You’ve definitely heard and read stories of how people saved money and become successful financially. The financially successful people got there with many different methods, such as buying unit trusts and other forms of investments. But they didn’t get there without doing the smaller things too.

Did you know you can get on the same direction with a few lesser-known habits? Let us give you some not-so-obvious tricks to save precious money and you can watch your finances grow.

1. Less ATM = more money

Visit the ATM less. This is easier said than done. For most of us, discipline in money matters is not our strength. But one way we can curb excessive spending is to withdraw from the ATM only what we need for that week, and nothing more.

Less money in hand means more money in the bank.

Delegate your expenses based on your average weekly spending and don’t touch the ATM unless it is an emergency. You will find it easier as time goes by and eventually be spending less per week.

2. Count your change

Every Sen counts. Don’t be a high-roller by asking the cashier to keep the change. Be sure to get every bit back and put it aside as part of your future budget. Hate keeping coins? Keep a pouch to hold your loose change and convert it to bills later on. It won’t take long before you’ll find your coins turn into dollars.

Alternatively, you can set aside your change into a savings jar. You can start by collecting your lunch balance. As we usually have a RM10 note to pay for your mixed rice, set aside the balance in a jar as savings.

3. Experiment with your budget

Finding the best money-saving method is always a process of trial and error. Experiment with your cashflow and you can decide if you can take on more financial commitments. For example, if a potential car loan is RM500 per month, set aside that amount before you purchase the car. If after a few months you find that you can live comfortably with that amount, you know that buying the car is a good decision.

Apply this technique to any type of commitments or saving scheme you want to take on and accurately determine the decision to make.

4. Save a certain quantity

A little bit goes a long way. Saving a fixed denomination of money allows you to accumulate rather quickly. Set aside bills that are of a certain quantity. You can start by saving every RM1 denomination. You can also try larger amounts. For example, every RM5 note you get as change, you put into your savings. By the end of the month, you’ll find ample amounts in your savings.

5. 52-week money challenge

There’s a trick to savings which usually works while teaching you the benefits of compounding interest. You start on the first week of the year by saving RM1. Consecutively, you increase the number by each week – RM2 for the second week and so on. By the last week of the year, you will set aside RM52.

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself. Go big if you are able and add in more. You can combine this method with the fixed denomination saving method above and get more value each week.

6. Use an app

These days, the easiest way to keep track of your savings and expenditures is to use a smartphone app. Smartphone finance-tracking apps allow you to monitor all your payments and financial commitments as well as give you the best suggestions following your financial habits.

These steps won’t transform your financial well-being overnight, but it helps to point you in the right direction of securing a better financial position in life. Keen to try?

This article was written by Zoë Moraes. She is the marketing and content manager of, a site dedicated to increasing financial literacy, as well as helping you save time and money by comparing credit cards, personal loans, and broadband plans in Malaysia.

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