Save Money without Curtailing Lifestyle

Ideas to save money

Recent reports suggested that firms like Goldman-Sachs and Morgan-Stanley are rushing to announce that a global recession is underway. The triggering cause is apparent and wouldn’t be a surprise to many. With reports of various countries declaring lock-downs, citizens to undertake self-imposed quarantine, cross border movements coming to a halt. Such circumstances are nevertheless likely. However, in this situation, is it possible to Save Money without Curtailing Lifestyle?

The answer is Yes. And in this article, we will discuss simple steps we as individuals may undertake that can lessen the  impact’s severity.

So how we may see through and save money in case tough economic times becomes a reality? The following ideas  to will help;

1.Rationalise Expenses on online streaming services:

Consumerism has pushed us to extents, that distinguishing whether a service we enjoy is genuinely useful for us or not. And while writing this, the first thing that comes to mind is web streaming services. These services are expensive. Even if they aren’t, so many are offering one great series or the other, that we need to subscribe them. As a result, we keep adding our credit card details, and at the end of the month, these small nibbles end up as a considerable bite. 

To address this situation, we may make a list of shows that are a top priority. Off-late multiple streaming services offer over-lapping content hence letting go of one service may not be as enormous a sacrifice than what we assume it to be. And the best hack we may propose is, a group of three-four friends may subscribe to one service each and then share the credentials. This hack is a time tested one, and most of us have deployed it some stage of life, especially during college. You must have never thought it is so easy to save money.

2. Commute:

Although we may not realise; however large city dwellers spend a lot of time and money on their daily commute to work and back. And it is this aspect which has a substantial scope of savings. We can make use of various pool option on ride-sharing apps, and if one drives their vehicle to work, they may offer the vacant seats to nearby people who have a similar origin and destination points. There are multiple such apps, and a quick google search will provide the details. The payments received for the drop credited to a digital wallet are utilisable towards buying fuel, and this method is an excellent way of saving money.

3. Eating Out:   

Technology has made life easy, and the term eating out doesn’t necessarily mean going out to eat, however, in today’s context, we may term it as eating from outside. There are apps delivering food from restaurants of choice at a price lower than while dining-in and this is a considerable incentive to splurge. However, a slight innovation in the kitchen and proper usage of the microwave helps cook restaurant-quality food at a fraction of the cost that too in total hygiene. Youtube is an excellent source of ideas and inspiration for this culinary quest; do give it a try.

4. Vacations:

European summers, South East Asian Sojourns, Exotic Far East, sounds majestic and tempting as holiday destinations. However, it’s common sense to push these plans back. Let’s not term this exercise as cancellations, let’s term it as postponement, and this will not kill the excitement and keep the planning mode active.

It is a well-researched fact that extensive planning for a trip allows complete exploitation of the opportunity of visiting a distant land while efficiently spending money. Let this be the delay incentive and savings could then be appropriated on a short break to a nearby destination after that. This is an effective way to save money.

5. Shopping / Miscellaneous Spends:

Every other month we open the newspaper and see a full-page advertisement by a shopping portal offering the best discounts ever. That dream mobile phone at a considerable discount, a 55 inches LED TV at an unbelievable price and many more eye-popping offers at an easy EMI. As a result, we end up buying so many items which we never thought of purchasing before, and after a few weeks, they occupy some corner of the house gathering dust and neglect. 

This practice is an aspect of our life which is the most significant leakage in the savings bucket. Let us understand the matter with the following weekly non-essential unplanned purchase/spend journal (The items might be different basis individual purchase habits);

Weekly Break-up

Monday:

A bomber jacket which caught the eye while walking past that store in the mall, acquired at an insignificant price; Rs. 2800 / $37 

Tuesday:

A pair of sunglasses which will go with the bomber jacket bought yesterday, purchased at a negligible rate of; Rs. 2500 / $33

Wednesday:

Met the niece who is leaving for her college hostel, gifted her Bluetooth headphones she had been longing for a long time, bought for a trivial amount of; Rs. 1500/ $20

