Do you find it hard to save any money at the end of the month? When it comes to saving money, the easiest way is to reduce expenses. Fortunately, most of us are actually in control of our lifestyle expenses and can definitely make the effort to cut it down. Here are 10 simple tips to reduce expenses and save more.
1. Cut Down on Routine Expenditures
There are many people who drink Starbucks coffee or Coffee Bean like clockwork. I know because I happen to be one of them as well. While it may not seem like much at $5 to $8 per cup, if you drink it daily, it comes up to a whopping $150 to $240 a month!
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We asked 14 Singapore finance bloggers to share what they would do if they could go back in time and invest their first $20,000. They can no longer rewind time, but you can learn from their experience and hopefully start with a better footing.
2. Think of the Odds Before You Buy 4D and Toto
Before you queue at Singapore Pools to buy 4D and Toto, think of the odds that you might actually win anything. The odds of winning top 3 prizes in 4D is 1 in 10,000. Odds of Toto is even lower at 1 in 8 million for the top prize and 1 in 1.3 million for the second prize. If you are just buying once in a while for fun, it’s fine but don’t make it a habit as it is bound to be a money loser.
3. Consider BMW to Driving
Singapore has a pretty decent public transport system and it is generally quite convenient to get to most places. Not only do you save money but time as well sometimes as you do not have to look for parking. In fact, go to most major cities like New York, London, Tokyo, majority of the people take public transport regardless of income levels. As parking costs in the city increases, it will make even more sense to take the bus, ride the mrt and walk as opposed to driving.
4. Think Carefully Before You Make The Next Purchase
Especially for large ticket items like massage chair, Ipad, Hifi set, think carefully do you really need them? There are countless people who have bought a $5,000 massage chair just to let it sit idle in the living room after using for a few months. There are some items like Ipad which gets boring after novelty factor wears off. It is not just a waste of money, but a waste of resources and space as well.
5. Reduce Entertainment Costs, Think Hobbies Which Don’t Cost Much
Entertainment does not necessarily have to be expensive, especially certain hobbies like jogging, swimming, hiking etc. Sometimes, you can also take a walk and go to public parks, have a picnic or something. Not only do you save money in the process, but also get some quality time with your family and keep fit at the same time.
6. Cook at Home Instead of Dining Out
While it may take a longer time to cook and clean up, you get to control not only the portions but also how healthy the food is. By cooking at home instead of dining out at restaurants, you will almost definitely save money as you do not have to pay for the overheads of the restaurant, the service charges and the profits to the owner.
7. Think Before You Sign Up For Subscriptions
It is always tempting to sign up for gym/club memberships thinking that it will keep you fit. However, there are many people who end up not going much but keeps having to pay the monthly charges. And because it is billed to the credit card, they tend to forget about it as it gets lost in the credit card bill statement.
8. Do Packages Always Save You Money?
These days there are literally packages for everything, massage, hair care, facial you name it. The standard sales tactic is to bait you with cheaper costs per session and maybe even scare you that they will be raising prices. It never gets old and people keep falling for it. While it is tempting to think that you will be saving money in the long run, many people tend to regret after buying the package and never bother to finish using them thanks to the countless sales pressure to keep topping up when they go for every session.
9. Avoid Buying Lifestyle on Installments
One of the ways to make not just large ticket items but large packages affordable is installment plans. It is a very bad idea as it generally means you cannot afford it and they can accumulate very quickly. See Is Taking On Debt A Bad Thing?
10. Pay Yourself First
Last but not least, always pay yourself first. Instead of thinking of saving money after expenses, change your mindset to save first and then spend the remainder of your income on expenses. That way you will enforce a more disciplined savings and spending manner.