It’s that time of the month again. Your salary is finally here and you’re feeling a little spendthrifty. You decide to treat yourself to a meal, a good cup of coffee, and buy another pair of blue denim in this discount season. And before you know it, you’re left with hardly any money for the remaining days of the month.
So, how did we get here?
The lack of money management habits.
If you carefully track all your spendings for a month, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise to know how much you can overspend on things — many of which you don’t even need.
But don’t fret yet. You can control these inclinations and inculcate financial discipline.
Here are the 20 everyday habits that are making you broke every month. Know them, and correct them.
Food and beverages expenses
1. Dining out too many dimes
Instead of indulging in a fancy meal often, focus on cooking at home. This also means saying goodbye to those takeaway meals to stop blowing your money. Needless to say, it’s way healthier too. You can also consider these 8 healthy food deliveries in Kuala Lumpur under RM20.
And when you have to go out for a pricey meal, consider using a credit card that either fetches you cashback or gives you some reward points in return. Don’t forget to check out some of the top dining credit cards in Malaysia right now.
2. Sipping on coffee from your local café
You might argue saying how good their cappuccino is! But you’re spending an average of RM7 on a cup of coffee. Make coffee at home instead (may be using an affordable coffee machine) to feel refreshed. Carry a flask with you to work if free coffee isn’t available.
3. Purchasing groceries when you’re hungry
Shopping for groceries when you’re hungry is like entering a money trap! You’ll end up buying a lot of products you don’t need. And that’s not an assumption.
Keep in mind to have a meal before you make a trip to the supermarket. You’ll only focus on getting the essentials instead of exploring the aisles.
4. Buying ready-to-eat meals
It may seem like these meals are a lot cheaper but they’re not. You can prepare larger portions by picking out fresh ingredients for a meal. To more money and healthier food!
5. Succumbing to grocery offers that don’t make sense
Did you just add a couple of food items to your online shopping cart just to ensure you get it delivered for free? Or maybe you thought you struck a deal by giving in to the “Buy 2 Get 3 Ketchup Bottles” offer. In all probability, you would’ve exceeded the expiry date by the time you’re done with the first two!
6. Splurging on high fashion brands
It’s tempting to buy products from a well-known brand. But it shouldn’t be a compulsion. Look for affordable fashion, and stop paying hundreds more just for a name!
7. Getting carried away with clothing trends
Before you desperately start looking for a dress similar to the one your favourite pop star wore at the recent award show, just pause for a bit…and ask yourself: is it really worth it?
Blindly following ever-changing fashion trends is another way you lose money every now and then. Go for evergreen styles and make a lasting impression, something even your bank account would admire!
8. Upgrading electronic gadgets every other month
Well, new smartphones and laptops hit the market every day, but that doesn’t mean you keep upgrading your gadgets every 6 months. Put in some research and buy a quality device, and stick to it for a long time.
And did you know you can get them repaired as well if something goes wrong? Just saying.
9. Indulging in too many personal care products
Do you need six different types of body lotion if they all serve the same purpose? The best way to cut down costs in this department is to find a simple routine and choose products that are affordable, and more importantly, the ones you actually need.
Avoid buying a product that’s unnecessarily pricey, unless it’s going to make a noticeable difference or has been prescribed by your dermatologist.
10. Selecting express shipping
Waiting for your online order can be frustrating. But choosing express shipping costs extra money. Opt for standard shipping, unless you actually need something urgently.
11. Not carrying a shopping list to the supermarket
Next time when you enter a supermarket to buy a handful of things but end up with an RM400 bill, blame your laziness! Plan your meals for a week in advance and jot down all the ingredients that you would need to prepare them.
Having a shopping list (and sticking to it, more importantly) plays a bigger role than you thought in keeping your grocery shopping budget in control.
12. Buying treats at the movies
It’s almost a norm to snack on overpriced popcorn and sip on a pricey soda whilst watching a movie at the theatre. But is it necessary? No. Instead, you can eat a delicious meal at home before going to the theatre. This reduces the desire to spend on munchies.
13. Paying for cable but not watching it
If you’re someone who’s mostly glued to internet content, you’d be well-advised to reconsider your expensive cable subscription. This way you’ll not only take advantage of a dozen cheaper streaming services out there but also stop paying extra for the scores of channels you don’t watch.
14. Installing paid apps and going for in-app purchases
For almost every paid app, there’s a free version. Research the options that are available and choose the best free app there is. Also, resist the urge to buy coins to beat that tough level. It may seem less in the beginning but these expenses tend to snowball.
If you’re smoking 10 cigarettes a day, you’re not just doing the greatest disservice to your health, but also wasting not less than RM3,000 in a year! And we’re not even considering medical costs in the likely event of a major health issue.
Quit. Smoking. Today.
16. Burning a hole in the pocket instead of calories
If you’re working out at the gym only once a week, guess you’re better off not renewing the annual membership. Go for affordable pay-per-entry gyms (here are 4 options in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya) or work out using these 8 free fitness apps instead.
17. Wasting electricity
Your electricity bill will be much lower if you switch on the lights and other appliances like ACs only when necessary. Invest in CFL bulbs and energy saving power trips to reduce costs on your electricity bill.
18. Hoarding stuff
You can possibly make a hundred ringgits, or even more, if you just sell off the unused stuff gathering dust in your house. Stop hoarding, and sell them on websites and apps like Carousell, CLOSETStlyles, ebay, abumama.my (for used furniture), etc.
19. Taking a cab at the drop of a hat
Agreed ridesharing is convenient, but use it only when there’s no alternative. In case you don’t realise, public transport hasn’t stopped functioning ever since the Grabs and MyCars came to prominence! 🙂
Also, what happened to that bicycle of yours? Use it for shorter commutes.
20. Going for premium fuel
Your car will run fine on regular RON95. Buying premium RON97, unless your car engine is optimised for its use or it has been explicitly recommended for by the manufacturer, is a waste of money. Here’s a test finding.
And before you set out on your cost-cutting spree, it would be worthwhile to note here that a credit card can actually come in handy in this journey. Check out some of the top cashback credit cards in Malaysia at the moment.
That said, always consider things like minimum spending requirements and spending categories before you zero in on a card that best suits your spending patterns and lifestyle needs.
And there’s some good news as well. Apply now for a Citi, Alliance Bank, or a Standard Chartered Bank credit card, right here on Bbazaar, and get a PARKSON gift voucher worth RM150 upon card approval. T&Cs apply.
You may also like some of our credit card reviews for more insights:
- Alliance Bank You:nique Review: A Truly One-of-a-Kind Credit Card?
- Citi Cash Back Card Review: How Good Is This Rebates Credit Card?
- Standard Chartered Cashback Platinum Mastercard Review: How Good Is This Credit Card for Rebates?
And here are some helpful money tips: