Since we’re not all schemers and with the year rounding up soon, it’s good to take note of these tips for saving money—especially for the coming New Year! These tips and tricks are easy enough for the average person to follow—no MBA degree required!
1# Move to a pay-as-you-go mobile
Also known as top up or prepaid phone cards, this is great for those who find mobile phones as more of a necessity than a luxury. Just buy the mobile phone you can afford without the package of minutes, texts, and Internet access and you’ll see your expenses go down!
2# Create a shopping list
If you’re not very organized, learn how to be—or at least start writing lists. Creating a shopping list allows you to stay focused and not get distracted by the millions of attractive and colorful products on the supermarket or even boutique shelf. Only buy what you need. It’s a simple enough advice, but can be quite tricky to pull off. So have some level of restraint as well!
3# Try in-store brands
Not all in-store brands like own-brand supermarket products, are scary. Some are actually quite good and even more affordable. In-store brands are also able to price more competitively (or even the lowest) because they know the pricing of all of their other competitors on their shelves. Sneaky, sneaky these supermarkets! But points for us consumers!
4# Sell your stuff on online stores
Usually your house will be full of stuff you don’t use anymore. Your closet has tons of clothes you haven’t worn in years. Your kitchen still has that old bowl no one’s really touched. Online stores like eBay is a venue for you to sell your secondhand items. Not only do you get to cleanse your home of clutter, you get some good ‘ol cash in the pocket too!
5# Try to do it yourself
Doing it yourself has become really “in” nowadays. You can take a course at the local adult education college, a technical school, or even go online to see how to tackle household repairs, auto repairs, and the like. This saves you from costly plumbing expenses, for example.
6# Book flights early
Remember to book early! Not only does it save you from the surcharges expected when you have to fly so close to your intended date, but you can immediately take advantage of any offers given by budget airlines.
7# Arrange your own travel package
Although a travel package takes a load off our backs, try and put together your own travel package by factoring in the cost of flights, accommodations, and transfers. Compare it with the travel packages being offered by travel agencies. More often than not, yours would be the cheaper one! Bonus point to arranging your own travel package: you get to choose your schedule and not some set tourist-y schedule from the travel agency!
8# Find affordable ways to entertain yourself
A lot of museums are actually free, especially on particular days. Check their websites for more information. Although theatre is not free, try to get discounts. In London for example, if you are living there, you can get half-price tickets to West End Theatres every day at TKTS.
9# Cancel your gym membership
Now this is something people who are out of shape would probably rejoice at. Let’s admit it. Not all of us are gym rats, shell out monthly gym membership fees, and end up going once or twice a month or even never. So for those who visit the gym three times a week, keep your gym membership. But if not, cancel it immediately. Just buy your own bike, a rowing machine, or even go running. That is free and the fresh air is a huge plus.
10# Review your TV channels
With the significance of the Internet, you probably don’t need all those TV channels in your TV package. Review and choose your channels wisely and carefully, depending on your likes and TV habits. You can even choose which TV episode you want to watch and pay for on the Internet and not pay for a bunch of TV shows you care nothing about.
11# Take up a hobby that saves money
Besides opening your mind and body to new experiences, hobbies take up your time. So instead of shelling out money for 2-3 beers a night, choose to take up a hobby that would take time to complete. Paint. Dance. Climb. Get out there and save your money.
12# Shop online
Besides the convenience it offers, online shops allows you to compare websites and helps you get the best prices for larger items. What’s more, you don’t have to stand in the check-out line for too long a period of time.
13# Chuck the ready-to-eat meals
Remember, convenience means more money. So buying ready-to-eat meals can be more costly, even if it saves you a little bit more time. But if you’re thinking about fast, there are ways to go about this in a more affordable way. Like fresh tomatoes on toast—quick and cheap—not to mention healthier!
14# Be mindful of sales
Remember, if you wouldn’t buy the item for its retail price, do not buy it when it’s discounted. When the item you’ve been lusting for goes on sale, we suggest you snap it up. But, if it’s something you wouldn’t look twice at, do not get it.
15# Go to the library
We guess you’ll say, “What about my iPad?” or “How about my mobile phone?” that’s much better than any old library! But remember, your local library can be a money saver. It usually has free Internet and you can just read that cookbook, guidebook, or even leisurely browse that book you’ve been meaning to read. You can even borrow a DVD or two from your library. So renew your library card now!