There is a huge prospect for us to improve our spending habits. We may not realize this but we ourselves create money-drains in our pockets. There can be several reasons why such money drains get built. But one prominent reason is ‘bad money habits’. Money that we spend are 80% on good and reasonable things. But balance 20% are on non-necessary things. In this article we will talk about these 20% portion and why we must stop spending money on these trivial things.
We-only create money drains for self. We must also first acknowledge that majority of us inherently do want to waste money. But either due to ignorance or due to bad-habits we end up wasting nearly 20% of our hard earned money. We can reduce this waste only if we realize our wrong doings. In this article we will focus on potential wrong-done areas.
Some bad habits originates from our childhood. There are adults whom I see spending money needlessly on cold drinks and chocolates. These habits get picked-up early in their childhood. There are people who picked smoking and drinking (alcohol) in their colleges days. Such people find it a social necessity to maintain the habit of smoking and drinking. They think, it helps them to socialize.
But as we will see in this article, majority of our habits (bad) are only misnomers. We keep repeating the mistakes because we do not realize that what we are doing are wrong. Our money habits are not our strong points. We grow up in a society where money-habits are not taught to children in school. Its not considered apt for children to master money so early.
How to stop spending money on unnecessary things
* First step is realize that we are not spending wisely always.
* Prevent our kids to play excessive video games in malls
* Prevent ourselves from drinking costly coffee and tea as pass time
* Watching movie in multiplexes is costly and must be reduced
* Prevent self from purchasing tempting items which we do not need
* Control spending on grocery. We often overspend heavily here.
* Prevent yourself from dinning our for more than once each month
* Read online newspaper, stop buying paper news
* Do not buy new car for sake of it
* Prevent banks from charging unnecessary fees
* Try avoiding purchase of branded products
* Do allow shopkeepers to sell your add-on’s to your existing purchases
Stop spending money in video game parlours
Adults may not be as attracted to video games but young people are. Kids and young adults can invariably get addicted to video games. Inside shopping malls, the games installed charge very low amounts for each round of play. Though one time cost is less, but addiction makes it a costly affair in long term. The urge to play the game over and over again is too intense among young bloods. I have seen kids spending hours in shopping malls just to play these games. If this habit continues for weeks in continuation it starts to hurt the pocket. One must stop spending money unnecessarily on such games. The cap should be 0.5% of ones take home salary. Internet these days provides all types of games online for free. Young people can use this free avenue for keeping them engaged temporarily.
Stop spending money in Café Coffee Day
How many times we indulge with friends in having that smoking hot cup of coffee in CCD? It’s tempting and perhaps a favourite time pass for all ages. It is true that CCD’s have changed the way coffee was perceived in India ten years back. Now sitting in CCD and having that lathered coffee has become a status symbol. But how must that cup of coffee cost us? A normal cup of coffee with milk can cost close to Rs 100. In Indian its not cheap. A 25gm Jar of Nescafe can be purchased for Rs 65. This can easily make 8 cups of steaming hot coffee. Per cup cost of coffee is less than Rs 12 (milk, sugar etc). Compare Rs 12 with Rs 100 and you will understand why I am asking my readers to stop frequent spending of money in CCD. Here I have not added the cost of the munchies which are also sold in CCD. People often get tempted to add a food item with coffee.
Stop spending money to watch Movies in Malls
On an average, a movie ticket in shopping malls can cost Rs 200. If one watches one movie a week, the amount becomes Rs 800 per month. When one goes to movie cost of popcorn and any aerated drinks compulsorily gets added to the cost (Rs 250 per week). Adding it all up, the cost of watching a movie will be Rs 1,800 / month. If one can limit movie-watching to one per month, savings close to Rs 1,200 per month is possible. But how to watch movies for entertainment? I will suggest my readers to take subscription like Tata Sky, Airtel DTH, Netflix etc. Here one can watch all types of movies and programs at cost of less than Rs 500 per month. Even you add cost of home-snacks etc, per month cost will not be more than Rs 700. I have personally used this trick it really works. I am also follow Hotstar App on my smart phone. The best part is, Hotstar is completely free of cost.
Stop spending money on Chocolates while waiting in queue
I have observed this new trend since last 5-6 years. All retail shop invariably keeps chocolates, ice-creams, plastic containers, socks, handkerchiefs, soft toys etc in area close to where people stand is queues. Its only psychologically to hand-pick such tempting things while waiting in queue even if we do not need it. People often get bored by standing in long queues. As a result they try to look around and keep fondling nearby things. This time-passing activity eventually leads to extra purchase. People on faster queues do not tend to spend extra. How to one can stop spending money while waiting in queues? We have started buying my groceries and vegetables online. We use BigBasket to order my groceries. Using this App we one can order specific products (using Smart Cart) instead of doing window shopping and spending extra.
