You’ve heard the saying – every penny counts! Here are some easy ways to help you save money.
These little steps won’t make you a millionaire, but you’ll be amazed how just a few little things can stretch your dollar longer. Try them. You’ve got nothing to lose… apart from just a little less money.
- Budget and record every expense
Record everything you spend so that you actually know how much you are spending. It’s easier to see where most of your money is going.
- Turn out the lights
There’s a very good reason you’ve heard this all your life. Turning off the lights if you’re not in the room helps save some money – and every little bit counts.
- Learn basic home maintenance
You don’t have to be a certified handyman, but it helps if you can change the odd lightbulb yourself. Handyman charges start at $50-$80 for basic transportation costs, so wait till you have at least 4-5 things for him to fix in one go before calling one.
- Switch to energy efficient bulbs
Yes, they are more expensive to buy than regular light bulbs, but work out much cheaper over time, as they require less electricity to run on and do not need to be changed as frequently as regular lights.
- Buy in bulk.
Bulk buying is almost always cheaper than buying smaller, individual packs of the same thing (think giant family pack cereal box instead of the regular 600g pack). Check out places like NTUC Warehouse for bulk purchasing.
- Give homemade presents
Add a personal touch with homemade gifts such as a personalised photo frame or freshly baked cookies. Top it with a small handwritten note, and your present will be more valuable than any store bought gift!
- Plan your grocery shopping
Make a list of what you need and never shop on an empty stomach! There’s nothing worse than returning home with unhealthy impulse purchasing and forgetting what you actually went for in the first place.
- Take shorter showers
Turn your half an hour long hot shower into a quick 10 minute warm shower, and you’ll not only be shaving handsomely off your water bill, you’ll also see lower energy costs.
- Clean out your closets regularly
Regularly de-clutter and clean out your cupboards so you have more space for the things that you actually need. Donate old clothes and toys, or have a garage sale to make a few extra $$. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure remember?
- Stay in instead of going out
Instead of going out for every celebration, take regular turns hosting a pot luck with friends and family. It’s more intimate, more fun and way cheaper!
- Don’t buy your child’s love
Children just want their parents’ love and attention. Stop bribing them with new toys every time you feel guilty and spend some quality time with them instead.
- Quality over quantity.
Avoid sales traps for cheap quantities. Buy one high quality item rather than 3 cheap versions of the same thing and you’ll actually save more in the long run with better quality.
- Brew your own cuppa
Everyone likes a cup of coffee, but think how much money you would save if you brought your own coffee from home. Averaging at $5 per cup, that’s an easy $25 savings a week – at a minimum.
- Collect Spare Change
It may not look like much each day, but accumulating every little bit of spare change adds up very fast and before you know it, you would be sitting on a few hundred dollars.
- Buy generic home brands
Go for generic house brands for common purchases such as cleaning supplies, rather than buying branded versions of the same thing.
- Pay with cash (or the EZ Link card)
Yes it’s much easier just putting everything on your credit card and paying later. But that’s exactly how you lose track of how much money you’re spending. By using cash or your limited EZ link card, you will be more conscious of every payment you have to make.
- Prioritise your spending
You can’t spend money on everything – unless you are filthy rich, in which case this is not the article for you! Prioritise what is important and make sure you have enough money to cover that. Everything else can wait.
- Have dinner leftovers for lunch
Got fresh leftovers in the fridge from last night? Have it for lunch and save time and money buying more food.
- Buy what’s in season
Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables work out cheaper, so plan your weekly menu around such items.
- Shop for next year now
Christmas sales, New Year sales, there’s a sale for everything. Cards will hold till next year, so stock up on next year’s presents, cards and decorations now, at a fraction of the price.
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Written for Parents World by Priyanka Elhence. Priyanka is a busy mom of 9 yr old twin boys. She writes on anything from lifestyle and dining to parenting and celebrity profiles.