As a result of that constant experimentation, I’ve kind of figured out over the years:
- things I’m not willing to skimp on,
- things that are not worth my time, and
- things I don’t enjoy doing just for the sake of saving a few cents or ringgit
That last part is somewhat important. Unless you’re still, you know, saving up your first RM1000 or something, or urgently trying to pay off your high-interest credit card or personal loan debt, then I don’t think it’s worth being… I dunno… miserable in being too obsessed in saving money. You were not born just to pay bills and die.
Having said that, the only way to figure out whether you’ll like something or not is to try it first, give it a fair chance. Therefore, here is my… ‘Things I Tried to Do to Save Money, but Gave Up’ List
#1 – Grow vegetables
All my attempts so far have died on me. Also, I understand that small-scale farming isn’t actually cheap or money-saving, if you factor in all the initial capital (seeds, pots, soil, etc) plus labour cost.
However, I’m only human. Once in a while, after seeing other people’s plant babies on Instagram, I feel the motivation to try again.
#2 – ‘No poo’
That refers to no shampoo, in case you thought of something else.
I should have known. This was something started or at least popularised by the white people I think. Some of them go literal years without shampooing.
#3 – Going vegetarian
My animal slash hunter instinct is too strong. Oh God I want a steak now.
#4 – Cut my own hair
Tried a few times. Was it shorter? Yes. Did I save money? Yes. But was it flattering? …No.
#5 – Make grocery list before shopping
Look. Grocery shopping is one of my few pure, unadulterated joys in life. I have already cut back on other spending. Let me have this one. I need this. I love picking ingredients up on a whim.
(But of course I am mindful of the price. I’m not going to ‘accidentally’ add the RM180 tray of Japanese strawberries in my cart, that’s crazy)
#6 – Make my own cleaning supplies
They look easy enough to make. But I’m just not that much of a clean freak to justify learning this skill. Still using up supplies bought last year.
#7 – Be a minimalist
I have a natural hoarding tendency which I’ve kind of accepted. It’s not that bad. The key is to live in a small-ish space so you don’t hoard too much, and declutter every so often.
#8 – Bulk cooking
As someone who has a problem with portion control, I really shouldn’t continue on with bulk cooking. The food that’s meant to last a week, only lasts for a couple of days.
“if I reduce my food portions, not only I can achieve my fitness goals faster, but also reduce my groceries bill,”
I say to myself as I go for seconds
— Suraya ringgitohringgit.com (@surayaror) May 27, 2020
#9 – Utilising the library
In theory, borrowing books from the library is an amazing concept.
I just… never got around to going there. It’s just too out of the way.
A few years from now, I may live in a residential-commercial area with a public library in walking distance. High hopes of becoming one of those people who actually utilises public libraries.
#10 – Couponing
I really loved that TLC show, Couponing Extreme. The way they ‘game’ the system is sooooooo satisfying!
However unlike the United States, we don’t have much of a coupon culture here, do we 🙁
#11 – Buy used phones and laptops
Personally, I don’t like the idea of buying used phones and laptops.
This is not to say secondhand market is bad. It’s just I’d rather not take my chance with strangers, for both these devices.
Other devices like gaming consoles etc, ok je.
#12 – Buying certain generic brand
I don’t care what you say. The best kicap brand is Cap Kipas Udang. The best mayonnaise is Kewpie (also acceptable: Heinz). The best sardine is Ayam brand.
That said, I do enjoy experimenting with generic brands. Some of them are really good! Check out some user suggestions in the FB post below:
#13 – Reduce my rent by having housemates
Look, been there, done that. This solitude and privacy is worth the splurge.
#14 – Do clothes swap
I am not a clothes person, so I have no motivation to organise something like a clothes swap.
Plus much of my clothing needs are filled by occasional shopping, thrifting and getting stuff from my sisters’ shops.
Check out their shops! Uniqlo vibes, lots of mix-and-match items. Very Muslimah and capsule wardrobe friendly. You can stretch your clothing budget 😁
Regular size: https://t.co/jFDgogj4cy
Plus size version: https://t.co/KKcTDJyjKR
— Suraya ringgitohringgit.com (@surayaror) September 30, 2019
#15 – Getting ONLY free entertainment
Yeah, Youtube is free, but Spotify and Netflix run me just ~RM20 per month. I can afford that.
#16 – Donate blood
Did you know you can get a bunch of perks for regularly donating blood?
Just look at this table. Credit: this SAYS article.
Yet I don’t think I’ve ever donated blood. I’m not scared of it or anything. Just never really actively seek out blood donation drives, and the ones I chances upon (very rare occasions), timing tak kena.
#17 – Cook or bake time-consuming recipes
- takes more than 30 minutes to prep and cook, and
- I can’t leave it in the oven/slow cooker, and
- I’m not in the mood to do all the work involved
Then I’m buying it, or going without.
ESPECIALLY if the food is something that is already affordable to buy, like buns and bread.
I tried baking bread before. Some people described the kneading process as therapeutic, but unfortunately that’s the opposite of what I felt.
Conclusion: Some Money Saving Tips Won’t Work for Me and That’s OK
It’s okay to try and fail, rather than not trying at all, yeah? At the end of the day, I’m glad I gave most of the above a shot.
If the above didn’t work for me, then what money saving tips *do* work for me? Plenty! I:
- Found lots of grocery-shopping hacks. Related: 5 Things I Did To Reduce My Damn High Groceries Bill
- Save money on coffee. Related: Malaysians Share How They Save Money on Coffee
- Bought lots of money (and time) saving products: 13 Money-Saving Products You Rich People Can Buy (Proceeds to Covid-19 Charities)
- Explored zero waste movement. Related: How Zero Waste Malaysia Helps Me Save Money (the Environment, A Little Bit)
- And more!
That’s the deal, isn’t it. It’s too much to expect from anyone to apply ALL of the money saving tips above. But a few, and especially the ones you enjoy? Definitely 🙂
How about you? What money saving tip have you tried and decided its NOT suitable for your life? Why is it not suitable? Let me know, I’m curious, leave your say in the comments section!