Updated: Nov 13, 2020
I’m a bachelor and I know what challenges are faced by bachelor's while living in a big unknown city.
I am also one of the persons who came to the city for a job after doing whole education in native town and facing problems caused by money constraints.
I am living in the city for two years now and came to know that, the problem is not the money; it is the poor management of it.
As said by Paul Clitheroe, “The amount of money you have has got nothing to do with what you earn. People earning a million dollars a year can have no money. People earning $35,000 a year can be quite well off. It's not what you earn, it's what you spend.”
Well, it is true and I’ve experienced it.
As the education’s completed, going to big cities for big opportunities & growth is obvious, and at the start, main struggle is to manage the expenses not to find the opportunities, because your expenses grow big as you seek big opportunities in a big city.
As I was also on this journey, I made some rules for myself and they really helped me to keep on the journey for a long time.
These rules are really hard to follow at the start, but once you follow them for a few weeks they become your habit.
Before telling you the rules, there are opinions you should follow;
Understand your budget
Understanding your budget is important because how hard rules to be made are dependent on the budget.
If you’ve a good budget and afford drinking Café Coffee Day’s coffee, why make the rule of eating lunch under 200Rs.
To understand your budget, first check how much money you’ve at start of the month which includes, cash, balance in the bank account, and emergency fund.
Make the list of your big expenses like food, rent, traveling, energy bills, etc. and add them. These are your essential basic expenses.
Now you know how much you’ve & minimum spending at end of the month.
We need to make plan to save the maximum of remaining amount and also reduce the basic expenses.
Reduce the essential basic expenses
Your first essential expense is food, and reducing it, is not hard.
If you eat at a food mess, you need to find another with less cost. It can be on your daily traveling route or a few steps ahead of your existing mess.
Our goal is to find good food in the budget, do not be lazy in terms of money.
So the point to be noted is 'control your tongue and don’t waste food'.
Second is rent. I know finding a good room in budget in big cities is hard but once you found it, don’t stop finding other less costly ones.
Another important thing is always negotiate the deposit amount.
Save on electricity & water bills
After the food & roof, the next big expense is electricity & water bill.
You need to check the meter installed in your flat because faulty meter runs fast and gives high readings.
Another thing is never to use lights in the daytime, make your workspace near the window. Always turn off lights while going out.
Also, take meter reading every fortnight and check the bill (calculate yourself).
Check this article on How to read your electric and gas meters?
Try not to use Ola, Uber or private taxis
The next one of the big expenses is traveling. If you’re searching a job or your work needs traveling to sites or you travel to college, expense on the traveling is high if you’re not using public transport.
Try not to use Ola, Uber, or private taxis unless there’s an emergency.
Be ready one hour early so that you’ll not miss your bus.
Buy things at cheap or refurbished
Do you know, you can buy refurbished books on Amazon.
Refurbished things aren’t that bad. You can also buy used things on eBay & OLX. They have all kinds there, from headphones to cars.
So why waste money, there’s no shame in using second-hand things.
Use cheap network provider
These network providers really increasing their costs daily. Choosing a good & cheap network provider is important.
The real problem is, their monthly packs are of 28 days and end before crediting salary.
Never hide your financial condition
This is the biggest problem among people. They hide their true financial condition and try to show off the false ones.
When we go out shopping or on a trip with friends, we forced to buy things we can’t afford just to hide the condition. This way, you also hesitate to ask for help in an emergency.
Try to tell them the real issue, maybe they suffering from same issue.
“Find the right people, not the best people” _Jack Ma
Make a separate bank account for an emergency fund
Make a separate bank account for emergency fund. Put some money every month in this account as an emergency fund.
Use emergency fund only to cover large unexpected expenses, such as, unexpected medical expenses, major car fixes and to face unemployment.
Don’t buy expensive gym membership
I don’t know why gyms these days charge so much.
Yeah, I know doing exercise the right way and following a good diet is important but I’ve seen charges like 10,000 to 15,000Rs per month.
I mean seriously! Why!!
If you really want to join gym, choose a cheap one. They all are the same.
Try Yoga & Meditation, mental health is also important
Because following the schedule with so many rules and less to spend is really hard.
Sometimes you’ll feel like quitting. So do meditation & yoga, it’ll really help you.
