With the recent change in government and the unexpected resignation of the central bank’s governor, the economic situation is quite uncertain at the moment in Malaysia. Things are only expected to get worse with living costs on the rise as ever.
In such difficult times, it only makes sense that you cut down on all luxuries and save wherever you can so that you’re not in trouble later on. But what if there’s a way for you to live life to the fullest while still being able to save? Read on to see how you can save money by just spending smartly.
Being the Frugal A.K.A Smart
If you sit and take note of how everyone around you spends, you’ll see two distinct groups. While one spends with the belief that he/she should live life like there’s no tomorrow, another always saves for a better tomorrow, most often at the cost of today.
There’s no big secret to living life to the fullest while still being able to save for tomorrow. A little frugality and smartness can go a long way. For starters, organise your monthly expenses. Without keeping track of what you spend on, you’ll never be able to save.
Start off by evaluating your current financial situation. If you’re in some form of debt—credit card or loans—consider your monthly commitments and see how much you’ll need to set aside to repay what you owe as soon as possible.
Try and cut down on things you can do without – that rarely used gym membership, takeout food every day, or on-demand video subscription, among others. Put the money to good use by making a low-risk investment like fixed deposits.
Next, understand how a credit card really works. Most of you may not want anything to do with a credit card. But if used right, these cards can save you quite a bit of money on monthly payments, such as utility bills, insurance premiums, and groceries.
If you know what you spend your money on mostly and your lifestyle habits, you could even apply for a card whose benefits are in line with your expectations. From cash rebates and travel perks to dining benefits and exclusive rewards, there’s plenty to take advantage of with the right credit card.
Another great way to increase your savings is to find additional sources of income. For instance, if you’re good at playing the guitar, try and make money by giving music lessons. In addition, there are plenty of freelance projects you could take up online to earn extra cash.
Now, use this additional income wisely. The extra money you’ve earned doesn’t have to be spent right away. You could put such surplus cash away for future use in case of emergencies. Saving at least half of your annual income can prove to be highly useful in times of need.
Lastly, think about short-term retirement no matter how old you really are. If you were to retire in five years, what would you need to do to save money quickly? A short-term plan and a specific timeframe to work with can do wonders for your saving habits.
Try and think of an endgame that’s both exciting and challenging to achieve. An exotic vacation, a new home, or even a new car can spur you into saving as much as possible. To sum things up, finding the right balance between being frugal and spending on whatever you need is crucial to saving up.
If you’re still struggling to manage your finances or need advice to find the right balance between spending and saving, take the help of a qualified financial advisor. You could also help yourself by doing a little online research to make a more informed decision.