My passion and love for traveling is quite expensive. Therefore, in order for me to do what I love to do, I must think of ways to make ends meet. I don’t have the biggest salary in the world but I do have my ways. I try (as much as possible) not to depend on my family when it comes to this aspect.
So I thought of sharing some unlikely tips on saving that might help you get a hold of your finances. Again, I’m no expert. Most of these situations are at work or the office. I do splurge here and there but I’ve found some ways that help me keep those extra pesos.
1. Don’t go to malls or shops unless you absolutely have to. It’s common knowledge that in order for you not to be tempted to do something you don’t or can’t afford to do, don’t go near that place (this also applies to a person). So if you don’t need anything in the mall or at a shop, don’t go in. This will help you to stop buying things that you think you want but don’t necessarily need (can I hear a holler from the ladies?).
2. Stop excessive texting. This may be easy for someone like me who is not very fond of texting. My friends know this because I don’t text or reply to texts unless absolutely necessary (I dislike those forwarded, general, impersonal group texts). If possible, don’t subscribe to post paid (unless you need it for work etc). Imagine, I only spend roughly P200 per month for my texting needs. Stipulated, I enjoy the benefits of iMessage and such but in order to reduce your text costs, you could also opt to contact friends and family through social media or the internet (since in most work places we have cyber access) or even the oldie but goodie landline.
3. Choose what you eat. This in fact is not only healthy for the pocket but also healthy for the body. I’ve learned to somehow choose what I eat, mostly because I make the decisions nowadays. Before, my officemates would always opt to eat at fast foods which were both expensive and unhealthy. At least now, I make my own decisions when it comes to meals. Plus, always be on the lookout for healthier, cheaper alternatives to food. Meals at the local carinderia and lutong bahay are good options too. But do decide to splurge once in a while.
4. In connection with #3, bring your own. Instead of buying hot chocolate at 711, why not just bring your own sachet and prepare it at the office? You can even go as far as bringing your own baon (packed meal) for your everyday meals.
5. Walk. Or bring a motorcycle or carpool or commute. No gas expenses means more money. Car pooling means more cash rather than shouldering all the expenses. Public transportation means more savings compared to bringing your own car.
6. Invest in good products/ items. Sometimes, it’s simply logical to buy something more expensive that will last a long time rather than something cheap which you need to replace every few months. Instead of buying those class A batteries, invest in quality. Instead of buying ratty slippers, why not invest in a pair of Fit Flops, which I can vouche are awesome!
7. Learn to say NO. This was a hard lesson for me since I always tend to say ‘yes’ to gimmicks, road trips, travels, parties etc. But it always costs a lot so if you learn to choose and plan which ones you’d really like to go, I’d bet you’d be able to save more rather than impulsively attending each and every one.
8. Take advantage of parties. I know this might sound conflicting to my earlier statement but let’s say, an officemate throws a simple lunch party and you’re invited. Why don’t you attend that party (maybe even if you don’t like that person) and ta-da, you have free lunch! Meaning, your lunch money should go to your savings. Easy peasy.
9. DIYs. Do-it-yourself stuff are great alternatives in buying the already made, expensive products. Or even recycling old stuff to become new things. Of course, some things are just not made for DIYs but for those which you can do by yourself. You might be surprised, it can even be a fun experience for you (and maybe even for the whole family!).
10. Don’t be choosy. In terms of traveling, being maarte and choosy is something I have never been. I love being in a foreign place that I honestly don’t care if I don’t have the best of everything. I don’t care if I sleep in a cot as long as I get to wake up beside the beach. I don’t care if I eat street food as long as I eat their authentic, local food. I don’t care if I ride a buwis-buhay (life threatening) airplane as long as I get there. OK, the last example is a joke but you get the point.
11. Sell your stuff. I’m pretty sure everyone has something that they don’t use or need anymore. What better way to get rid of it than to sell it and make some money? Unless of course, you want to give it to charity. In any case, selling your old stuff is a great, easy, and fool proof way to make extra money for something else.
12. Pray. I think this is the most important. That we submit our finances (and everything else) to our God. Since it all came from Him, ultimately, it all belongs to Him. We are just stewards. It says in Philippians 4:19,”And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” And that includes money and provision, so long as we don’t love money per se. So He will always provide. He has been faithful and gracious to me for the past years of traveling, that I am certain He will continue to provide for me and for you as well.
Anything else you’d like to add based on your personal tipid-saving moments? 🙂