We live in a world in which money is a daily necessity and Wuhan is no different. It is said that financial freedom comes to the person who actively takes control of their finances. As students, teachers and business owners in Wuhan, we can secure a good financial future by practicing money saving tips. Here are some practical money saving ideas that we can incorporate into our daily lives.
1Pay yourself first
This comes from the book The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. Begin today by saving 10% of your monthly earnings and keeping it in a special savings account. Survive on the other 90% of your salary, stipend or allowance to take care of your monthly needs. This promotes frugal living and you will soon be accustomed to living on 90% without loss or discomfort. We are creatures of habit, so the more we do it the easier it becomes. As this continues, it will be easier to save 10, 15 or even 20% of your earnings.
2Budget the Bills
Sit down and write all of your needed expenses during the month. This can include phone bill, groceries, electricity, internet and entertainment bill. Analyze where a few changes can be made on the list and stick to the plan. If their is additional money remaining, this can go towards an Emergency Fund.
Recommendation- Download Mint app. Mint allows you to visually see where your money goes and allows the user to budget and save money. You input your income and set a budget for different spending categories. Mint then puts these into easy to read pie charts and graphs. There is even the ability to receive personalized emails and messages for spending patterns and alerts for going over budget, making it easier to become the master of your own finances.
3Establish an Emergency Fund
The money within your emergency account should not be touched unless their is an actual emergency. This money is saved after the budget preparations are made. If you lose your job or have to go the hospital, you will have something to fall back on without having to sacrifice that big purchase you have been saving for.
4Track your Spending
Use your mobile phone or a note pad and make a note of every spending and the cost made throughout the day. Review this list at the end of each week to see how the money is actually being spent. If a person does not know his/her income and expense down to the penny then they can never successfully save money.
5Pause for Thought
If you are about to buy something which is not a necessity, and you have a little quiet voice whispering to you, listen to it, and wait a few days before you make the purchase. It gives you time to compare prices elsewhere, or to come up with an alternative, or even to decide that you do not need or want it. Always ask the question, “Why am I buying this item？”
6Get Organised and Prepare your Day
Preparations for the new day should begin the night before. Preparations can include checking the weather forecast and possibly packing an umbrella. We are all aware of the unpredictability of Wuhan’s weather so a daily check of the forecast is helpful in saving money. By preparing the night before the chances of forgetting an umbrella, certain pair of shoes or a jacket are significantly reduced. Their is no need to spend money on items you already have at home.
7Prepare some meals at home
This involves making lots of meals at one go and dividing them into containers. The meals are then refrigerated and used during the course of the week. This saves money for two reasons. The first reason is that you will be using all the ingredients that were purchased so they will be fresh and not wasted. The second reason is that its an easy way to feed ourselves daily. The meals can be heated up in the microwave and taken to work or class. On designated days, eating out at restaurants can be done.
8Drink Water and Eat Breakfast Daily
Eating a healthy breakfast and drinking water will fill you up with energy and reduces the desire for a big expensive lunch. Most times breakfast can be healthy, quick and inexpensive. Drink a glass of water before each meal inorder to stay full and eat less.
9Turn off Lights and Electronics
If you have electric water boiler, that might be the reason why your electricity bills are so high. You can dramatically reduce usage of electricity with digital electronics switcher (you can find it in Walmart or Taobao. Simply plug your water boiler or any other electric device such as heater and set the time according to your day schedule. For example set that water boiler would automatically turn on half an hour before you wake up.
When their is no one in the apartment the lights should be turned off. This saves tons of cash on electricity bill. Appliances and electronics that are not being used need to be plugged out. Appliances still consume energy while they are in standby mode. In addition, LED lights cost more initially but their power requirements are lower and last longer than incandescent bulbs.
10Clean out the closet
Cleaning the clutter in your closet will prevent unnecessary purchases of clothing you already have at home. Search through your closet and find anything and everything you no longer use. Do not get rid of these items, but use them to help others. They are less fortunate people in Wuhan who would gladly accept good used clothing. Observe the people in your environment to determine who is in great need of assistance.
11Know Where to Shop
Do you know where to shop cheap clothing ? In Wuhan they are many places where you can find low cost clothing apparel and accessories to fit your need. The prices allow shoppers to be in style and still have some change in their pocket.
12Become a lifelong Money Saving Student
As money saving students you should read the best books on how to save money, investing, interest and inflation, take courses and subscribe to the most helpful magazines. Many e books are available at a fraction of the cost it would require to buy a hard back copy.
Recommended Books are；-
2. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
3. Your Money or your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
4. Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner
5. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
6. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham