Money makes the world go around and as any Pakistani will tell you the world is in need of jump start. Very few people understand how to manage the never-ending battle of income vs expenses. Managing budgets is seen as an impossibility. We live in a country where the inflation rate comes across as a funny number. Incomes don’t grow but expenses increase at alarming rates. So what do you have to do to save some money, the answer is quite elementary. These Life-Hacks are tried and tested principles that may look inconsequential but are anything but!
1. Going Grocery Shopping
When you go grocery shopping always take an exact amount or a close estimate of what you expect to spend. Make a grocery list and do a rough calculation. Limited money in the pocket will ensure that you only spend on what is needed and not on luxuries. It is all about setting priorities and removing unneeded expenses!
2. Time Your Shopping
When thinking of new things to buy it is necessary to know when to buy what it is you want to buy. Make sense? Well, the logic behind this is quite simple. Some goods are cheaper during certain times of the year and expensive at others. Simple demand-supply economics theory in play here. So the next time you want to buy an Air-Con, plan ahead, maybe get it in the winter months when it is cheaper. Or take advantage of the summer sales at the end of the season to get a new wardrobe for next summer! Its all about the timing!
3. Keep Large Donimination Bills
Try and keep large denomination currency bills with you. Whenever you have too much change, go to a bank and give the change in exchange for a brand new Rs. 1,000 or Rs. 5,000 notes. It is a human tendency to avoid spending larger notes, while if you have too much change, your money will drain out like anything.
4. Investment Alternatives
The Investment alternatives out there are endless. Returns fluctuate like the mood of an addict trying to quit smoking. But as a general rule of thumb, remember that if you want to save money, it is best to invest in time deposits. Lock up your cash! Keeping it in a bank is just incentive for you to get the money every time you feel you need it. Don’t tempt yourself.
5. The Right Smartphone
Smartphones rule the roost as far as making a social, stylistic or status statements in Pakistan. We got IPhones, Samsungs, Nokias and all other sorts in every hand. While smartphones have their use, make sure you know what it is. It’s no use carrying a smartphone that you do not use to its potential. Smartphones are handy tools, use them or sell them!
6. Electronic Devices Are Like Leeches
It is a common habit to keep our appliances plugged in and on standby. After all who has got those extra seconds it takes to switch on a machine and wait for it to start. These appliances are like leeches. They are slowly and gradually sucking all your money and you don’t even know it. Yes, what you thought was meaningless little wastage of electricity is still costing you MAJOR money! This is a researched and proven fact, believe it!
7. Use Cash
I know for a fact that it is fashionable to swipe a credit card. I like to do it, makes me feel important, all grownup and stuff. Don’t fall for this. Credit Cards are deathtraps. Use cash wherever possible, using plastic only when absolutely necessary. When getting a card make sure there are no annual charges. Make sure that the incentives (reward system) they offer outweigh the risk of drowning in debt. Be diligent and be careful!
8. Booking An Airline Ticket Or Hotel Online
It will probably come as a shock to you but your browsing habits influence what you get offered when shopping online. When you are looking for cheap air tickets or affordable hotels, make sure you clear your browser history beforehand. Either take advantage or be taken advantage of!
9. Enjoying Cooking
Well, this is more of a personal choice but something which can be worked on. We all love the tasty treats that restaurants and food stalls have to offer. Who can resist, right? You can, if you decided that you love art. Cooking is art. Take an interest. Not only will it serve to be a self-fulfilling experience but you will save major moolah by eating at home.
10. Plan For Vacations Ahead Of Time
Thinking of taking that trip up North or maybe taking the wife for a shopping spree in Dubai. It pays to plan ahead. Hotels, airlines and travel packages are all cheaper when you book in advance. Additionally, it gives you ample time to set aside the money you might need.
11. LED Screen Brightness
I can hear the gasps of exasperation sitting right here as you wonder what I am going on about. Hear me out. A TV screen is perfectly watchable set at 40% brightness. Whats more it saves quite a bit of electricity. Take it from me, your viewing experience won’t suffer, but your pocket will be heavier.
12. Indulge Your Children
While we as parents want to spend as much as we can on our children maybe its not quite the right thing to do. Make use of the fact that children don’t understand the concept of expensive toys. All they need is attention. Bring your creativity to the fold and have fun with your kids. A toilet paper roll, some chart paper, scissors and tape are all you need to make your child feel special!
13. Decrease The Meat
Now this one really pains me and I say it with a very heavy heart! We are proud meat eaters, myself included. Time to turn frutarian or vegetarian for one meal a day at least! This one is not hard to comprehend, just a little harder to accept. But you switching to fruit or vegetables for even just one meal a day will save you quite a bit of money!