When a person or a family has small income, savings are hard to come by. This does not necessarily mean that there can be no savings.
Saving is a habit, the more you practice it the more strongly it will sink into you. Just keep on inculcating the saving habit till the time it becomes you. Importance of saving grows even more for low income families. Who knows what lies in the future? Necessities can crop up constantly, like a medical emergency, wedding in the family or an urgent travel.
There are several ways a person or a family can plan their spending, to save some portion of their income. All the tips below may not apply to everyone but try to follow whichever of them do, and start taking baby steps today for a secured future especially after retirement.
Only buy what is necessary. Think before paying and imagine what harm it would do if you leave it for some other day. Avoid impulsive buying; money should not be spent because you like a particular item. Spend money on things that are absolutely necessary not because they look nice to you or any of your friends or relatives have it as well.
When a need for a bigger dining table, a bed for a growing child or few extra chairs arise search the Internet or visit websites like OLX for used and second-hand furniture. This also goes for electrical items such as refrigerators, cell phones and kitchen appliances. Many a times a good bargain is available that can help you save money.
Make meticulous budget
General principle is to save 25% of your income, this however may look impossible on a small salary. Therefore, you need to come up with a suitable percentage. List down all expenses that are necessary such as all utility bills, house rent, tuition fees, in case there are school going children, grocery and daily fuel. Nothing should be left out. The difference between income and expenses no matter how meagre it is should be immediately kept aside with full determination that it will remain untouched.
Going for grocery
Make a list of all items you need to run the kitchen. Buying grocery on monthly basis in fact saves money rather than going to market every other day when a certain item finishes. There are stores selling grocery at lower rates like Imtiaz and Chase and several others. While visiting the stores, stick to the list you have prepared, don’t pick items that are not on the list. If you have left out an item, keep it for the next round, unless it’s really important such as flour, cooking oil or anything quite similar in nature.
No bulb or any electrical item should be kept running unless in use. Avoid using toasters and microwaves, to help save electricity. These appliances are usually power gulpers and even if left plugged in, will continue to use up electricity units. Replace regular bulbs and tube lights with energy saver options. Keep geyser thermostat at minimum in cold weathers, otherwise it should be switched off; this can help save precious amounts of gas, and help you save money too.
Carry your lunch
Make a habit of carrying your lunch to your office or workplace. You must realize that a single piece of naan costs Rs.10! Eating out that too on daily basis is very expensive. Home cooked meals not only save you a lot of money but can provide you with health benefits as well. Family dining can be an expensive affair, there must be a complete ban on such superfluous expense for some time if you are keen on saving money, especially for a certain goal.
If your office or workplace is close by, stretch your legs rather than stretching your wallet. If your residence is at a location where public transport is available use it instead of taking your car or motorbike. Car and motorbike can then used when visiting relatives and friends with family.
Confide in your spouse
No plan in life can succeed if wife and husband is not on the same page, neither can your saving plans. Do not hide your income with your spouse, especially if you are a secondary earner in the family and pitch into the family budget as well. Let them know how much you earn and plan your expenses and savings with them.
Do not keep cash at home, buy gold coins or bars and biscuits. Money kept at home is usually spent on one pretext or the other. It also continues to incur an opportunity cost. You can also open up a Profit & Loss account and deposit savings there starting from small amounts. Once a substantial saving is done immediately visit National Savings office also known as “Qaumi Bachat” and purchase Special Savings Certificates”. These certificates give good profit every 6 months. Slowly and gradually you will notice your patience and determination has paid off.
There can be scores of ways how can a person and a family save but it all depends on person to person and family to family. The key is determination and consistency. Days and years go by in blink of an eye. Whatever you save today will come handy in the future. Start saving today!