57% of Indians don’t have Rs. 5,000 savings in their account in 2016. Only 8% of Indians have a savings of Rs. 50,000 and above, according to Dealsunny’s survey report.
But COVID-19 pandemic has shifted Indian millennial’s mindset towards saving money.
According to the ‘Consumer Spending Sentiment Index Report’ by InterMiles, 49% percent of Indians have started saving money.
Do you feel there is no way to save extra money from your monthly expenses, as all your expenses are essential?
Solution for this problem is not in finding a single to save 20% on monthly expenses but finding 10 different ways to save 2% on each of your expenses.
I have listed my favorite 10 money-saving hacks that you can use for routine life expenses like shopping, travel, and lifestyle.
Best Tips To Save Money In India 2021
#1. Buy Grocery Online and Repeat Previous Orders
Have you ever realized, you end up carrying more unnecessary stuff like snacks, perfumes while shopping from supermarkets?
One easy solution is to make a product list before going to the supermarket and buy only goods that are present in the list. You will always buy required goods through this exercise.
Best alternative solution is shopping for your grocery needs online from sites like Amazon, Flipkart, or Big Basket. You get better discounts on online portals than offline stores. For example, Fortune Rozana Rice 5 Kg price difference as below –
|Big Bazaar Price (Offline)||Flipkart Price|
|Rs. 349||Rs. 305|
Best way to shop online is to first make a list of products that you need every month to refill like groceries, baby diapers. Search specific products from your list on Amazon and buy.
Now in the future repeat the order from your old orders rather than again making the whole pantry list from the start.
You can see the “Buy it again” option in your previous orders in the “Returns & Orders” section on Amazon.
There is less chance that you get tempted and buy the stuff which is not required.
Secondly, You can repeat the order in a few minutes rather than wasting an hour exploring the whole pantry section before placing the order.
You can save upto 10% during Super value sales on Amazon every month. Amazon also offers an additional 5% to 10% discount on the “Subscribe & Save” option to activate automatic delivery of regular consumable products like tea, coffee, and oils.
Potential saving – Savings of 15% to 30% on your monthly grocery bill.
#2. Use Car Pool Service
A car-pool service like BlaBlaCar is cost saving for intercity traveling. You can travel by car at the price of an air-conditioned deluxe Bus fare.
Suppose you are travelling roundtrip from Chandigarh to Delhi, your fuel expense would be like this –
Distance between Chandigarh and Delhi – 500 Kms (around 250 km on each side)
Petrol price in Chandigarh – Rs. 91.15 per liter
Mileage of a petrol car on average – 15 Kms per liter (considering highway mileage only)
Petrol required for the commute – 500/15 = 33 litres
Total fuel expenditure – 34* 91.15 = Rs. 3,008.
Now if you go through pooled car service like BlaBla car, you would be paying around Rs. 530 per side, so a total fare would be Rs. 1,060.
You can save more than one-third of your money by using a car-pool service.
Potential Savings – Rs. 2,000 savings for a 500 km round trip.
#3. Switch to Prepaid Mobiles
Prepaids plans are much cheaper than postpaid. You will find even more offers with prepaid plans as compared to postpaid plans.
For example, a basic Airtel postpaid plan of Rs. 399 per month with 40 GB of internet data and unlimited calling will cost you around Rs. 4800 annually. You get free membership of Airtel Xstream video streaming service.
On the other hand, if you buy a 598 prepaid plan, you get unlimited calling, 1.5GB of internet data for 84 days.
You also get additional services like Airtel Xstream and Amazon Prime mobile membership. The effective amount will be Rs 213 for 30 days.
You don’t get a monthly rollover of unused data (unlike postpaid) which is not required if you have Wifi at home and office.
You can save Rs. 186 every month (Rs. 2232 per year) every year by switching to Prepaid..
The savings would more if you switch from a bigger postpaid plan like 749 or 999 per month.
Potential Savings – Rs. 2568 per year if switching from the basic postpaid plan to prepaid.
#4. Avoid Gym Subscription
According to Healthline, around 67% of new gym members who buy an annual gym membership, don’t go to the gym.
You can save up to 90% of the full subscription amount to adopt a monthly membership plan in the initial phase. I would suggest you to join the gym on a monthly basis for the first 2 months to check your consistency & commitment level.
Another way to save on Gym membership is to set up a home gym.
Popular gyms like Gold gyms cost a high annual membership in Delhi NCR would cost you around Rs. 40,000. You may get up to 50% discount gyms keep on throwing offers, still, 20,000 is on the higher side.
Even a local gym costs at least Rs. 1000 per month (Rs. 12,000 annually).
You can set up a basic home gym at the price of Gold gym’s one year membership.
A home gym setup would cost you as below –
- Home gym machine – Rs. 20,000
- Exercise bike – Rs. 5,000
- 50 Kg weight training kit (includes dumbbells, barbells) – Rs, 3000
- Resistance bands kit – Rs. 1000
- Dumbbell Rack – 5000
Total cost – Rs. 34,000
A home gym would serve you lifelong without much maintenance cost.
Advice – Set Up Home gym only if you are a fitness freak with regular Gym workout requirements.
Potential Savings – Around Rs. 85,000 if compared with 5 years gym membership
Read our detailed guide on “How to setup a home gym in easy ways“
#5. Get Shared Netflix Subscriptions
According to a report, around 50% of Indians have moved from Cable or DTH to Netflix and other online content platforms.
