Do you ever feel like you’re always waiting for payday? As if you can never stretch your money far enough to last until the end of the month?
Maybe it’s because the little amounts you spend slip past you, and before you know it, you’re scraping by until payday. With zero left to spend, it’s impossible to even save money. You’ve read numerous resources instructing you that saving is key, but how can you when there’s nothing left to save?
MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website with resources on personal finance, enumerates 5 simple habits that can save you money:
1. Track your expenses
As mentioned above, you may not know it but your minimal expenditures may actually add up to a larger amount. Spending Php60 on lunch every day may not seem much, but that adds up to Php1,320 a month. Factor in your expenses for coffee, snacks, and what have you, and you may be spending more than you realize.
By tracking your expenses, nothing gets past you. You’ll be able to see where each and every piso is going. This way, you’ll know whether or not you’re going overbudget. Expense Manger, Mint, and You Need a Budget (YNAB) are just some of multiple expense tracking apps available on both iOS and Android.
2. Research and compare
You’ve heard it time and time again – do your research first before doing anything else. When it comes to your finances, researching can save you money. Are you thinking of buying a new phone since yours broke? It’s best to go to different stores first and compare prices before buying. Are you thinking of applying for a loan? Personal comparison websites brings the research to you. By using comparison websites, you can pick the loan with the lowest interest rate which will save you money.
3. Carry cash
This is a mind trick you can use on yourself. Carrying cash(instead of card) lets you control your spending. If you had a credit card with you, the sky’s the limit or at least whatever your credit limit is. With cash, you’ll be more disciplined.
Are you eyeing those new pair of shoes? You may have enough money to buy a pair, but will you have enough left over to spend on the commute home?
4. Forego the drinks
There’s no denying that the mark-ups on drinks, bar drinks especially, are significant. In an interview conducted by Business Insider, the mark-up on drinks is around 350% for a glass of wine, 150% for high-end vintage drinks, and 450% for shelf-mixed drinks. Just a look around a grocery store and you can see the significant difference in prices between grocery-bought and restaurant-bought drinks.
Foregoing drinks when dining out will save you lots of money for sure. A bottle of soda at Php32 every weekday adds up to Php704 for the month. Two glasses of cocktail drinks (at Php300 each) for every week of the month adds up to Php2,400. You can save Php3,104 by passing up on drinks. If it’s hard to forego these completely, then you can start by lessening the amount you consume which will still save you money.
5. Automate your accounts
Last but definitely not the least, automate your accounts and set the transfer dates during payday. Have your money automatically transferred from your payroll account to your savings account the day you get your salary. You can also have a percentage automatically transferred to your investment accounts. This way, you “don’t save what is left after spending; you spend what is left after saving,” as what legendary investor Warren Buffett said.
The five tips above are effortless and can be your first steps to start your road to living a financially stress-free life. They take little time and effort but are guaranteed to save you money.
About the Author:
Kyle Kam is a Digital Marketing Specialist of MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.