7 Money Habits of Financially Prudent People

Money habits – what are yours? My friend, AK at Singaporean Stock Investor posted his 7 money habits (inspired from the late Stephen R Covey’s book – 7 habits of highly effective people) which we all could relate too, but might need some effort & awareness to put into practice. Myself as a financial planning practitioner personally have some of these habits.

Habit#1 – Canned/bottle drinks = TAK NAK when dining out

Fresh food needs on site preparation but a stroll to the nearby supermarket to buy the same canned or bottled drink for a much lower price.

My comment: Beverages price on menus are simply astounding! Some might say it is convenient that we buy drinks from the eateries but the premium paid for this convenience is way too high. Most of the time, I ordered plain water (aka sky juice) instead 🙂

Habit#2 – Always check bill amount

Huh? Can we really save money this way? You bet. I have lost count of the number of times I have been overcharged by pharmacies, supermarkets and restaurants. Very often, the larger bills are the ones we have to be more careful with as overcharging even a few dollars could be hard to spot. It is because of this habit that I have avoided being overcharged for many years now. Oh, check the receipt just outside the shop, not after getting home!

My comment: I don’t usually do this, because I trust the price scanner at check out counter? Ok, maybe I start this one soon.

Habit#3 – Compare products on offer between shops

For the same product, two shops which are side by side could have very different prices. Guardian and Watsons are very often found in close proximity to one another. Many times, I saved quite a bit of money comparing their prices before deciding who to buy from.

My comment: Couldn’t agree more. I do compare items like face cleanser between, say, Giant supermarket and Watson or Guardian.

Habit#4 – I never take for granted that buying more is definitely buying cheaper.

Many times, I stopped friends and family from buying bulk packed products as they actually cost more than buying loose! Huh? Of course, they cost more since we are buying more, you might say. No, no, that is not what I mean. I mean we should check to see how much is the per unit price in bulk packed offers. Don’t assume that bulk packed products are always cheaper.

My comment – I am guilty for this, as in I don’t check it. Having said that, I seldom buy bulk products on offer, probably not until I go diaper shopping when I got kids later 🙂  But if I do buy things in bulk, I will do quick mental calculation.

Habit#5 – I always try to get discounts off my bills.

bad money habitsI always get a discount off my bills at Kopitiam and Food Junction. Yes, go get the discount cards if you have not done so. If I should be in an unfamiliar establishment, I would ask the service staff if they had discount agreements with credit card companies.

My comment: Baskin Robbins, for instance, can allow you to redeem your Maybank credit card Treat Points on the spot. Eateries in shopping malls also normally have such discount arrangement for weekday’s lunch/dinner with MNC (multinational companies) staff. Just bring and flash your ID card to be entitled for 5 to 15 percent off regular price for non-offer items.

Habit No. 6 – I never pay in cash.

Well, unless that is the only mode of payment acceptable. Often, I see people before me in a queue choosing to pay in cash. Some transactions were rather high in value too. Imagine the number of reward points they could have accumulated if they had used a credit card, if they had one, or the amount of cash they could have received in rebates!

My comments: Depends on credit card. Again, make it a point that credit card is just a method of payment, not to extend purchasing power.

Habit No. 7 – I bring my own food to work.

sandwich lunch

I always bring some food prepared at home to work and I save quite a bit of money this way. Anyway, I enjoy oatmeal regularly and I don’t think they sell oatmeal in the coffee shops or food courts.

My comment: I actually asked AK this if he would appear quite anti-social with this routine. Nonetheless, if really tight on money, this could really help. Imagine, a friend of mine used to work in KLCC, and even normal food court meals cost quite a lot. So he got to save by not ordering drinks. He has to be in the lunch gang else it would be hard to “work together” with the team, so to speak.

If we work to increase our income and reduce our expenses, our financial health will improve over time. As the saying goes, it is easier to spend money than to make money. So, if we just put in a little effort, we could be saving some money as we spend money. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

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