I encounter the question “how to save money?“, “best ways to save money?“, “what are the best ways to save money in India?” and many more on the similar lines quite frequently.
tried to find answer on repository of all answers,
I got disappointed, as I didn’t find any satisfactory answer, reflecting my situation.
I like to live a common man’s life, with very low exposure to party’s, dine-outs, keeping expenses in line with earnings, doing things only when required.
Can call it frugal lifestyle.
To my dismay, internet didn’t helped me much, there
I got all the tips which riches should follow to live frugally.
Like budgeting, getting small household job done by self, cooking meals, reducing dine-outs, using public transport, cut down gym expenses etc.
But, here in India, most of us are not brought up riches.
Idea of savings is implanted well in our minds in childhood only.
And when we get our first salary,
most of us get the first guidance…..”beta hisab se kharch karna, sab mat uda dena” .
i.e. we are grown up with “taleem” to save money.
Saving money is rooted in our brain and blood, which is replenished by continuous reminders.
I already keep accounts of incomes and expenditures, don’t have habit and preference of eating out frequently, prefers to use public transport (if available)
For me, the pinching question is
- 1 How can I save more, with my frugal lifestyle?
- 2 The Shopping List Method
- 3 Crack the deal on Recurring Purchases
- 4 Using Mobile Wallets Effectively
- 5 Get Feel of Spending
- 6 Health for You and Wealth for Others
- 7 Decide where and when to buy Cosmetics
- 8 Credit Card vs Debit Card
- 9 Conclusion
How can I save more, with my frugal lifestyle?
[Frugal by deifinition means: plain and simple life with less needs and careful spending]
People argue, we earn to live comfortable life, and frugal people compromise with comfort.
My answer is: Frugal living is rational spending on needs and wants rather than compromise.
Here are the few methods which I am using to save money in India.
The Shopping List Method
Horse has eye blinders, why?
The answer is simple to keep away distraction from sides and behind. So that it can move only in forward direction.
I follow the same thing, I go to super market with list of item “need” to be purchases. It helps in avoiding impulse buying to certain extent.
Making list provides direction to shopping and indirectly helps to save money.
Crack the deal on Recurring Purchases
There are some items which I buy every month. Whenever I get a good deal on those items, I purchase them. For e.g. hair oils, different soaps, phenol, edible oil (5 ltrs), toothpaste, shaving creams, razors etc.
If deal is fair, I get them for 2-3 months. Save money on recurring expenses is easy, as I know my consumption rate. I project the consumption for 3 months and save money by getting their combo packs.
Note: Check expiry date before buying items on sale. I never buy edible items with short shelf life like curd, paneer, milk, fruits, vegetables in such offers.
Using Mobile Wallets Effectively
I save money through digital transactions. Like, Paytm has offer on QR transactions at mother dairy outlets. For transaction greater than Rs20/- per day, I get Rs10/- as cash back. Max cashback a month is Rs200/-
Apart from govt 0.75% cashback on fuel purchase, Paytm offers additional cashback on fuel purchase.
My monthly fuel expenses Rs3000/-
Govt gave me Rs5000*0.75%=Rs22.5
Paytm gives additional cashback of Rs50 (in multiple transactions)
Saving on fuel purchase = 37.5+50 = Rs87.5
Its wallet promoted by HDFC Bank.
Payzapp has offer on bill payments, it gives, discount of 10% upto Rs250 on bill payments above Rs750. My electricity bill was Rs1100/- (approx).
I got Rs110/- as cash back.
Also, On bill of Rs689 on big basket, I got Rs102.xx as cashback.
[If you are willing to make account on Payzapp, use my referal code : prateeksb]
UPI introduced by NPCI is wonderful interface for digital payments. Its fast and cheap, becoming reliable day by day. I use Google Pay (earlier called Tez) to make payment on irctc portal, bank transfer, demat transfer and other transctions where UPI can be used.
Advantage…..I get scratch cards to gain money which is equivalent to save money.
With most scratch cards displaying better luck next time,
I have accumulated Rs226/- in scratch cards and
save approx Rs100/- a month as gateway charges, charged by different payment interfaces.
