“Last November my mother-in-law came to stay with us for the first time since my marriage a year ago. I have been on good terms with my in-laws since my engagement with Sushil two years ago. But I have never actually lived with them for more than a week at a stretch, and never on my own turf. So when Ma came to spend the winter with us in Delhi, I was a little nervous at the prospect of being judged. I expected Ma to make comments about cleanliness or the food etc, but I wasn’t prepared for the critical judgment of our handling of finances that Ma gave us. Within a week she announced that we needed to manage our money better because she felt we were wasting too much money! I was very offended initially, but when Ma explained the reasons why she felt we could be spending much lesser, I could not help but agree. Ma was right. We were indeed wasting money. Are you too?

How to Not Waste Your Money!

1. Pay all your bills promptly. The credit card companies charge very hefty interest rates on money not paid to them on time. Other vendors also charge late fees. What is the point of paying interest and fines when you can pay your bills on time and not have to worry about this?

2. Buy groceries sensibly. If you buy too less, you will never get the bulk discounts. But if you buy too much, you will probably end up not using all of it. There is a fine balance to be sought here, especially when we talk of perishable items.

3. Eating out too much. Home cooked food is not only great for your health, it is also great for your financial wellness.

4. Buying branded stuff. You can buy non-branded goods at almost half the price, even though the quality is more or less the same.

5. Impulsive shopping. The only way to curb impulsive buying is to never go to the store without a shopping list. Make it a rule that nobody in the family can make a purchase unless it is on the list!

6. Mobile phone bills. Imagine if you have 2 adults and 2 teens in the family, and everyone has a phone, how much money your family spends on mobile phone bills? Discourage big data plans in your family. Encourage everyone to use the family WiFi!

7. Too much online shopping. When buying clothes, buy good quality ones that fit and look good. Buying clothes online and then not returning them, and not wearing them coz you don’t really like the fit is a waste of money!

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Lavanya Mehra


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