MANILA - Does saving money seem impossible for you, with all the expenses you have during the week?
Believe it or not, you can actually find ways to scrimp and cut your expenses, if you are just creative and disciplined enough. Why not go for the stretch and aim to save at least P1,000 a week?
As we enter the last months of the year, try and set this challenge for the year, and hopefully you end 2016 with at least P15,000 in savings. With determination and discipline, you can actually save yourself a respectable sum.
Here are seven easy cuts you can do. You can combine any of these to save P1,000 a week:
1. Consider gourmet drinks. If your daily routine includes a stop at coffee shops, or sampling designer drinks, you’re spending at least P500-P850 in a week, or more if you add a sandwich. Imagine your savings if you can drop this from your routine. If you’re really in need of a caffeine fix or refreshments, check out more affordable options. A sachet of 3-in-1 coffee costs less than P5, and most come in different strengths, even gourmet flavors.
2. Take the train instead of private hire cars. If you take public transportation but use private hire cars, then you’re definitely spending a lot in transportation fees, most especially if your commute is long. Endless traffic jams will jack up your transportation expenses. Plan to leave home earlier so you can take the train or other cheaper modes of transportation. Carpooling with friends is also a great way to save P1,000 a week.
3. Cook your own meals. Let’s face it, food can be the biggest cost when it comes to personal expenses. After all, you have to have 3 square meals a day and then throw in snacks too. If you eat out and buy your meals, you are certainly paying more.
Consider this – a kilo of chicken and a 2-piece chicken meal in diners cost about the same. Cook your own meals or if not practical, check out the office cafeteria or nearby canteens for more affordable options. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can realize P1,000 in weekly savings.
4. Drop the Friday gimmick night. If you head for the bar every Friday night to celebrate the end of the work week, you can be burning P1,000 in one night of revelry. Think of more affordable options to celebrate the end of the week. Instead of going to the bar every weekend, look for less pricey places to go to such as a friend’s place. Remember, it’s not the place but the company that counts.
5. Forego the weekend mall visit. Almost by default, a good number of Filipinos head for the mall during weekends, usually spending on unplanned, spur-of-the-moment acquisitions that can easily cost you P1,000 a week. Resist the opportunity to spend unnecessarily and spend weekends in alternate places—visiting relatives or friends, going to the park, checking out museums, or just watching good films at home.
6. Use wi-fi and rationalize mobile spending. If you’re one of those who needs to be constantly connected, you can be spending a fortune on mobile calls and data expenses. Look into your usage to determine if it’s time to get a plan that’s more appropriate for your needs. Don’t forget to use wi-fi when it’s available instead of expensive data charges. If you’re using prepaid, use the unlimited calls or texting options to match your usage. Better yet, use the landline.
7. Check out generic medicines. If you need medication and you still haven’t discovered generics, you’re missing out on a savings opportunity. Ask your physician and pharmacist to give you generic options for your existing medications, including vitamins and supplements. Depending on your prescription and needs, you stand to save as much as 70 percent buy just going generic, which will certainly help you achieve your savings goals.
These are just some suggestions on how you can save up to P1,000 per week. Be creative in devising schemes to reach your target, and keep a journal to monitor your spending and savings. Hopefully, not only will you be able to save up P15,000 by the end of the year, you may actually imbibe lifelong savings habits.
Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between news.abs-cbn.com and Citi Philippines to promote financial education and provide helpful information to Filipinos on how to better manage their personal finances.
Visit www.citibank.com.ph for more information.