Five quick tips to cut expenses during uncertain times

Due to COVID-19, there is a need to curtail the expenses, as either the income has shrunk or there is no income, due to job losses. Here are five quick tips to reduce your expenses, during uncertain times.

  1. Know your Expenses (KYE): Bank requires KYC (Know Your Customer) whereas PR Professionals requires KYE (Know Your Expenses). You get salary into your bank account – you are aware. The salary money keeps going out of the bank everyday – you are aware. What you may not be aware of is, where the money is going. It is very essential to know your expenses. If you know where it is going, then you can analyse the expenses and take steps to reduce or eliminate some of them. This becomes even more important in the lights of COVID-19 which led to job losses and layoffs in the PR community. So, obtain KYE – Know Your Expenses.
  2. Uninstall Shopping Apps: Most of our purchases are emotional in nature. With the advent and evolution of e-commerce, impulsive buying became a natural act. My cousin has a habit of checking ‘deals of the day’ every now and then. He buys all those ‘nice to have’ stuffs, just because he gets a good deal. He bought an induction stove for ₹2500. His mother does not know how to use that, and it is remaining unpacked for many years now. Everyday something pops up on your phone screaming about the best deals of the day. As a PR professional, you need to stay on top of the news and thus you never put your phone down. The pop ups grab your attention with ease and eats up your money. The simplest solution is to uninstall the shopping apps. 
  3. Better utilisation of available resources: Recently, my JioFi device switched off frequently. Puzzled with this unusual behavior of the device, I browsed to find out the reasons. I concluded that this may be because of the battery. But I cannot buy a new battery due to the COVID-19 lockdown situation.  I was worried as my office work depends on the internet connection. Thought for a while and decided to check if the battery works by connecting to some other charger. I started trying all my chargers one by one. That is when it happened. The device started working, with my Bluetooth speaker’s charger. I jumped out of joy and there is word to define that moment. This saved me from spending on a new device or a new charger. I learnt that one must look at the resources available and utilise them to resolve the challenges before buying anything new. It not only solves your problem in a jiffy, but also saves quite a lot of money. 
  4. Put your family first: You incur lot of professional expenses such as attending events, travelling, and meeting people for networking. Some will be reimbursed by your company and some will be out of your pocket. You also need to invest on a good phone. My neighbor’s son got a new job. He immediately decided to buy a mobile phone for ₹40000 just because all of his colleagues have one. The irony is that most of the features that he is going to use are available in the phones that comes in the price of ₹15000. The additional features in the ₹40000 phone will be rarely or never used. So, his father advised him to buy a phone, not more than ₹15000 and buy a washing machine for the remaining ₹25000 as the old one at home was worn out. This is an excellent piece of advice as the entire family will be benefitted by buying a washing machine whereas buying an expensive phone will mostly benefit only one person in the family. Always put your family first in your financial decisions. You will never regret.
  5. Unsubscribe: You buy online subscriptions to gain knowledge. It is essential. No second thought about it. Over a period of time, you buy more subscriptions. You use some, and some becomes obsolete. You will be paying fees for all subscriptions, though. There is a way to get rid of this situation. Periodically, take stock of your current subscriptions and verify if you are still getting benefitted out of it. Unsubscribe those that are of no use and save money. Not to forget the entertainment subscriptions like Netflix. There were times when I found no time for entertainment.  I was madly buried with work. The first thing I did was to unsubscribe my Netflix subscription. After 4 months, things came back to normal and I joined Netflix again. I saved subscription fees of ₹3000 by unsubscribing for 4 months. Similarly, take a stock of your subscriptions and unsubscribe those that is not required. 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ra Ma. Palaniappan
Ra Ma. Palaniappan is a keynote speaker with over 15 years of industry experience as a Banker and IT Program Manager. He passionately speaks about topics on Personal Finance.

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