1. The Good Education: Rather than stating the obvious, just a couple of items you should include when doing your research – find out what mortgage tools are available from different financial institutions, don’t be lazy and pick whatever is the most convenient or you might end up paying more than necessary. It is also wise to compare asking and selling prices so that you can come up with an appropriate negotiation strategy.
  2. Trim or Eliminate: Regular expenses such as grocery and utilities, aka ‘The Essentials’, can be trimmed, whereas irregular expenses, such as the occasional shopping spree, can be eliminated.
  3. The Safeguard: Set up a separate bank account for your savings and quarantine it from any spending. It means off-limits no matter what! Also, set up a monthly scheduled transaction to this account when your paycheck comes in.
  4. The Big Savings: These two will definitely help – vacation and your ride. Yes, everybody needs a break, just not a beach vacation in Ibiza but maybe the equally beautiful Langkawi. Your ride – if you don’t really need it, sell it; if you really need it, stick with it until it is undrivable.
  5. Even Little Things Matter: Shorter showers, energy-saving products, power off idle electronics (not standby mode, you know that still consumes electricity, right?). Compare your gas and electricity bills and you will see the effects in the long run.

  6. Cost and Benefit: Evaluate your mobile phone, broadband and cable subscription plans. How much data and call time are you actually using? How often do you get online via your home network? Do you really have time to watch cable? Or rather, do you watch all the subscribed channels? Don’t say, ‘I might need it later’, we all know that is highly unlikely. Just cancel or downgrade these services accordingly.
  7. It’s a 24/7 Job: Don’t worry, it’s not literally 24/7. The point is, how you go about your daily business will contribute to your cause, it is a continuous effort and possibly a long journey. For example, you can leave home earlier to take public transportation instead of taxi, bring lunch to work instead of eating out or even go vegan a few days each week. No pain, no gain.
  8. Consider the Alternatives: Store-brand foods basically taste almost the same as their branded counterparts, pick the cheaper one (btw, remember to check the expiration date *wink*). Another example is paid gym membership vs free or inexpensive exercises like jogging or cycling.
  9. Change Your Spending Pattern: There are multiple ways you can easily achieve this – compare prices before buying, redeem your credit card awards, join a loyalty programme to accumulate points for discounts, buy in bulk, share or pool resources with friends and neighbours. But most importantly, stop before opening your wallet and ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’
  10. Become a Hermit: Nah, just joking. As John Donne said, ‘No Man Is an Island’. You don’t have to miss out on your social life just to save for your dream or any home. A gathering can happen anywhere, why not have a house party? If you don’t like the cleaning up afterwards, take turns within your circle of friends.
  11. [Special Bonus] Live with your parents!! LOL