Trick yourself into saving!

By Lauren Fernandez for Yahoo! Southeast Asia

We’ve all been there before—it’s the 14th or the 29th of the month, the day before payday and all we have to show for ourselves is about fifty bucks in our wallet, and nothing else in the bank.  It’s enough to make you wonder if you’re working just to make you survive going to work.

Put an end to this butas na bulsa syndrome by tricking yourself into saving, regardless of your salary pay scale. Essential household expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries are definitely necessary, but anything outside of this is often unnecessary. And these expenses—such as going out and shopping too often—though deceptively minimal at first, can all add up to a huge amount in the long run. 

Ending your bad spending habits can be as easy as doing minor lifestyle changes. Here are seven little ways to help you save big in the long run.

1. Squirrel away come payday.
Instead of hitting the nearest department store to celebrate payday, hit a separate savings account. “On payday itself, before I get a chance to shop, I immediately withdraw a few thousand bucks and put it into another account which I don’t touch,” says Joanne Enriquez, a mother, art director, and book designer. Follow suit and make it a habit to set aside at least one fourth of your salary and deposit it in a passbook-style account, so you can’t access it so easily.

2. At supermarkets, shop below eye level.
“All the premium and pricier brands are all placed at eye-level on supermarket shelves,” reveals Enriquez. “So I pick the products that are below or above those items, as they cost less. Household basics like sponges, detergent, and dishwashing liquid do the same job, anyway!”

3. Walk, don’t ride.
The next time you have to go to a nearby restaurant at lunch, or if the bus and FX terminal is less than a kilometer away from your subdivision, forego the taxi or tricycle ride, and walk instead to your destination. By nixing your lunchtime taxi, you’ll save at least P1,600 a month, and P19,200 a year. And by not riding a tricycle, you’ll save about P784 a month, or P9,408 a year. Plus, you’ll be healthier—and slimmer, too.

4. Shop your closet.
Before you buy another dress for a party, check your closet first. Always look at your wardrobe with a fresh eye, and spend your weekends coming up with new pairings using your existing clothes. You can also log on to fashion blogs and websites to get ideas on how to dress. A new outfit including shoes may cost you P5,000, an “old-new” outfit from your closet, zero.

Read: How to budget when you're broke

5. Make going out extra-special.

Meaning, you’ll only go out on extra-special occasions. “I used to go drinking or do videoke with my cousins every Saturday, without fail, and that used to cost us at least P1,500 per person,” Dino Gramonte, an IT specialist, recounts. “Now we only go out when we’re celebrating someone’s birthday, or for a despedida. That saves me about P6,000 a month.”

6. Forego the fancy drinks.
If you always order a fruit shake at lunch, and if you grab a tall mocha latte on your way to work, this may be setting you back at least P150 a day, or a whopping P3,000 a month! A fancy drink is always an unnecessary expense—and it may be adding unnecessary calories as well. “I bring my own thermos of home-brewed coffee to work,” says Enriquez, who admits she can’t get through the day without a coffee fix. “If it gets cold, I just transfer it to a mug and microwave it!” Or just ask the waiter for plain, free, H2O.

Read: Build a better budget in 6 months

7. When you think of buying a bag, think of buying a house.

This may sound strange at first, but this is just a play on reverse psychology. The next time you’re itching to buy a new cellphone or “it” bag even if you don’t need it, convert the unit price of your impulse buy into the big-ticket investment you’re dreaming of. Just imagine: 14 fancy cellphones, or 11 designer bags equals P350,000—often the cost of a nice secondhand car, or the minimum deposit needed to purchase a small condo unit.
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

Latest News

  • Nurse who survived Ebola sues Dallas hospital system Associated Press - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 7:20 AM PHT
    Nurse who survived Ebola sues Dallas hospital system

    DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas hospital that treated the first patient to be diagnosed in the U.S. with Ebola lied to Congress when it said its staff was trained to handle the deadly virus, a nurse who contracted the disease contends in a lawsuit filed Monday. …

  • 7 Diet Hacks You Need To Try Now Realbuzz - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    7 Diet Hacks You Need To Try Now

    Dieting is tough. There’s no shortcut to shredding the pounds – it takes every trick in the book (not to mention bags of motivation). If you’re short of new weight loss solutions, we might be able to help. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here are 7 diet hacks to get you back on track. …

  • Airlines move to better track planes a year after Flight 370 Associated Press - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 7:30 AM PHT
    Airlines move to better track planes a year after Flight 370

    NEW YORK (AP) — At 656,000 pounds fully loaded and the length of six school buses, the Boeing 777-200ER is hard to miss. …

  • Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections Associated Press - 8 hours ago
    Second Los Angeles hospital reports 'superbug' infections

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Four patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant "superbug" linked to a type of medical scope that's used on more than a half-million people in the U.S. every year, the hospital said Wednesday. …

  • 5 stunners from the Geneva car show Associated Press - 16 hours ago
    5 stunners from the Geneva car show

    GENEVA (AP) — Forget driverless cars, electric power or even green technology. There is no doubt what visitors are coming to see at the glamorous Geneva motor show: supercars. …

  • Honey, we shrank the SUV _ and Europe loves it Associated Press - 23 hours ago
    Honey, we shrank the SUV _ and Europe loves it

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — In Europe, SUV now stands for: Shrinking Utility Vehicle. …

  • For taste of the Middle East, try za'atar on any meat or veg Associated Press - 17 hours ago
    For taste of the Middle East, try za'atar on any meat or veg

    When I was growing up in Dubai, my favorite afterschool snack was "manaeesh bi za'atar," a warm flatbread smeared with a deep green paste made of olive oil and the beloved Middle Eastern spice blend, za'atar. Rolled up with some creamy lebneh (thick yogurt) and fresh tomatoes, it's still the snack I crave today. …

  • Leg-Toning Exercises For Perfect Pins In 30 Days Realbuzz - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 5:00 PM PHT
    Leg-Toning Exercises For Perfect Pins In 30 Days

    If you’re serious about getting sculpted pins, we have the 30-day challenge you need to you get the legs you deserve …

POLL

My New Year's resolution is to:

Loading...
Poll Choice Options