Traditionally, Indians are consumerists. Every Indian female and male, regardless of age and income, is preoccupied with acquisition of consumer goods- both durable and consumable.
Statistics from various Indian and foreign sources revealed, India’s consumer spending stood at whopping Rs.17.05 billion during third quarter of financial year 2017-2018.
In a country of 1.3 billion citizens, where 21.9 percent live below poverty line, this large consumer spend is quite high.
Commercials on TV, newspapers, radio, street-side hoardings, special offers at stores, discounts given by restaurants, boom in online shopping are leading to surge in spending and decline in saving patterns of Indians.
According to figures for fiscal year 2015-2016, provided by the Ministry of Statistics Programs and Information, savings by households fell to 31.6 percent from the 32.3 percent in the previous year.
This clearly indicates, saving money is the main casualty of India’s rising consumerism and that’s the reason you should save money India.
By the above statement, we do not blame consumers or their spending patterns. Consumerism is healthy for Indians since it helps them improve lifestyle. It keeps companies in business and helps them expand, generating more jobs.
However, there are some excellent ways and means to save money in India. Below, we take a look at some of these:
55 ways to save money in India
These 55 ways will let u know how to save big money by doing just simple things. We have categorized these ways for students, teenagers, housewives, working men, retired & in general.
Ways to Save Money for Students
As student, there is not much to worry about. All your expenses will be met by mom and dad or your guardian. Also as student, you are not required to look deep into family finances or savings and investment related issues. However, here are some ways you can save money for your parents;
1. Back-To-School sales
Generally, Back-To-School sales are held twice a year by large stores selling student requirements such as schoolbags, stationery and books. You can avail discounts while buying the stuff during sales for a savings of between 10 percent and 20 percent on actual price.
2. Cooperative stores
Cooperative stores in villages, towns and cities sell notebooks and stationery at cheaper rates at the beginning of school seasons. You can save between five and 10 percent of expenses you would otherwise incur on buying elsewhere.
3. Free books & stationery
Charity organizations in India give away free notebooks, stationery and sometimes, schoolbags to students. You can avail of these freebies and save money.
Study well for a great future, excel in your class and get scholarships offered by your school or some external source. They help your parents save on fees and other expenses.
As student, you can avail discounted travel on government run bus services, Indian Railways, state-owned and private airlines. Buy a bus or train pass for your daily commute to save as high as 50 percent to 75 percent of your transportation costs.
6. Used text books
Opt for used text books sold by students who graduate to a higher class. However, ensure they are relevant and conform fully to the syllabus. You can save between 50 percent and 70 percent of the cost you would incur on new text books.
7. Packed breakfast and lunch
Taking the ubiquitous ‘Tiffin’ box to your school or college containing breakfast and lunch from home will save you unnecessary expenses of eating at a canteen or restaurant. Homemade food is any day healthier than stuff from canteens and restaurants.
8. Save money through Midday meals
Should you be studying at a school that offers free midday meals, avail the facility. Regardless of whether you eat or not, the supplier charges the state government for your food. Hence, there is no point in letting go what your parents have paid for, through taxes.
9. Junior bank accounts
Most banks encourage saving habits among students by offering special banking products. You can open such an account to save part of your pocket money. Having such an account also helps you learn basic ropes of banking.
10. Health & fitness
Keep yourself healthy and fit by engaging in outdoor sports and other physical activity rather than becoming a couch potato watching TV, glued to smart phone or computer. While enjoying great health, you will also help save expenses on medical treatment required to treat ailments triggered by sedentary lifestyle.
Save money ideas for Teenagers
Understandably, teenage is the best part of life, when you want to enjoy. Money should not be a constraint. You can still use some technique that help school students save money like buying travel pass, opening bank account, health and fitness and availing scholarships. Yet, here are some more ideas to help you save money.
11. Save money by shopping online
Remember, online stores offer everything you need, from cosmetics to garments, smart phones to electronic gadgets. Invariably, these cost 10 percent to 25 percent lesser than at stores. Look for online sales too, for more savings.
12. Save money with Group travel
As teenager, you will be tempted to travel around with friends and classmates. Booking airline, bus and rail tickets for student groups helps you save as much as 50 percent fare.
13. Youth hostels
As teenager, you are entitled to membership of various international organizations including Hostelling International, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Now, YMCA and YWCA are not religious organizations, so your faith does not matter. Memberships of these organizations will help you stay cheap while away from home, in a group or alone.
