We live in a world where we see celebrities flaunt their lavish lifestyle on TV 24/7. It’s easy to look up to people who have big homes and fancy cars, and many equate having a lot of money with happiness.Some of us, however, have discovered that there’s joy to be found in frugal living.
Saving money doesn’t mean doing away with the things that make life comfortable. It’s about making smart decisions every day to help you save a dollar here and there, which all add up in the end. Instead of focusing all your energies trying to earn more money, you could spend some valuable time instead doing things that really make you happy.
Here are a few smart money lessons that you can adapt to your lifestyle today:
Save When Grocery Shopping
Do you make the trip to the grocery every week? Grocery shopping presents a lot of opportunities for saving money:
If you’ve seen the TV show Extreme Couponing, then you’ve probably seen how some people can leave a store with a car full of groceries, paying only pennies and sometimes even nothing at all. You may lack the skills to pull that off but you could still save a lot by spending a few minutes cutting up coupons and using these on your next store visit.
Buy Store-Brand Items
Store-brand items are usually cheaper than branded ones. Try these out and you may find that these are of the same, even better, quality than their branded counterparts.
Look at the Price Per Weight
Food items usually come in different package sizes.When you’re doing your groceries, look into which package size actually gives you the best price. Whip out your phone and use the calculator to divide the price over the product’s weight. Try this out when you buy cooking oil, spices, and grains.
Stock up on Staples When These are on Sale
Save a lot when you do your grocery shopping during a store sale. You can get better beals on almost everything so take advantage of these events. Stock up on staples, such as sugar, condiments, and canned goods, since these have a long shelf life.
Save on Home Services
The money you pay for utility services such as water, electricity, and Internet takes a huge chunk out of your paycheck. Follow these tips to cut your home expenses:
Saving electricity isn’t just good for your wallet, but for the environment as well. Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs and turn off lights that aren’t being used. You could also get an advanced power strip, which could help you cut the power for devices such as TVs, DVD players, and game consoles that consume electricity even while on standby mode.
Reduce Your Water Consumption
Have leaks fixed immediately when you see them. Replacing the gasket on faucets is easy and is usually the only thing you need to fix a leaking faucet. You could also limit the times that you wash your car and water your plants to cut your water bill.
Look for the Best Internet Deals
Don’t forget to periodically review your Internet plan. You could be missing out on a more affordable yet faster connection if you don’t shop around. If you’re not locked into an existing plan, compare Internet plans and look for one that is both faster and cheaper.
Not All Savings Accounts are the Same
Now to set aside all the money you manage to spend after following the above mentioned tips, you’ll need a good savings account in your name. Not all savings account are the same though. Take the time to study your options and look for savings accounts that offer high interest rates and low fees.
These are just some of the things that you could do to save money. You don’t have to give up the things that you are used to, or stop spending on your hobbies or stuff you like to do—you just have to realize that there are far more affordable alternatives and that if you’re willing to explore, you can drastically reduce your expenses and be able to get more savings.
Mark Yasay is a freelance writer and digital strategist for MoneyHero, a comparison site in Hong Kong that helps residents find the best value for medical insurance, financial services and products they need. MoneyHero also provides free financial advice that supports individuals and empower them to meet their financial goals and attain financial freedom.