Smart purchases that save me money.
Things I did to help me save more without sacrificing my living standards.
While it’s obviously common to think that spending less equals more savings, I’d like to consider having smart spending as well that could actually help to save in the long run. Most would probably think that saving more, means getting cheaper stuff or losing out on enjoyments that need that big $$. I beg to differ. Here’s why.
Here are some of the things I did to save money for the long term.
1. Have my own haircut
Yeap! You heard me right. I had my haircut done by my non-professional hairstylist partner since Covid happened. (I’m not gonna lie, was really nervous but it turned out great! 😄) Twice ever since. Since I thought that having a simple shoulder-length haircut will do, why not have my partner help me out? My additional expense? Just a pair of scissors and clippers! I’ve managed to save an additional RM500 on yearly haircuts. If you’re wondering how am I able to sustain the quality of my haircut without going to a professional hairstylist, find a simple and straight haircut with an ideal length.
Full disclaimer: Please consult with your partner if you intend to have them cut your hair for you. 😁
2. Have homecooked food for work
One of the obvious reasons most of us had to eat homecooked food from home in 2020 was when the lockdown happened. Many had to cut back on spending. So why not continue to eat homecooked food at work? Previously, I had a set budget every month for food expenses. However, after restaurants and coffee shops were closed during the lockdown, I had to switch to homecooked food. So, I decided to spend on an electric lunchbox that can be heated up just before lunch. Hence, I would still be having a hot served lunch even though I had to bring food from home.
3. Utilize vouchers
Have you ever come across a salesperson asking you to spend a little more just so you could get a voucher for your next purchase? Well, if it’s an essential product which I would purchase in the near future, then why not? If it’s otherwise, I would not bother spending extra for a voucher that encourages you to spend more. A popular hub for utilizing vouchers among southeast Asian countries is Fave and Groupon. If you’re bad at rejecting any upsells that come with the coupon, then it's much better to continue with your regular purchase.
4. Look out for promotions or hot sales
Is there anything you’d like on your bucket list? Maybe splurging on an expensive product overnight might do some harm to your finances. Instead, why not wait till there’s a hot sale for the thing you’ve been eyeing, and while you’re waiting, put in a regular sum to your “Play” account! I do admit that being a Malaysian does come with lots of perks when it comes to promotions and sales because of our diverse cultures and festivals. So instead of depriving yourself of your wants, why not place it as a part of your budget instead of giving in to instant gratifications.
5. Education that provides practical skills
Often overlooked or passed on by most as being a waste of money, education that helps to avoid mistakes made by others or provides practical and faster ways help to speed up the learning process is just as important. Although you might take it with a pinch of salt, it’s undeniable that education that provides practical skills would in one way or another come in useful. For example, websites such as Skillshare, Coursera, and Udemy provide such services. You might not be able to gain its immediate benefits but if applied what was thought consistently, who knows? That skill might turn out to be something you enjoy doing to make a living out of it. For me, it’s learning how to be a better investor, writer, and managing my finances.
You’d probably think that to save more, you’ll need to live a frugal life whereby one must only opt for the cheap stuff and make lots of sacrifices that the bare minimum is spent only for survival. However, purchase decisions that do not consider the long-term benefit but only the short-term benefit — cheap, could end up spending more than what is needed. So if ever I were to make a purchasing decision, I would also consider its long-term benefits as well and how will it benefit me in the long run. I hope this gives you a different perspective on savings and to become a smarter consumer!
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