Trip-planning is usually a heavy-duty job in my family championed by both dad and I. Both of us would have multiple tabs opened on our respective laptops – my dad would be comparing flights across all airlines; while I’d be comparing hotels over all the booking sites I know.
Oh, and we’ll both be trying out promo code after promo code at the checkout page.
My mum calls it “stingy”; my dad and I call it “saving money”.
You definitely know someone as
stingy thrifty as my dad and I
It’s not an exaggeration to say that most Malaysians probably know someone who is all about cost-saving just like us, what with the ever rising cost of living. People like us will not hesitate to go the extra mile just to get a good deal, for example:
- Literally going that extra few kilometres to shop because the products are a few cents cheaper than the shop near their place;
- Doing a Google search for promo codes before making an online purchase; or
- Waiting until there’s an airline sale to book a trip, even when the planned travel date is a month away… or a year more to go.
These cost-saving habits may be seen as silly or unnecessary for those who don’t practise them
Some people are of the thought that spending that extra ringgit won’t do much harm to their personal finances. In fact, they see being thrifty as a negative trait. This is why you often hear people labelling their thrifty friends as “stingy”, teasing their friends for not being able to part with money.
“Why? Spend a bit more very sakit hati is it?”Random ‘generous’ person
On the other hand, convenience comes first. They think that the amount of time spent on searching for the cheapest options is counterproductive to a thrifty person’s cost-saving goal. For them, time is money – hence time spent on driving to a further store; or time spent waiting for a sale is equivalent to money spent.
“Why go through all that hassle just to save a few cents? Worth it, meh?”Random ‘every-second-counts’ person
But for those who are cost-conscious, a little bit goes a long way
On top of doing multiple comparisons to “save money”, I also have six e-wallets and constantly do mental arithmetic to decide which to use for maximum savings.
A friend once asked, “Just use any e-wallet or cash. How much can you save anyway?” Not one to back down from a challenge, I opened my expense tracking app, showing that I managed to save about RM140 through cashbacks and discounts in the past three months.
Just like the peribahasa we learned in school: sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit. We spend almost every day – so if we could just save a few cents from each daily transaction, pretty sure you’ll get about RM20-50 back.
And yes, cost-saving can co-exist with time-saving
For this to happen, you need to set an overall budget and stick to it.
We set an overall budget of RM3,800 for our family trip to Langkawi – RM800 for flight, RM3,000 for a hotel (because we’re fancy like that).
As I was about to start the usual multi-tab price comparisons, my dad told me of a new cost-saving tip he just learned from a friend of his. According to him, booking flights and accommodation together as a bundle is much cheaper than getting them separately.
So we tried it out and these are the results:
Total = RM3,704.98 for 5 of us, if flight and accommodation were booked separately.
But when booked as a bundle via AirAsia’s new flight + hotel package, SNAP:
That’s RM534.98 saved from booking in a bundle. It also helped that we could choose from the search results based on an overall budget, then book them at one-go. Save money + save time = two birds with one stone.
Thrifty people aren’t “stingy”, we’re just smart shoppers
Being “stingy” suggests that someone is ungenerous and unwilling to spend money, which isn’t the case for thrifty people. We’re aware that we definitely need to spend some money every day, we just want to see if it’s possible to save some money from our necessary daily expenditure.
Because why pay more when you can get the same thing with the same quality at a lower price?
So don’t call us stingy.
Call us smart shoppers.
I have an unhealthy obsession with chocolate, gummy candy, and "Confucius says" jokes.