To effectively save money on things you regularly buy is to track down the amount of hard-earned money you cough out from your pocket on those things.
Know exactly what your expenses are made of. If you are able to determine those things you spent your money, accordingly, you can pin-point what are the things you need to cut down from your expenses. Then the amount not spend should go to your savings account.
So basically we spend our hard-earned money on the following:
With the above said, let me breakdown each of the above with the tips so that you may be able save your money while spending the above necessities in life.
This of course is non-discretionary. Your grocery items is a must. At all cost, you need to run your household.
“We spend a lot of money on food. If you monitor your monthly expenses, you’ll see that it takes up around one-third of your monthly budget,” Fitz Villafuerte wrote in an article posted on his popular blog Ready to be Rich.
“If you want to save money, looking into one’s food or grocery spending can be a good place to start,” said Villafuerte.
One advice Villafuerte mentioned is subscribing to grocery newsletters to know their current promo items. Well it really help. I take over the assignment of my colleague when she went for vacation. So there were times that I need to sit down on her work station and open her emails. I noticed that a lot of email coming from major supermarkets and hypermarkets for promotions. I checked them out and it gives me idea where to buy the things I need in a very low price.
But you must understand that buy only the things that you really need. Buying something you don’t need for PHP 750 because it’s sale item, which is regularly priced for PHP 1000 didn’t save you PHP 250. Instead, you wasted PHP 750.
This again is another non-discretionary because you need to move around. You need transportation in order to go to work, to school, to supermarket or to anywhere you wanted to go. Even if you have your own car, you still have to buy petrol or the maintenance needed for your car to run.
Now if the above mentioned places were located only at the neighborhood, it is not practical to use your car. Not unless you wanted to buy bulk groceries in the nearest supermarket. Of course you need a car.
Well the cheapest solution is to walk. But if it’s summer, its going to be tough. So, for me, I prefer to use bicycle. I bought one for this purpose. I’m using my bicycle to move around the neighborhood to buy something from convenience store or to barber shop. It’s a sort of exercise too.
As an OFW, this is also non-discretionary. Especially, if you are the bread-winner of the family. You need to send money. For them to survive. You need to allocate monthly remittance.
When you need to send two or more family members, you need to send them separately, especially if they don’t live in the same location. Sending them separately means, paying separate remittance center service charges. But I can save money from remittance center charges. Here’s how:
To save service charges from remittance centers, I opened three BDO accounts under my name. I enrolled all these accounts to BDO’s online banking. I gave one ATM to my mother, the other one to my family and the last one is for me, as my savings account.
I will send money, only to my savings account. That’s one transaction at the remittance center. So, I paid only one service charge. But the amount is intended for all three accounts. Once the amount is credited to my savings account, I’ll log-in to BDO’s online banking. Then, there’s an option there to transfer money from my savings account to the other two accounts at no cost. It’s just few clicks away.
So there you go, instead of sending three separate accounts, in three separate transaction — that will cost you three service charges. All you have to do is send money to your savings account, then transferred certain amount to the other two accounts at no cost.
Other OFW’s disregard this word. They consider this as discretionary, but I consider entertainment is a must for me. This is my way of escaping boredom and homesickness, but entertainment can be inexpensive.
We should be entertained during our day off, so that you will release work related stress and fully energized on the next work week.
What works for me, may not work for you. But you know what? I’m entertained doing physical exercise. So for me running (by treadmill or outdoors), and cycling entertained me. So it’s two birds in one shot actually. I’m entertained doing physical exercise. Apart from that I enjoyed reading and writing too.
But if these doesn’t work for you, I think watching your favorite genre of movies would do. It could be in cinema, online or downloaded movies that you may watch on you PC or laptop. During Mondays, cinemas in Kuwait, offers discounts. It cost only KD 1.5 per person.