Feeling a little broke after that holiday season? Maybe it is time to do something to shake up that bank account so that your upcoming year can be a better one.
One of the most immediate and significant effects one can feel at the end of every salaried month is perhaps the feeling of going (nearly) broke.
This is quite a common phenomenon so don't feel ashamed of admitting it. What you can and should really do is take effort to manage your spending a little better.
Here are 10 simple money-saving tricks that would do magic to your money habits and allow you to still live a life without feeling like you are constrained by a budget.
1) Have two bank accounts
Most of us only have one bank account for the paycheck to come in every month. It is easy to reach out to spend all that cash, especially after the salary comes in.
Have two bank accounts so that you can withdraw money out of one account and save it in a second one, thereby "saving" it from being splurged because it is out of reach.
2) Arrange a standing instruction with your savings account
I used to not know of this possibility until I got tired of making monthly payments to my recurring bills. You can actually make a standing instruction with your bank to have a fixed sum of money be withdrawn and sent to your savings (second) account so that your savings does not have to be actively managed by you.
Each month, money just gets saved once the paycheck comes in. Voila!
3) Shop During End of Season Sales or Warehouse Clearance Sales
This is an underrated technique to save you loads off the price tag. Many apparel, merchandise or grocery stores have seasonal products.
When it is near the end of each season, shelves have to be cleared for the new season stocks. What better time to scoop up good deals at a discount than during such sales?
Just pay attention to local promotional advertisements and you can find yourself being able to purchase more with less money.
4) Try Packing Your Lunch
It is the hip thing now to prepare those fun and healthy meals to bring to the workplace. Self-made meals cost much less than a trip to the local restaurant and is healthier too.
Just Google whichever cuisine that attracts you and you can easily find so many recipes out there. YouTube are filled with "food porn" videos that boasts of easy-to-make awesome food ideas so why not give them a go?
5) Cycle or Jog to Your Workplace
Jogging to work is a great way to kick-start your adrenaline and be psyched for work. If the distance is too long for a jog, you can also cycle to work.
This is the cheapest way (it's free!) to commute and will sure save you money in the long run (pun intended).
If you really need to drive to work, find colleagues who stay in the same neighborhood and arrange a carpooling schedule.
This way, you can split the petrol bills with friends and gain some chatting company during your daily drive to-and-fro from the workplace.
7) Play Sports with Friends Instead of Joining A Gym Membership
Nowadays, gym membership are getting popular and more expensive. However, they might not necessarily be effective since a good number of members do not make full use of their membership.
A more regular, more effective and more fun way to workout might be to ask a few friends for a game of basketball, soccer or ping pong. The sport doesn't really matter.
What matters is you get to start a workout routine that doesn't feel like a drag and is a good opportunity to bond with friends too.
8) Turn Down the Setting of Air Conditioners or Heaters
Heaters and air conditioners are known to add loads to your utilities bill. Wear more to sleep during the cold season so that you can stay warm without turning up the heater too much.
Have a cold shower and wear light to sleep during the hot season so you can stay cool without overly depending on the air conditioner.
9) Do Potluck Gatherings
Instead of hitting the bar or dining at the restaurant, take turns to host gatherings at various friends' homes. Every potluck gathering is a surprise to look forward to because everyone decides their own dishes.
An economical way to stay in touch.
10) Try Staycations in Place of Vacations
Unique experiences for holidays need not involve traveling overseas all the time. A little online research can give you ideas where to visit at your state or province.
From camping at the parks, fishing trip, staying at downtown hotels to stay-overs at friends' or relatives' houses, the options are up to your own imagination.