Pocket Friendly Indulgences

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How often have you been horrified looking at your credit card bill courtesy your shopping, eating and beauty regimen indulgences? Chances are every time. However if this has been worrying you, fret not, help is at hand. We tell you how you can indulge and still not burn a hole in your pocket.

Fitness

Staying fit is something that is a no brainer. However, most traditional options like gymming and yoga can cause a dent in your finances. With new age health and fitness apps like Obino in the market, losing weight is not only easy on your body but on your pocket too. “You no longer need to invest in those expensive gym memberships that you never use, or go to the expensive health and wellness clinics. Now health and weight loss are achievable at your fingertips. But most importantly it can cost you a fraction of what you have been paying so far,” says Ritu Soni Srivastava, Founder, Obino. You can consult with your in app diet coaches and get weekly plans with daily follow ups ensuring no wastage and pre planned grocery list. The follow ups make you feel accountable and you will never miss a healthy diet day. In fact, the diet coach guides you with smart cheat meals too. “Track your meals, count your steps, analyze your nutritional intake all in one place with a smartphone health and weight loss app instead of using four different gadgets to fulfill the same functions. Say goodbye to personal trainers that cost the earth. Instead your ‘in app’ fitness coaches can plan your exercise schedules based on your personal strengths and preferences and also stay in touch with you to give you reminders and assistance throughout the day at no extra cost,” says Ritu.

Eating Out

Eating at restaurants is an expensive affair and all set to raise in the new age Goods and Service Tax (GST) time as well. Also eating healthy at restaurants is an expensive affair as well. However, thanks to the ecommerce boom and a variety of online food tech ventures, now you can relish your favourite cuisine without burning a hole in your pocket. Here are a few hacks to help you eat healthy in a budget. “Look for online deals and discounts. There are a plenty of online restaurants like FreshMenu.com which offer sumptuous and healthy meals within a budget. Make use of deals and discounts available online. Aggregators like Zomato, Foodpanada etc. offer frequent discounts. Get in habit of using e-wallets and enjoy cash back offers,” says Rashmi Daga, Founder & CEO – FreshMenu.com. Buy fresh produce when it is in season and freeze it and if you prefer cooking in, fresh produce is always great, but the cost can go up quick. Buy what is in season currently, and consider stocking up when you find a good deal. Also consider checking out local ethnic markets. Not only are you likely to find a good bargain on certain items, you will also find some really interesting ingredients. “Order in together if you are ordering in at work. If you are ordering in a meal at work, consider ordering with your colleagues. With sharing always an option, wastage of food is avoided. Besides that, there is always more variety for you to try when there is more people sharing,” advices Rashmi.

Shopping

Retail therapy is a favourite with all and shopping can cause a huge dent in anyone’s finances. Online shopping is actually a bit of a hobby to most people. “In order to make them affordable, it is suggested that first you look at competitive prices on different apps. This way you can find out where it is the cheapest and buy from there. Secondly, always keep an eye out for online shopping marathons, like the Flipkart Big Billion Sale, or the Amazon Lightning deals. These can be real money savers in the long run,” advices Natasha Tuli, Co-Founder, Soulflower. Moksha Srivastava – Co- Founder, CMO and Spokesperson – Wheelstreet.com adds, “to save me from getting broke that month I transfer 25% of my salary to a different account and use it for shopping. Secondly, as much as possible I do not use my credit card as it can add to the burden in the following month when I have to pay it back. Thirdly, I try to keep my cards at home and use cash mostly for shopping as if I have my debit or credit card on person during my shopping spree I am bound to get broke within no time.”

Beauty Treatments

Getting a relaxing bit of beauty tampering is perhaps the one Achilles’ heel we all have. However, looking at the rates is perhaps almost as depressing as standing on a weighing scale after an indulgent weekend. “Several new and upcoming places are in dire need of customers, so they offer a deluge of discounts online. What’s more, you can also do a few of these at home by yourself, like getting a mani-pedi, basic wax, facial, scrub, etc.,” says Tuli. Since looking good is a primary concern, you can even try home remedies. “Tea tree oil is one of the well-known home remedies for acne because it functions as a solvent that breaks down old skin cells and controls oil on the skin.  In fact, papaya or orange peels can be very effective for those who would like to get rid of acne. A mixture of two teaspoons of yogurt with a pinch of turmeric helps you lighten the dark spots on your skin and curb the pigmentation. Applying toothpaste to the dark spots also helps in lightening the skin as it contains antibacterial and bleaching agents that kill bacteria that causes pimples and make dark spots lighter. Allow it to stay for 30 minutes and then wash your face with cold water. Do this twice in a week,” advices Dr. Amit Karkhanis, Cosmetologist and Medical Director, Dr. Tvacha Clinic.

Travel

Any holiday starts with planning right from the dates, budget, travel and stay. “In a sea of online travel websites, find one that has ‘Price Alerts’ which will be your ally in spotting the best flight fare for your travel dates. Skyscanner advises to be aware of the price drops to the destinations and grab the cheapest deal for the vacation of your lifetime as soon as you are notified,” says Reshmi Roy, Senior Growth Manager at Skyscanner. Planning a spontaneous getaway can seem expensive but one can beat the high costs with the ‘Top Deals’ available. While planning an overseas trip, find out the ‘Cheapest month’ to travel to the destination of your choice. Get matchless deals by subscribing to various travel portals to know the best time to book flight tickets. “In fact, if you are decided on a budget but unclear about the destination, Skyscanner lets you find out about the various destinations and the cost of travel with ‘Search Everywhere’ option. If you wish to extend your trip in a country without worrying about blowing your budget for hotel, consider taking a vacation in an off-season. It is a sure-fire way of getting unbeatable deals on hotels and allows you to elevate your sightseeing experience by avoiding crowded hot spots. Also, keep an eye out for coupons from various coupon code platforms to get the maximum discount possible on hotel bookings,” adds Reshmi. Choose and relish street cuisine over fancy dinners while holidaying!

This story appeared in the August 2017 issue of New Woman here:

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