Money Saving Tips That Add-up!

In most parts of the world, we are faced with rising prices, increased expenses and reduced disposable income, the question is often asked, "How can I save money at this time?" You are growing tired of people telling you to save some money when you have no money left to save! Saving for the future is a commitment that you should make regardless of your age, income level or status in life. It is just a good habit to cultivate which can lead to financial independence in the later years or just to take you out of a spot in the case of an emergency. Here are some tips on how to save a few dollars, here and there, that can add up to real money at a later date:

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  1. Go Shopping with your List. Decide on needed items and plan how much you can spend on them before going shopping. Buy only the items on the list. Without a list you may end up buying things that you don't need or did not budget for.
  2. Clip Coupons and use them. It's a fact that food takes up most of your monthly pay cheque next to utilities. Some supermarkets now have coupons available, check out their Facebook page and In-store flyers, also look in the Food Section of for product coupons or discounts available from other leading supermarkets. You can save sometimes up to 10 per cent off the purchase price.
  3. Save on Produce.Everyone likes the convenience of shopping at the supermarket but if you're serious about saving money on food, get into the habit of visiting the local market. You'll pay up to 50% less for fruits, vegetables, seasonings and ground provisions. This may vary slightly depending on where you live, but generally the best time to visit the market is on a Thursday morning or Saturday afternoon. Fresh goods usually arrive at the market on Thursdays in preparation for weekend shoppers and if you're lucky you can purchase directly from the farmers themselves although you may have to buy in bulk. On Saturdays late afternoon, vendors are desperate to get rid of unsold items and with a little patience you can bargain the price without sacrificing quality.
  4. Bring lunch to work. This might not be the most chic thing to do especially when everyone else in the office is buying lunch from the newly opened fast food outlet nearby, but taking lunch to work can amount to significant savings. Think of all the items in the refrigerator and pack a creative lunch kit. You could surprise yourself on both the taste and your savings! If you are currently spending an average of $400 per day for lunch you could save up to $96,000 per year (i.e: 5 days per week, 4 weeks per month) by taking lunch to worknow that's a lot of $$$$!!
  5. Buy Items on Sale. Shop around for specials. Check the newspaper daily and carefully compare prices.
  6. Return poor quality or defective items to sellers. Remember to check out the return policy or warranty offered at the store before making the purchase.
  7. Shop around for lower auto and home insurance rates. Sometimes there are great differentials between rates offered by one company versus another. Instead of blind loyalty, compare prices to ensure that you are getting the best deal.
  8. Buy Energy-Saving Devices and save on utility bills. Check out the Jamaica Public Service e-store catalogue and see what's available, again, shop around and compare prices.
  9. Instead of buying a new car every four years, be prepared to keep your car a little longer and after you have paid off for the car loan make an effort to put the amount that you paid for the loan in a savings account.
  10. Compare Petrol Prices. You can save hundreds of dollars per year in comparing prices at different gas stations and using the lower octane gas, subject to the manufacturer's recommendation. Get the most efficient usage of your fuel by keeping your engine tuned and tyres inflated to the proper pressure. And if you use air conditioning, keep the windows wound up once the hot air has been expelled from the car.
  11. Save on Prescriptions Costs. Most drugs have a generic but do you ask for it when you go the pharmacy? Not only are there generic drugs but different brands of generics have different prices. Take the time to apply for theNational Health Fund(NHF) card which pays up to 40% of the cost of medication for a wide range of illnesses including asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. Simply pick up an application form from your doctor, health center, hospital or pharmacy and have your doctor sign it at the next appointment. You will be surprised how much you save at the pharmacy by purchasing generic drugs with an NHF card. Contrary to popular belief, generic drugs are not inferior to brand name prescriptions.
  12. Reduce Your Electric Bill.You might want to try turning off your refrigerator at nights. Depending on usage, you can save up to 10% on your monthly electric bill with this single action. Take note of how effective the freezer works. If it is in good working order, food will stay frozen for up to six hours depending on how often you open the door. Shut down at bedtime when the fridge door remains closed for five to six hours while you sleep. The cooler night air also helps, and if you're worried about leftovers you can always move them to the freezer section during the lock off period. To save even more, unplug the fridge when ironing, and whenever you run the washing machine.
  13. Save any extra money that you earn from second jobs, rebates, bonuses and medical insurance reimbursement.
  14. Make use of discounts that you are entitled to, such as those offered to certain credit union members or credit card holders. Doing this on a regular basis will add up.
  15. Pay your credit card bills on time. Interest rates on credit cards are ridiculously high! Avoid late charges and penalties that can add up over time.
  16. Bank It! If you don't see it you will not spend it. Arrange to have a small amount of your paycheque automatically deposited to your savings account on a monthly basis.
  17. Keep a tally of all your expenditures. You will certainly spend less if you think longand hard on each dollar spent.

You should honestly assess your behaviours to identify the reasons why you can't seem to get ahead. You may be an impulsive buyer or are getting into too much debt or lack the self-discipline in saving money. You can break these habits but remember it will take some time, effort and commitment. There is psychological research done indicating that it takes 21 days to break an old habit and form a new one. So don't expect miracles to happen overnight. Change one habit at a time and work on it until you succeed before moving to the next one. Good money management habits mean getting the most for your money as a matter of course. Look at your money habits today and begin the process of change.

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Posted in Financial Services Post Date 04/24/2020


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