Budgeting is the cornerstone of all savvy financial planning.
I know it’s easier said than done and trust me if it were up to me I’d be a regular at the shops in Gulshan or indulging with friends on coffee and cake.
But as my very sensible parents instilled, let’s be honest molded in me ‘a penny saved is a penny earned.’
Over the years I have come to understand that their sensibility has helped me in the long run and there is no waiting for tomorrow to start saving for a rainy day!
I thought I’d share five things you could incorporate into your daily schedule to make sure you are set for that rainy day.
1. Be a thrifty shopper
This is a tip I hate as I love strolling down the aisles of any supermarkets, invariably finding the most expensive things to indulge in! But let’s be honest do you need that imported brand when the generic brand is just as good?
First things first, always and I mean always make a shopping list before you head out grocery shopping, this eliminates impulsive buys, and I have learned the hard way that it is best to stick to your shopping list religiously at least for the first six months; this will enable you to develop the habit.
Another important tip when grocery shopping is that buying in bulk. Finally always compare unit prices on labels when shopping (for example, price per ounce). You can save thousands of taka a year by purchasing items with the lowest price per unit.
2. Avoid eating out
Eating out is becoming an expensive habit; my advice would be to try to take to work a home packed lunch, it’s a healthier option and will help you save a few taka here and there.
I know cooking every day can be a pain but, if you organize yourself and prep in advance, making home lunches can be easy. What I try to do is limit my social outing, as relaxing as it is to step out for a meal or coffee, try limiting it to four times a month, this way you make every outing special and save up bundles on taxes and tips.
3. Gyms are a waste of money
Every year we keep making those same old New Year resolutions, but nine months in I can count the number of time I have been to the gym on my ten fingers!
Most gyms are highly over priced. It can be a waste of money unless you have personal goals you want to accomplish, my recommendation would be to try working out outdoor, walking or running is a cost-effective way to maintain your health and if you are a gym buff why not start investing in a personal gym at home.
4. Avoid credit cards
Credit cards are the root of all evil, particularly if you are a beginner at it. I’m not saying not to have a credit card if you do have one make sure you pay off the balance each month.
This way you will save hundreds or thousands of taka a year by avoiding credit card interest charges.
My recommendation would be to have one for emergencies and try dealing with cash on a day to day basis, this way you are not tempted to go over budget.
5. Be a homebody and entertain at home
I’ve learned that sometimes you don’t need money to have fun, basically find new ways to have fun.
Having coffee out is one of the most expensive indulgences we face in this day and age, why not experiment brewing different blends of coffee to see which one you prefer or streaming or downloading movies instead of going to the theater.
I know these tips might sound a little farfetched at first but like I said give it six months you’d be surprised how every penny saved will help you in the long run.
So good luck to you on this adventure!