Avoid night outs!!
Yeah really!! Even if you do it, don’t do very often. Night outs are waste of money and when you done & go home, do you even check the taxi rates!! They are doubled, tripled!
That's all my opinions,
Now let’s check the rules that’ll really help you to save money.
1. Don’t use lights in a daytime and always turn off while going out
I already told you about this. But make it a rule to be followed daily.
2. Don’t waste food
"We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly" _Anne Marie Bonneau
3. Never browse sites like Amazon, Flipkart
These sites are designed perfectly to tempt every person to buy who sees it. So for own sake don’t browse these sites, you’ll end buying things you don’t need.
4. Use coupons & discounts to shop
Don’t shop too often and when you do, use these sites to save some money.
5. Note down every expense small or big
This will help you check your total spending to date and alarm you for remaining money.
Also, you can check the wrong decisions you’ve made and spent without the need. To avoid such things in the future you need to track every expense.
6. Don’t throw things, you think useless
We all throw things, thinking we don’t need them or eating up space. But when you need them you think I shouldn’t have thrown it.
So don’t throw them in rush. Easy thing to do is, buy only when you need them most and
don’t buy the same thing twice.
7. Never touch the emergency fund
This is one of the most important rules. Do not use the emergency fund unless it is an emergency.
People buy things thinking ‘this is once in a lifetime opportunity’.
“Don’t let your emotions distract you from doing what needs to be done. Control your emotions or your emotions will control you.”
8. Don’t roam in shopping malls without reason
I hate shopping malls! Literally, this is the place why credit card companies are running!!
When you go to shopping malls, everything calls you ‘buy me!’, ‘buy me!’
I made this rule for keeping away myself from temptation of buying the things I won’t need.
9. Do not go shopping with a friend
Your friends used to call me every time; “I need help shopping, please come with me”. I’m telling you’ll also end up shopping for yourself.
10. Do not consume daily data limit
I can’t consume all the data they give daily, so, I used to end up wasting my time on YouTube & Instagram trying to use all daily limit.
Don’t do it. This Google Baba has connected everything together.
11. Go to the theatre but only twice a month
Watching movies, entertaining once a while is not bad. But if you do it very often it’ll cost you a lot.
Have you seen ticket prices! And those popcorn & cold drink prices in theaters, my god! Why!! So, I don’t go to movies too often and when I go, I don’t buy food there.
12. Do not use the credit card
If you see a good offer& discounts, credit cards tempt us to buy without reason. If you’re bachelor and don’t earn, I’ll suggest do not use a credit card.
Also if you use a credit card to withdraw cash from ATM, it affects negatively your credit score.
13. Eat in the restaurant only once a month
After eating boring food at the mess & cheap hotels, we tempt to eat something delicious and delicious foods are real costly.
Seriously after 2-3 months, you’ll miss the rice & curry made by mom that you used to think boring.
Good food is like meditation. So, spending more than usual once a month is like a prize for your month’s hard work.
14. Do not lend money to friends
Lending money is not bad if you have it. But if you’re already struggling to manage finances, you don’t need to lend unless he’s having some emergency.
15. Negotiate with everyone for everything
Negotiating will really help you to cut some costs. People think negotiating for less money is waste of time and shameful.
But hey, doing those 2-3 times can buy you breakfast.
16. Don’t check the account balance too often
Checking account balance too often disturbs mental health. I’ve wasted my hours thinking ‘what will happen?’, ‘what to do?’, ‘How will I manage?’ after checking the balance.
It really depresses you. So I made a rule not to do it!!
Spending money is easy but earning is very hard!!
I know these rules are hard to follow but they really helped me to manage money.
Read this quote by Laura D. Adams, “If money management isn't something you enjoy, consider my perspective. I look at managing my money as if it were a part-time job. The time you spend monitoring your finances will pay off. You can make real money by cutting expenses and earning more interest on savings and investments. I'd challenge you to find a part-time job where you could potentially earn as much money for just an hour or two of your time.”
Just as extra notes:
_Prepare monthly budget
_Keep away from wants, don’t buy too often, be productive in free time
_Make financial goals
_Use things till they’re no way can be used and if possible recycle
_Take good insurance.
This is all from my side. Comment your thoughts and tell us what you’ve done to manage your expenses.