14. Share vehicles
One way of fostering friendship is to share rides with friends. You can either ride on a friend’s motorbike or car or simply take them on yours. Sharing fuel costs is a great way to save money.
15. No addictions
Research worldwide proves, teenagers are most likely to develop addictions to drugs, alcohol, tobacco as well as movies, social media, gambling and sex. These will take a heavy toll on your pocket money and leave you craving for more. Staying off these addictions is beneficial to your physical, mental and financial wellbeing.
16. Personal hygiene
One of the main causes of pimples, acne and other skin problems during teenage is poor body hygiene. Rather than spend heavily on expensive crèmes and lotions that have dubious results, maintain high level of personal hygiene. It is advisable for females to use sanitary pads rather than suffer from infection that requires expensive treatment.
17. Choose cosmetics
All cosmetics, beauty and skincare product manufacturers target teenagers as customers. Choose your cosmetics wisely by ensuring they suit your skin type. Rapid hormonal changes impact your skin too.
Hence, crème or lotion that suits you today may prove useless a few days later. You can buy smaller packs. This way, you will save money that would be otherwise spent on useless cosmetics.
18. Effective time management
As teenager, you want to do a dozen things in a few hours. Hence, the tendency to rush between places by hopping on cabs and rickshaws. With effective time management and proper schedules, you can save a lot of money otherwise spent on taxis while using public transport.
19. Learn to bargain
Bargaining is a vital skill you need to learn as teenager, while buying anything in the market. Remember, most vendors, especially those operating on sidewalks, add a premium when they quote a price. Bargaining will help you get the stuff at the right price while saving money. It is also an essential life skill.
20. Budget your pocket money
Make a monthly budget about how you intend to spend your pocket money. There are several free mobile apps available that help you set limits on how much you spend and where. These apps will also indicate where you can curb expenses to save money.
How can housewives/ working women can save money
Whether you are full-time housewife or working, there are several avenues where you can save a lot of money. Housewives generally manage most critical functions like shopping for food and cooking as well as planning the family budget. Here are some tips to help save money.
21. Sales & special offers
Major stores frequently hold a sale offering regular groceries at prices that are five to 10 percent below the market average. You can buy such discounted stuff from one or more stores to save money. Also, look for special offers and new launches.
Special offers such as Buy-1-Get-1 free and the likes helps save money provided you are cautious enough to check production and expiry dates of the product. Newly launched products are sold much cheaper than their well established counterparts.
22. Save money with loyalty programs
Subscribe to every loyalty program offered by stores where you shop and banks where you hold an account. You get loyalty points for money you spend at the store. These can be redeemed for groceries and other stuff.
Loyalty points from banks helps you buy things for the house. Online shopping for groceries and other household essentials is a great way to save money, provided they give free home delivery. Cooperative stores also offer stuff at prices slightly lower than others.
23. Save money through bulk shopping
Invite your neighbors, relatives and friends to form a group and buy your household needs in bulk from wholesalers. You can save as much as five to 20 percent on your purchases.
Additionally, you will also save transportation costs since the wholesaler will deliver your stuff home.
24. Electricity bills
Ensure all appliances, electronics and lights in your house are switched off, while not in use. Also, have power guzzling electric bulbs replaced with low energy consuming fluorescent tubes and bulbs. Adjust proper temperature of your refrigerator, since they account for high electricity usage.
25. Pay bills immediately
All utilities and service providers charge a penalty for paying bills after the due date. This can vary from Rs.10 to Rs. 250, depending upon the service and its provider. Paying immediately helps avoid this penalty, gives you a better credit score with the provider and avoids undue disconnection and reconnection charges.
However, if there is a dispute, bring it to the notice of the service provider immediately. Instant action will save you considerable money at times.
26. Delegate chores
Hiring a domestic helper to do household chores such as cleaning the home, washing utensils and doing laundry is fine. However, domestic helpers cost anything between Rs.3, 000 to Rs. 5,000 per month for an hour’s work daily. Instead, delegate such chores to your spouse and kids. The money saved can be better utilized for the family. Doing household task together also develops team spirit.
27. Avoid food wastage
India has the dubious distinction of wasting more food than the entire population of UK consumes. This too at a time when about 13 percent of the world’s population is starving while millions remain undernourished. Food wastage is the biggest contributor that causes families to save less.
