Your personal spending habits will dictate how much funds you can accumulate for investments, emergency funds or whatever better use you have planned for them. Many would think of it as a chore to curb your expenses, but it is just a matter of perception.
Think of it as stretching your money. If you can buy three things with $X, why would you settle for just one?
While you consider significant financial moves to reduce your expenses, such as refinancing your mortgage, get started on things which you can immediately effect change on.
All of the daily tips you will find below are no rocket science, but it takes some serious discipline to follow through.
- Forward your calls to your home/office line when you are not on the move. Let your mobile phones serve their one purpose –mobility.
- Utilize ceiling fans instead of the air conditioner, and energy saving bulbs for your lightings.
- Cut down on trips to restaurants or premium coffee shops like Starbucks.
- Exercise or do some reading to spend your time. The lesser exposure you have to your computer or the TV, the lesser chance you will be drawn into temptations to buy something you probably don’t need.
- Get your groceries from the local wet market instead of supermarkets. You should pay only for the objective of getting what you need, and not for the ambience in which you do your shopping in.
- Use the Octopus card for public transport instead of buying single trip tickets. At the same time, reduce the use of taxis and opt instead for trains and buses
- Plan your entertainment to be at home instead of hitting expensive bars in Lan Kwai Fong.
- Be a smart shopper. It is a hassle having to go through discount coupons, but they will correspond to direct savings on your purchases.
- Cook whenever you can instead of eating out. You are actually picking up a new life skill while you are at it.
- Visit the local pharmacy instead of Watsons for medicinal supplies.
Begin with a month and track how well these tips are doing for you. The best way to cultivate a habit is to see exactly what it does for you. You can do so easily with the modern convenience of a smart phone application.
The Next Step
Deposit your savings every month into a bank account that you don’t have an ATM card for. Limiting your access to these funds will preserve your hard work, and from time to time pleasantly surprise you on the progress you’ve made. It’s just like an adult’s version of a piggy bank.
Feeling good about what you do will be motivation in the right direction. It becomes less of something you need to force yourself to do, and more into something you personally want to accomplish.