This blog post is mainly inspired by a conversation with my mother on some of my habits. Recalling a popular book titled "Seven habits of highly effective people", I came up with "Seven money habits of AK's". ;p
Habit No. 1:
I never order canned or bottled drinks when dining out.
Fresh food needs on site preparation but I can walk to a nearby supermarket to buy the same canned or bottled drink for a much lower price. Some might say it is convenient that we buy drinks from the eateries but the premium paid for this convenience is way too high. A can of Jia Jia herbal tea costs $0.60 in NTUC Fairprice but could cost $1.50 at a kopitiam! A can of Coke could cost $0.55 in NTUC Fairprice but could cost $4.00 (before taxes) in a restaurant!
Habit No. 2:
I always check my bills.
Huh? Can we really save money this way? You bet. I have lost count of the number of times I have been overcharged by pharmacies, supermarkets and restaurants. Very often, the larger bills are the ones we have to be more careful with as overcharging even a few dollars could be hard to spot. It is because of this habit that I have avoided being overcharged for many years now. Oh, check the receipt just outside the shop, not after getting home!
Habit No. 3
I always compare products on offer between shops.
For the same product, two shops which are side by side could have very different prices. Guardian and Watsons are very often found in close proximity to one another. Many times, I saved quite a bit of money comparing their prices before deciding who to buy from.
Habit No. 4
I never take for granted that buying more is definitely buying cheaper.
Many times, I stopped friends and family from buying bulk packed products as they actually cost more than buying loose! Huh? Of course, they cost more since we are buying more, you might say. No, no, that is not what I mean. I mean we should check to see how much is the per unit price in bulk packed offers. Don't assume that bulk packed products are always cheaper.
Habit No. 5
I always try to get discounts off my bills.
I always get a discount off my bills at Kopitiam and Food Junction. Yes, go get the discount cards if you have not done so. If I should be in an unfamiliar establishment, I would ask the service staff if they had discount agreements with credit card companies.
Habit No. 6
I never pay in cash.
Well, unless that is the only mode of payment acceptable. Often, I see people before me in a queue choosing to pay in cash. Some transactions were rather high in value too. Imagine the number of reward points they could have accumulated if they had used a credit card, if they had one, or the amount of cash they could have received in rebates!
Habit No. 7
I bring my own food to work.
I always bring some food prepared at home to work and I save quite a bit of money this way. Anyway, I enjoy oatmeal regularly and I don't think they sell oatmeal in the coffee shops or food courts.
If we work to increase our income and reduce our expenses, our financial health will improve over time. As the saying goes, it is easier to spend money than to make money. So, if we just put in a little effort, we could be saving some money as we spend money. Sounds good, doesn't it?
When I was in primary school, the POSB bank squirrel came to us and taught us how by saving just a little every time, we could have a meaningful sum of money stashed away over time. :)
1. Save money with low prices and free shipping globally.
2. Money management: Needs and wants.
3. Queue for $1 parking fee redemption.
4. A common piece of advice on saving.
5. Inflation hits fried bee hoon.