Thursday, March 18, 2010

33 Ways of Boosting Your Savings (Part 2 of 3 Because Once You Pop You Can't Stop)

33 ways to save more money just in time for someone's special 33rd. Here's 12 to 22 on the list:

12. Plan your trips to the grocery. You'll enjoy the benefits of economies of scale in terms of effort and gas usage. Not only that, you also increase your chances of getting a free movie ticket from Citibank.

13. Withdraw money only from your bank’s ATM. It's bad enough that we earn dismal returns on our savings accounts because of terribly low interest rates per annum (often lower than one percent); that we have to pay a fee every time we withdraw from another bank's ATM even when it's part of the same ATM network as our own bank is what breaks the camel's back. To avoid paying 10 pesos every time you withdraw 200 pesos (that's 5% of your money down the drain), just put all of your savings in a bank with the most number of ATMs around the country; I think we all know which bank I'm talking about.

14. Negotiate that your credit card’s annual membership fee be waived. Just ask, and I assure you, your credit card company shall deliver. In my case with Citibank, I was just asked to sign up for their mobile service (which wouldn't cost me any money) in “return” for waiving my annual fee, so who was I to refuse? This will save you at least 1,200 pesos a year.

15. Buy a netbook instead of a regular laptop (and don’t even think of buying a MacBook, with all due respect to Mr. Alyson Yap and all the Mac fans out there). The latest netbook models will cost you anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 pesos, at least 50% of the price of most regular Windows-based laptops and 33% of the price of the cheapest MacBook in the market today. 10-inch netbooks are not only inexpensive, lightweight, and portable, you'll also find that they are more than adequate for most of your day-to-day computing needs. A big, heavy, and clunky regular laptop should be out of the question for first-time laptop buyers, and while a MacBook may a sexy, secure, and powerful machine, its steep learning curve on top of its equally steep price makes it a not-so-attractive alternative to the frugal laptop buyer.

16. Use a prepaid cellphone line. No industry illustrates how intense competition among market players benefit end users better than the local telecommunications industry. The market is rife with unlimited text and call promos, and now you can even get 150 text messages to all networks for only 15 pesos! So if you're an average user, there's no real reason to get an 800-peso per month plan that you'll just be forced consume just to not let it go to waste. With a prepaid cellphone service, you can easily get away with 500 pesos per month and save 3,600 pesos per year.

17. Use open source software. The reputation of Linux as an operating system for the exclusive use of geeks has now been completely eroded, thanks to the growing popularity and steadily increasing user-friendliness of distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Using Linux is the closest you'll ever get to a “free lunch”: you get all the benefits of a virtually virus-free system at zero cost. Plus, there's a host of open source software (like Open Office and GIMP) that can easily take the place of most commercial software (like MS Office and Adobe Photoshop) for both your personal and professional needs.

18. Eat more salads or sandwiches. Eating salads is the most inexpensive and hassle-free way of eating healthily. A bag of lettuce only costs 58 pesos and can last you 3 to 4 meals; add fresh tomato slices, some pineapple bits or cucumber slices, just about any kind of meat or seafood, a splash or two of dressing or a dash of salt and pepper, and you're done. No cooking necessary. Tuna or ham on wheat bread can be similarly healthy and hassle-free, although I prefer my sandwiches toasted. All this healthy, yummy goodness at a fraction of the cost of eating out. And it can even be cheaper than some home-cooked rice and viand combos.

19. Research any major purchase (3,000 pesos and up) before going to the store. Every good decision requires equally good information. When you start earning your own money, you'll realize how important it is to be more discerning in making big-ticket purchases; oftentimes, the best way to do it is to look for (trustworthy) reviews about your alternatives online before even setting foot in a mall. Once you know what brand and model you really want to buy, then visit a few stores to see if any one store sells the item you want at a significantly lower price than all the other stores: it does happen from time to time. Doing research for major purchases will help avoid "impulse buys" that we more often than not regret as soon as our money (or credit card) leaves our hands.

20. Stop your newspaper and magazine subscription and read news online. The global print industry is dying, as what happens to all business models that are becoming obsolete; in the next few years, most printed content will be converted to digital formats or migrated to online venues. Paying 18 pesos per day (or 6,570 pesos per year) for a newspaper subscription and/or 2,500 pesos per year for a magazine subscription just does not make sense when you can (legally) get the same content and information online for free.

21. Junk your gym membership (yes, the one you don’t even use that often). Doing push-ups for strength training and running for cardio won't cost you anything. You can easily download a training program which uses a couple of dumbbells and an exercise ball for free. So why pay for gym membership, which costs anywhere from 12,000 to 24,000 per year, especially when you don't go to the gym regularly anyway.

22. Brew your own coffee. If you're into real coffee (not that sweet, blended ice beverage kind nor the instant 3-in-1 kind), then the best way to enjoy it is by brewing your own using a French press (even Starbucks says so in one of its flyers). A decent coffee press from Bodum will cost you around 800 pesos; ground coffee will cost you around 300 pesos for a 400 gram pack which will last you around two months at one cup a day (you can get even better and cheaper beans from Baguio). That's a bargain compared to a tall serving of brewed coffee or cafe americano which will cost you around 100 pesos at your neighborhood cafe; drinking home-brewed coffee can thus lead to savings of as much as 33,000 pesos per year.

Part 3 in 3 days. I love patterns.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...