If you’re a 20-something-just-started-earning millennial living the metro life in India, chances are you go broke at the end of each month. We’re not even going to talk about those of you who have to pay house rent, because that’s a whole other ball game. You’ve probably received the usual money saving advice that goes something like: keep a monthly budget, maintain an expense diary, keep aside a certain amount to put in a fixed deposit, and so on. All of these are great grown-up tips but there’s a whole other side to your lifestyle that swallows up money without you even realising it.
Recently an Australian millionaire told millennials that they’d get richer by just cutting back on avocado! Weird as it might sound, he does have a point. It’s about the lifestyle you choose to adopt. All those fancy lattes, online shopping and Uber rides make you spend more than you imagine. If you give up on these 10 things or even reduce usage, you’d be saving a whole lot of money — a little at a time.
1. Ditch the cabs
If you take a closer look at your bank statement, you might be surprised at just how much you spend on travel alone! Don’t spoil yourself. Cabs can become a vicious habit that burns holes through your pocket. Try riding the bus instead. Or if you REALLY have to take a cab, at least ensure its a share-cab like an UberPool.
2. Cut back on coffees and takeout
Coffee is another vicious habit that takes long to break. Make yourself a cup at home, and abstain from getting that overpriced Starbucks. A jar of coffee that you use at home lasts a month at least, but costs the same as a Grande at Starbucks! Do the math, and you’ll see how much you can save. Same goes for when you order takeout. Also, cooking at home is the healthier option.
3. You can be fit without a gym too
You probably won’t need the gym if you adhere to the above tip (cutting out Starbucks and takeout). Besides, gym memberships are really exciting and motivating in the beginning, but the excitement starts to fizzle out by the second week, and your subscription money goes to waste. Opt for at-home exercises (there’s a wealth of fitness videos on YouTube), outdoor runs, or even invest in a set of dumbbells that will last the rest of your life!
4. Avoid calling a dhobi when you have a washing machine
If you have a washing machine and a clothes iron at home, you don’t really need to call a dhobi. Nobody in Western countries relies on a dhobi! Don’t be lazy now; fix a day of the week for laundry so you don’t have to think about it the rest of the week. Once you start doing it yourself, you’ll see it’s pretty easy (and you’ll start saving up, month on month).
5. Give Indian branded groceries a chance
There are several Indian brands that are just as good as their imported counterparts, you just have to give it a shot. Remember this especially when you go grocery shopping. Indian coffee, Indian cheese, Indian chocolate! They’re all just as good, at a better price.
6. Skip unreasonable data and internet packages
Get an unlimited internet plan, so that you’re not worried about going overboard while Netflix-ing. Streaming might take a few minutes longer, but it’s worth the save. Same goes for your phone plan – get a family pack to make it economical.
7. Pre-drinks > fancy booze
We’re obviously not suggesting you give up drinking on the weekend, because let’s face it – we live for the weekends. But you can always buy alcohol and tank up at home before getting out, so you don’t have to spend thousands for the slightest buzz.
8. Movie theatre food can be a rip off
There are some theatres where a tub of popcorn costs more than the cost of the ticket! Where’s the point in that? Don’t go to the movies on an empty stomach. If you’re really working towards saving, grab a snack at home and skip that overpriced popcorn. Better still, plan a movie night at home.
9. Unsubscribe to magazines and newspapers
Literally everything has a digital form. Right from the Times of India, to Vogue and yours truly, Indibeat. You can do without the print subscriptions and we promise you won’t miss it. Brownie points for saving paper!
10. Do you really use the landline anymore?
The last time my landline rang, everyone at home was shocked and confused. I’m sure mine isn’t the only home that doesn’t see the point for a landline anymore. We’re all too dependent on our mobile phones anyway. Your landline is dispensable, but the money you spend on it is not.
Say goodbye to these money guzzlers, at least for a month, and see if it works for you. Let us know how much you managed to save!
Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar