“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Trying times are great for revealing who your true friends are. Thankful for the few I’ve got.
The bills are piling up as my purchasing power decreases each year (pay raise doesn’t cover inflation). Here’s how I survive.
- Shop for groceries often. I go almost daily, and the key advantage of this is buying price-reduced fruits, veggies and meats that need to be consumed on the same day. I take them home and whip up a meal, and if necessary refrigerating or freezing the leftover meal for another day.
- After six. That’s when the bakery downstairs sells its loaves at half price. I buy a couple and freeze them to keep them fresh.
- Eat in. I have about 95 per cent of my meals at home, at an average of HK$50 each. That means one fancy dinner out in Central (HK$1,000) is equivalent to 20 meals for me.
- DIY. Prepare your own baby food. It’s fresher, more nutritious, healthier and better value for money. Of course it’s more time consuming but you could do a lot of meals at a go and just freeze them for the next week or so. Prepackaged baby food averages HK$25 per packet/bottle – and really all there is to it is steamed and pureed veg. So easy to do it on your own.
- Skip coffee. At least that from Starbucks and the like. One large mocha is the equivalent of about 14 three-in-one coffee sachets at home.
- The 24-hour rule: buy nothing on impulse and let it stew for 24 hours in your mind before returning to the product you wish to buy. “Do I really need it?” The answer is often “no”.
- Take hand-me-downs with pride. I accept everything. Thank you.
- Outside is free. Gym memberships are a complete waste of money (as is personal training). Why would you blow thousands of dollars a month on getting fit when it costs nothing to run in Hong Kong’s wonderful country parks or do a fun circuit training session at a public green space?
- Swap-it HK Facebook page. Great way to declutter and make a few bucks at the same time.
- Keep it simple. Know what’s a “need” and a “want”. Aim for a life of simplicity, not luxury. And most of all, be happy with what you have and never be jealous of another’s possessions or lifestyle.