You can effectively save thousands of Rupees every year by planning every meal. Cook prudently, ensuring that nothing gets leftover. Freeze leftovers immediately and consume them at the first available opportunity.
28. Family travel
Book family travel tickets well in advance. Airlines offer very low rates to early birds who book tickets for any route. Prices rise as the date of travel nears. Long distance trains get booked quickly and you may have to pay more for tickets under the ‘Tatkal’ scheme of the Indian Railways. Bus operators follow the same system as airlines. Buying in advance, once your family finalizes dates, helps you save thousands of Rupees on your holiday.
29. Keep pests away
Rodents tend to damage expensive furniture and electronics, while insects can spread disease. Their presence is disgusting and speaks ill about your housekeeping skills to visitors. Nowadays, pest control is available at fairly economical rates, especially if you sign an annual maintenance contract. This expense will help you save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on replacing or repairing furniture and appliances or medical treatment.
30. Subscribe to saving schemes
An old axiom says: Income minus Savings equals Expenses. Therefore, subscribe to a saving schemes few that will force you to keep money aside. You can apply this to your personal income as well as that of the entire family. We do not imply you live a miserly life or cut corners on reasonable expenses, for the sake of savings.
Astute budgeting, control over expenses will help you chart a savings plan for the family. Pigmy banks, whose representatives come home to collect a daily amount, are an excellent option, provided the service is provided by a reputed, Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) bank.
Save money ideas for working men
Single men who work generally have cavalier approach towards money. Au contraire, married men are considered as head of the family and hence, have lots of obligations, including financial ones, towards spouse and kids. Whatever your civil status, here are some tips that can help you save some money or stretch your Rupee a little longer.
31. Travel passes/ vehicle pool
Unless you are fortunate to have a company vehicle or fuel allowance from the employer to afford driving a car to work, dependence upon public transport will be heavy. You can save costs on public transport by buying bus and railway passes of longer durations such as three months. They offer a savings of at least 20 percent to 25 percent over monthly passes. Vehicle pooling is another great way to save transportation costs.
32. Office meals
Again, few are lucky to have canteens offering subsidized meals at workplace. However, working men in large and small cities can avail of ‘Tiffin’ meals available from various providers to suit your palate. These meals are fairly reasonably priced when compared to dining at restaurants. It also saves the hassle of carrying a lunch box whose contents may get spoilt by the time you reach office causing food wastage.
33. Home maintenance
As head of the household, you can save lots of money by paying some attention every week to electrical, plumbing and structural condition of your home. Having any defects or problems repaired immediately will help you save money. Putting them off for later means allowing the problem to worsen, leading to expensive repairs.
34. Mobile plans for family
Nowadays, all major mobile service providers offer special family plans. Meaning, every member of your family enjoys discounted or free calls and Internet services on mobile for a fixed monthly fee. You can save a lot on mobile and Internet bills by subscribing to a family plan.
35. Family health insurance
Medical inflation in India has risen by almost 30 percent over the last decade. Though your family enjoys great health, it is prudent to buy a family health insurance plan. Several Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks offer health insurance schemes for individuals and families at throwaway prices. Avail of these to prevent sudden expenses on any unforeseen medical emergency.
36. Minor credit
Minor credit availed from tea and coffee suppliers at workplace, cigarette and tobacco vendors often cause you to spend more than you intend. Firstly, these sellers do not keep proper records of your actual consumption and charge you based on their estimates. Secondly, minor credit tempts us to consume more regardless of the impact such stuff has on health. Avoiding minor credit is a great way to save cash in India.
This is a sphere where all men can save lots of money. Having your family’s clothes ironed at a laundry may not be quite expensive. However, you can save this expense by performing the task yourself once a week. The few hundred Rupees you save can be better utilized elsewhere for investment.
38. Home tutoring
For married men with kids, home tutoring is a task they can easily perform. Here, we talk of children who are school students and not enrolled for higher education that requires specialized coaching. As father, you can help your kids revise lessons and conduct occasional tests. This way, you can save a lot on expensive coaching classes, where children of working parents are compelled to go nowadays.
39. Bill monitoring
Every household receives a plethora of bills every month. As head of the household, you can check these bills for any errors and mistakes that have caused you to be charged more. It is fairly common for electricity, piped gas, mobile services and landline providers to charge more due to flaws in their billing system or wrong readings. Checking your monthly bills before payment will help you to save money.
