As a child, my parents had taught me to be frugal and to save money. My family was not rich. Had my parents not been frugal, my sister and I would not be able to finish college. We would also not be able to live in a fairly safe neighborhood and we wouldn't be able to travel a bit.
Saving money is a must and it should be a lifelong commitment. Ideally, you should not just aim to save enough for your retirement. You should also have to set aside some money for your children. They will need money to pay for your medical expenses when you grow sick and old. They will also need money for your burial after you die.
I came up with these tips to help you save money. It is true that we should live life to the fullest since we only get to live once. To me, this means being financially secure while enjoying life. We are not only living in the present. We also have the future. Plan for a brighter future and start saving.
Collect Free Stuff
Collect free stuff but of course, do not do it blatantly. Tissue paper, toothpicks, toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps - these are some items that we need and we can easily get them in some places for free. Most restaurants provide tissue and toothpicks for free. When you go out of town, don't forget to collect the complimentary items like shampoos, soaps, toothbrush, and whatnot from your hotel. Most importantly, make use of these free stuff. Some people love to hoard these stuff but they never really use them.
Do Not Order Drinks in Restaurants
The cost of beverages is not much, but when you multiply it by the number of people in your family, the small amount can quickly add up. Ordering beverages may be what we're used to, but if we skip them for, let's say, a year, that is a lot of money. And a money not spent is a money saved! Just ask for water or service tea.
In some cities, beverages in restaurants are overpriced. In Manila, a glass of soda in restaurants costs more than a 1-liter bottle of soda in supermarkets.
Do Not Put Ice on Your Drinks
In some countries, fast food restaurants have refillable drinks so it doesn't matter how much ice you put in your drink. In other countries, drinks are not refillable. I notice that the waitstaff likes to add plenty of ice to your drinks. The ice cubes take up so much space, which significantly lessens your beverage. I think fast foods restaurants do this to save money on drinks. The drinks are cold even without ice, anyway, so you can ask the waitstaff not to put ice on your drinks.
Buy Clothes Only When They're on Sale
If fashion trends aren't so important to you, you can wait until the end-of-season sale to do your shopping. Many fashion gurus recommend buying clothes at mid-range prices. They are not as expensive as the branded clothes, but they have better quality than the cheap clothes. You will save money in the long run since mid-range clothes last longer. Some people also claim that you can find gems in thrift stores if you look hard enough.
Do Not Buy the Latest Gadgets in the Market
When a new gadget hits the market, do not buy it right away. Wait a few more months until the price drops. When a certain gadget becomes very popular, many competitors will arise. More competitors means more competitive prices. You'll have a lot more choices and you can get them for a lower price.
Stay Away from Facebook
Many people like to show the good stuff on social media. They show off their clothes, their bags, the restaurants they visit, and their perfect vacation. While it is nice to see friends being happy with their lives, we can't deny that we sometimes feel insecure and jealous of our friends. The more we see, the more we feel discontented with our simple lives. Sometimes, it is healthy to stay away from social media for a while. Be contented with what you have. You don't need all the things that your friends have.
Limit Your Credit Card Use
Credit cards are very convenient. You don't need to bring a wad of money anymore. All you need is your credit card. With just a swipe, you can buy anything you want as long as you don't reach the credit limit. However, the convenience it offers is where the problem lies. Even without cash, you'll feel rich with just your credit card. You tend to spend more and at times, more than you'll ever afford. Be careful. Limit your credit card use and keep track of your credit card transactions.
Bring Just Enough Money
Do not bring more than you need. Who knows what you'll see on your way home? You might see a nice shirt or a mouth-watering snack and be tempted to buy it. Impulsive buying is one of the culprits. To avoid this problem, keep your "extra" money safe at home, not in your pockets.
Stay Away from Expensive Activities
Food-tripping, shopping, going on an outing - they all require a lot of money. Going out with friends also cost some money. While I'm not saying that you should avoid your friends, I suggest that you limit your nights out to save some money. There are also other activities you can enjoy with friends that cost less money like playing video games at home or watching DVDs.
Spend Time with Your Thrifty Friends
Spending time with spenders will only pressure you to spend more than you want. With thrifty friends, you'll feel more relaxed and you won't feel stingy when you're with them. Most importantly, you and your thrifty friends have the same goal - to save money.
Invest in Skin Care Products
Take good care of your skin by having a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy, sleep early, wash your face twice a day, and don't touch your face. If you have a beautiful skin, you can go out with your naked face or with minimal makeup, which would save you lots of money. If you have skin problems, visit a dermatologist. Invest in skin care products. It's better to deal with your skin problems than cover it up with expensive makeup.
Lastly, when you give something, do it generously and wholeheartedly. What's the point of saving if you do not share?
I hope you find my tips helpful. This is merely a guide. I do not follow everything here, and I also do not ask you to follow everything I've written. It's entirely up to you. You just have to think twice before taking out your wallet. Happy saving!
© Rainy Kua 2016