Often, we wonder where our money has gone long before the next pay check arrives. We pay bills and make daily purchases we consider essential, so much so that we don’t even have second thoughts about them. Interestingly, many of us don’t bother to re-look at the essential purchases we make and bills we pay, to see if the expenses can be minimised.
This is indeed possible through effective money-savvy strategies. Unless we adopt such strategies, we will have little or no balance left till our next pay day.
Below are areas that we need to look into to stretch our salary.
1. Usage of water and electricity
Saving water and electricity certainly helps cut down your utilities bill. Ensure that you:
- turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, shaving or shampooing
- run full loads in your washing machine or dishwasher
- water plants in the morning instead of in the afternoon to avoid maximum evaporation
- switch off lights in unused rooms in the house
- use heating sparingly in winter
2. Insurance cover
It is advisable to review your insurance policy and carry out a full home insurance comparison on an annual basis. Removing cover you know you won’t need, such as loss of goods outside your home when you rarely carry valuables around, will reduce your premiums, thus saving you some money.
Opting for a lower premium with higher deductibles is cheaper than filing several small claims. Consider alleviating the cost of paying for different insurance to different insurers, by taking advantage of discounts tied to insuring your home and automobile through the same company.
3. Online purchases and shipping costs
Online shopping has become a trend today largely because of the convenience and range of products that are offered to potential consumers at just a click of the mouse. If you are one of those fervent online shoppers, consider opting for free shipping when purchasing items.
Commercial sites, such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble, offer free shipping on orders above a certain qualifying value. Pooling purchases with friends and family will work towards qualifying for the free shipping option if the item you intend to purchase costs less than the stipulated amount. When shopping at eBay, look out for free shipping opportunities offered by the seller, and ensure that the price of the item isn’t marked up to include the shipping cost.
4. Withdrawals at the ATM
If your bank charges a fee for every withdrawal made at the ATM, make an effort to withdraw one lump sum at the beginning of the month to see you through the whole month before the next pay arrives. Making several withdrawals will cost you money by making you pay for unnecessary transaction fees.
5. Recyclable products in the house
The age of consumerism we are living in makes it inevitable for us to do away with shopping bags, cardboard boxes and aluminium cans and tins. Instead of throwing these away, consider reusing them in the kitchen, home office, living room or store room for storage purposes. The bottom line is to use what is readily available in the house at no cost at all, instead of splurging money on unnecessary fanciful commercial storage products.
The essential expenses and bill payments we make each month can definitely be slashed if we take a good look at how money is frittered away in the above-mentioned areas. With a conscious effort and investment on your time, you will find that you have extra money to save by the end of the month. Every little effort at saving amounts to a huge chuck of investment stashed away for future needs by the end of the year.
Category: Frugal Living