buy Generic Drugs and Groceries
I never practice this as my hubby’s company had their panel’s clinic. So, we fully utilized them wisely.

24. Buy Used
I don’t think this one worth for Malaysian. I had tried once. I bought used car, and it waste my money a lot! I rather by a new one and hassle free for a long run. For books, maybe you all can consider, clothing as well. But, you need to choose it wisely, so that you don’t regret to throw away your money for rubbish!

25. Shop Smart
Coupons? I always get a lot of free coupons. But, I never use them for unnecessary things that I don’t really need, because coupons only gives you some discounts. There is case where you can get cheaper price without this coupons. So, you also need to survey the price of that merchandise first, before deciding to buy it using those coupons or wait for that thing to be on sale, which is more worth for your money. Believe me!

So, you all, go and check yours!

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