The average Americans, according survey done in 2015 by Market Watch here, has less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. By saying average, I mean about 62% of Americans – according to survey – and that is a pretty sad fact to know it. Fortunately I’m not part of that 62% mentioned above. And for the record, I’m not American as well by they way. Point is, the world normally use America as the golden standard for almost everything, so if America is lag behind, what about other countries?
Luckily, you don’t need to add more working hours or get a second job just to save more.
Of course to save more without working more hours, anybody can do or go to – even extreme – approaches such as but not limited to skipping lunch while yourself is starving, ask friend or family a free place to stay and live, or sleep all day long on weekends so that you won’t go to malls nor watching movies nor spending any money. But believe me, none of them are fun to do.
And exactly those are things that I won’t tell you here. What I’m going to tell you here, they will still be fun to do and without sacrificing (a lot – means you still need to sacrifice something), you can still get the same excitement and fun while saving more money in the process.
These are the simplest thing you can do to help you save more without clocking more hours at work.
1. Live a simpler life.
One of them is by buying things that you really need, not that you are fancy of. I wrote an article related to that which hopefully can help guide you to a simpler and happier life. Do check here. Give it a try and see how it can benefit you.
2. Try buying the past model. Don’t always buy the latest and greatest.
If you really need to buy something (normally non fast-moving items such as electronics, cars, gadgets), try buying the past model. Don’t always buy the latest and greatest. Aim for the functionality that you really need when you buy them and not functionality that is nice to have. Or you may want to consider buying a second hand item (I got a tips and tricks to buy second hand iPhone here which you can use as a guidance when buying not only phone – but other items too) .
Like buying a car. This year model and last year model, functionality should not be much different, it gets you from point A to point B, however their price – between this year model and last year model – may have significant difference. If you opt to buy last year model, you still get a car, you can still move from point A to point B with your car and yet you can still save quite a lot.
3. Prepare your own meal.
At least for breakfast. Even better if you can do as well for dinner. I get it if for lunch, you want to go out with friends and peers – either for networking or just want to escape the office, but breakfast and dinner you can prepare on your own. Cheaper and customizable to your liking and taste. In the end you can save more and still enjoying the food that match with your taste.
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How many times in a month do you watch movies on your Netflix? Or listen to Spotify Premium?
When was the last time you go to your premium gym?
If the answer is less than number of your fingers at either left or right hand, then cut it out. Change to pay as you go payment model whenever available or find their alternative.
There are bunch of Netflix alternative. If you are just looking for fun ways to spend your time, YouTube has a lot of funny videos to make you laugh. And most importantly, they are FREE.
Spotify also has FREE subscription model. You can still listen to their songs without paying a single dime.
For gym, in Singapore there is pay as you go gym. Your local place may have it as well. Do give them a check. In case there’s no such thing, there’s still ways to get healthy. Jogging close to your residential area is proven to be the cheapest (FREE) option.
5. Turn off electricity if not being used.
Do you shutdown your computer when they are not in use or left them hibernating? Do you still plug your phone charger despite the fact that now you are not charging your phone with it? Do you fully turn off your TV or just hibernate it? Do you switch off your microwave once finished using it? What about fan or air-conditioning system, do you turn them on the whole night while you are sleeping?
Well consider to turn them off if you are not using it. For fan and air-conditioning system, consider to setup a timer when using them so that it will turn off automatically after the timer runs out.
6. Rent a smaller room. Buy smaller house.
Do you really need that big spaces? Unless you have plan to utilize those spaces, consider to rent a smaller room or buy a smaller house. Not only they are cheaper but also easier and cheaper to maintain. Less spaces to clean, means less money to spend to buy that cleaning detergent.
7. Avoid going to Malls for recreation.
Malls are not place for recreation. Instead choose to go to natural places or parks. Not only you won’t spend any dimes, but you’ll find it more relaxing and more peaceful.
Going to Malls for recreation will only make you (and family members) to starts eyeing on things you/they may not really need it.
A. Walk more rather than take bus.
If your destination is just few hundred meters away and the surrounding conditions allow you to walk, then choose to walk instead of taking bus. Not only you’ll get healthier, but also save money in the process. Or consider cycling a bike!
B. Buy online for (almost) everything.
As you can see the trends today, plenty of shopping malls are closing down. There’s a reason for that. By buying online, not only it does save you, your travel cost but also time and more importantly your eyes from eyeing things that you don’t really need. Find also digital coupons before buying online as there’s higher chances of coupon offerings when you transact online.
C. Like traveling to see the world? Well, consider to go traveling in non peak time.
Not only plane tickets are considerably cheaper, you can also get cheaper hotels, rooms, attractions tickets. Some even get more discounts during off-peak season.
D. Last but not least: Always try to find alternative.
Rather than watching movies on theater, rent the movies then watch together with the whole family or friends. Cheaper and you’ll still know how the story ends.
Rather than getting $1000 iPhone, consider buying a cheaper models if your intention is to just communicate, texting, and playing games.
Rather than getting a Ferrari, consider buying a Toyota, not only it costs cheaper on the price and maintenance, it also gets you to places you want to go.
Basically try to find alternatives, try not to stick with only one choices, especially if you are not looking for specific brands or specific functionalities.
Bring it all together.
You don’t need to do all the items mentioned above. Do only what you think make sense for you. Even if in the end you do just one or two of them, sure they will still give a bump to your savings.
What have I done so far…
For my case, my wife and I are currently renting a smaller room – enough for 2 of us, turning off electricity when they are not in use, cutting unused subscriptions – no Netflix account, no Spotify premium account, no gym memberships as we do Uber for exercise, we are going to parks for recreation, we did travel in non-peak time – see our South Korea visit here, and together always try to find alternatives. Everything that we do enables us to save more money. And those sum money can be used for our greater goods – buying house, investment, retirement.
What about YOU?
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