Thursday:

Contribution towards birthday celebration of an office colleague, a trivial amount of; Rs. 500/ $7

Friday:

Letting your hair down in the club nearby, for a tiny amount vis-a-vis the happiness derived; Rs. 1800/ $24

Saturday:

Catching up with old school friends at an international coffee chain for a small price of; Rs. 750/ $10

Sunday:

Going out bowling and a couple of beers with room-mates for a modest amount which wouldn’t be burning a hole in the pocket for sure: Rs. 1000/ $13

Now let us look back and compile that one non-essential expense every day of the week, which we didn’t even bother to consider a threat to our savings potential:

Monday: Rs. 2800 / $37

Tuesday: Rs. 2500 / $33

Wednesday: Rs. 1500/ $20

Thursday: Rs. 500/ $7

Friday: Rs. 1800/ $24

Saturday: Rs. 750/ $10

Sunday: Rs. 1000/ $13

Total: Rs. 10,850/ $144

Now, the cumulative amount is not an insignificant one anymore. Surprised? Make a journal of all the spends in a week, and rest assured this project – save money – will be an eyeopener.

We recommend another article which examines a somewhat similar thought process from another perspective, an excerpt:

“To elaborate, let us take the example of a gadget, the latest model of a phone you have been eyeing for long, and after saving up for some time you buy it, you are happy, thrilled.

However, after a few weeks and some usage related wear and tear the excitement subsides. After a few months, a new, improved best version of the same phone launches and suddenly this model in your hand is old, obsolete and the happiness associated with it is all lost.”

6. Gym and Fitness Subscriptions:

Well, this is a sticky one! No one in their right minds will ever drive someone to hold back fitness activities. However, this doesn’t mean that we have to pay exorbitant gym subscription fees, which are upwards of Rs. 5000 / $66 per month in most cases. Added to it are personal trainer fees, commute to the gym costs, and purchase of the latest athleisure kit to keep up with current fashion trends.

There are many alternatives to this. The humble apartment gym being the most prominent one, then there is running or cycling. Costs involved in pursuing these forms of workouts are negligible added to it are the benefits of time management, as apartment gyms and society running tracks allow avoiding that city traffic one has to brave while commuting to the paid gym centre. This is a proven way to save money.

7. Creating a Second Earning Stream:

Warren Buffett had once stated that we should never depend on a single source of income and make investments to create a second source. In today’s context, it is essential to not rely on only one source of income. Thanks to the internet’s local and global reach, while setting up a new business, the potential customers are more accessible. One needs to identify what they are good at and passionate about and with some planning and investment (not necessarily money) monetisation of this attribute is achievable. We have covered this aspect in one of our previous blogs – Why Must We Pursue Our Passion.

There are instances where-in individuals started pursuing what they were good at as a past time activity and ended up earning a lot more money than what they were making in their regular jobs. Internet is full of success stories of such individuals and a google query related to this will throw many covering results. Delving slightly to the negative side, even if this endeavour is not a success, there is no harm in it, since doing what we like to do in our free time is an awesome stress-buster and provides our mind with a break from the humdrum day to day activity.

Life learns to adapt and progress:

Remember the great depression, The Asian financial crisis, Lehmann Brothers crisis? The world has seen financial crises earlier too, and there were costs paid; however, we emerged out of it. In life, nothing is constant, and if positives don’t enjoy an unbroken run, negatives aren’t invincible too. With time and effort, things will normalise, and with new learnings and experience, we emerge out stronger.

We hope these points have helped you in some way o, and if they did, please write to us by dropping a word in the comments section below. Thank you for reading!

Posted by Vivek

After working for a Fortune 500, Vivek got his calling and established a start-up in the field of consulting, which he is actively managing till date. An entrepreneur by heart, he couldn’t mentally settle down after achieving success in his venture which has offices in multiple locations, Vivek thought of penning blogs which will reflect on his life experiences, hobbies and interests, and hopes they leave a positive impact on anyone who reads it.

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