It's a bit of a catch-22 situation right now! The average Millennial isn’t financially savvy, does not have a lot of savings and yet is constantly being told to save more. Increasing social media pressure to live beyond our means, ever accumulating credit card debt and the lack of awareness on how to change this isn’t helping either. But, change is not only possible, but it can also be quite easy. Read on for some of our most effective tips.
1. Create your own ‘extra’ - From your very first job (or from when you read this), learn to create a budget and stick to it. Initially, this might only help to keep your head above water and stop you from accumulating more debt. But later, this means you have a little surplus to put into tax-free options or invest in stocks and shares. Ka-ching!
2. Take the savings challenge - The mantra of the times seems to be mindfulness and nowhere is this more necessary than with your hard-earned money. Being frugal needn’t translate to being boring. Try a week or month of thinking about your purchases, actively look for free entertainment options and generally being thrifty. If you really want to give it a shot, start small and recruit a few friends to try it with you. There are a number of Budgeting Apps, No Spend Challenges and Meal Planning resources available online for you to ace this self-test with flying colours.
3. Two for the price of one - When thinking about small savings that can amount to a fairly large number at the end of the year, think about how you can maximise your current way of life. For instance, if you live close enough to the office, walk or cycle to and fro and you’ll not only cut out the rush hour scramble and get fitter but you’ll save big in the bargain. Perhaps the biggest change you can make is to switch from sodas and juices to simply buying yourself a cool water bottle and drinking and refilling it throughout the day. Bonus points if you can cut down/out on the expensive coffee habits too!
4. Fun isn’t free, but it very nearly can be - When you stop thinking about saving money as being a miserable way to live, you might suddenly see things very differently. Depending on what your idea of entertainment is, look for opportunities to live and learn a little something for free. Dance classes, gym recruitment schemes, live shows in public spaces, open mic nights, potluck movie nights are very often FREE - all you have to do is say yes and open yourself up to trying a few, new things.
5. Shop Smarter - If commercialism is to be believed, then discounts are the best thing that could happen to anyone. But perhaps they are the worst! Before you pay for anything look for promo codes and if shipping & delivery costs extra. Most importantly - look for cashback schemes that can sometimes put as much as 10 to 15% back into your bank account.
But perhaps the eco-friendliest thing you can do is to buy things second hand. Look carefully through the ‘raddiwallas’ or scrap collectors in rich neighbourhoods and online through garage sale/swap groups. They usually have a whole bunch of items like books, magazines, electronics and home items that are perfectly usable.
When shopping for food, look through local markets rather than name brand supermarkets for the best bargains. If you do find yourself in a supermarket, look for items that are on discount and save tons in the long run. Does it really matter which type of white, sandwich bread you buy?
Beauty, hair and nail demand expensive upkeep. So, do it yourself, if you can. Alternatively - look for nearby salons offering discounts for treatments on weekdays rather than on the weekends when they’re all booked full. Finally, consider paying for as many purchases with a mobile wallet instead of cash so you can keep track of all your little spends through the day.
While I’m sure these all seem like very small, practical tips, used in combination and regularly, they can go a long way in turning your zeroes into saving superheroes.
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This content has been created in association with YONO SBI.