I have just realized that I have been spending quite a lot of money over the last few months without really knowing where I have spent it on (all thanks to my credit cards). Luckily I managed to pay everything off and did not get into any debts but there’s certainly a big drop in the numbers on my bank account! Therefore I think I really need to control on my spending for the next 1 – 2 months and start to save up!
So I decided to come out with this blog post on the various ways that we can save money and I hope you will find this list useful (if you do… I hope you can share this list on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter)!
When You Are Out Doing Your Grocery Shopping
1. Make A Shopping List
Make a list on your favorite Mobile App (or on a piece of paper) before you step foot into the supermarket to prevent any impulse buying on items that you may not really need. You will be more focused with a shopping list as well because you will directly go to the shelves rather than walking around aimlessly, asking yourself whether you need this or that and without thinking too much about it (especially if there’s a big discount sign there) – you may have gotten yourselves a few new items!
2. Buy When Items Are On Discounts
In Singapore, a few big supermarkets tend to have a lot of discounted items on Thursday and you can see those lists in the newspaper or at the entrance. If you can put off your buying till that day, you can really save on your purchases.
3. Don’t Buy More Just Because Of A Bundle Deal
I tend to have this bad habit of buying items, especially food-related like those ketchups, when they are being offered as a bundle deal and those signs telling you that you get to save a few cents of it. I may have saved a few cents here and there but there are really occasions that those items expire before I get to use them. So if you are like me, I would suggest that you go for bundle deals on non-food items because they will to last!
4. Beware Of The Discounted Items At Checkout
It’s a common sight to see some discounted items at the checkout area and the nice Cashier will ask if you like to add those items to your current purchase. If you are those that are really tempted, do tell yourself that if you do not make that purchase, you would have saved $1 – $5 on your grocery trip.
5. Shop At Your Neighbourhood Convenience Store
If you have those local convenience store (not those chain stores managed by large corporations), pay them a visit next time and you will be surprised at the difference in prices for many items. My favorite bottle of jam costs around $5.50 at the supermarket but over at the convenience store, they are selling it for $4.20 (a cost-saving of $1.30).
When You Are Out Shopping With Your Credit Card(s)
6. Make It A Habit To Carry Some Cash For Small Items
If you are out shopping for small items, settle the purchase with cash and do not settle it with your credit cards. This is because you only get to see your outstanding bills for your credit cards towards the end of the month whereas when you pay with cash, you get to see your current bank account balances when you withdraw your money. Seeing that number slowly decreases will encourage you to control your expenditure!
7. Pay With A Debit Card When There’s No Discounts
Debit cards are also a great way to prevent any credit card debt and nowadays they have those cash-back feature which means you get a small cash rebate for your normal purchases. This works well with Point #6 because your current bank account gets deducted instantly with any purchases through your Debit Card so when you decide to draw cash out the next time, you will get a glimpse of your balance immediately and you can gauge for yourself if you have been overspending!
8. Late Penalties Add Up
This is a good reminder to yourself and something that you need to have in place if you have the habit of spending a lot through your credit cards! If you often find that you do not have the means to pay off all your outstanding bills, you need to control your spending through this payment mode. Late penalties will add up on your outstanding bill amount and most of the time this has a snowballing effect. On top of that, why make your life miserable because you have to worry about paying off your outstanding bills every month (and assuming that you are not adding more to it)!
9. Take Advantage Of Rewards Incentives
Some credit card companies offer incentives for use, such as discounts for certain purchases, additional points or rebate amounts. If you really have to spend, why not enjoy more benefits at the same time? To get yourself updated on these promotions, you can choose to sign up for those newsletter or those SMS alerts sent by the credit card companies. You can also search for those Mobile Apps that provide alerts whenever such deals arise!