People think that in order to save money, they need to make sacrifices to their lifestyle. However, many are reluctant to do so, with online shopping and so many malls being a huge temptation to spend more!
This is why many believe that saving money is hard, even with careful planning and budgeting. Some also resort to novel methods. For example, I have friends who use mobile apps to track expenses diligently. Perhaps they offer a constant reminder to save money.
While these are great, there are also secret techniques that, while some may know of, are not openly shared, in fear of being branded as cheapskates. But hey, there is no shame to saving money! Hence, I will now reveal five NINJA moves that will silently and stealthily give a little boost to your piggy bank!
1) Keep the Change
While you are travelling, eating or shopping, you will be left with a lot of change at the end of the day. You can save these in a piggy bank whenever you return home. Yes the old-fashioned way! This way, at the end of the month or year, you may even have enough to pay some of your important bills.
I’m sure many readers have friends who hate keeping coins and thus tell you to keep the change. By all means keep it, put it in the piggy bank, and don’t forget to say thank you.
2) Credit Card Rebates
If you use credit cards, make a switch one that offers cash rebates. Here you will be able to get cashback each time you use your card for your purchases. You can use the credit card to pay for your shopping, groceries, travel or even gas. Once the cash back has accumulated, you can redeem your cash reward.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is to pay your credit card bills on time. The interest charged on credit card balances is usually at insane levels (20% or higher). Hence, pay early or on time so that you will not have to pay interest on your purchases. (And also to make that annual call to waive off those sneaky credit card fees)
Some credit cards are even tied in to the bank’s savings account and allow you to earn extra interest! These arrangements are becoming increasingly popular so be sure to check out the deals offered by the local banks (DBS, OCBC and UOB).
3) Shop Online
If you love to shop or have the irresistible urge to buy something, you can save money by shopping online. Online stores are likely to the same products at discounts which may not be possible in malls. These stores such as blogshops or established internet retailers are able to charge lower prices as they are likely to have lower overhead costs (rental, staff, etc).
Online stores tend to have loyalty coupons, cash back and outright discounts on many of your purchases thus helping you save even more.
4) Restaurant Dutch Hack
This is actually a combination of Credit Card Rebates and Keep The Change. If you love to explore new eateries with friends, you can both save money AND still being able to eat out.
When the time comes to foot the bill, offer to pay by card to start the move with Credit Card Rebate (even better with credit card specific discounts offered by the restaurant). Then unleash Keep The Change when your friends repay you cash in rounded sums! Double savings!
Just keep in mind that the risk of this technique is that friend who somehow always didn’t have enough cash and offers to pay another day…
5) Easy on the Bonus
Many people are tempted to shop for expensive items (such as branded goods or large consumer items) after a pay raise or receiving a bonus. In Behavioural Finance theory this can be attributed to the Mental Accounting bias, where people treat extra inflows of cash differently from their usual stable inflow of cash.
No one is forcing you to upgrade your lifestyle every time you get a pay raise. No one is forcing you to give treats to everyone whenever you get a bonus. It might be wiser to save and invest this money instead.
Last but not least, the greatest money hack of all would be to invest those savings wisely and generate streams of income for yourself!