People earning Rs. 15,000 a month to people earning Rs. 15,00,000 per annum come to me with one cry “whatever I do, I am not able to save more money” What should I do Subra?

Frankly I do not have any answer. This is a grey area for me…but hey let me try:

1. Use public transport wherever possible. Even if you own a car see if you can use public transport more than you can use your car.

if you start writing down your expenses you will realize that you are spending far too much on transport than what you think. See if you can cut costs here.

2. Walk / use a bike where you cannot walk – it reduces cost, reduces pollution and far more importantly improves health.

3. If you MUST buy a car, buy a second hand car and use it as long as you can.

Honestly there is no relationship between the ‘newness’ of your car and the ‘happiness’ that the purchase gives you. So stay away from a new car. Look for fuel efficiency, ease of handling, etc. – and do not fall for aesthetics. Be careful.

4. Make a list of things to buy and buy it in one shot – try to buy it online. Especially for labelled things. Branded goods are normally cheaper online than offline.

5. I know many young mothers buy nappies, diapers, etc. online – saves time, travel, cost of carrying, parking,…etc.


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  1. 1. Never go to large supermarket if you have just couple of items to buy. If you go then carry a bag instead of using the trolley.
    2.never go with a empty stomach as one would buy a lot of unnecessary things just to satisfy the immediate hunger..

  2. @Girish: I agree with the second point. there is definitely a relation between the hunger and the products that we buy. First hand experience 🙂

  3. I think the solution is more holistic. What we call a frugal lifestyle. Those who are born into it like myself are lucky to be able to do it easily.

    The basic concept is to let go of the “keeping up with the Shankars” ideology. But I am not sure how many people have the discipline to do it. They would rather have a shiny new car, a big expensive TV and eat in expensive restaurants than think about frugality.

    But they will continue to ask this question till the end of their lives.

  4. I am not sure a second hand car can save much money. If you are not lucky, you will end up spending more money on maintenance.

  5. In India, buying a used car can be very risky. Most people I’ve seen are very abusive of their vehicles. Plus, the roads are bad enough that most vehicles will be in a fairly bad shape no matter what!

    Now that good car rentals (like zoomcars) are available in most cities, we’ve scrapped our idea of upgrading to a sedan from a hatchback.

    At the moment we are managing to save over 50% mostly by – picking a “not so hot” property for rent; using a commuter two-wheeler for everyday use. It helps that we hardly have any loan liabilities at the moment…

  6. Great Post. We can also add few points.
    1. avoiding Restaurant eating which is very expensive. May be we can schedule once in two months + on demand basis.
    2. Avoid buying “Lot of toys for Kids”; Kids never use second day most of the toys. So be choosy.
    3. Eat healthy and stay fit also reduces lot of Healthcare costs… goes on. subramoney is great source for all….

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