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Frugality Needs to Be a Family Culture

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Saving money can only be achieved if it is part of the family culture. It all started with my parents, they instilled the sense of frugality to me and also my children. I am lucky that my wife shares similar values as my parents and myself.
Being frugal doesn't mean never ever splurging and rewarding ourselves, it is fine to spend extra occasionally. What is important is the frequency of doing that and what we do the rest of the time.
Developing a culture takes time; in my case a lifetime. I learned a lot from observing my parents:
When possible, repair instead of buying a replacement. Cook at home instead of eating out. When eating out look for places that are less expensive. They often keep leftovers for lunch or breakfast. Eat together during dinner in order to reduce leftovers. Buy only what is needed. Use recycled items whenever possible. My mother used to sew our clothes (not so much anymore since we can get some inexpensive clothes in the market).
When everyone in the family shares …

Simple Money Tips - Savings Part 2

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This is a follow up from part 1, additional tricks of saving money.
Discounts
Some discounts are not obvious because they are not openly publicized. So the first thing to do is to ask whether the store is running any promotions. I do not memorize all the offers provided by my credit card and often miss them - the habit of asking about promotion helps in reducing the times I miss such promotions.
Some promotions that are still available at the point of my writing are: Starbucks will give a RM2 discount if you use your own Starbucks Tumbler or mug. I am not sure if they will offer the same discount if you use a non-Starbucks mug. McDonald’s will give you a free frozen coke if you spend more than RM10 and pay with your credit card. McDonald’s will also give a free item (sometimes fries, other times apple pie) if you spend more than RM20 in the drive through and have a McDonald’s VIP sticker. Beyond Vege provide 15% discount off the total bill for paying bill with a UOB credit card. Discounts for…

Simple Money Tips - Savings Part 1

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The following are some of the tricks I learned over the years and thought of sharing them here.
Cashback Cards
A few years back, I looked my credit card and how I used it. I found that it was better to get cash back than to accumulate points. This was what I concluded:
Most credit card points expire. Often the points will expire before I could accumulate enough to redeem items that I wanted. In many cases, I could not find anything worth redeeming (or at least needed). When I compute the points needed to exchange for cash vouchers, the cash back yield was a better option.
This is why I prefer cash back credit cards over other credit cards types of credit cards. I consider the cash back as discounts since I have to spend money to earn the cash back. Other type of cards is useful if it provides items that is otherwise not available.
I have earned quite a lot of cash back since I switched over to cash back cards. However, in the last few years, the banks have reduced the amount of cash back t…