With growing concerns about income and expenditure, and at a time when inflation continues to rise, the Portuguese are despairing and making a living. Even with the announcement by the Prime Minister, António Costa, of a new package of measures that promise to ease rising inflation, more and more savings tips are needed.
Personal finance specialist, Bárbara Barroso, presented some tactics to reduce consumption in three areas: housing, food and transport.
In the area of housing, Bárbara Barroso proposes a “renegotiation”. “What they can do is try to renegotiate either the spread, the bank’s profit margin, or the price that is added to the market interest rate,” says the personal finance specialist. In addition, the citizen can “try to renegotiate life insurance and other insurance related to home loan” to “reduce the home bill”.
Within this area, and in the energy tariff payment category, the same renegotiation can take place for electricity and gas. “Now households will be allowed to enter the regulated market and all indications are that this transition from the liberalized market to a regulated market will bring some savings to households”, says Barbara Barroso. However, the specialist also adds that the final cost will vary “according to the consumption of each home”.
When it comes to food, there has to be an adjustment in consumption, both outside the home (ordering food or eating in restaurants) and in the supermarket. “We can buy white brands. Many Portuguese have already adopted [essa medida] even in other periods of crisis,” says Bárbara Barroso.
In addition to this tip, there’s another tip to adopt before you hit the grocery store: plan meals based on what each family has in their pantry. “Take an inventory of what you have in your pantry and organize it to have the products with the shortest deadlines ahead”, adds. This advance planning avoids purchasing repeat products. “Because we often don’t remember [que já os temos]”.
Promotions can help, but they can also be an illusion of savings. “It’s important to start, when we go shopping, look at the price per kilo, the price per liter, the price per unit. We must not forget that there are marketing techniques that can be used to sell inventory. offer is not cheaper than the smallest”says Barbara Barroso.
Coupons or cards that get a discount at supermarkets are a good option, according to the personal finance specialist. “Using coupons always helps families save, knowing these are ways to keep us in the same grocery store and always come back to the same.”
When it comes to transport, everyone should, if possible, switch from private transport to public transport. “The offer is not the same outside the big cities, but [deve-se] try to reduce the use of the car”, advises the expert.
For those who have their own car, there is a way to reduce travel costs. There can be “a share”. “For example, if you start working with colleagues, you can also save on this bill by splitting the costs”reveals Barbara Barroso.
“This is one of the best practices of financial planning and management,” says the expert. “We thought ‘I can’t save anymore’, but if we go to the penny, [sabemos] where does our money go. Maybe we have no idea what we’re spending on certain expenses and that’s where the savings we’re making are.”
For example, when withdrawing money from ATMs, the amount that is debited from the account must be recorded. “If you withdraw 20 euros, you have to keep the withdrawal registration. After making a distribution where that 20 euros went, further evaluation,” he explains.
Within budget control, every person should be aware of ‘freemium’ applications [junção das palavras ‘free’, grátis, e ‘premium’, versão paga]. In this mode, the service is offered for free, but after a while a certain amount is deducted. “If there’s a freemium app, my advice is to put a notification on your phone two days in advance to decide if it’s worth canceling.”