Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. I had so many attempts to inspire myself to save but I always end up bringing all my money for emergency cases. When I say emergencies, that means passing by a mall seeing yellow tags in Forever21 or a spontaneous dinner with friends in a buffet. So I thought, I should be prepared cos we never know when it’s gonna happen. Lol
But as I get older, I noticed that working hard without any savings isn’t worth it. Yes, we work to support our daily needs but at the same time, we work to save for our future.
So here’s my practical ways on how I save money:
1. Know your fixed expenses for the month. This includes your weekly allowance and groceries (or other bills that you’re currently maintaining). In my case, every pay day, I set aside my budget for my kid and groceries that are good for 2 weeks or until next pay day. Then, I’ll be getting my budget for the remaining weeks of the month on my 2nd pay.
2. Save your loose change. I am using a can of Fox’s for the 5s and 10s and separate all the piso and never count it.
3. Eat out one fewer time each month. It is okay to splurge in food, always, but keep it on a limit. Calculate how much it will costs you when you eat out and when you eat in. Whether the difference is only a 100 bucks or less, it is still worth saving.
4. Take fewer cab rides. Using public transit instead of cabs can help you save more. I know taking the normal commute in Metro Manila is a hassle but it helps you to save money. Spending 100 bucks for a cab from BGC to Ayala is a lot compared to 12 pesos if you ride a bus. Di ba?! The remaining 70-80 pesos is equivalent for a Jollibee meal already!
5. Assess your communications costs. As Internet and wireless use grows, many consumers are overpaying for unneeded communications capacity. I am a bill-shocker. I hate knowing that I overspend in using my phone lines and internet, so I ditched having postpaid and just use prepaid instead. Just be aware of your cell phone costs and try to reduce them if you can.
6. Take advantage of discounts. Period. Well, you just have to know if it is a good buy or not because not all discounted items are in good condition. It is also not convenient to go to a mall when they’re promoting 50-70% discount because there will be long lines in the fitting rooms and cashier counters, but, if you’re priority is to save money than these inconveniences, then run for it.
7. Keep track of your spending. Review what you have purchased. Assess if you’re spending too much in clothing, food, etc. If ever that you cut short in your budget, at least you’ll know where you have allotted your money. Since I have my phone most of the time, I use Spending Tracker. In here, you’ll know which area you’ve been spending a lot on. There are other ways to track your expenses, but to make it effective is to use it regularly and be disciplined.
Yes. Discipline. There are a lot of articles and cheat sheets online on how to save money. Try them out and see what is effective for you. But if you ain’t have discipline, it wouldn’t take you further. My list is super simple and practical and you probably cannot save that much if you follow mine. Haha