40. Clearing liabilities
Sometimes, we are forced to take one or more liabilities on board, in form of loans and credit for home, vehicle or other purposes. Get rid of these liabilities at the earliest by stepping up installments, if possible.
This will help you get debt free faster and get a high credit score. Further, you can also negotiate a lower interest rate with the lender for stepping up payments, thus saving you several thousands of Rupees you would have spent over years.
Best ways to save money for everyone
Here are some more useful tips that can save you money. Further, you can also make this saved money to work for you in the stock market, saving schemes or other hedged investments.
41. Avoid credit cards
A credit card attracts something called annual membership fee which can be anything from Rs.200 to Rs.2, 000 per annum. Some banks waive the first year membership to entire subscribers. Buying on credit cards is fine but pay entire amount. You can pay about 10 percent of the spent amount ever month.
However, the unpaid amount attracts interests that can go as high as 28 to 30 percent per annum every year. The interest charged by the credit card issuer this month also attracts additional interest the next month and so on.
Meaning, you may end up paying more interest than the credit amount. Credit cards are notorious for sending perfectly sane people on shopping binges.
42. Dispose junk
Every household has junk in the form of old newspapers and clothes, damaged furniture, irreparable appliances, metal scrap and whatever more. Dispose off your junk regularly. It will get you a few Rupees. You can give it away free or dump in some trashcan. Keeping junk at homes can prove expensive.
It provides ideal breeding ground for insects, rodents and disease causing microbes while robbing the home of its clean and aesthetic looks. You will also prevent expenses on inadvertent injuries and other health issues caused by household junk.
43. Socialize wisely
Select the circle of friends you and your family wish to socialize with. Trying to get friendly with the wealthy can force you to spend more to appear as their peer. On the other hand, poor people will try and borrow money from you they can never repay. In both situations, you lose money. Remember, adult women and men are equally susceptible to fall prey to addictions, should you have the misfortune of socializing with the wrong people.
44. Discount vouchers/ Cash back
Online retailers as well as physical stores offer discount vouchers for spending a particular amount. You can find these coupons & deals on CouponWaale.in. Avail these discount vouchers and cash-back coupons to use for future shopping. They can help you save as much as 50 percent of the bill, the next time you shop.
45. Cash withdrawals
Considering you already hold a bank account, here are some tips for saving money. Acquaint yourself with the bank’s policy for use of debit cards at Point-Of-Sale machines, online purchases and ATM machines of other banks.
Better learn about their overall policy regarding cash withdrawal. Some banks permit only five withdrawals per month, regardless whether you spend at POS, online or withdraw from ATMs of other banks or make a cheque payment.
Others allow five free withdrawals from other bank ATMs while future ones are charged. Some banks also charge for more than five withdrawals at their own ATMs. The charge can vary between Rs 18 and Rs.25 per transaction.
46. Ensure minimum balance
Nowadays, banks are rather rigid about the minimum balance required to be maintained in your account. If this amount goes below the minimum required for any reason, including service charges levied by the bank itself- you will be charged a penalty.
Of course, the bank sends you an SMS alert or email, if you have subscribed to the facility. Otherwise, you can lose anything from Rs.10 per day to Rs.75 per month, depending upon the bank, should your minimum balance drop. Ensure that you retain the minimum balance and save money.
47. Tax savings
The India government offers a variety of schemes that helps people save on Income Tax. These include investing in postal savings schemes, insurance policies and lots more.
Check with an experienced Chartered Accountant about which schemes you can avail of to save money that would otherwise be paid as tax. Generally, these tax-saving investments fetch you reasonable interest.
48. Shopping list
It is a good idea to ask every member of your family whether they require anything specific before going to shop. Also, take stock of all the essentials and household requirements you have and make a list based upon anticipated usage. This saves you vital money that would otherwise be spent on random shopping based on guesswork.
49. Vehicle maintenance
A critical area where you can save lots of money is maintenance of your two-wheeler or four-wheeler. Ensure you change the engine oil and filter at intervals stipulated by the manufacturer.
Also, keep tires inflated to the right pressure. This helps save fuel. Maintain brakes, gears and steering since they can prevent any accidents.
50. Bars & restaurants
Of course, you should occasionally enjoy with family and friends at a bar or restaurant. However, a lot of bars and restaurants do not mention taxes they intend to charge on the final bill.
