Tips Series: 5 desperate ways to save money

By • Feb 25th, 2011 • Category: Family

Check out our latest article on Save Money Tips

5 brilliant little ways to save money
Little overlooked tips and tricks to help you save money (especially for students).

Eyeing the new iPhone 4G that rocked the tech market recently? Ever wished you can afford to have your dream car? Much time and effort would be needed, but it is definitely not impossible. It is just a question of time.

As the saying goes “money does not grow on trees”, money indeed is hard to come by. The recent economic down turn somewhat made a scar in many people’s wallet. Fortunately, the scar is starting to heal as things are starting to get bullish again. (Bull loves this)

Everybody knows that lucre is important and precious, and some people have money top their most-important-things-in-my-life list. Earning money is difficult, duh. On the other hand, money spending is like a walk in the park, like water flowing from a forgotten tap. Easy stuff it is, almost requiring null effort.

So, to survive in this modern age, we need a new kind of survival kit. We have to equip ourselves with financial knowledge. Now this is something not taught in schools. A great way to start off is to know a little about the rat race. You’ll be surprised; many people don’t even know that they’re in the race, what more coming out of it. A great book that is a must read for everyone is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T.Kiyosaki.

For those who are not book readers or just plain lazy (like I am), just follow these 5 tips below to save money.

Tip 1 – Say adieu to credit cards

Yeah, no kidding. Credit cards are a convenient way to shop, but don’t forget that it’s a convenient way to spend impulsively too. So, cut all of your credit cards and bid good riddance to them, and try to enjoy the process. Now without a credit card, you have to buy things with cold hard cash, which is a good way to track and control your money spending habits. Still can’t get your mind off credit cards? Don’t worry, there’s something even better than credit cards – debit cards.

Debit cards have the same look, same function, and same convenience as credit cards, minus the interests. Debit cards are more appropriate because it deducts money directly from your bank account, indirectly causing you not to overspend and think thrice before spending money your hard earned money.

Tip 2 – Go high tech and reduce papers

Papers are getting outdated. Nowadays, the advent of modern technology enables almost everything to be in a soft-copy form. Whether you’re filling up forms, writing a letter, or having a diary, paper is now optional rather than necessary, though there are some exceptions. Thinking of using Post-It notes? Just set reminders in your phone or your computer. Thinking of writing a diary? Just start a free blog. So, why spend money on papers if you can do almost everything using the PC or laptop. Yes of course, some things like official documents are still more apt in paper form but for other things, refusing the of papers is a good way to save money. Also, you can consider yourself doing a favor for the environment by saying no to papers.

Tip 3 – Food for thought – Reduce meat consumption

This may sound a little unorthodox, but believe me, this is a smart way to make your piggy bank grow in size. Meats are expensive compared to vegetables, besides being quite toxic too. The best thing to do is to become a vegetarian. Say no to meat. But this is a step most of us would find difficult, even for me, so reducing meat consumption is enough for a start to better living and saving. A vegetarian diet is so much cheaper than meat-based diet. Consider this, my mom can get vegetarian food for less than RM 20 to feed 2 people lunch and 4 people dinner. So in the long run, eating less meat would lead to big savings. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of controlling gluttony. Weigh between gluttony and money, and see for yourself which one would give a better return. Just so you know, there are also evidences to show that consumption of meat is also bad for the environment and has an impact in global hunger. It is a well known fact that cows contribute greatly to the increasing percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere. As for increasing global hunger, imagine this, to feed a cow, many acres of grass is consumed. Wouldn’t it be better if these acres of land are used to grow crops to feed people in hunger? Therefore, you can play a small part by eating less meat (or going vegan altogether) to save money, save planet Earth, and save hungry children across the globe.

Tip 4 – Get involved in social activities

If you’re living a college or university life, be alert for any club or upcoming social activities. Likewise, if you company is inviting you for a luncheon, don’t reject. Join them all if you can! This is another ingenious way to save money, albeit a twisted one. Most college or university activities uses funds from the administrative body. Thus it is common that these gatherings come with free food and drinks, or cheaper beverages to say the least. So, get active, be part of whatever activities your clubs are organizing. Make new friends, enrich your social circle, and save some money along the way.

Tip 5 – Grow your own plants

Decorate your abode with plants, but not just any plants, edible greens. If you have a garden or a land, try using it to grow vegetables. Otherwise, you could always get pots of soil and start planting away. Instead of getting an admirable plant like the bonsai, which bears neither fruits nor edibles, get some plants that are edible. It would be a better investment. Small pots of vegetables are sufficient. Like pets, just make sure you take care of their well being so that they’ll grow. One of the easiest vegetables to grow is “kangkung”. Other vegetables like herbs and chili can be grown too. Imagine, the next time you’re cooking, say, Maggi mee, you could just pluck of some leaves of the “kangkung” and throw them in the pot. Easy stuff. Remember to wash them beforehand. No need to buy vegetables no more. The only draw back: it takes some time for the vegetables to grow back again after you used them. The solution: use them sparingly.


The author is a young undergraduate living in Malaysia. He writes about some serious stuff as well as ridiculous stuff. Only the serious stuff made it here, unfortunate.y. He has a blog from which this article came from. Check out his blog at

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Must haves in your pantry and/or cabinet to whip up many meals for very little and save yourself some time when preparing meals. htto://

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