After analyzing my April Money Diaries, I have come to the conclusion that 80% of the time, I’m pretty financially savvy. I can cut back here and there but I also have that tendency to splurge on myself when I want to. I wouldn’t say I’m at the peak of my money game. But I do want to give credit to myself and say that I’m pretty good at managing my finances.
Which brings me to today’s post. I know there’s a lot of finance tips out there and most likely all my tips would be included there as well. But the main difference here is that I actually live through these tips. These are tips that an actual person uses which I hope you’ll end up using too! 😉
Learn to say NO
There will always be pressure and temptation around us. Whether it’s as simple as getting coffee from Starbucks versus 7-11, temptation never seems to let us go. It’s during these times that we must learn to stand our ground and say no. Sure a Starbucks coffee might be better than 7-11 coffee but at the end of the day, it’s just coffee, right?
Bring your own food
Don’t rely on food at stores. Chances are we can prepare own food, we’re just lazy. If we actually give in the effort and start packing our own food, we can save a lot of money easily. Convenience is our biggest competition here and the moment we learn to stop being dependent on convenience is the time we start to take control back.
Live within your means
This my friends is one thing I’m sure we’re all guilty of. We all know how much we really are allowed to spend, or how much we really have for something. However, sometimes, we can’t help but succumb to our humanness and say, fuck it. This is really something we should practice and improve on. We don’t always have to have top of the line things – think function and purpose first.
Write everything down
Ever since I completed my money diaries, I’ve been writing down all my expenses. Through it, I am able to analyze my spending habits and create trends for when I am most prone to spend money. I also know exactly where my money goes. It is tiring and tedious but it’s definitely worth it especially if you’re the kind that doesn’t know where their money goes.
Use loose change
We all have loose change. We have them hidden in all kinds of places and pockets. I always practice hiding money somewhere (like in a secret compartment of my bag) for certain emergencies but I am trying to spend all the other loose change I have. Let’s not be afraid to use our coins instead of storing them for later use.
Stick to your budget
We’ve all been there. We make budgets but then we end up losing track of where the money went and just end up getting more money. The cycle needs to stop and it starts with discipline.
Make your savings automatic
This has got to be my favorite tip of all time. I’ve made it a point to automatically deduct a certain percent of my salary for savings. I don’t even know how much is getting saved per payday making it a great way for me to save without deciding if I could use that money elsewhere.
Sell your old things
Another favorite tip of mine! I am a big fan of selling my preloved items. I have accounts at OLX and Carousell for this. One of the biggest problems I see when people decide to start selling their things is they tend to overprice it. When selling, always decide if you want more money or you just want to get rid of it. As for me, it’s usually the latter. If I decide to sell something, usually I have gotten what I want from that item and it has no more use for me. With this mindset, I always get to sell my things quickly because I price it reasonably. Maybe this tip wouldn’t work for you but it’s definitely something to think about.
Create lists and stick to it
This is definitely one tip I’m having a hard time with. I always make lists (especially for grocery day) but then I end up not following it and going overboard. It’s definitely something I’d like to improve on eventually. If you do have tips, please share them with me!!
Avoid convenience food and fast foods
Help me. I am very guilty of this (you can see all the proof in my Money Diaries) and it’s really something I plan to work on consistently.
Stop using your credit card
We always get the shock of our lives once a month. When the monthly credit card bill arrives and you see all these small transactions that have become a large amount. It’s a terrible thing and the best way to fight it is to stop it. Of course, credit cards can still be used for bigger purchases but the best practice is to use cash for smaller ones.
Bring your own when you can
When we can bring our own, don’t buy. Besides food, some other things we can bring ourselves are drinks, eco bags, straws, or Tupperware. Some shops are more eco-friendly nowadays that they even provide discounts when you provide your own containers. Be knowledgeable about these things to score simple discounts.
Don’t fear leftovers
Just don’t. Everything deserves a second chance in life, even your leftover food. A simple example is old rice. You can make fried rice with it and have a whole meal based on it. It’s always about being creative and widening our perspectives.
In connection with the tip above, once we start to pare down, we can start selling our old things. It goes hand in hand.
Take public transportation
Why go for Grab when you can ride a jeep? It’s probably for convenience but if we’re always trying to be comfortable, we’ll never be able to save. Convenience is expensive. That’s what companies live for, our laziness.
Prioritize and focus
The last and probably most important tip there is is to always prioritize and focus. One thing I’ve noticed about myself is by the end of April, when I had only one more post for Money Diaries, I went online shopping. I slipped and it cost me. We should always remember why we are saving and what our main purpose is. Once we truly know it, hopefully, it becomes easy.
There you go, fifteen actual tips that I am trying to live by. Some are simple and quite common, but we all need that little reminder sometimes. I hope this post inspires you somehow and I hope you find something useful here. If you have other tips, feel free to share it with me.