OVER the past few weeks, I have heard many discussions about the price hike of goods and services in Malaysia and how it will affect our lives. Well, I don’t blame people for feeling anxious because I believe that it would be a little difficult to adjust our lifestyles accordingly.

In fact, I also sense a little hesitation in my parents when I ask them for some pocket money to go out with my friends. Sometimes, I believe that this is the reason why my parents suddenly seem to have more grey hair now.

Nevertheless, as their daughter, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is anything I could do to help ease their financial burden. Use less electricity at home? Stop going out too much?

Well, here are some tips I plan to follow to reduce my (and my parents’) expenses and hopefully, they would be of use to you as well.

Go home-cooked
Nowadays, many of us are into the idea of living healthy; actively working out to get that hot body and also consuming healthier meals. Well, healthy meals need not always be from fancy food chains – they can also be made at home. Although most of us dread the thought of preparing our own food, think of the bright side. Not only would we control what’s going into our stomachs, we could also save a lot of money in the process.

Money-free fun
After a long and tiring week of studying, most of us just want to spend the weekend with family and friends – and this we do by going shopping or catching the latest movie in the cinema. As much as these are fun activities, they also burn a hole in our pockets. Why don’t we keep the catching up and relaxing moments indoors and do something like play a boardgame or do a TV series marathon in the comfort of our own homes instead?

Save our resources
We’ve heard this many times but seriously, it is important that we follow it. There is no doubt we need electricity and water but imagine how much money (and natural energy) we would save if we reduced the wastage? Let’s try using a fan instead of an air conditioner once in a while, turning off the tap when we shampoo our hair and just doing more of these little things that would go a long way in the future.

Let’s car pool
Yes, it’s nice to own a car – it’s convenient and gets us anywhere and everywhere we want to without having to depend on our parents. On the other hand, it is also expensive to maintain and let’s not even talk about the cost of petrol. So, when commuting to and fro school/college, why don’t we carpool with friends living in the same neighbourhood? Not only does it save us some money, we would also make Mother Nature very happy. Now, isn’t that a win-win situation?The writer is a member of The Star’s BRATs young journalist programme, organised by R.AGE. For more information, and to apply to join the programme, log on to

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