12 August 2019

15 Ways to Save Money, Redux

Was watching this YouTube video by Lavendaire on 15 Ways to Save Money (YouTube) She is based in Los Angeles. So these 15 ways to save money might have a certain slant towards American consumerism.

But here's a quick summary of the 15 ways, and my thoughts on some of these points:

"1. Use cash instead of credit card". You will realise how much you are actually spending. Credit card charges high-interest rates if the debts are not paid in full. By using case, you will be pending what you have, versus spending on borrowed money.

I think it's just a complete lack of discipline that can cause a problem. Credit cards can come with various benefits like cash-back, mileage, etc. So I don't see a problem if one is paying in full the bills every month.

"2. Write down all of your spendings on paper". Know where you are spending.

Some people need to write things down to register mentally. I work fine with spreadsheets. So it's probably ok to record all your spendings on spreadsheets. Also, I find it easy enough since most of my spendings are cashless. The credit card bills and bank statements would have the information I need to reference to record into my spreadsheet. Whatever I actually spend with cash are few and far in between. Much of it for food and miscellaneous. and generally, they aren't much.

"3. Cancel any unnecessary subscription". For those that you don't use anymore, cancel or put on hold the subscriptions.

I can agree with that. 

"4. Always google a coupon code". Get the discount!

This is something I'm not in the habit of doing. Perhaps couponing is less of a practice in Singapore? Neither do I do a lot of online ordering. Or maybe I'm just in denial?

"5. Use E-Bay to get cash back from purchases".

I don't do much of E-Bay either. Although, I must admit I did quite a bit when I was residing in the US for a short period. It's a whole lot of difference when you click buy one day and the goods show up in a day or two!

"6. Start building an emergency fund". Build up 6 to 9 months of your monthly expenses to deal with any emergency.

Definitely a piece of good advice. Especially if there is any risk of losing your job, or to deal with some unexpected emergencies.

"7. Schedule your shopping allowance". Add items to a shopping list. And buy only on scheduled days. It helps to control impulse buying.

Curbs unnecessary spendings. Window shopping should be kept to simply that.

"8. Wait it out". Give yourself 14-30 days, to curb impulsive shopping.

Good advice.  If after 30 days, the desire remains, then maybe it is something that gives you love.  [Borrowing from Marie Kondo's words]

"9. Buy only what you really need and will really use". Buying bulk just because they are on sale may not be the way. 

Anything else is just clutter and junk.

"10. Use your public library". It's free.

And it's great here in Singapore because the libraries are well stocked. And in recent years, the National Library Board has been locating libraries in publicly accessible places, including popular shopping malls - like VivoCity!  Now if only I can figure out how to convince them to subscribe to all my favourite magazines.

"11. Plan your meals around grocery store sales". Go for items on sale. And use those coupons!

This takes some getting used to. Not something I would particularly bother as neighbourhood food isn't all that expensive around here. Plus, groceries can be cheaply bought in most cases from supermarkets. In Japan, the basement food shops are heavily discounted towards 8-9 pm near closing time. 

"12. Buy used instead of new". There can be good stuffs that are opened but not used. 

I don't feel too positively with this. Too many opportunities for con jobs if bought secondhand from online channels, like Carousell.  Never know what you are actually getting either, hygiene wise.

"13. Make your own versus buying". DIY whatever you can. Cook at home if you're good at it.

I'd leave that to wifey. She bakes, big time. 

"14. Cut or do your own hair". Yet another DIY.

I wouldn't trust myself to do that. And besides, it's only $10 at the local barber. I'm fine with that.  I guess some other equivalents would be: "wash your car yourself", "clean up the house yourself, don't engage a part-time cleaner (or maid)", etc.

"15. Get social and swap with a friend".

Need a lot of friends? Probably end up with even more group buys and spendings instead! Hah.

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