Two years ago, we started paying for a house. Before that year ends, our monthly amortization increased because we wanted a bigger house. Naturally when 2015 enters, we’re almost out of money and we need all the Financial Tips we can get! We’re living paycheck to paycheck then.. no extra funds, no savings, just the basics. Ummh or so I thought… After listing down our expenses, I realized we are not using our money properly. The miscellaneous area of my notebook is quickly filling up as the day goes by. MISCELLANEOUS?!? We’re spending so much on things that we should’t! After a few months of experimenting, I finally learned how to budget our money properly.
And you know I don’t write or recommend anything that is not tried and tested.. not turning into a financial expert ha, just sharing with you financial tips that can help you stay on track with your budget.
5 Financial Tips To Help You Stay On Track With Your Budget
#1 List down your spending
List down where you spend your money and learned from it. If you know there is something wrong with your budgeting, don’t you want to know what it is?!? By listing down where you spend your money, you’ll be able to track where most of your money are. You need to list down ALL. As in even that 8 pesos pamasahe sa tricycle, ilista mo yan.
#2 Cut down your expenses
When I tried listing down where we spend our money, I realized we have been spending too much on dinning out, specially breakfast. Tama na ang mga pasosyal na breakfast at Jollibee! I realized how cheap it would be to just cook tuyo, egg and fried rice rather than order breakfast. We’re a family of 6 and our usual fast food breakfast consumption is P500. If I cook breakfast, I would only be spending P100 (or even less). From breakfast alone, our expenses were sized down to 20%!
If yours naman is during lunch or dinner, try cutting down on that too. Cooking veggies paired with a liempo or fish is way cheaper than ordering in a restaurant. If you really can’t do that, try skipping dessert and just drink plain water. Also, taking out is cheaper. Buy the ulam at magsaing ka na lang sa bahay.
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#3 Make a shopping list and STICK to it!
Emphasis on STICK!
I have to admit, whenever we do our grocery, we always end up with 2 full grocery carts 🙁 and we’re doing the grocery twice a month! There is always something in the grocery that we need! Since we cut down on our expenses, I started making a grocery list and we really try hard to stick with it. Hindi sya ganun kadali!
As I have said, there is always something in the grocery that we need that is not on the list. And the kids! My goodness! They always something more than the basic. Pabili ng stick-o, pabili ng chocolates, pabili ng notebook, ng pens etc etc.. never ending pabili! So that’s another tip, don’t bring your kids as much as possible! Or if you have to, don’t give in to their pabilis!
When you start giving in, you’ll realize, ay si Mommy din may kailangan pala.. ay si Daddy din! One time, the husband bought 2 pairs of socks (which was not on the list) and he ends up spending 3000 Pesos more.. Kase naman, the kids need briefs din pala.. and mommy needs some socks too (which actually can wait harhar). You get the idea? once you give in tuloy tuloy na yan!
Aside from the list, try to limit your trips down spending lanes! AKA shopping malls, groceries, supermarkets and yes even on palengkes and talipapa. The more you are exposed to this temptations, the more you’ll spend more. Let’s not talk about discipline muna ha.. that’s really hard to achieve. Kaya instead of trying to stop yourself from buying whenever you’re inside the grocery or the mall, limit your trips na lang.
#4 Plan your indulgence (do not deprive yourself)
This is something that we can’t let go easily. Most of you will agree naman di ba? It’s hard not to give yourself a reward after 1 week or two of working really hard right? Lalo na ngayon that the traffic is really baaad! Parang ang dami dami mong hirap sa mundo tapos magtitipid ka pa? Most financial advisers would tell you na it’s a matter of long term happiness (investment) or short term (no savings naman). Ako, I’d say go for both. You can still indulge and reward yourself pero plan it.
Set a budget for your reward, maybe like, once a week na kain sa restaurant or a short trip to your wasteland (National Bookstore for me!). Get back to Tip #3 to guide you with your spending.
#5 Sobre system
Last and I really saved this one.. kase saved the best for last!
Buy a plastic envelope or something to that effect. Segregate your money based on your budget list. Alam ko ito pinakamalaking problema ng mga nanay eh.. ung pambayad ng kuryente nagagamit sa iba. Ang pang grocery na dapat 3k lang, nagiging 5k na! Eh san mo naman huhugutin ang kulang or san ka kukuha ng pang abono sa nagastos mong pangbayad ng kuryente.
With the sobre system, you’ll know if you still have enough money for grocery and you lower down the risk of spending money allocated for your bills.
We’re still working out the savings part. They say the best way to budget your money is INCOME- SAVINGS = EXPENSES. They say you have to develop saving first before spending. Maybe a few more cutting down on our expenses and we can finally use that simple math of savings.
Now it’s your turn to make kwento! I know ang bulsa na burned out din from the Holiday spending, how do you plan to “recuperate”? Also, have you tried any of the of the financial tips I mentioned above? Care to share your experience? I want to hear from you!