I wonder how my mother managed everything. As a middle-class woman, she had it all under control – school fees, tuition fees, monthly bills and even a contingency fund. She was better prepared than most modern couples I’ve come across. Whenever I asked her how she managed her finances – her answers were simple and rooted in tradition. Let me share some of these methods that work even today and can help you save thousands annually.
My mother was a fan of RDs or Recurring Deposits. At any point in time, she had at least 2. The amount was often nominal. If I look closely, it was her way of ensuring she saved before spending. The moment RDs matured, she invested them. She planned for major events using RDs as well. As a result – she was prepared for all the occasions and also for the emergencies.
Vegetable Garden/ Home Grown Produce
The major household spending is on groceries. My mother made sure to save on this front, too. She planted seasonal produce in our vegetable garden and stored the same for year-long consumption. Even after deducting the salary of our gardener, she saved hundreds every month on the produce. Plus we always ate fresh and healthy.
Buying in Bulk
Mom made the best use of the wholesale price. Desi Ghee, cooking oil, pulses, and even the toiletries were bought in bulk. This way she saved thousands on everyday items each year which was why she could afford to buy more than many other families in the neighborhood.
DIY – Do-It-Yourself
In the last 10 years, the trend of DIY has picked up. Many use it to add a personal touch to their homes. Some have made successful businesses out of it. Little do we all realize, our mothers and grandmothers have been doing this for centuries without getting much credit. My mom knitted sweaters, used her old saree to make fancy cushions, and recycled discarded plastic containers into pots for the home garden.
My mother always carries a list when she goes shopping which helps her stay within budget. Apart from this, most non-perishable items, and purchased during an end-of-year or mid-year sale and stocked up. We do pretty much the same these days but with apps, coupons, and online deals.
Systematic Use of Change
As a kid I always got coins, never notes. Even for a quick errand like buying a loaf of bread, I was given change. My mother was wise enough to use all the change lying around in the house. She saved the bigger bills for big purchases.
Selling Unused, Old, and Recyclables
We had different piles in our storeroom – newspapers, plastics, unused items and things that would go into the donation box. Every couple of months, my parents would sell used, old and recyclable products to the scrap dealer. The money raised always took care of the newspaper bill for a quarter.
As a middle-class family, money was always tight. So managing expenses was the only way to run a household efficiently. I am sure the tactics used by my mother would have been used by most women across the country. Saving and then investing wisely to the best of their abilities helped them provide for their family.
Did the women in your household use any unique money saving tactics? Let us know in the comments below.