Sunday, September 21, 2014

How to save money and be happy.

Saving money can be difficult if there is no proper planning and budgeting in place. We sometimes feel we don’t make enough money to save some. Don’t forget someone out there is making half of what you are earning, yet they save and survive.

Making small changes in your life can fatten your savings and help you budget better. Follow these tips to save more money.

Shopping:  Take a list so you don't forget anything. Only buy what's on the list. This makes it easier to stick to your budget. Use our budget planner to help you save. Don’t listen to that still small voice from an item telling you, “buy me, buy me”. Tip: before buying anything, give it a 24 hours thought, you will be amazed how insignificant some items can be.

Electricity: Electricity bill is getting higher yearly. Switch off your heater, air-conditioner and lights in rooms you're not using. Use energy saving bulbs, this can save up to 70% of energy cost. Keep your curtains or blinds open at night to keep fresh air in. Turn off your electrical appliances at the socket. Don’t just use remote. Turn off the TV and computer when no-one is using it. Turn on the washing machine and the dishwasher only when they are full.  Frequent use drains more energy. Before going to bed, double check everything in the house is switched- off from the wall socket.

Water:  Have 2 minute showers. An average person uses up to 60 liters of water for a 5 minutes shower. If you don’t pay directly to Water Corporation you may have a pumping machine. Frequent pumping machine usage can amount to increase in energy bill. Install a water efficient shower head to save water.

Save money together with some friends: It can be harder to save money when the people around you are keen to spend. Talk to some friend who also wants to save money. You can share tips, enjoy cheap nights out and contribute together monthly.

Clothes: With fashion changing every season, you don't really need to buy new clothes all the time. If you're buying clothes, check if you can wash them to avoid dry cleaning bills. If you buy new clothes, make sure it goes with at least two other clothes in your wardrobe so you can get a few different outfits out of one item.

Mobile Phones: Cut calls cost by sending sms when necessary. Only make calls if you need immediate reply. Use messenger like whatsapp or bbm if you have data balance on your phone. Set automatic downloads and updates only when Wi-Fi is available. Avoid unnecessary calls but always have call credit in case of emergency. More on this in my later article.

Cars: Use fuel efficient vehicles. Avoid using the V6, V8 and V12 always. Try riding a bicycle sometimes. Apart from the health benefits, this can save you more than half of your fuel spending.Avoid over revving, this can burn your fuel faster. Use air-conditioner moderately. More on this in my later article.

Bank fees: Use same bank  cards on ATM when available to avoid ATM charges. Subscribe to email alerts. Sms alerts attract mobile operator charges.

Lunch: Make your lunch at home. Except your office provides your lunch for free; if you have to pay, please compare the cost from your payslip with how much it will cost you to make that lunch at home.

Drinks: Cut down on drinking coffee, soft drinks or on alcohol. Use water to quench your taste instead of soft drinks - it may sound scary but it will save you money and can have health benefits too.

Check online-shops and local markets for bargains, promos and deals.

Saving more through proper planning and budgeting can make you happier and live longer. Set a budget today.

These are just some tips. I hope this helps. Share more in the comments area.

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