YOUR paycheck is finally here. You buy new clothes, pay your monthly rent and car amortization, treat your friends to dinner, and go on an out-of-town trip. Before you know it, your paycheck is already down the sink.
“Please lend me some money,” a co-employee once told me. She bought a new phone. She treated us to pizza two days ago. She went out with her friends last night.
We probably have no right to judge people’s spending habits as long as it is their money. But when it comes to the point wherein they have to borrow money because of overspending, then that is another story.
Spending less is a difficult task. You need discipline. But if your goal really is to spend less and save more, here are some ways to achieve it:
- Create a budget and stick to it
One of the reasons why people overspend is because they do not create their budget. If they do, they do not follow it. If you want to spend less, you have to keep track of your expenses. Do not spend P8,000 on your groceries when you only allotted P5,000. Do not travel out of the country if your money is not even enough for your plane ticket and accommodation costs. Discipline yourself to stick to your budget. These days, you can make your budget and track your expenses using free mobile apps. They are super convenient and easy to use.
- Needs before wants
It is a common mistake: people spend on their wants before their needs. Before you go on a shopping spree (which should be within your budget, of course), you need to pay your bills first. You cannot just tell your landlady to have your monthly due moved to the next payday. You cannot just ignore the mails of the mobile company you subscribed to. More importantly, pay your credit card on time to avoid finance charges.
- Avoid eating out
A 2014 study by Nielsen showed that Filipinos choose to eat out rather than make their own meals. With too many restaurants mushrooming anywhere, sure, Filipinos are more eager to dine out. It is more convenient and hassle-free. But try to observe what it creates in your finances. You spend more money on fancy meals and fast food chain restaurants when you can make your own food and spend less. Sure, you can treat yourself once in a while but for you to save more, make eating out an occasional thing.
- Hide your credit cards
The problem with bringing your credit card all the time is you can buy anything you want. You will always get tempted to buy those shoes, bags, gadgets and anything else. You are going to risk your card to reach its credit limit. That is why it is always good to stick to cash. Or use your debit card.
How much do you spend on taxi fares in a week? You can probably pay your monthly rent with it. Challenge yourself to ride the jeepney to work. If you can, you can just literally walk the distance. That way, you can exercise and save money at the same time.
- Avoid sales
We think we are saving money because we buy things on sale. But in reality, we can save more money by not being tempted to purchase items on sale. If you buy a pair of shoes at P700, you think you saved money. But you can actually save P700 if you didn’t buy those shoes. Plus, mall sales make us buy more and more things; some of them are
It is tough not to spend money but it is also tough not to have savings. These days, it is important to have a fund and have something to spend when situations demand./PN