Saving My Money (Why I Have More Than You Do)
Savings, Money & Me
I'm not like most people. What I mean by that is, I'm not your typical Generation Y'er.
I don't have a lot of debt, in fact I don't have any! Never been a big drinker. I'm a non-smoker. I rarely go clubbing. I don't buy into the latest fads easily. I don't feel the need to have expensive designer clothing to look good. I associate saving money with pleasure not pain - I enjoy seeing a healthy bank statement, not a Debt Overdue statement. I used to spend more on my friends than I did on myself but I was careful that they didn't abuse that. (If some did, that usually killed my generosity with that person). I have a prepaid cell phone. I don't have cable tv. I like thinking of different ways to make money.
I'm still living at home at 28. But before you knock the idea or call me a mommy's boy, think about how great it is if you're saving money for a house. How much better off am I for saving all that money that otherwise would have gone into rent (paying for someone else's house) and all the other living expenses associated with that?
Easy Ways To Save Money Every Day
- Take your own lunch from home rather than buying it each day.
Say you spend $10 on your lunch per day (very easily done if you're in Australia). Think of it this way - if you buy your lunch every day that's $50 in a 5 day working week and $2,000 per year! You could have saved most of that! (Everyone likes to eat out every now and then.)
- Quit smoking!
It's expensive. It causes cancer. It stinks. Literally. Sorry smokers, but we both know you'll better off not smoking. It is hard but there are more and more options available to help you these days.
- Drive a small car.
If you can't take public transport, just don't like it or simply prefer to drive to work each day, make sure your car is not a gas guzzling four wheel drive landcruisin' giant. If you can help it (ie you have a small family or are really looking for a money saving tip) I'd suggest to look at something that gets you from A to B. Forget the loud stereo systems and new rims. Your car is a liability - it doesn't make you money! In fact, as soon as you drive it out of the car dealer, it's already lost value!
- Take it easy on the road!
The last thing you need is a speeding ticket or an accident caused because you haven't left enough room between you and the car in front of you. These are all unnecessary fines and expenses. Stick to the applicable laws in your country and you should be ok.
- Here's a no-brainer: Shop around!
Do your research before buying expensive items. Search online or browse through the catalogues. If you're game, here's one of my secret tips: You can ring a couple of places and play them off against each other to drive the price down - for the cost of a few phone calls you could save hundreds, or at least get a discount not available to the market. :-)
Household Money Saving Tips
These are some household money saving tips I will be implementing when I move out of home soon:
- TV - By all means get a decent size TV but it doesn't have to be the "latest, greatest, biggest" thing you've ever seen. Factor in the size of the room it is going to sit in as well - I've seen TVs in people's houses that are so big in a tiny room that you can't sit far enough away from them to enjoy the picture. What's the point?
- Second hand furniture - For things like desks and bookshelves this is great. One relatively untapped market for this is your work place. Often, they may upgrade the office furniture. Make an enquiry as to whether or not they are having an auction to sell off the old furniture (which is usually sturdy and in relatively good condition). I've bought decent bookshelves and desks for as little as $20 each.
- Find ways to save on utilities like gas, water etc. While it's going to extremes, people can (believe it or not) survive without electricity. Consider skylights and solar water heaters to cut back on power expenditure.
- Recover some money from items you no longer need from garage sales or selling online (through eBay for example). One person's junk really is another person's treasure.
- Buy generic brands where you can. Tissues, cling wrap, stationery, clothing etc. Look at the latest catalogues to find a bargain. Personally I would not follow this money saving tip when it comes to food - don't be skint when it comes to your health. However, always do look out for some coupons or discount deals for when you plan to eat out.
- Buy items in bulk - this will almost always be cheaper. Do this for things that you know you will continually consume or use. Where possible, stock up when they are on special. Examples: rice, flour, pasta, sugar, toilet paper, tissues, soap, canned items.
What Most People Are Doing Wrong
- Have big TVs...
- ...and are subscribed to every available channel under the sun
- Eat out every day
- Drive big cars that burn gas like there's no tomorrow
- Drive expensive cars for show
- Get expensive additions for their cars like new rims or a killer sound system
- "Get on the piss" regularly with their mates (big drinkers on the weekend, every weekend)
- Smoke a pack of cigarettes a day
- Impulse buy all the latest fads and gadgets
- Don't pay off more than the minimum amount on their credit cards or loans each month
- Don't shop around
- Want to acquire more goods to show they are of a higher class in society even though they know they can't afford it
- ie they have Big Egos!
When It Sucks To Be Good At Saving Money
Sometimes it can really suck when people know you are good at saving money. Here are some examples why:
- You become the target of gold diggers, the women and men who marry for profit - solely for the purpose of getting a divorce down the track and a nice big payout equal to half of your life savings.
Lesson: Don't show off your wealth
- Your friends and family get jealous of you and try to put you down either directly or indirectly and manipulate you so that you end up losing money. If you have a business and you decide to employ one of them, they might ruin it for you.
Lesson: Don't show off your wealth, don't act better than anybody and always separate business and pleasure
- You become known as a "tight-arse" or "scrooge" by your work mates because you don't go out blowing your paycheck drinking every week "with the boys".
Lesson: Embrace the reputation and start using it as an excuse for things you don't want to do, like blowing your paycheck every week "with the boys"!
- When you become too good at saving money that it starts to work against you! For example, you buy a cheap bottle opener or cork screw that snaps when you are trying to open a bottle of house wine for your dinner guests. FAIL!
Important Lesson: Don't be tighter than a fish's a$$hole!!