I emailed this over to a writer friend as she was preparing for a magazine article. Little did I know I missed her deadline! And as always, she only asked for one money-saving tip but I gave her 12. I know, I am a bit over-lah!
So instead of throwing it all away, I am sharing them here with you. Feel free to add on with your own tips.
Lots of people (OK, let me qualify that…lots of Malaysians) seem to have this impending fear of the global recession. Call me dumb or overly naive or too optimistic, but I think that we can all overcome this fear. I call it fear because that’s what it is. Everyone scaring everyone even BEFORE that recession hits, if it hits lah.
But recession or not, like I told u-jean, one can live on more if one can live on less. I am talking about spending wisely. I suppose that’s what our grandparents and parents did in those days. When growing up, my dad was the only breadwinner in the family. Mom didn’t work at all.
Yet with 3 daughters and 2 aging parents-in-law, my dad somehow ensured we weren’t destitute or left wanting.
Sure, I’d always have this perpetual wish list for material stuff – from Walkman to Atari, from getting my own dressing table to buying fashionable togs. But I didn’t DIE from not having them.
I just became a little smarter and bartered my way through – I would use my future academic results to get stuff I wanted. (I’d be in Standard 4 and then think, if I got 5As in Standard 5, I will ask from my uncles and aunts specific items from my wish list. If they agreed and they usually did because I was the first grandchild in the family, I’d work my butt off to get the 5As.)
Bad to trade results for material possessions but that’s how I amassed my stuff. Of course, in later years, I bartered with cash. It helped that my aunts and uncles were extremely supportive of their niece’s academic pursuits.
Below are some tips but feel free to add on yours.
The idea about saving money is not about hoarding but about living moderately. I saw this in the IKEA 2009 catalogue (thanks to Mrs Hor for passing me a copy! Get the soft copy version at the IKEA website).
It said: A great life isn’t about great huge things; it’s about small things that make a big difference.
1. Go to the wet market once a week and buy one week’s worth of meat and vegetables. If you buy in bulk, you get discounts too.
2. Only go to the shopping mall on weekdays when a) the parking fees are cheaper b) no need to fight other people for dressing room space c) can shop in peace and quiet d) get better service
3. Watch your fave movies on a certain weekday when discounts are given on movie tickets. In Penang, it’s Wednesday for GSC where it’s RM6 per ticket instead of RM8.
4. Bring your own shopping basket/grocery bag when you are marketing (see #1). You get more stuff because you save the grocers from giving you plastic bags (which cost them money) and your container (ie tupperware) can store lots more compared to a plastic bag.
5. Do not drive during rush hour or peak traffic. This reduces petrol consumption. Attempt to meet friends during not-so-busy hours.
6. Sell your recyclables like newspaper and tin cans.
7. Eat in instead of eating out. It’s cheaper, healthier and gives you bonding time!
8. Bring potted plants into the home so that you can reduce the need for air purifiers.
9. Bring your brand new shoes esp high heels to the cobbler. Get him to coat the bottom with a layer of rubber first before you wear them. This helps lengthen the life of your heels. When the rubber sole is gone, go back to the cobbler for a second layer to keep your shoes in working condition.
10. Make garbage enzyme at home (this uses up leftover orange or lemon peels) and use this enzyme in lieu of dishwashing liquid to wash dishes. It works but you first must make the enzyme (takes 3 months). This enzyme can be used to mop floor, wash pets, and general cleaning purposes plus its safe for you and mother nature too.
11. When you cook, cook more to freeze so you can save on cooking the next meal! I make extra batches of soup so I have soup for the next day’s meals.
12. Batch your errands whenever you go out. Do 5 errands if you can instead of 1 errand each time you drive out.