8 Creative Ways for Malaysians to Save Money in 2019
At a time where the prices of things continue to grow at a faster rate than local income levels, saving certainly seems like a very daunting – if not almost impossible – thing to do for many Malaysians.
After all, you might not be able to afford that sinful cup of velvety ice-cream next week, so you might as well enjoy it today while you still can.
The act of saving money, however, does not necessarily have to be a tedious affair that requires a lot of sacrifices. There are actually a whole host of creative ways for one to easily and quickly save money on a daily basis, and these methods or rules can lead to huge pools of savings in the long run.
In this article, we zoom in on eight such rules – so read away to discover a trick or two that may just help you have that ice-cream and still save some money in the process!
1. The RM1-A-Week Rule
A good way to get your savings plan started is to save amounts of money that increase by just RM1 each week. For instance, you begin today by saving RM1 this week, followed by RM2 next week and RM3 the week after, for a specified period of time that best suits your lifestyle and financial obligations.
If you do this for a total of 45 weeks, beginning with just RM1 in the first week, you would save a total of RM1,035 by the end of the period. This sum can then be stored as part of your private emergency funds or used for investments.
2. The ‘Bungkus’ Rule
When shopping, try bringing along your own bags, especially canvas totes which are easy to fold and carry around. This would help you avoid the cost of plastic bags, which can range from RM0.20 to RM0.50 per bag. Canvas bags are much stronger than plastic bags as well, so you won’t have to worry about them tearing while you transport your heavy groceries to your car.
You can also bring your own tupperwares or containers along the next time you pop by an eatery to take-away some food. Some stores offer great discounts to those who do this, like Starbucks, which gives customers who bring their own tumblers a sizeable discount of RM2 per beverage!
3. The Ringgit Of Choice Rule
This method is simple enough: pick any Ringgit note – preferably one of a smaller size or denomination that you use commonly – and save it everytime you receive it.
For illustration, if you choose to save all the RM5 notes you chance upon, you would end up building quite a large savings pool for yourself, especially since we encounter RM5 notes very regularly. It will also become a habit of sorts once practiced frequently, thus creating a fuss-free opportunity for your to germinate your savings.
Just remember to be disciplined and avoid spending the chosen note unless it is absolutely necessary to do so!
4. The Food Sharing Rule
It is often said that sharing is caring, and through this rule, sharing can mean saving as well.
When dining in groups, save money by ordering two smaller-sized dishes to be shared instead of having one massive meal to yourself. You can also just share one sizeable dish amongst two people instead of ordering one each, and quell any remaining cries of hunger by drinking more water. You might not know this, but the body sometimes interprets thirstiness as hunger – so you might be spending on food that you actually don’t need!
5. The ‘Being Cheap’ Rule
This may not sound like the most glamorous way to save money, but it certainly gets the job done. All you have to do is stay vigilant and alert, so that you can spot bargains at all times and in all places. Don’t hesitate to use discount apps like Fave or online shopping sites for used-goods like Mudah.my either, as these normally offer substantial discounts for items and services that we use regularly in our daily lives.
Additionally, you can also visit the section for expiring goods in grocery stores like Cold Storage, as the discounted items on sale there need not necessarily be consumed immediately and can sometimes even last for a few months!
6. The Get-Off-The-Phone Rule
Instead of staying constantly attached to your phone, why not keep it away and avoid using up all your data, particularly if there is no pressing need for you to always stay connected to the internet?
This would help limit the amount of money you spend on mobile data plans, and once you grow accustomed to the minimal usage of your phone, you may be able to save even more money by switching to a prepaid phone plan. You could even gain more time to adopt a new hobby, like reading or knitting!
7. The Vegetable Day Rule
Most of us are probably only too familiar with the fact that meat is very expensive, regardless of whether you’re purchasing it to be cooked at home or if it’s being enjoyed while dining out at a restaurant.
However, many of us forget that we do not necessarily need meat everyday to survive, which means that we also neglect the opportunity to save money by enjoying a day or two of eating just vegetables and fruits every week. Try having plates of only rice and vegetables every Tuesday and Friday at your favourite mixed rice shop and see how much you can save!
You may also be giving your stomach the chance to cleanse and refresh itself by doing this, so that’s extra points for your health too.
8. The Credit Card Rule
There are plenty of credit cards out there that give you numerous perks and benefits, including rebates and discount which – when accumulated – represent potentially large savings in the long run. The Citi Cash Back Credit Card is a good example of this, as it gives you up to 5% cash rebates for your daily purchases.
As such, it is a very good idea to get a credit card for yourself that best suits your lifestyle needs and spending habits, so that you can frequently maximise these rewards and thus help to enhance your financial health and wellbeing.
One rule to rule them all
It should be evident by now, above all else, that saving can truly be done in so many ways with varying difficulties, and that it need not be confined strictly to the practice of saving a fixed amount of money every month.
What is consistent throughout all methods and rules of saving money, however, is that they must be done consistently and with perseverance for the saver to reap his or her desired rewards – just like the way a bear perseveres when raiding a beehive to get its prized honey, despite being stung over and over again.