Cost saving tips that can save your thousands of RM

We know that our former first lady Rosmah Mansor is an avid fan of handbags -- Hermes Birkin bags in particular (272 out of 567 confiscated handbags were of this model) -- but just when you thought that the Birkin bag is the crème de la crème of her collection, another bag made by a designer not known to Malaysians trumped them all.

The most-expensive bag out of the lot was a Bijan handbag costing RM1.6 million. The bag in question is a one-of-a-kind, made-to-order handbag.

It is so exclusive, in fact, clients would need to secure appointments and pay a substantial amount before they even consider helping you create the handbag of your dreams. 

Pronounced "bee-szan", it is a high-end super exclusive brand founded by Iranian designer Bijan Pakzad who moved to Los Angeles in 1970s. He passed away in 2011 and his business is now managed by his children. Bijan is known for being the “most expensive store in the world”. What a way to leave a legacy, huh? 

Prior to this in, regardless whether we would ever wanna choose to own one or not ( as if we ever could and would ), we choose to learn how to benefit from the biggest saving tips, then move on to the smaller ones and see if you can add more to your savings as you progress.

These are some big places to begin saving your money. 

1. Avoid impulsive spending

Most families probably spend at least a couple thousand ringgit a year on things that they don’t plan to buy. There are two easy ways to reduce these impulse buys and save thousands: 

  • Stick to your grocery list

Research shows that people who can avoid impulse spending can save up to 23% on their grocery bills. So create a grocery list and stick to it if you really want to save some money. 

  • Don't shop with plastic

According to a study, people who shop with credit cards pay 12% to 18% more than those who shop with cash. Shopping with RM40 in your wallet is a lot different than shopping with a RM10,000 credit limit on a piece of plastic. Try shopping with only cash or your debit card if you want to save some money. 

2. Stockpile groceries and then skip a grocery shop

You can save almost 25% on the groceries you buy each year if you stock up when they are on sale and then skip one grocery shop every month. When you skip a grocery shop, you live off of what you stockpiled. If you can’t do this monthly, then try for once every couple of months. It will still save you a lot of money. You can stockpile all kinds of non-perishable food, and you can freeze bread and meat when you find them on sale. 

3. Take lunch to work

Most of us don’t realize how much we spend on simple things like lunch buying a lunch everyday rather than bringing one prepared at home. Many people save a lot of money by always making more dinner than they need and then taking some of the leftovers to work the next day for lunch. 

If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can make something else. What ever you do, it should be much cheaper than buying a lunch every day. If you buy lunch for RM10 every working day of the year, you will end up spending over RM2,700. You can decide how much of this you want to put back in your pocket, or you can look for another place to save. 

4. Buy a Quality Used Vehicle rather than a new one

Dave Ramsey, a personal finance radio host, drove this point home by telling his listeners that, “A new $28,000 car will lose about $17,000 of value in the first four years you own it. To get the same result, you could toss a $100 bill out the car window once a week.” 

In recent years, car manufacturers appear to be building better quality cars than they have before. Because the quality of cars has increased, it means that buying a used car is less risky than it used to be. 

But since new cars lose so much value once you drive them off the lot, it now makes more sense then ever to seriously consider buying a quality used-car rather than a new one.  

5. SWITCH to cloth pad from disposable

Assuming a woman menstruates for 40 years;

1. Buys a RM 10 pack of disposable every month = RM 4800

2. Buys a liberty kit (1 cycle kit) @ RM 199 , replaced every 5 years  = RM 1592

A very powerful reason you should SWITCH

You will save loads of money!

You can do the math: assuming a woman menstruates for 40 years.

If the health reasons don't sway you, maybe the numbers will be more convincing. Granted, reusables have a larger initial cost, but they last much, much longer. With proper care, cloth pads can last for years.

Compare this to the disposable that has a lifespan of a few hours before it's thrown away, forcing you to buy more and more -- all of them ending up in a landfill.

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