Have you ever felt like you’re watching every cent you’re spending because you’re on a very tight budget? Have you experienced skipping meals just to save money for your transportation fees going home? Or have you ever borrowed money from your colleague just because your wallet is empty and it’s still the middle of the work week and the next pay day is next Friday!?
I’m sure some of us experienced that, me too of course; but, is there a way to avoid these things to happen? Or rather, to happen again? They say saving money is important even if it’s just a cent a day. Well, imagine you have a piggy bank and you save a dollar or a peso everyday, then after a year, how much will it cost!? That’s $365/Php365! So, what more if you put like $10/Php10 a day? That’s 365×10 (do the math!).
It is important that you have your savings account especially you’ll never know when will you need a lot of money that is, let’s say, much more from your monthly income. Here are 12 tricks to save money, this article was originally written for Rappler and is written by Lianne Laroya.
Take a seat and let us list down these helpful tips!
1. Calculate your hourly rate.
From your hourly rate, you will then decide whether you want to spend hours worked, instead of money earned. Let’s say that you earn P20,000 a month and you work 40 hours a week (which is computed into 160 hours a month):
P20,000 / 160 = P125.00
Based on my example, you actually earn P125.00 per hour. That dress you’re looking at right now costs P1,500. Do you really want to spend 12 working hours just for a dress? 12 hours of tiring labor, 12 hours of your boss stressing you out, 12 hours of your back hurting, 12 hours of doing confusing reports and 12 hours talking to nettlesome colleagues for just one dress?
Think about it!
2. Include a “guilt trip” card or picture in your wallet.
Let’s say that you’re using cash exclusively when going out. Every time you open your wallet to take out some cash, you should always see this guilt trip message to make yourself think twice before spending. Some effective messages that you can use are:
“Don’t do it – your older self will hate you for it.”
“You worked hard for this money. Don’t just spend it recklessly.”
“You’re saving up for emergencies like unexpected hospital confinement or unemployment, remember?”
3. For cash users, save your “sentimental” bills.
All bills have serial numbers and letters on them. Designate a certain letter that you’re going to use to determine if a bill is sentimental or not.
As my name starts with the letter “L,” I would save every bill with a serial identification that starts with that letter. There are times when I’m lucky, because only my P20 bills had “L.” But just recently, my P1,000 bills became my sentimental bill. It’s better to think of money this way: you’re saving it for yourself.
4. If you’re using credit cards, include a compelling photo in your credit card’s sleeve.
This photo can either be motivational (a picture of the Eiffel Tower because you may be saving up for a trip, or a picture of your potential small business’s logo) or disastrous (a picture of a hospital’s emergency room or a homeless elderly). Choose something that will make you hesitate in swiping that card.
5. Wrap your credit card into your credit card statements.
This one’s a real gem: instead of using sleeves, cover your credit cards with your credit card statements. It goes two ways: one, it’s going to take time to retrieve your credit card; and, two, you’re going to see the amount you owe from your credit card statements, so this can discourage you from swiping that card.
6. Freeze your credit cards.
If you really can’t control yourself from using your credit cards and you know that you also can’t afford to pay the full balance and in time, just freeze them! Get a container, fill it up with water, put your credit card in it and store it into your freezer.
The worse your lack of self-control is, the larger your container should be. It’s pretty inconvenient to wait for your card to defrost when your friends are already waiting for you.
Look around your room and collect those items that you never really use anymore. You can either sell them or donate them to charity. Save money by either depositing your proceeds from your garage sale or including your donations in your tax-deductible list.
8. Carry only big bills with you.
When going out with friends, carry only bills in P1,000 denominations. (If you don’t have them, don’t go out in the first place!) There’s just something psychologically excruciating in breaking your P1,000 bill just for a P140-cup of cappuccino. It’ll really make you decide whether or not to spend your money.
9. Save that change.
If you spend your P1,000 bills, though, make sure you save the change in your bank account. Have a motivational jar in your house and stash all your change in there. Then, every two weeks, deposit this change in your savings account and forget it exists.
10. Name your bank accounts.
Nowadays, you have the option of naming your bank accounts according to their specific purposes. You’ll feel more obligated to save money for your “Enjoy Trip to Paris” rather than your “Savings Account 123456789.”
11. Set up automatic transfers.
I’m pretty sure you can talk to your bank about this one. You’ll have 2 bank accounts here –account A is your salary account and account B is your savings account, preferably no ATM.
If your salary goes into account A, you can ask your bank to withdraw (at least) 5% and deposit it to account B automatically. Don’t trust yourself enough to do this manually. The pain is just too unbearable. Leave it to automation instead.
12. Imagine your old self.
Because all you see right now when you look in the mirror are your youthful skin and childlike expressions, you’re not taking saving seriously and you think you still have a lot of time for that.
You can remedy this by printing an old photo of yourself and posting it on your wall. You’re bound to feel more mature and responsible because you have a visual reminder of what your future will be like. In today’s technology, you can easily find online programs that can make your current photo look older.
Saving money can be difficult but it’s just a matter of doing the right things — discipline, resistance, spending just right and give way to your priorities! I can still recall what my mom always told me, “You’re getting old and while you’re on your way, you’re loosing a lot of money with nonsense things!” that served as my wake-up call. So kiddos, it’s time to save for your life in the next 10 years or possibly until you get old!
TIP: Nothing wrong with going out, eating at new food stops, buying new clothes and stuffs; just be sure to SAVE something for your “Savings” section!