And I have a SIP in Reliance Small Cap Mutual Fund of Rs500/- per month.
Still It leaves Rs100 extra in my pocket.
Get Feel of Spending
Govt is pushing hard for digital transactions. The dis-advantage of digital transaction is, you never feel how much you have spent. It takes equal time to make a payment of Rs100/- or Rs25000/- through your card.
To get a feel of you much I am spending, I keep switching to cash payments from time to time. Will do it may be for a week, to take account of how much I am spending.
Just for experimenting purpose, pay Rs 11350/- first by card and then do the same payment once in cash. You will realize the difference. Keep doing this experiment every now and then, to realize true value of money.
Health for You and Wealth for Others
Fruits and vegetables are beneficial to health when eaten fresh. The mega malls like big bazaar, more, spensors, reliance fresh etc I found useful for getting non-seasonal fruits and vegetables from their cold storage.
For fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, street vendors are good. They provide relatively fresh fruits and vegetables, having better quality and fair price.
Having seasonal fruits and vegetables is healthy for us, buying from them, is wealthy for street vendors. These are usually economically weak people coming to cities for better livelihood. They sell fruits and vegetables to earn livelihood and light up their chulhas at night.
Request: Dont bargain vegetable/fruits vendor to save money, possibly get them without bargain. why?
Read this, A touching conversation with vegetable vendor.
It was winters in 2017, wedding season was in peak.
I visit this vendor frequently. As usual I went to him, but this time he was quite upset with daily loss in business, due to less turnout.
Curiously, I asked the reason for it.
Me: “kya hua bade dukhi lag rhe ho” [What happened, you seems to be very sad]
Vendor: “han bhaiya, bikri nai ho rha hai, dekho itna maal rkha hai” [yes, I am, see how much stock is left un-sold]
Me: “kyu kya baat hai? thand hai abhi toh achi sabjiyan aa rhi hai” [What’s the matter? Its winter, more vegetables are there in market]
Vendor: “bhaiya shadiyon ka season chal rha hai na” [marriage season is in progress]
Me: “Toh kya hua, tb toh aur bik rhi hogi” [So what? There must be more people buying in bulk]
Vendor: “Nai bhaiya, shadi k season me sab party karne jaate hai, ghar par khana kam banta hai toh hamari bhi bikri kam hoti hai, hame bhi ghar ka chulha jalane me dikkat hoti hai” [No, its marriage season, so everyone goes to party and don’t cook at home. My vegetables don’t get sold, no money earned, no food cooked.]
Then I realized how fortunes of everyone are inter-related.
Now decide bargain or not to bargain with street vendor.
Decide where and when to buy Cosmetics
Gone are the days when, cosmetics world was dominated women-centric products. Market is filled with Men’s cosmetic products also.
Men’s cosmetic market is catching fast with women’s cosmetics market size.
Its the industry with multi-million returns.
Buy cosmetic from online stores, they provide quick delivery and easy returns in-case you are not satisfied with product.
Every now and then market places like Amazon, Paytm Mall and Flipkart are filled with month start sale to month end sale. Some offering sale on wednesday, other on thursday.
Take advantage of these sale and get heavy discount of cosmetics and save money.
Credit Card vs Debit Card
Using credit card is equivalent to walking on balancing rope.
One mistake can unbalance your finances for months.
Use Credit Cards very diligently. Its like spending our future income today. Its equivalent to short term debt, which if not payed on time, may charge 35%-45% penalty per annum.
Credit cards come with tempting offers, grab them if really needed. Else its better to use debit cards, i.e. spending money which you already hold.
Credit cards can be useful to meet urgent requirements.
Or for that matter to improve the CIBIL score.
But I don’t support using them as a first payment option.
This was a short account of my day-in and day-out savings. Saving money is not a rocket science i.e. there is no single path to save money.
Everyone practices his own path as per the age, family needs, social conditions and stage of life.
Sharing these practices helps each other to know and may be implement them in their personal life.
So keep sharing by posting here in comments box.