One the most difficult things about saving money is taking those initial few steps in the right direction. Even after that it requires great self-discipline and effort to save a significant amount. The latest smartphone, a wardrobe upgrade, a trip to your favorite restaurant and similar temptations are reasons why many of us end up doing what we shouldn’t - dipping into our hard-earned savings.
But what if technology could help you make things easier in this pursuit? There are multiple tech tools and tips that you can put to good use, which will help you save easily and save more. Here are some measures you can implement right away:
Use coupon finders to get penny wise
Getting the best deal while shopping online usually involves a few cumbersome steps. Browsing multiple ecommerce websites, comparing products side-by-side, looking for elusive deals and discount coupons – these are some steps that can help you save money while shopping online.
Thankfully, all of this can be automated with some handy browser extensions. Popular options allow you to click a button during checkout to automatically apply the best coupons for the biggest possible discount. They even offer with price charts, inter-site price comparison and sale alerts for your favorite products. There is no way you will spend more than necessary on anything with these enabled.
Always try before you buy
The inability to try a product before buying it has always been a bugbear of online shopping. Usually people face this problem when purchasing apparel online, but even a pair of glasses or a piece of furniture can end up being the wrong fit for you. Unless the brands have a good return policy, you could end up losing money.
Augmented Reality (AR) can solve this for quite a few categories. Cosmetics and apparel brands are also taking AR out of your hands and into the retail store. They are installing AR-enabled screens which show how their merchandise will look on the customer.
Save energy and your wallet
A great way to save money, while helping the environment, is to opt for energy efficient electronics for your place. It has been a long time since CFL bulbs and lights became viable alternatives to incandescent lighting. However, LED lights offer an even better option in terms of longevity, electricity costs and now are also available at competitive prices. Just replacing the five most used lights in your house with LED lights can help save money. Additionally, whenever you are buying an electrical appliance like a fridge or an AC, look at the Standards and Labelling Scheme’s Star Label to understand its energy consumption. Go for as high a rating as you can afford, all the way up to five stars if possible, this will save money in the long run.
Track your expenses
It is possible for even the most careful spenders to lose track of their expenses, especially with digital transactions. You could miss a particular balance update from your bank or just forget to check the remaining balance regularly. This is where expense trackers come in handy. These apps for your smartphone can go through SMS updates and provide you with a detailed breakdown of your expenses. Some of the popular ones are Walnut, Monefy and Money Manager. Look for more in your app store using search terms such as ‘money manager’ or ‘expense tracker’.
These apps segment your expenses into categories so that you can have a better grasp of how you are spending money. Popular ones even provide reminders for bill payment, credit card tracking and ATM withdrawal tracking. Some of these apps can also notify you when a particular expense feels out of place with your usual spending behavior.
Take baby steps towards growing your money
A tried and tested method to save money has been to put it in a fixed deposit (FD). FDs give you guaranteed returns irrespective of market conditions. You can lock in for as short a period as 7 days or go as long as 10 years. You can even have multiple deposits for different objectives, in the same bank.
Axis Bank provides a hassle free FD creation process from the comfort of your home/office. It gives you a number of benefits, such as seamless fund transfer from savings accounts to fixed deposits, automatic rollover facility, choice of payout scheme and method and more. To start one from your home, you just need access to Axis Mobile or Axis Internet Banking. For internet banking, look for 'Create Fixed Deposit' under 'Deposit' once you login. For Axis Mobile, find 'Open FD' under 'Deposit'. Once you have filled in the details and confirmed, you will instantly receive the web receipt and the deposit itself will be visible under your account within a day.
At a glance:
- Enable browser extensions to find websites offering deals, discount coupons
- Prefer brands that allow you to try on the product before buying, using Augmented Reality
- Expense-tracker or money manager apps will keep your spends on track
- Switch to energy efficient electrical appliance to reduce your power bill
- Start by saving small amounts using your bank’s app or website
Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Siddharth Parwatay, a Mumbai based independent tech-journalist, editor, and content-creator. Axis Bank doesn't influence any views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and/or the author shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.