No money mo’ problems
How to save money. Firstly, I feel like a hypocrite writing about this but then again it’s the most researched title on my Google chrome history, which ironically makes me the perfect candidate to do so? I’ve read all these seemingly simple hacks online and could never seem to apply them. Is it because I'm a serial bruncher and an irrepressible shopaholic? Maybe that had something to do with it.
Hitting the age of 25 is the real wake up call; I'm halfway through 50 and have no savings! So this time I was ready to really give these hacks a trial. And I finally found the some that were simple for me to fit into my life.
In an effort to be more cost-effective and save up for some cool stuff, like a mid-life crisis I tweaked things like my food and drink spending habits to finding balance in my shopping. It’s safe to say that I now have a savings account, Adulting done right!
Try one or try them all, or just read through to see if you can make some changes all in time for the New Year!
Meal prep so you have less reason to eat out
I know the first thought that goes through your head is ‘I don’t have time for this’ but that’s part of this whole ordeal you’ve got to make a little time for some big savings. As restaurants and apps are popping up in every corner it’s getting easier for us to eat out now more than ever. The hack is in volume: make a whole lot of stuff together. Bake that entire chicken boil 7 potatoes and store them in your freezer. Every morning defrost-pack and run. This saves you around ₹ 2000 a week. That’s ₹ 8000 a month!
Carry (limited) cash and no card
Carrying cash is the easiest way to enforce a budget, especially for expenses you incur while away from home. When you're carrying a card with enough money to support whatever your purchases are, you don’t think twice about it. But its simple: when you have limited money, you make smarter choices and spend within your limit.
Every time we go out with friends and order round after round of drinks, we spend way more money than we anticipate. Even if we're just ordering a rupee 400 glass of wine, it adds up real quick. But that changes dramatically if you pregame at home! You drink less while you're out cause you're probably already feeling that pleasant buzz. Also carrying just cash works best in these situations.
Do on-and-off saving months
This has really helped me save money and not feel deprived, but this is also a slightly dicey one. The idea is not to spend what you have saved in the previous month but to find moderation. Things like shopping during a sale month (and not going overboard) or treat yourself to a nice dinner every other month. You’ll also feel much better with the purchase because you feel like you’ve earned it more.
Tracking my footsteps has seriously revolutionized my life. Okay, I know that sounds a bit extra but it has definitely made me more aware of how sedentary my lifestyle is! I need to walk more, and so I did. While that might not have resulted in me losing any weight it sure did help with the amount of money I spend on transport. Walking to the bus stop or metro station has dramatically reduced my bills and has the added benefit of not feeling like a slob all day!
Use a budgeting app
Tracking my finances really made me face what I was doing with my money. The harsh harsh reality of it all sought me into finding a budgeting app. Pocketguard is one that works best for me but you can go and find one that works well for you. Tracking my card information and reminders on when I’m over budget has made me more conscious of my spending habits. It’s like a nagging mother, app version. Point is, it gets the job done.