Hack 1: Switch away from car dealer service stations
Hack 2: Use BigBasket/Amazon Pantry for groceries
Hack 3: Leverage specialized online platforms for targeted shopping
Hack 4: Go for street food
Hack 5: Try Amazon Kindle
Wondering how to save money? It’s simple; cut down on your expenses.
However, when it comes to cutting down on your expenses, don’t focus on the pennies.After all, no one gets rich by saving pennies.
Instead, find out ways to cut your bigger expenses. Reason: you save decent money and it justifies the effort spent.Not just that, the money that is saved can sponsor your other expenses.
#1. Move Away From Car Dealer Service Stations
If you have a car which is out of warranty period (typically happens after 2 years of the first purchase date), this hack is for you.
What to do?
Maintaining a car is not a cheap affair. Majority of the cars in india need a partial and a full maintenance service after 10,000 kms and 20,000 kms of mileage respectively.
Put in some effort and find a good local mechanic who can do these regular maintenance activities on your car (like replacing the engine oil, brake oil, coolant, air filter, oil filter, diesel filter etc.).
Especially if you own a Suzuki, Tata or a Hyundai car, you can find a good mechanic as well as genuine spares very easily in the market.
As a matter of fact, spares are available at almost 50% to 75% of the MRP amount in open market (whereas you are charged at MRP for spares at the car dealer).
Plus, you save the costly labor charges (plus 18% GST) which you have to otherwise pay when you go to a car dealer for servicing.
But the biggest benefit is that everything happens in front of your eyes.
In my case, I own a 6 year old Maruti Ritz Diesel which needs an engine oil replacement at every 10,000 kms and a full fledged service at every 20,000 kms.
My bill for 20,000 kms service adds to around INR. 10,000 if I go to the Suzuki Car Dealer’s service station. My local mechanic does the same service for INR. 500, and the consumables cost me just INR 5000. The best part, the mechanic provide the service at my doorstep, thus saving me a lot of time.
In a typical year, I drive around 20,000 kms, which means I save on the service costs twice an year (around 7k – 8k per year).
And I have been doing this for last 3 years now.
#2. Make Big Basket do Groceries for You
Applicable if you live in a metro or in a tier 2 city that is served by Big Basket
What to do?
Groceries is one thing which you are going to consume for the rest of your life.
We all tend to rely on our local vegetable seller or the near by kirana store.
These guys serve a limited catchment area and it doesn’t make economic sense for them to offer you deals.
But online players like Big Basket who do bulk purchase and have practically the whole of city as their target population, can offer some very good discounts on your daily needs.
I have been availing Big Basket services for some 6 months now.
On an average, I consume fruits and vegetable worth INR 1000 per week, and I tend to save anywhere between INR. 150 to 250 per order when compared to the local vegetable shop. Then comes the pulses and staples which amount to another INR. 2000 to INR. 3000 per month.
With Big Basket, I easily save anywhere between INR. 600 to 1000 per month. That translates to an average of 10k per year.
However, it’s not just about money. It’s the time and effort that I save which is more important to me.
Big Basket easily saves me anywhere from 6 to 8 hours per month. That’s 2 blog posts worth of effort for me.
#3. Find Online Deals for Baby Products & Diapers
If you have an infant or a toddler, this hack makes lot of sense for you.
What to do?
Baby products like diapers, body wipes, oils etc. are essential yet costly items, especially if you buy them from the local shop.
However, the interesting thing is that they are high margin products. That means you will always find an online player (like FirstCry) offering great deals and discounts on such items.
As an example, a bag of 72 diapers that costs INR. 999 at the local chemist shop is available anywhere between 700 to 800 with FirstCry. Similarly, a packet of wipes with an MRP of 120 is available anywhere between 50 to 80 rupees on the same platform.
Remember, these are not one time purchases but recurring expenses, at least for first few years of your child.
Diapers and wipes are just the 2 essential things. Over the period of time, you will need milk bottles, teethers, clothes etc. for your baby.
I have already ordered products worth 10k for my 3 months old child, and saved around 3k on MRP. I anticipate my yearly savings to be around 10k, given the rate at which we are consuming.
#4. Try street food
Applicable if you frequently eat out.
What to do?
Are you someone like me who eats out once every week (I fall in this category).
Do you always fine dine?
If yes, make an attempt to try out street food options, at least for one outing per month.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to compromise on quality.
In every city, there are relatively clean and hygienic street food options that also offer lot of variety.
#5. Shift to Amazon Kindle
Applicable if you are a voracious reader like me
What to do?
If you are in a habit of reading physical books, it’s probably time to try out Kindle.
No doubt you need to make a one time investment in Kindle, you benefit in two ways :
- e-books on Kindle are priced cheaper than the paperbacks/hard bounds (sometimes as low as 40% of MRP) and;
- you don’t need the physical space/racks/almira to store your books. That means there is less clutter.
And then, there are lot of awesome books (sometimes from celebrated authors as well) that you get free on Kindle (like this one on Warren Buffett). You can also consider buying a Kindle Unlimited membership wherein you can read as many books as you like on your device, at no extra cost.
I own a Kindle e-reader and I am super satisfied with the device.
All my leisure and light reading happens entirely on Kindle, and I order physical books only for complex topics where I need to consume lot of stuff (like the books on investment strategies).
Using these 5 hacks, I easily save anywhere between INR 45k to 50K per year. That’s more than enough to fund my other small expenses.
But more important to me is the time that I save. This time is channelized towards a hobby or some income generating work.
While these are some of my hacks, I won’t claim these to be the only ones.
I would love to know your experiences when it comes to saving on big expenses. If you have one, don’t forget to writing it down in the comments below.
And remember, it’s not that you have to cut down on all your expenses.
Just focus on the bigger ones and your savings from these have the potential to fund some of your smaller expenses.