Wherever in the world you live, it is a reality that our finances are something we are always concerned about, except of course for the people who are in the upper echelons of our society. Money comes, money goes. And in Chinese we have a saying that when translated, goes “Money cannot do 10,000 things, but without money, one can’t do 10,000 things”. How true is that, right?
I’m not a financial advisor; in fact far from it. And this is a fitness blog, not a finance blog. Personally, I live by certain principles that help me build my nest egg. Budget wisely, have a savings plan with the long-term future in mind, be prudent with purchases, have more than one stream of passive income, actively find ways to reduce expenses, have long-term investments, make my money work for me, don’t chase the dollar, but let it do the chasing etc.
But anyways, no matter who you are, there are some small things that can help pretty much anyone save money. Know that it will not save you a lot, but a little bit of saving can and does accumulate. If you rationalise it in your mind, saving on a four-dollar coffee each working day would save twenty a week, over eighty a month, and a thousand a year. For an Australian, that’s a trip to Bali all-inclusive and a few extra treats too! So here are a few tips that can help you save a little:
One: Prepare Your Own Breakfast
This obviously does not apply to people who skip breakfast. But for the rest of us who will succeed at weight loss by including breakfast (ooh, shots fired!), do you really have to buy it from a commercial outlet? It might take a little bit more effort, but preparing your own will save you money and allow you to customise it to your liking. Furthermore, you will have control over what goes in, so you can ensure you do not overload on the sugar. Quit making excuses – prepare at least part of your breakfast the night before.
Two: Grow Your Own Food
Just like the first tip, this one can help you save money when it comes to eating. If you live in a country where you have the luxury of being able to grow some food, why not try it? If anything, it would be a nice test of patience and a new life skill acquired. You obviously can’t do it for every food item, but something is better than nothing. And when you invite friends over and cook them dinner, you can proudly declare that some of the ingredients are home-grown.
Three: Drink Water As Often As You Can
You might have noticed now that I have an obsession about eating habits, even when it comes to saving money. But anyways, the first point I made about the four-dollar coffees can pretty much be applied to many other drinks. An occasional drink bought outside is alright, but is there really a need to overstock on them at work? Substitute at least some of them with water and you’ll save a little. If you can’t stand the taste of plain water, add a hint of lemon or one of them dissolvable vitamin tablets.
Four: Save Leftover Food And Be Creative
Here in the western world, we have a tendency to chuck away some of our leftover food. If you think about how much you might have done that, you would realise how much of a waste it would have been. If you only have enough for half a portion, why not just keep it and combine it with half a portion of something else? Also, have some discipline to see which foods are close to being out of date and be creative with how you can combine and consume them before they really go bad.
Five: Less Trips To The Grocers
Did you know that places such as supermarkets are specially designed to try to entice the shoppers to buy more than what they really need? There are many marketing tricks in the book for achieving that often successful outcome. What I would do instead to resist the temptation of buying unnecessary things would be to draft a shopping list and stick to it. As I would say in a Yoda voice “Discipline it takes, savings you will make”.
Six: Viva La Generique
Okay, that was my poorly worded attempt at saying you should consider buying generic brand stuff. Totally butchered that one. Even as a fully-functioning adult, quite a lot of my purchases are store brand, much to the amusement of some of my guests. Some things are probably made in the same factory line and just slapped with a different label. As for the rest, do you need to get “quality” everything? For some items, sure you do, but for others, there probably isn’t much of a difference. Do you really need that super-comfy five-ply toilet paper to wipe your bum?
There are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak. There are also many ways to save a little here and there. As long as you know that every small saving accumulates over time, you can find creative ways of cutting back on some expenses that, frankly speaking, are not necessary.
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