Economic downturn or not, you’ve probably heard the same thing all your life: “times are tough.” Whether you’re working at a cushy corporate gig or a tiring entry-level job, spending and saving your money wisely has become more important than ever.
The sad news is that financial literacy still ranks low among most Filipinos’ priorities — a mistake that could cost them thousands or even millions of pesos down the line.
Want to get a head start on saving up for the future? There’s no time like the present, and you can’t go wrong with small but crucial habits that can change your money outlook for the better.
Here are half-dozen simple ways you can hold on to more of your hard-earned cash in the long run.
1. Eat something before you shop for food
It’s been said before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you shop while you’re hungry, you’ll realize it’s easier for you to put stuff in your grocery cart. You just have to get everything your brain classifies as “food.”
Prepare a list of items to buy on paper or smartphone before you shop. This will keep you in line with what you’ll have to spend for—what you’ll ONLY spend for.
2. Download budgeting apps
Don’t use your smartphone just to take selfies or family pictures. It’s not only for social media. It’s a smartphone for a reason, that’s why you’ve got to download certain apps like Toshl or BUDGT.
This way, the only math you have to do is the one on your kid’s homework rather than your bills.
3. Pay off your debts as soon as possible
Remember that letting them sit will only make them bigger. If you’ve got multiple debts with different banks, try to avail of a debt consolidation loan so you can focus on one single payment every month.
The less debt you have, the happier you’ll be.
4. Leave your credit card at home
In other countries, it’s a trend to use your credit card to improve your credit standing. In the Philippines, you better think twice because your credit card might make you spend more than you earn. Limit—do not abuse—your swiping power.
5. Cut the Starbucks habit
Honestly, who doesn’t want Starbucks? Seattle’s Best? Blenz? There are so many nice coffee shops in town that entice you endlessly with their aromatic coffee deals and mouth-watering pastries.
After all, don’t you deserve to just sit and relax with your steaming mug of alamid goodness? Nope. Not when you’re saving, you’re not. Channel Starbucks at home with a super cheap pack of Good Day Vanilla latte or Kopiko Coffee instead.
6. Get your car insured
Accidents happen—regardless of how hard we hope they don’t. Whether it’s life insurance, health insurance, or car insurance, getting insured is always a worthy investment. Car insuranceprotects you from financial repercussions in case anyone in the family gets in a car accident. It would be best to compare car insurance plans first, so you can find one that fits your budget and at the same time offers adequate coverage.
Before you balk at having to sacrifice so many everyday comforts, remember that these minor compromises can go a long way in ensuring your financial stability. After all, “prevention is better than cure” applies to a lot more than just staying physically healthy. Once you start planning your retirement or funding your kid’s college tuition, you will be thanking us.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, feel free to comment your thoughts below. You may also follow us on Facebook. We love to get connected with you.