If there’s one thing many people will agree on, then it should be nothing is more important than having savings. 2020 taught us the value of saving and living simply, we plan to continue that this 2021. A lot of businesses closed or scaled down their operations, which led to loss of jobs. Many OFWs were also sent home and despite the financial assistance, P10,000 is simply not enough to survive.
This is why this year, saving is and will be a priority. Here’s the ultimate list on how to save money this year – and beyond:
- Health is wealth. At a time like this, nothing beats being healthy and making sure that you are Covid-free. We cannot afford to get sick at a time like this because aside from possibly infecting the people around you, it entails costs, too. Therefore, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and sleep well.
- Budget is life. Setting limits and allocating a specific amount for each expense not only prevent overspending but also ensure that money is well-spent. Just make sure you’ll stick to it to maximize its benefits.
- Track your spending. You need to know where your hard-earned money is going. Therefore, make a list of every expense, regardless of the amount. This will give you an overview on where you can cut back in order to save more.
- Emergency fund is a must. The importance of emergency fund was highly emphasized last 2020. This type of fund is intended to, well, help you during emergencies, which means it should give you at least three months-worth of cash on hand. Take it one P100 bill every week because you’ll never know when you’ll need it.
- Know thy prices. One of the beauties of online platforms is that goods are more accessible. However, this could mean more sellers are selling the same items. Before you commit, make sure you check the prices to make sure that you get the most competitive price.
- Think before you click. Or add to cart. Online shopping is tempting and sellers will constantly come up with ways to entice people to buy. Before you add to cart, think hard first. Do you really need it? Is it useful? Is it worth the price? Can it wait? If two or three days passed and you still want it, then maybe it is worth it. Don’t let your shopping impulse control you.
- Home-cooked meals over takeouts. Restaurant food is tempting, especially during lazy days. Unfortunately, getting too much takeouts can strain your budget. Nothing beats home-cooked meals because aside from generous serving, they are way cheaper, too.
- Save electricity. Whether it’s turning off the lights or unplugging unused appliances, these little acts could make a difference in your electricity bill.
- Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions. Anyone in the family probably signed up with monthly subscription services. You might not be using your cable TV that much. Regardless, discontinuing subscriptions services could help you save more, which you can use to build your Emergency Fund.
- Say goodbye to vices. Similar to pricey subscription services, vices such as smoking or alcohol equates to costs. Quit these vices because you’ll not only save more financially but also, you’ll save your health.
- Don’t follow trends. You’ve seen a lot of trends online like fusion of food or even plants. As tempting as it looks, don’t easily give in. Following trends means paying for something, which also means you have to allocate a certain portion of your budget for that item. Unless you are passionate about it, say plants, don’t join the bandwagon.
- Sales are okay. Whether it’s 11.11 or 12.12, sales are fine AS LONG AS you stick to a budget and you only buy what is essential. Online sales are not an excuse to splurge. Stick to the basics because you’ll never know when you will need cash.
- Pay bills on time. This is a must. Although utility companies give grace period, it’s still not an excuse not to settle those bills. Aside from possible disconnection, you will be required to pay for penalty fees and reconnection fee in case you want to still avail of their service.
- Pay loans on time, too. Apart from the bills, it is recommended that you pay off any existing loans. You’ll be able to save more because you don’t have to worry about interest fee anymore.
- Stick to a grocery list. This is also important. The supermarket can be a tempting place because of tons of food. Make sure you’ll buy only and only what you need. Avoid overspending and always stick to your list.
- Take it easy on loans. Loans can be a good way to augment your financial needs. Unfortunately, this could be a cause of downfall, too, especially if you’re not too careful. Therefore, apply for a loan only when necessary. Make sure to “shop” for lenders and check which among them will give you a reasonable rate and loan terms.
- Delay what you can. Do you really need a new smartphone? Is there a need to buy new shoes and clothes? Do you really have to get your hands on the latest Play Station? The point is if you can delay your wants, then much better.
- Learn to say NO. Most people think that being an OFW means you have a “deep cash well” since you earn in dollars. You’ll have relatives or friends coming over and asking if they can borrow money. Learn on how to say no politely. You’ll never know when you will need your funds, so it’s better to be prepared.
- Saving is a family thing. Parents are not the only ones who should adjust and make saving a habit. Every member of the family must take part in it. As parents, now is the best time to educate your kids on the importance of saving and living simply. Make this as a family effort and you will reap the rewards in no time.
Are you ready to follow this list? 2021 is a good start to start with good saving habits.