“Life is Hard” .. A phrase which is in the lips of most people nowadays as prices of everything is increasing and our incomes doesn’t increase as much. Then, how can we cope and weather through this difficult times? I’m no expert but here are some of the tips I’ve read from different websites.

1. Turn your hobby into income – If you’re good at cooking or baking, you can probably sell your goodies to your friends/colleagues/relatives. If you have a passion to teach, tutor people! If you are visually creative, try to create something that’s useful and unique. Sell your stuff in Ebay or Multiply.

2. Recycle – Bottles, newspapers, boxes.. they’re trash which you can sell. You may not earn much but each cent counts. In China, they don’t like bottles unless it’s beer bottles. The old lady in the street usually carries a bag and search for empty plastic bottles in the trash bin. As for me, I collect the free magazines which comes out every month and sell it when I have a lot along with my empty plastic bottles.

3. De-clutter your garage/room/house – do a spring clean or a garage sale instead of throwing items you don’t use or which catches dust. I haven’t tried this yet, but I might do it soon. I think I have a lot of stuff already and I’m planning to save more and spend less.

4. Stick to the budget – it’s quite hard to do a budget, let alone stick to it. But if you discipline yourself to follow it through, the sense of satisfaction is quite good. I have a budget every month and I sometimes go over it by a few yuan. It’s hard but I have to and I have a goal to achieve.

5. Stick to the list – if you go to the grocery or the mall, plan ahead of time and stick to the list. Go after you had a meal and come home beforehand. Leave your credit cards at home and just carry enough cash for your purchases.

6. Buy in bulk – Toiletries which you use daily and does not spoil is better to buy in bulk. You get to save a few cents when it increases monthly. Also, you don’t need to go back and forth which will save you fuel, time and headaches.

7. Compare prices – in China, I love going from one grocery to another and check their prices. I usually stick to one grocery to purchase certain stuff and the nearest grocery to purchase common stuff with same prices. The difference in price helps you save a lot.

8. Pay off your credit card balance in full – credit cards can be a pain and a relief. No need for cash and the option to pay several days in the future is good. Earning points in exchange for items or miles, can be used as gifts. However, abusing the use of the card will be a menace and difficult to overcome. It’s wise to pay of your credit card balance in full every month so that you won’t incur interest charges which is usually 3% monthly. Also, it’s good for your credit rating in case you plan to take out a loan in the bank.

I guess that’s it for now.. hope it will help you to weather this difficult times ahead of us. Don’t forget to save!

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