Money Saving Tips

#PINNED: 7 practical money-saving tips to put your mid-year finances on track

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When it comes to money, most Filipinos are in the same storm but not in the same boat. One’s finances can still be smooth-sailing amidst a pandemic, while the others are in a constant shipwreck every 15th and 30th of the month.

However, everyone tries to look for money-saving tips when on a tight budget. Even more so that thousands of Filipinos are getting vaccinated daily, some cities and offices are easing their restrictions to gradually kickstart the new normal life.

A better lifestyle means more shops opening, traveling, and businesses trying to regain what they lost, so we’ve listed down the most practical tips on how to save money in the Philippines.

Perform a mid-year financial check

When the first half of the year is in your rearview mirror, reviewing your savings and monthly budget can be valuable to track where you are in your yearly savings goal. Check what you own – and what you owe. You’ll thank yourself later when the “ber” months arrive in just a blink of an eye.

Pay off debt

Prioritize saving a portion of what you earn to pay off your debt. The longer you carry the loan, the more money goes to interest charges. Also, owing money from lenders is a huge potential to hurt your credit, resulting in your lower credit score. Expert financial adviser Francisco Colayco recommends saving 20% of your take-home pay: 10% for repayment and 10% for savings.

Be budol-proof with the 24-hour rule

We bet you have purchased more “things you think you need” online versus the things you actually use during your work-from-home setup. In fact, the pandemic even gave the term “budol” a different meaning from modus operandi to online impulse buys. To avoid regretting later on, impose a 24-hour limit on hitting the “checkout” button after placing your items in the cart. When you wake up the next day and decide that you really need THAT item, go for it!

If it’s already sold out, then maybe it’s not meant to be.

Find the right timing to checkout your items

It’s tempting to visit your favorite online store or shopping app to see the latest items on sale – especially when the deals are practically begging not to stay in your cart! Believe it or not, some basic items and essentials like formula milk, diapers, vitamins, and other groceries can be cheaper online with bundled promos and discounts. Wait until  the right time comes, and with the right timing – we mean discount vouchers, free shipping promos, and cashback coupons are up for grabs!

It’s also important not to shop or go to the grocery store with an empty stomach as you’ll get tempted to overspend on snacks.

Monitor your subscriptions

If giving up one or two subscriptions is not an option, look at how you consume your cable, mobile, video streaming, music streaming, and other premium subscriptions. Some plans offer a cheaper set of services to meet your actual needs, depending on the number of devices that use the same services at once. You might be surprised how some “Basic” subscribers started saving more by upgrading to a family plan and splitting the bill among family members to lower the cost.

Join a money-saving challenge

Trending money challenges like the 50-Peso Challenge or 52-Week Money Challenge can let you save up to PHP53,750. But it’s never too late to start saving even in the middle of the year with the Frugal Friday Challenge, 30-day Ipon Challenge, or the Invisible Money Challenge as recommended by financial planner Christine Ong. These can be a fun way to integrate discipline and save money.  It can further develop your good saving habits and earn you bragging rights to post inspiring results on your socials at the end of the challenge.

Open a bank account that suits your needs

Most Filipinos may not tell the difference between the basic types of deposit accounts. In a comprehensive guide by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, here are some important information to remember:

  • Savings account – is a deposit account that earns modest interest rates. It is the most common account maintained for savings, thus, its name.
  • Time deposit – is an account where your money is deposited for a longer, specific period to earn much higher fixed interest rates than savings accounts.
  • Current/checking account – is a deposit account to carry out business transactions where depositors can withdraw or transact frequently with or without interest. It is withdrawn through the issuance of checks and used by entrepreneurs who separate their savings account from a business account.
  • Microdeposit – is a savings account to cater to low-income individuals with an average balance not exceeding PHP 40,000.  The usual minimum balance may start from PHP 0 to PHP 100.

Also, more and more digital banks with high-interest rates are gaining popularity in the country. Aside from convenience, their usual rates can go as high as 6%.

Saving money can be difficult for some Filipinos, especially when you need to make both ends meet. In the midst of a pandemic, most emergency funds were drained, while others learned to stick to their budget even more.

Keep the right ways to save money on a tight budget, and cure the bad ones. If you can make smart money decisions now, work towards a good credit score by being debt-free and saving up for more important life milestones.

Jeddah Legaspi is a communicator who loves to share the places, faces, and her learning experiences from grad school and life outside work. She is also a co-founder of ISDApp, a NASA-awarded app, and a marketing creative who uses the new media to bring valuable information to Filipinos.