We’ve all heard quotes like “Money can’t buy happiness” or “Money isn’t everything”. Although they are undeniably true, that doesn’t change the fact that we do need money. In fact, no matter how much we deny it, we would all love to have more money.
There are basically two ways we can achieve that goal. The first is through increasing our income, both from our careers and our investments. Read our blogs on tips to get promoted, bag a better job opportunity, boost your online business, refine your job search or earn money on the side for some helpful insights.
The second strategy to ensure you’re left with more money is by cutting expenses.
And no, we’re not asking you to sell your car in a whiff, as that will be a drastic cost-cutting measure. In fact, here are 7 things you should never skimp on to save money that you should know about.
Instead, you should focus on making small adjustments in some of your everyday activities, and gradually you’ll save up a considerable amount of money — especially if they are followed on top of obvious measures like cutting down on frequent parties, impulsive shopping sprees, etc.
Don’t believe us? Read our 6 simple tips on how to cut your everyday expenses and boost your savings.
1. If it’s on sale, buy it in bulk
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban of the popular TV show “Shark Tank” fame told Vanity Fair in an interview: “It’s hard to make a return on regular investments that we’re better off buying things in bulk if they’re on sale”.
“You’re better off buying two years’ worth of toothpaste when it’s on 50% discount. There’s an immediate return on your money,” he added. “Chances are, their prices are going to go up. That’s real savings that you get to put in your pocket.”
So going for bulk shopping when items are on discount is a sure-shot way to boost your savings. However, you should also be mindful of things like how much quantity you would require in the long term, the expiry date of certain products, to minimise chances of wastage, and potential health and quality risks.
2. Ditch the expensive gym membership
Yes, we understand that you want to get fit. After all, it’s well documented that regular exercise and physical activity provides a multitude of benefits. However, it is not necessary for you to fork out a portion of your salary to pay for expensive gym memberships.
Thankfully, in this digital age, solutions to every problem seem to be at our fingertips. In our blog post here, we reveal 8 fitness apps which are completely free. Some of these apps can be used in the comfort of your own home. This way, you make further savings, not only on your time but also on the cost of parking and driving to the gym.
And if you’re actually a gym buff, you can also consider going to pay-per-entry gyms instead of buying hefty annual packages. Here are 4 affordable pay-per-entry gyms in Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya that you can check out.
3. Bid adieu to cable TV
We understand that most people need some entertainment to unwind from the stresses of work. However, the average monthly bill for a cable TV subscription in Malaysia ranges from RM40 to RM200. Not only are most of their shows filled with advertisements but a bulk of their programs doesn’t interest you anyway.
Instead, consider opting for streaming platforms such as iFlix, tonton, Viu, or Netflix. The monthly subscription goes for as low as RM10 while a yearly subscription can only cost you RM96. This option is also suitable for those of you who rarely watch TV but still want to enjoy a nice movie at home every once in a while.
4. Go green to keep your bills lean
Have you ever wondered why your electricity bill is high despite you not using many high-consumption appliances? If this is the case, it is reason enough to pay attention to the type of light bulbs you use. Perhaps it is time to give them a change.
Light bulbs and fixtures often form as much as 30% of your monthly electricity bill. The traditional incandescent bulbs are very cheap but are considered energy-inefficient. Compact fluorescent lights (CFL), on the other hand, consume 80% lesser electricity despite producing the same amount of light. Furthermore, they can last 20 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
5. It’s time to carpool
Let’s face it; the traffic in the Klang Valley is horrendous. Getting stuck for long hours on the road translates to high fuel costs and the condition gets worse when you consider how much you have to pay for tolls and parking.
Instead, split the cost by carpooling to work a few times a week. If you don’t know anyone willing to join you, considered local carpooling apps such as Droupr, RYDE, Tumpang, Grabshare, and Wunder Carpool.
Other advantages to carpooling is having people to talk to, saving the environment, and having the opportunity to do preparations or work while other people are driving.
6. Grow your own food
Living in a big city can be expensive especially for the cost of food. With this in consideration, you might want to grow your own veggies, herbs, and fruits. Start small by growing just three to five types of plants that you normally eat. Once you get the hang of it, you can grow (pun intended) the number of plants in your garden.
A packet of seeds can cost as low as RM2.50 while 1kg of soil is valued at RM3. Not only will you save money, you’ll be much healthier as result too!
Before you set out on your cost-cutting journey…
It would be worthwhile to point out here that even a credit card, when used responsibly (learn how), can turn out to be an extremely helpful tool to boost your savings. For example, a grocery credit card can help you save more on supermarket spends, while a petrol credit card can cut your monthly fuel expenses.
That said, always consider things like minimum spend requirements, cashback caps, etc. before choosing a credit card that best suits your lifestyle requirements and spending patterns.
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