Stop spending money in buying extra groceries
Once is 6 months we clean out kitchen. The maximum garbage that is accumulated is from food storage cabinets. The garbage is mainly extra food items that we once purchased and never used. Common food items that stale in our storage cabinets are like Sooji, Maida, Dry-fruits, Some variety of lentils, vegetables stashed inside fridge, frozen foods etc. The list is actually not so big but the wastage can really be avoided. Just by maintaining a right-inventory we can save some money. But to ensure that no overspending takes place, before ordering a 5 minute check of existing stock will do the trick. Generally we blindly go to market and buy groceries. Some people prepares a list and then go to market to buy groceries. But what best if we can order things sitting from comfort of home. Mobile Apps like BigBaskt, Grofets etc can be used to order foods right from ones kitchen. The cross-check of inventory will be precise and ordering can be very quick.
Stop spending money by dining-out too often
There was time when I used to spend nearly 5% of my take home on dining-out alone. This was a sheer waste of money. But the temptation to eat outside food used to overpower my reasoning power. I used to order outside food using apps like food panda. It really makes eating-out too easy. I also used to dine heavily in restaurants like Barbeque Nation, Pizza Hut, Mainland China, Sigree, KFC etc. But after some time it began to feel monotonous. I started liking more home-made daal-chawal. At that moment I realized that because I have consumed so much of outside food, I lost its speciality. Not only I don’t enjoy them anymore but I also managed to deplete my good health. After spending thousands of Rupee in outside food I learn the lesson rather expensively. Eating out once a month is ok, but we must prevent frequent consumption. This way one will also keep-the-charm of outside food and also keep the health in shape.
Stop spending money on annual subscriptions
We used to Gym regularly in my younger days. Total annual expense related to Gym expense was close to Rs 20K. After couple of years I started getting more irregular due to deeper involvement in work. But other family members were still regular. I noticed that my involvement in gym was decreasing every month. There was time when I used to pay 100% fees and was utilizing Gym facilities not more than 20%. That day I decided to give-up my Gym membership. A similar example of annual subscription was with my Auto Magazines. It was more of an emotional attachment for me. But as I got busy in work I started reading lesser. I have also stopped my news paper’s subscription as these days I read news more online for free.
Stop spending money on new cars
Why people buy new cars? There are people who buy new cars to replace their old and dilapidated cars. But such people are only in minority. Majority of Indian middle class buy new cars simply because they are bored with their existing cars. I have seen one friend of mine changing his Honda Civic for new BMW X1 for not very strong reasons. Such people often buy cars on auto loans. This way, such people are always booked in payment of car loans. Long term loans can be a big extra cost for a person. Just for the sake of having a new car one must prevent the impulse of buying new cars. If someone really needs to change the car, looking at second hand buy is not a bad idea.
Stop spending money in unnecessary bank-fees
What irritates me most these days is the ATM cash withdrawal fees. Though the debit is only close to Rs 25 but it still hurts. People who transact more with ATM has to bear this charge. Similarly, some banks also charge fees on frequent online fund transfers. Banks like HDFC debits Rs 15 for fund transfers. There are also convenience charge levied on online payments like for movie tickets etc. According to me these are all costs that we can avoid paying. Planning ATM withdrawals can save this cost. Avoiding to make frequent fund transfers can be avoided. A small funds planning can help avoiding this cost all together. In order to avoid the convenience charge, I reach movie theatres personally and buy tickets off the counter. These small charges often get ignored. But in long run such small savings can become a credible amount.
Stop spending money on branded products
There is a craze to buy branded products. Though the product is similar, branded items will sell more than its not-so-famous rival. It is true that branded products are reliable. But this does not mean that other products are useless. Suggestion is to keep trying new products occasionally. Change your purchase from usual branded ones to lesser known item. Try consuming it for a week. You will be surprised to note that there is very less difference between branded and non-branded products. People are forced to pay a premium price for branded products. Imagine yourself buying a pair of LEVI Jeans and a local make. Though they are two identical Jeans but the brand name of LEVI printed at the back will make it costlier by at least 50%. People fancy spending more money clothes, gadgets, hotels, food items etc.
Stop spending money on add-on products
Recently I bought a smartphone for myself. It took me some time to finalize my gadget. When I was ready to pay, I was prompted by the seller to take an extended warranty plan. There was one year warranty provided with the phone free of cost. This extended warranty was like an add-on facility. The extended warranty was coming at an additional cost of Rs 2,000. Similarly, when my friend bought a LCD TV he was prompted by the seller to take insurance cover for the same. The reasons that seller was providing was, as LCD TV is a costly item, having an insurance cover is a good idea. But we have to ask ourselves that do we need such add-ons.