Housewives are not just homemakers but also the foundation of the future for a family. They instill values, keep families grounded, guide and counsel not just their children but also their spouses and their family members.
Saving money, or keeping track of budgets is one of those many jobs that homemakers and housewives take up on themselves. Here are some great money saving tips that you can use to save more:
Keep Tabs on Household Spending Habits:
When you have a limited budget to work with, the best way to save money is to control the household’s spending habits.
- Minimize shopping trips: The lesser time you have for window-shopping, the least likely it is for you to spend money on things you do not need. Only go out for shopping when there is an actual need for something. Always club a few shopping items together if possible. Minimized shopping trips will also minimize your impulse to buy items that are unnecessary or useless.
- Spring clean the house: When you do, you’ll find tons of items that you can either give away, reuse or sell off items. This will help you to inventory all the things in the house that can be used, and for which you don’t need to go on a shopping trip. If you intend to sell off items you don’t need, it can bring in some handy cash for you as well.
- Make shopping lists: Before you venture out shopping, no matter what you’re buying, make a list of the items you absolutely need. Only buy the items on that list, no matter what your impulse tells you to do.
- Carry restricted cash and payment options when shopping: Make a list of the things you need and carry only the cash that you need to buy these products. Do not carry extra money or credit cards. When you have a definite amount in hand and no other way to pay for extra items, you never over spend.
- Use Cash: When struggling with budgeting, lock away those credit cards somewhere safe. Do not carry them around in your go-to bag/purse. Impulsive shopping only happens when you have payment options available with you.
Take Control of your Utility Bills:
Think of ways of curtailing your utilities expenses. Practice what you preach. Simple tricks such as, controlling your mobile phone bills by opting for smart packages. Controlling your electricity bills through ensuring all sockets are switched off when not being utilized. Turn off all switches when not using appliances plugged in them. Even when others forget you should act like the Power Check Police.
Home Cooked Food:
Cooking food at home and spending lesser money ordering in will always help. Ordering in has been made easier with mobile apps and delivery services available on call. You could avoid these through these simple tricks:
- Not saving your credit card information on your ordering app or web browsers
- If your budget situation is very tough, why don’t you uninstall the app for a while?
- Mixing things up and making new experimental dishes at home that keeps things interesting for your family
Minimizing the extra items you buy in your grocery such as snack and junk foods for the kids. Replace those instant food alternatives with healthy food at home.
Research on your spending:
Here is a list of money saving ideas for you to use in your day-to-say spending:
- Research deals, collect coupons, get loyalty cards and anything that helps you to spend lesser when you go out shopping. Check for supermarkets that carry discount grocery items, buy coupon books, and purchase through debit cards that give you special discounts.
- Every year, brands have month long sales which is a great time for you to save some money on your purchases. Plan your wardrobe needs, home appliances requirements according to these sales.
- Always buy an item in its off-season. Whether it’s your next holiday, warm clothes, your Air conditioner or your Deep Freezer.
- Look up discount stores for your grocery shopping and not buy from expensive supermarkets.
- What are the options for family time that would not require hefty spending? Visit to a park, game night at home, picnics in the nearby garden and planning a weekend fun night at home work great.
Be creative and handy:
- Come up with ways to save money through recycling items so that you don’t have to spend extra on those containers, decorative items etc.
- DIY on YouTube wont cost a dime and can help you turn things around in the easiest, most creative and quickest ways.
For any of the tips shared in this article to work, you need to know how to budget and save money.
- What are your revenue sources? How much does your spouse earn? What is the monthly amount that is available for you to use to pay your expenses?
- Make a list of the expenses you incur every month, from school fees to your utility payments, and everything in between. Then make a list of all the fixed expenses that you have to bear each month. Then there are other expenses that may not be recurring, but can be predicted, for example, once a year insurance payments. Some expenses can be avoided, for example, repairs that may not be necessary.
- If there is no surplus or you are in negative spending. Then you need to reevaluate your spending.
- Either cut down on your variable spending, control your fixed expenses.
- You could always create a small business sitting at home from something you enjoyed doing like baking, sewing, writing or even painting. Extra income ideas you could do sitting at home with minimum investment.
Invest Your Savings to Earn More:
As a housewife, you could be having a couple of hundreds to some thousand rupees in a month. Money loses value over time if its not invested for any returns. There are numerous ways in which you could be making returns on investments, these are:
Gold/silver bars or coins. You could later use these for buying bigger investment/savings schemes or products OR to use them when required by selling them in the market.
When global prices are low that’s the best time to invest in Gold/silver. Sell your gold/silver when the global prices are high for greater gains and to perhaps invest in bigger schemes.
Gold prices have been increasing since the beginning of 2017 in Pakistan from PKR 48,368/tola to PKR 52,582/tola. This is always an easy way of keeping cash on hand if you do not wish to lock your savings for longer periods.
Another way to keep cash on hand is through a savings account in a bank. For instance Standard Chartered offers different savings plans starting from as low as PKR 100 as a account deposit and offering a rate of 3.75% on their Easy Saver accounts. Habib Bank Limited has numerous savings plans starting off with as low as PKR 100 as a bank-opening requirement. Whereas banks like Albaraka and Meezan offer Savings Accounts as per Islamic Banking. You can also check the Savings accounts offered by National Savings, which has a current return of 3.9% per annum and Special Savings Account which has a return of 5.8%.
You could always check with different banks about their minimum savings account maintenance amount and their subsequent percentage of returns on your savings.
If you can afford to not have your cash on hand or you can afford to tie in your investment for a longer period then you could invest in the following:
National savings Certificates or Bonds: It’s a definite investment however with low return and with the lowest risk attached to it. These are the following investment certificates available with their respective returns
|Certificate||Investment Duration||% return||Payments|
|Defense Saving||10 years||7.54%||End of term|
|Special Savings||3 years||6%||Bi-annually|
|Behbood (widows/pensioners)||10 years||9.36%||Monthly paid|
|Regular Income||5 years||6.54%||End of term|
|Short Term Savings Certificate||3, 6, or 12 Months||5.6%||End of term|
In addition to the certificates you can purchase National Savings Bonds, Prize Bonds and premium prize bonds. You have a chance of winning cash prizes for the duration you want to keep them or you could always sell them in the market when you want access to cash.
Equity Markets: Shares or Mutual funds however as a homemaker it may be difficult for you to manage Stock portfolio on your own. These are riskier investments compared to National Savings Schemes.
Mutual Funds investment is easier and can be initiated on minimum amounts. Currently you can invest in conventional mutual funds as well as Islamic Investment mutual funds options. Investing in a mutual fund also gives you additional savings by virtue of tax rebates on your spouse’s income (more on this later).
of mutual funds you could always check out the following resources to help you gain more insight in to mutual funds as an avenue to save/invest http://jamapunji.pk/knowledge-center/key-points-mutual-funds-investors. Furthermore, you can also take a glance at the mutual fund returns being achieved by various funds at http://www.mufap.com.pk/nav_returns_performance.php?tab=01.
Mutual Funds have investment solutions for varying risk levels. Should you have a low appetite for risk you can always start by investing in liquidity funds or income funds. Should you have a higher appetite and a longer horizon you can invest in equity/stock funds. Before you make any investment decision, it is a good idea to have a discussion with an investment advisor at the company you are interested in investing with.