Cash strapped? We have the solve Image: Facebook
You have too many cool friends and there are too many birthdays to attend, too. Love is expensive, when it does happen. Unless you're James Bond, your tab is not picked up by Her Majesty. In short, udhar ki zindaagi is street cred for you.
Fikar not, we have a few tricks to help you get more for less, without seeming stingy or uncool.
1. Stay calm and keep sharing
Every time you book a cab, be it for tuition or for meeting your new romantic interest, you are literally throwing money down the Ganges. You pay for three extra seats. Even if I were to accept your 'in the backseat with your SO', it's still a waste. Ola Share and UberPool allow you pay for the exact number of seats you occupy. You may have to share your ride with random strangers but you also save lots of money. Instead of paying Rs 400 for one full-cab trip, you pay Rs 150 for two seats. Plus, the comfort of an AC cab which, if you're lucky, travels around half the city before you guys reach your destination. Inside a cab also means no one's gonna spot you and call your mumma: 'Chintu ko udhar park mein dekha aj dopahar.'
2. Nahin karte ala-carte
A plush restaurant, good music and fine food for a hot date. We get what's on your mind. The waiter asks you about your order and this is the exact moment you make the costly mistake. You order ala-carte. Every time you pay for ala-carte food, you are over-paying for the food you can eat cheaper. Before you go on your next a date, check for deals-sites such as Dineout, Grabon, Groupon, eazydiner, Mydala, Nearbuy, or FreeKaMaal. There are a host of deals at your favorite eat-outs. You can get an easy 15-20 percent off on your food bill, and more if you opt for combos and hot-offers.
3. Never pay for movie tickets
We are not suggesting you steal your dad's or mum's debit/credit card to book the movie tickets. Being a sankskari country, we would never recommend that. All we are asking you to do is use the card to avail discounts. Banks and movie ticket sites have tie-ups that offer big discounts. Some banks have a Buy-1-Get-1-Free offer for particular variants of a card. Some offer two free movie tickets every month. There are also ones that give Rs 250 cashback. Reward points earned by your parents can also be converted to ka-ching and used to buy tickets. If you don't have access to such cards, fret not. Telecom operators offer movie-ticket offers to post-paid customers. Plus, digital wallets regularly give discounts if you book tickets through them. Some ticket booking websites have exclusive tie-ups. You pay for tickets but get heavy discounts on the snacks.
4. The devil wears Prada because she can afford it
Brands are cool but expensive too. Your fashion bills can be lumpy. Look out for factory-seconds. Discount stores sell factory seconds with minor flaws. In most cases, nobody will be able to spot it — not even your brand Nazi friend. The tag matters a lot when you buy a pair of Pepes or Levis.
Every single rupee saved is a rupee earned. Try these tips out and share your experience with us.
(Kumar Shankar Roy is a business journalist, specialising in personal finance and stocks)