If you are also fond of watching the latest web series released, you can reduce your monthly bill to one-fourth.
You can go for a mobile pack of Rs. 199 and cast with your TV using a Chromecast dongle that you will cost one time charge of Rs. 1,000.
If you want a full-featured “Premium Pack” with Ultra HD streaming, then it’s better to split the Netflix premium plan with 3 other friends because Netflix allows you to watch Netflix at 4 separate screens in the premium plan.
The best part is you can create a separate user id and pin for each user, so you can watch your favorite programs without interference from any other user.
Potential Savings – Rs. 600 per month if 4 people share.
#6. Stay in Airbnb than Hotel
You can save around 40% to 50% more money if staying in Airbnb, than a 3-star hotel room.
For example, A 3-star hotel room in Manali hill station would have a minimum of Rs. 3,000 per day whereas you can go for an Airbnb room with a kitchen between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000.
You get options like a room on rent, a separate portion in personal homes, apartment or entire villas for rent on Airbnb.
You can book an entire Airbnb villa with amenities like a swimming pool for a 2 to 3 family trip at the cost of a single room in a 3 star hotel.
Another benefit is, you usually get a working kitchen with utensils in Airbnb, that you can use to prepare a few meals like maggi, pasta, sandwich or beverage like tea, coffee or milk for children.
For budget travelling you can plan something like to cook 1 meal at your Airbnb, and 2 meals outside while roaming around.
Potential Savings – Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 per day
#7. Use Credit Cards Wisely
You can save upto 10% additional money in the form of discounts, cashback, and reward points by using credit cards inplace of cash payment.
Advice- You can save money only if you pay the credit card bill before the due date. Otherwise, you need to pay upto 4% monthly interest charges on the outstanding balance.
If you use credit cards wisely you can enjoy the following benefits –
#1. Interest-free money
Credit cards have a 30 days billing cycle and you get around 20 days to pay the credit card bill. You don’t have to pay any interest if you pay your credit card bill before the due date. You would earn interest on money for upto 50 days (30+20) for an interest period.
#2. Cashback offers
A few credit cards give cash back on specific spends. For example, ICICI-Amazon Pay credit card gives 5% cash back on every purchase on Amazon and Standard Chartered Manhattan credit card provides 5% cashback on grocery shopping.
#3. Reward points
You also get reward points when you use a credit card. Reward points value varies from card to card.
For example, the HDFC Regalia card offers 4 reward points per 150 rupees spent. That means if you spend Rs.1 Lakh on a Regalia card, you can save –
- Points collected on Rs. 1lakh spent = 2667
- Conversion value = 0.75 paise per point
- Total earning = 2667 x 0.75 = Rs. 2,000
#4. Airmiles & lounge access
If you are a frequent flier, you can convert your reward points into Airmiles to book flight tickets.
Some credit cards like HDFC Regalia, Amex Membership Rewards also offer you free domestic and international lounge access to stay, eat or drink free of cost, while waiting for your flight.
Potential Savings – Upto 10% depending on credit card and spend category.
#8. Negotiate for Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver
Credit card company’s offer you an annual spending target to get the fee waived off. But in most cases, people failed to hit the target because of having multiple cards and ended up paying an annual fee.
In such a case, call customer support and request an annual fee waiver.
Credit card companies survive when customers spend through credit cards. If you are a regular credit card user, they won’t prefer to lose a customer just for a few hundred rupees annual fees.
Potential Savings – Min. Rs. 500, rest depending on the annual fee of your credit card
#9. Avoid Shopping on EMIs
EMIs let you afford a product that you can’t buy in cash at the present moment and pay interest up to 15% per annum. Avoid purchasing on EMIs to keep yourself away from the debt trap.
For example, if you want to buy an iPhone 12 Pro whose selling price is Rs. 1,24,700.
If you choose to pay 12 standard EMIs, you would have to pay a total of Rs. 1,35,063 and the interest amount for one year would be Rs. 10,363.
Secondly, some banks like HDFC also charge a processing fee of Rs. 199 on EMI conversion.
Even if you pay No cost EMI where you don’t have to pay the interest, but remember you have to pay 18% GST on the interest amount (even if the bank discounts the interest).
In the above example, you would need to pay a total of 18% GST on Rs 5279 (interest amount) = Rs 950 in 6 installments.
The best way is to wait for 1 week before doing any impulsive buying and see if you still crave for that product even after 1 week.
If yes, then try to buy on No Cost EMI to avoid hefty amounts as interest charges.
Potential Savings – Minimum Rs. 500 to Rs. 15,000 depending on your billing amount.
#10. Discounted Deals Websites
You can also find some portals such as Desidime, Dineout that offer you discounted deals.
Desidime offers you online discounted deals to buy stuff like medicines, perfumes, clothes. Whereas Dine Out offers discounts on dining out in restaurants.
You can also use e-wallets to pay on Zomato or other portals and get extra discounts. Zomato often provides e-wallet payment offers like a 20% discount on paying through Paytm that would give you additional discounts than the promo code used.
Potential Savings – Around Rs. 150 to Rs. 500 depending on the amount of bill.
I have shared my favorite 10 hacks that I use to save a few bucks every month.
Let me know your money-saving hacks, if we find it interesting then we will include your hack in our article in the next update.