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Check out these smart ways to avoid money drain if you regularly end up with no cash at the end of the month and have no idea where all that money went!
Tina, a public relations executive, earns a decent salary to sustain herself in one of India’s most expensive city – Mumbai. Being single and independent without any family dependencies she manages to take control of her finances which includes her monthly bills, rent and that little bit of extra splurge. She diligently clears her bills, voluntarily contributes to the family account and also pays her premiums, etc in the beginning of every month. However, when the month-ends she ends up borrowing some cash from her parents or siblings. At times her credit bills were huge as she ended up using them due to cash crunch. Where did Tina go wrong in managing her finances? Did she over spend or splurge on too much extravagant items?
When Tina did a thorough analysis she found that most of the time she spent extra on clothes, pub cover charge, restaurant bills, etc. Apart from that she also discovered that her closet had a lot of stuff that she had hardly used or worn. Like Tina we need to sit down and assess our spending patterns. You will surprisingly find out how you have wasted money even when you have been conscious and cautious.
Our beloved Credit Cards are one of those products that come with a lot of pleasure and pain as well. The pleasure is when you end up buying that particular item which you have been yearning for so long. However, you will feel the stab when you finally pay the bill and end up paying the interest rate also. The pain will give you further heartaches when you miss paying the dreadful bill. The interest amount that you pay for every purchase is the extra cash that you have wasted which you could have avoided by not using your debit card or cash.
To avoid such heartaches try to make the payments every month and avoid paying extra interests in the form of late payment fee, etc. Never hesitate to use the reward points collected from your credit cards. The best option is to use them while booking flight tickets. With the implementation of GST there will be surcharges on usage of credit cards, hence gather enough information from the authorized bank and check all the bills that you pay using your credit cards.
Payment of utility bills is another important factor which Tina has ignored or does not pay much attention to. Due to hectic schedules she misses the payment date and ends up paying late payment fee and sometimes arrears also. The electricity, water and telephone boards add an extra arrear charge for late payment and after a point of time disconnection. You need to pay some amount to get back the connection and this adds up to some extra costs.
As Tina stays alone, she has subscribed to a monthly subscription plan from a digital TV operator, even though she only watches a few channels. Being fashion conscious she has also subscribed for a fashion magazine that she pays on a half yearly basis. Tina loves to upgrade her wardrobe with the latest trend displayed in the fashion magazines. Now what will happen to the ones that she had bought but have now become obsolete? Will it finally end in charity or end up as someone’s birthday or anniversary gift.
Behind all these plans are hidden extra surcharges which are not visible to us or maybe we do not pay much attention to. The best way to save some cash is by opting out for a few channels only if you are not a television addict. Movie lovers can simply download the movies online and enjoy them with family and friends. Buying magazine over the counter makes more sense than subscriptions as then you do not add up to the junk list. While recharging your monthly subscriptions make use of any coupon or avail coupons which most brands make use of.
Recently the government has launched a new rules as per which the portion sizes of food served in restaurants will be reduced. The idea behind this concept is to minimize wastage of food. One of the most common forms of money wastage is the amount that we invest in food.
Take the case of Tina, who keeps her refrigerator fully stocked as she does not have time to shop every other day. Eventually she ends up throwing a lot of food stuffs down the drain due to expiry dates.
Always check the expiry or manufacturing date while buying food products especially frozen food items and dairy items. Check the available food stock in the cold storage and other storage boxes before dragging the super market trolley. A recent survey conducted by the National Resources Defense Council of the United States, has calculated that nearly $165 billion of food is thrown as garbage on an annual basis. Imagine the amount of food that is wasted in our country of billions. Apart from that throwing garbage dumps that are of toxic nature also harms the environment, hence next time think before you refill your supplies. Most of us who stay independently either check out the nearest restaurant or order food at home. A visit to a restaurant has become an expensive affair with all the various types of taxes that appear in your bill.
The biggest temptation of all that women cannot control. The end of season sale is like the most happening periods of their life for most shopaholics. That shopping ‘itch’ especially when we see the word ‘SALE’. Most of the time we step out with the motive of ‘Window Shopping’, a concept where we will only see and watch that lovely dress, bag, maybe shoes and above all ‘diamonds’; they are supposed to be our best friends after all. But after the first round window shopping is no more what it sounds like. We end up picking items just because we like it and not because we need it. For shopaholics ‘sale’ is the wow time. But for fashion conscious people like Tina, the ‘New Collection’ is what they find appealing.
Being independent, most women like to socialize with people of the same age group. High earners usually prefer to visit a pub or an expensive club. Most of the malls, hotels, pubs, clubs or even theaters charge parking fees that are usually based on an hourly rate. An occasional visit once a month will not be heavy on your pocket. You can save all those extra charges and fees etc by inviting friends over or meet at some one’s place. Take turns and arrange get together parties that are fun and engaging
Tina prefers to hire cabs whenever she goes out with her friends. Most of the time she opts for a big car as some of her friends stay in the same route. However, as she gets the last drop so she ends up paying most of the time.
While hiring cabs, ask about the night charges or peak hour charges, and book accordingly. Use coupons that you may have received from some shopping or even the cab service providers. Hire cabs as per your needs – like if you are the only one travelling then avail a mini cooper instead of a big cab. If travelling with friends then split the bill accordingly. Even when you are travelling abroad keep a list of the cab service providers and plan accordingly.
Now at the click of a mouse we can order things from anywhere. Yes, it does save your travel time, fuel and stress. But unknowingly we tend to order a lot of stuff that we simply ordered because it looked nice and not because you need it. Some wait for midnight sale or festive sale even for online shopping, which to an extent is not a bad idea but for shopaholics they can go really crazy.
Lastly, independent women should genuinely take control of their expenses so that they can set an example for others. Self control is something that will help you to focus on cutting down on a lot of extra expenses. Let your family also know of how one can save a few bucks by spending wisely.