Sunday, 6 December 2015

8 Tips to cut down your expenses and start building your savings


Hi guys :) Have you ever really wondered where does your money goes to every month? Do you spent it wisely? Well, I do. Previously I've tried to record all my spending of the month and discovered that most of the money went to unnecessary spending; like buying things that I don't need, and splurging myself to fancy foods and other things. For me, I don't mind having to spend money on food, but hey, why not try to cut down on eating out and save that money for something more beneficial, rite? Hehe. Plus, next year, there will be a lot of things to spend on. Services are really going to be freaking expensive T_T  Last night the gov announces that ERL fees will increase from RM35 (one way journey from KLIA2 to Kl Sentral) to RM 55. That was almost doubled! :'( Really, going back home on the weekend is not something to look forward to :( 

Anyhow, instead of complaining about things that we could not change, why not try to change ourselves to suit for the situation at hand aaand, since new year is coming, I suggest we could all add on another new year resolution for ourselves. My goal for next year is to have a saving for three times of my monthly paycheck by December 2016. It's a long way to go but if I didn't start correctly, I might get out of track easily. So, here are my 8 essential tips I would like to share to you guys on how to save more money

1. Pay off your debts. 

I put this one on the first point since I think this is the most important thing to do to saves up. Since some debt have their own interests either monthly/annually, you have to really priorities your payment schedule. For example, if you have two debts to clear out, decide which one you want to finish off first and if you want to pay both dues monthly, how much of each you will need to pay? Well, I am no experts in accounts and money, so you should seek expert advice on this. Hehe. For me, I have a student loan to pay off. I have made prior arrangement to deduct my salary monthly so that I wouldn't use the money for other things :) bijak, kan? :P

2. Set a weekly budget. 

Okay budgeting is crucial when it comes to saving money because it helps you to identify how much money you needed for certain things and how much money you can save every month. I have tried this before, and it does works. All you need is a very workable budget value (be honest with yourselves, guys) and some money of course! I set off my budget for only two types of things every week and set the allocated money for them. For me, I used an envelope system to track my spending, but you can choose any other method that suits you. 

On the back of the envelop, I wrote the date of the week, then part them into two sections. One is for food & consumables things, the other one is for other non-consumable items (i.e: parking fees, laundry, detergent etc..). For example, I put RM 120 for food every week and RM 80 for non consumable items so my weekly budget is RM 200. I wrote down every transaction that I have made on the envelop everyday. Okay this may seem tedious to others, but you can also track them using apps in your phone. No problem. Just make sure that you spend based on your budget only. 

Every Monday, you can get a new budget of RM 200 to use for that week. If let's say that you have extra money for that week, keep it in another envelope and don't use it as a carry forward. Sometimes, I overspent a little due to unforeseen circumstances, so I would take the extras money to cover up for the week. If by the end of the month you still have money leftovers (good job guys!), then put them in your saving accounts. Don't use it for next month! It really does help me to question my spending whether or not I should buy that bottle of yogurt drink, or maybe that piece of KFC chicken. Yeah, at some point you will ask yourselves silly questions like that.. :P

3. Eat at home. 

Well, isn't it obvious? hahaha. Definitely could save you lotsa simoleons guys! Hehe. During the fasting month, I cook for most of the days because 1: I don't have the time to go to Bazaar Ramadhan and 2: Because I only ate a little during breaking fast. So during that month alone, I have saved up to RM 1K. That was a lot for me, considering how easy spending I am. hahaha. But after that, I tend to cruise back into my everyday life and got carried away *tsk* 

So I've realised that cooking at home does help you to control your spending. Just imagine a plate of Nasi lemak could cost you up to RM 5, while you can easily make that at home with maybe half of the price. But, the only problem that I have is: time constraint. Well, to prep everything (thawing the chicken, peel the onions, blend the chillies, cook the rice etc etc ) took some time and hungry grumbling stomach doesn't have that kinda patience. So, I tend to tapau something before coming home, and that is not good to the wallet :( 

To overcome this problem, prep everything you need beforehand. For me, I peel my onions in bulk during the weekend, and place them inside ziplock plastic bags and store them in the fridge. I also blend my chillies in bulk and store them in a container. Whenever I bought a chicken, I cleaned and chopped them before putting inside the freezer. Some of it I did simple marinade like lemon chicken, or black pepper chicken and placed in ziplock bags. If you really want to discipline yourself in cooking at home, try meal prepping and make a meal plan so you know what you will need for that week. 

4. Revise your cable TV subscriptions. 

Okay I think this is another thing that we need to revise. Cable TV is expensive, especially when you subscribe to everything from the cooking channel all the way to the cartoon channel. Limit your choices so that you will pay less. Try to reason out whether you still need that cartoon channel or not. I don't subscribe to cable TV because I am still contemplating about it since it comes with a monthly commitment, and I thought that there's more things to spend on. Moreover, I only watch the TV on the weekends mostly. Weekday night I only watch some Korean dramas that I got from my friend, or I do some other things. Still, I can survive :P If you really can't live without TV, I suggest you cut out unnecessary channels and just subscribe to the basics only. 

5. Buy things with cash. 

Why? Because you don't want to keep being in debt. Credit cards are harmless to those that really know how and when to use it, but are very dangerous to those who didn't know how to use it and have less self control and a big background history of overspending. For me, it's simple, if you don't need it at the first place, why have it, rite? So like, if you really need to buy expensive things, like buying a cupboard or a sofa, try to save for it. Believe me you will appreciate them more. 

6. Develop a free hobby. 

Hobbies makes you forgot all the expensive things that you don't need, but wanted to buy. Been there, done that :P Hehe. So this year, I started to be active again because of several reason and surprisingly, money wasn't part of it. I had never thought that running could make me rich. No, of course it didn't, pfftt but running does help me to curb the temptation of not buying unnecessary things. Apart from making me more positive and energetic that is. Of course involving in marathons and stuff do cost you some money, but think of it as an investment to a better health and better figure and more confident you :)

7. Donate some money.

Yes, you heard me right. Donate that money! Of course not all of it, silly :P but a considering amount of it. Treat it like your investments for future funds. I do believe in the more you give, the more you will get. It is not like I aim for getting more than what I gave, but it is more of the good deeds that you did. I believe in that. Moreover, donating money doesn't make you poor. It makes yourself feels good inside. Try it first, then tell me how does it makes u feel :)

8. Save the rest.

Finally, save all that extra money you get that month. Either from the mileage and claims that you get or the extras that you get from your parents or spouse. Stop thinking that you need to finish all your money that you get that month. Start small and with an achievable amount of it. You will be surprised by how much that you have saved with so little time. Recently, I have tried to save every RM 5 note that I received. After one month of doing so, I already saved a total of RM 80! Just imagine doing that in a couple of months? Definitely, it is not that much but hey at least there's something, rite?

This is such a loooooooong post I hope you guys didn't snooze reading it. Hahaha. So I hope that these tips help you to save money in a way. I hope I am able to achieve my new year's resolution next year, InsyaAllah :) Thank you for reading! :) 

1 comment:

  1. good sharing!! luckily i survived reading this post without snoozing! yeah! haha