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  • Writer's pictureAkash Devasar & Co.

Boy, do these cents add up!

Boy oh boy, what a year it has been so far. 4 months to go and everyone is just wondering how much worse this could all get. I know there are many people doing it tough especially right now during the global pandemic but this is also one of the best times to take some time and re-evaluate your expenses. I thought I’d put something together that I myself have made changes to and benefited from to share with all of you to save a buck here and there.

Caffeine junkies

For those you that must have your morning coffee, where are you getting it from? Firstly, it’s probably an addiction as much as you would not like to admit it. Basically, a drug, just that it’s unlikely you overdose on it and it isn’t illegal. 

So, you must have it, sure. Are you paying $4.50 every day? How many times a day? Do you have to? Ab-so-lute-ly not. And please, for those of you self-proclaimed coffee connoisseurs, just stop it with your, “Instant coffee? Oh I rather die”. Most of you do it to maintain this “I’m better than you because I drink ground coffee bean from Columbia” or “I feel more sophisticated”. Stop doing what others do and do it for yourself. $4.50 per day over a year of workdays is about $1,170. Most of you are just having coffees at home now anyway and still functioning. So why not save this? Buy a coffee machine and make your own at home if you want to, it’s much more cost effective.

The household names

There are lots of items we buy for our daily use that are household names and we do it either because we’ve grown up choosing those products or we just purchased it one day and didn’t have a thought about it since. Let me tell you that there is a huge saving opportunity in your regular supermarket run.

For example, tuna. Do you always go for John West? Have you tried supermarket house brands? No? You’re too good for it huh? Well there’s a huge saving there and in my opinion, no compromise to taste whatsoever. Detergents are another habit purchase. We’ve just bought a certain brand and never switched. There are lots of alternatives out there than can save you a buck. 

What else? Toothpaste, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, skin products, chocolates, chips, eggs, cheese... Yes, that $1.40 per tin of tuna that you save can quickly add up in your weekly shop. I recommend trying out a couple of cheaper alternatives every week and slowly you’ll find what suits best.

Expired contracts

At any one time, we’ve all got a few services running under our names. There’s mobile, insurance, electricity, internet, etc. And with lots of these, they just run in the background and we pay for them at the end of the month. However, did you know that you’re probably missing out on huge discounts if you’re not a contract? 

With internet, almost every few months it seems there’s a new promotion and package out. To get the promotional rate you’ll have to contract to 12 months. After the 12 months you should shop for the next best deal and not just leave it as is. Service providers will offer you incentives to switch like lower prices or higher allowances. With your car insurance, you may get a discount if you’ve had no claim in the year. But again, if you switch providers, you may get a better rate altogether.

See, how this all works is that service providers will add on the bells and whistles to rope you in because they know that once they’ve got you, it’s unlikely that you switch, as long as it’s working well. It’s human nature. So that is why when the contract expires, you’ll have an opportunity to save if you switch providers. For those of you loyal fans out there thinking you’re going to get some bonus after 5 years or 10 years, forgettaboutit. It isn’t happening.

Final tip when switching providers is to look to do it online and before paying, Google “<Service Provider> Promo codes”. You’d be surprised how much you can save. I just saved $20 on my internet plan spending less than 20 seconds on a google search. $1 per second? Pretty good return if you ask me.

I know many people feel that “face” is important and they don’t want to go for cheaper items. Well, whoever you’re saving face for is not going to pay your mortgage or pay for your next holiday. So just do you and focus on your goals. Everyone else can go stuff themselves.

Author: Akash Devasar & Co. | We speak numbers |

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