A Change In Lifestyle1. Instead of eating out, bring home-cooked lunch (here are some simple recipes) in a Tupperware instead.
2. Processed food are expensive and unhealthy. So I cut down on ready-made pizzas and pretentious nuggets, go for the fresh ingredients instead. (The truth is, I got traumatized by a documentary about processed food during Russian Class, but that actually helps. So, oh well...)
3. Buy food in bulk. I'll buy storable foodstuff in bulk when there are special discounts.
4. Stop drinking. Good that I am not a coffee or alcohol drinker to start with. Plain water is healthy enough, I stopped buying carbonated drinks or juice.
5. Stop snacking. You thought you bought a bag of Lays. The truth is, you are just buying half a bag of chips and half a bag of air (which you should get them for free).
6. Make your own food. Instead of buying milk, I make my own soy drinks from scratch using dried beans (that's the best I can do in Russia)!
7. Never waste food. (Not to mention I hate this behavior!) For example, I never throw away the beanstalk after making soy milk. Instead, I keep and add them in my dinner for an extra kick of protein.
6. If a place is in walkable distance, I'd rather walk.
Shopping7. Cut down on unnecessary shopping sprees. I used to go shopping for clothes, not anymore.
8. When I see something that I really want, I'll use the "wait for a week" tactic to see if I still want it. Since then, I don't do decisions based on emotions anymore.
9. Compare prices. Shop A sells milk 6 Ruble cheaper and that shop sells chicken 10 Ruble cheaper. Believe me, these things add up.
10. Bring a shopping bag and never waste 2 Ruble on plastic bags again.
11. If you can buy a Zara winter jacket in nearly-perfect condition for a fraction of the price, why pay full price for a similar one? There is nothing to be ashamed of, second-hand stuff is cool.
12. I might sound like a grandma but never underestimate the power of coupon-clipping.
13. Keep a waiting list and only buy them during sales (for example, Black Friday). I remembered when my 6-year-old laptop exploded, I really wanted to buy a new one but it was not a good time. I kept it on hold on the waiting list until in 2016, Ruble suffered a sharp plunge (from RM1:9Rub to RM1:20Rub), I seize the chance and bought a laptop with half the price! Such a steal, wasn't it?
14. Research for alternatives. When I decided to get a sports camera, I was too broke to get a GoPro, so by recommendation from my groupmates and days of comparing reviews, I bought a XiaoMi Yi with a much cheaper price and the results of the footages are incredible.
Housing15. When out for house-hunting, try to avoid renting a house without centralizing heater and gas stove. You'd have to pay more if everything in the house runs on electricity.
16. During winter, wear more clothes and try to restrict yourself from switching on the electrical heater. You won't wanna know about the bills afterward.
17. Celebrating Chinese New Year, Christmas or other festivals? DIY your own house decorations instead of buying them!
Entertainment18. You don't have to go to the theater. Wait patiently for a few months and it'll be available online. To be called outdated, it's an honor. ;)
19. Cut the Wi-Fi, and rely on a mobile data plan. I am able to do this because data plan in Russia is AWESOME. By paying only 200 Ruble (about RM15) per month, I have access to fast internet and connect the hotspot to my other device. (no problem in streaming youtube if you don't mind a little buffering). When I need to upload or download big files, the Public Library with Super Speed free Wi-Fi is just a stone throw away.
20. Stop going out for karaoke sessions, download singing apps and -1 Music Videos instead. Then throw a DIY karaoke night party in the room, and collect entrance fees. (oops, I am kidding about the last part.)
21. Love reading? Although books are definitely works of art, download ebooks instead.
Socializing22. Throw Potluck parties at the house instead of eating out. The best part is you can even play a game or two after dinner. Be as crazy as you like as long as you don't disturb your neighbors!
23. Stop dating (lol). Never a problem, 4 years of long distance relationship has trained me well.
24. On birthdays of my closest friends, I usually cook up an extra lavish meal for them or do DIY gifts. Those are gifts from the bottom of my heart that are exclusive for those who received.
Health25. Growing my own vegetables on the balcony was hard but there are some really easy ones with 100% success rate-- Spring onion and bean sprouts.
26. Eat fruits and vegetables instead of vitamin pills.
27. Exercise outdoors or indoors, sell off the gym membership. (This hurt me at first coz I really like the fitness classes. )
New Ways Of Earning Money.28. Sell things you don't need anymore to juniors or second-hand stores.
29. Sell food during free time.
30. Being a Malaysian rocks. Being able to speak and write in more than 3 languages means big-time Translation gigs.
31. Write a book, an E-book to be exact.
32. Know how to play the piano? Guitar? Bass? Put that talent to good use. Teach someone and get paid!
33. Consult for brands on social media if you have a wide reach.
34. Working as a freelance travel journalist for 2 Malaysian Magazines teaches me that how much free time you have depends only on how well you organize your time. Once, I completed 33-pages-long travel articles for a Travel Magazine within my 4 hours transit time in Domodedovo Airport, don't ask me how.
35. I started this travel blog in September 2015 without expectations, God knows I'd start earning after 7 months into blogging.
36. Join affiliate programs and earn a tiiiinnnnyyyy bit of commission.
37. Work for national or regional Tourist Boards and international corporations to produce shareable content. Working with the France Tourism Board is one of the sweetest memories I have.
Travel planning38. Sign up for travel newsletters. Personally, I highly recommend signing up for Skyscanner's mailing lists as they keep you posted on the cheapest deals, last-minute sales or budget tips. Also, if you want to receive exclusive travel offers, travel tips, and giveaways, do sign up for my monthly newsletter. I'll collect the best deals and send them to you so that you don't have to move a finger!
39. Use Skyscanner everywhere features to search for the cheapest flight tickets. Combine this with these 10 secrets to buy the cheapest flight tickets.
40. Find the cheapest bus and train tickets with GoEuro. See full step-by-step explanation.
41. Agoda.com and booking.com helps compare prices of hotels, hostels, and B&Bs.
42. Rent a private room on Airbnb, preferably with access to the kitchen and the washing machine. (I am giving you free €33 to start with! Click here to claim!)
43. Research on deals. Search on pages like Groupon and Dailydeals.
44. Take genuine advice from top travel bloggers. My favorite Travel blogger? Jodi Etternburg from Legal Nomads.
45. Join travel Facebook groups. Malaysian Travel Groups like BBM and MBC never fail to feed my wanderlust. I love looking at all the beautiful photos and travel tips posted by wonderful members.
46. Couchsurfing. If you want budget tips in a particular town, who else can answer you better than the locals?
Financing47. Having a piggy bank reminds you constantly of the reasons you are saving up. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just a water bottle will do. Mine was an empty marmalade jar.
48. Outline your monthly expenses and cut down things other than the essential.
49. Limit yourself to one ATM cash withdrawal per month and push yourself to keep your spendings within budget.
Mindset50. The last a most important one: keep a healthy mindset. Think positive and say you can do it!
📌For more travel tips, like Eat Love Travel Breathe with Miss HappyFeet.
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Thank You for Reading!
This post is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience.
If you have a different opinion/ more suggestions, feel free to let me know by commenting below!