The situation has worsened after implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Central government and its localized versions by state government. A lot of issues related to GST levy by restaurants are still unclear.
Before dining out, find out how much taxes and service charges the bar or restaurant levies. There are instances when taxes and service charges have been almost 30 percent of the total cost of food and drink.
Ways to Save money for Retired/ Senior Citizens
For those lucky to draw pensions, saving money after retirement or as senior citizens may sound weird. However, saving money is equally important for retirees and the elderly, regardless of the wealth they have accumulated, pensions and income from other sources.
Here we present five simple ideas for retired people and senior citizens to save money and yet, enjoy good lifestyle. To save money as retiree or senior citizen, avail of all discounts and rebates in taxes that are currently prevailing in India.
51. Buy health insurance
The best time to buy health insurance is while working. This way, you have a policy that covers any sudden illnesses typical with ill-health. The reason we recommend buying medical or health insurance prior to retirement is, most insurers do not provide the facility to people above a specific age group.
Every insurer has a different age after which they do not issue health policies. Further, to cover a broader range of illnesses, your policy needs to be taken at least three years or more.
The good news is, nowadays lots of insurers are also offering medical insurance policies for senior citizens. Cashless health insurance shields you against spending your hard earned cash or digging into lifetime savings.
52. Never relocate
Millions of people believe that retiring to native village or town will help them save expenses while providing a relaxed retired life. This is a pure myth. Firstly, relocating from the city or town where you have worked involves buying a house.
Even if you own a house or ancestral property, relocation costs can prove high. Secondly, relocation means bidding adieu to old friends, colleagues and relatives.
Making new friends and acquaintances takes time and also involves expenses. You also become susceptible to crimes against senior citizens in such places and may end up being defrauded of cash and valuables.
53. Buy Holiday Savings Plan
Obviously, as retiree, you would wish to travel and explore various destinations in the abundant spare time. Holidays cost a lot of money. In recent years, a lot of banks and travel agents are offering holiday savings schemes.
This means, you put invest book a holiday package and pay for it over a period of six to 12 months. Upon payment of the last installment, you can utilize the holiday package and travel.
Your investment in these plans attracts an interest. Hence you actually pay much lesser for that dream holiday.
54. Post Office Saving Schemes
India Post offers two excellent saving plans for retirees: Senior Citizens Saving Scheme (SCSS) and Monthly Income Scheme (MIS). While SCSS has a lock-in period of five years, it offers you a great rate of 8.3 percent compounded interest per annum.
This means, the money you receive as retirement benefits from your employer, works for you. Another safe way to make your lifetime savings or retirement benefits work for you is by investing in India Post’s Monthly Income Scheme (MIS), which holds immense benefits.
A single investor, you can deposit a maximum of Rs.450,000 in the scheme or Rs.900,000 if you include your spouse or kids in the account.
At a rate of 7.5 percent per annum, you get a monthly income from the post office, paid directly into your savings account. Alternatively, you can invest the same in a Recurring Deposit account through direct debit order.
55. Avail Senior Citizen benefits
Almost every Indian state offers a host of benefits to senior citizens. This ranges from discounted travel on state-transport buses and those operated by municipal bodies. Additionally, you get great discounts on airline and railway tickets, medical expenses at government hospitals and lots more.
Some states like Goa offer a monthly pension of Rs.2,000 for women aged 58 years and above and men of 60 years or more. However, these benefits are available only if you register as senior citizen with the concerned department of the state government and procure the Senior Citizen Card which is issued free of cost.
As we mention before, these 50 ideas to save money in India can be utilized by people of all ages. They are common across the board. Admittedly, all of us want a happy and comfortable life, free from money related troubles.
The ideas we list are meant at providing you ways and means to save your hard earned money. The money you save can be made to work with some proper investments.
And before we conclude, one more important point: Remember to read all fine print printed on vouchers, coupons, bank account and insurance application forms, terms and conditions and other clauses clearly. It is common for service providers and retailers in India to mention unpleasant facts in fine print and later use it against the consumer.
Indian government’s help
The good news however is, the Indian government has launched two portals for Indian citizens, where consumers can lodge grievances against any service provider or company. One is for public grievances and another for consumer complaints. Acquaint yourself with consumer protection laws to save money in your daily living.
These were 55 Ways to Save Money in India for more money saving tips stay tuned.