13 Things You Shouldn’t Buy When Living on a Strict Budget

With full implementation of GST, everyone has no choice but to tighten their belts, regardless of how much we all earn. But just because we’re trying to save more, it doesn’t mean that we have to give up on all the good things.

What we need to do is to be a savvy shopper to get more bang for our buck, and separate needs from wants. These are 15 things, divided into few categories, that you shouldn’t buy when living on a strict budget:

We need food to live, but there are several food items that you can live without.

1. Instant and processed food
This one is pretty obvious. Consuming too much of them may lead to serious diseases, including migraine, high blood pressure, and cancer. Just a packet of sausage contains about 50% fat.

Photo credit: Presto.my

2. Bottled tea
Making your own bottled tea is a better choice, since store-bought bottled teas are normally high in sugar compared to a piece of pie or even soda.

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3. Ready-made sandwiches
A pack of two sandwiches usually costs around RM4. You’re better off making them yourself, which yields more than just two sandwiches (and taste better and fresher too).

Photo credit: Rotiboy

4. Frozen veggies
People normally buy them because it’s practical and time-saving. But why don’t you make them yourself in your free time? Just cook the beans, the carrot and the corn before dicing the carrot and keep them refrigerated.

Photo credit: Redtick.com

5. Energy drinks
The drinks don’t really live up to its name, as they are actually high in sugar which will do the opposite to you rather than making you energised. Also, the drinks – which only gives you the energy that lasts for five hours – can trigger heart attack and other organ disturbance which can lead to death.

Photo credit: Samsgroceria.com

6. Non-milk drink
Non-milk drinks like vanilla, caramel, or soya-flavoured are not necessarily healthy as they are high in preservatives and sugar.

Photo credit: Samsgroceria.com

Is it possible to have fun on a budget? Yes!

7. Video games
Granted, not everyone plays video games. But those who do normally burns a hole in their pockets, as one game would normally set you back around RM100-RM200. For better gaming experience, some would also buy other gaming accessories which will cost even more. Why not download free games for your Apple or Android device?

Photo credit: Lazada.com.my

8. Movies
The price of movie tickets have skyrocketed since the GST, and depending on the time, a ticket may set you back around RM16-18. If you’re a hardcore movie buff, perhaps you might want to wait a few months and watch the movies online, and try iflix? With RM8/month payment, you’ll have unlimited access to thousands of TV shows and movies; among other perks.

Photo credit: Iflix.com

9. Gym membership
For gym membership, you’d have to pay at least RM150++ per month. Imagine how much you can save in a year with that amount of money! Just DIY and design your own workout routine, and watch the free exercise videos on YouTube.

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These days, it’s pretty much impossible for us to live without technology. However, there are some tech items that you can do without.

10. Tablet
When talking tablets, the high-end Apple tablets spring to mind (there are other non-Apple tablets which cost a lot less). But do you really need them? Some people say they’re good for productivity, but your computer is just as good!

Photo credit: Lazada.com.my

11. Tech accessories
Non-essential tech accessories that you can definitely skip are things like selfie sticks, fancy earphones, brand name headphones, or smartphone holder for selfie.

Photo credit: Typo

12. Smart TV
Yes, they may be quite impressive, but smart TVs aren’t a necessity, and you can definitely live without it.

Photo credit: Lazada.com.my

Getting around while on a budget is pretty tricky, but doable.

13. Car
If you truly can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Downpayment alone sets you back at least RM500, and then you’d have to pay for other things. For the time being, try carpooling with other people (try Uber) or take public transportation.

Photo credit: Proton-edar.com.my

Do you agree with our list? Share your thoughts with us below or on Facebook!

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