Your guide to living on a budget

Except for the rich daddy kids, we have all been there—phases in our lives when the cash flow is a serious pain.

Yes, it can happen to you too, no matter how safe your job might seem at the moment. At a time when recession is again raising its ugly head, it isn't a bad idea to learn how to live on limited means. This is particularly true if you are settled in another city, trying to make ends meet on a meager salary. This doesn’t include self-disrespecting tips like borrowing money from your friends and having conversations via giving missed calls.

Become “Discount-Vigilant”

This might sound like a term that I is just invented, but it does make sense. When money is slow, you need to shed your ego. Hunt for discount schemes for the most basic of supplies to the new shirt you need so badly. There is always some sort of discount being offered. This includes seasonal discounts, season’s ending sales, weekly sales and special schemes. If you need to shop online to make some savings then do it. Try the latest in discount formats. For instance, group buying discounts are steadily increasing and online web stores are offering loyalty-based discounts. You just need a debit or credit card to shop online and save some serious money. Tabloids and dailies are getting increasingly sprinkled with discount coupons and limited-period discount schemes. Just grab them without any shame.

Avoid Packaged Meals

This might sound a bit strange, particularly to guys who need to eat out all the time, but packaged foods are usually expensive. Eating at a humble eatery that cooks and serves foods is almost always cheaper than pre-cooked meals sold in the packaged format. Yes, it does seem more convenient to just heat and eat your meal but remember you are making a dent in your pocket and your health. These foods don’t have the kind of nutrition associated with fresh foods. Something as basic as a roadside Dhaba is a better bet than some fancy, branded, pre-cooked, packaged meal sold at an upmarket store.

Become a Hoarder

Here, you need to be a bit smart. When it comes to essential supplies like rice, sugar, dals, bathroom essentials and tea, try to keep a tab on the market pulse. The inflation trends are very unpredictable. There are short-lived phases when prices tend to become reasonable. Whenever this phase surfaces, try to buy such basic supplies in bulk and save them for future use.

Deem Credit Card as Your Nemesis

There are no two ways about this, you have to let go off your credit card. Those shopping binges will hit you at some point and having a credit card at that moment is equivalent to digging your grave. Replace the CC with a debit card. Here, every bit you spend will make you realize that your bank balance just got a bit lighter. Unlike credit cards, debit cards don’t put forth any late payment clauses or send payment-collection goons after you.

Most Importantly, Applaud & Reward Yourself

Firstly, try to set weekly targets for your savings. At the end of each week, calculate how much you have managed to save. You don’t have to be a certified accountant to do this—an approximation is good enough. Every time, the savings seem like a significant amount to you, pat yourself and award yourself with a small treat. This could be splurging a bit on some imported variety of dark chocolate or grabbing a meal at a resto-bar you have been avoiding lately. (Work Life, MensXP.com)

Also read:

Join us on Pinterest

Featured Blogs

  • From Habal-habal to Boda-Boda - Taxis …
    From Habal-habal to Boda-Boda - Taxis … Traveler - 11 hours ago

    Ever taken a ride on a motorcycle taxi? They're not always the choice of the affluent but solo travelers can enjoy unusual experiences in Nigeria, Thailand, Cambodia and even in Goa More »

  • Vikas@Home: Lawrence Garden Paneer  …
    Vikas@Home: Lawrence Garden Paneer  … Vikas @ Home - 12 hours ago

    This week, Chef Vikas shares memories of being his grandmother's apprentice. Lawrence Garden was the first restaurant they opened. While the original restaurant closed when Chef Vikas moved to the US, some recipes, like this one, will always remain close to his heart. More »