Have you ever wondered why you seem to be forever in limbo with your finances? You have a budget, you stick to it, and you try to save as much as you can, so what are you doing wrong?
The culprit in your situation may be those tiny expenses, some of which you’re not totally conscious about, that accumulate in unimaginably huge amounts.
Now may be the time to review your financial habits—starting with identifying the expenses you could have less of to help you save more.
- Cable subscription
Cable subscriptions cost P900 on the average for basic plans, but premium accounts with bundled internet services can cut you back by as much as P1,400.
To help you cut down on your cable bill, you could either go for a basic plan, especially if you only watch selected shows or if you’re subscribed to an internet service provider, you might want to consider dropping your cable subscription altogether.
Alternatively, you could register with video-on-demand services like HOOQ, iFlix, or Netflix, which let you watch your favorite local and foreign TV series and movies at more affordable plans.
- Postpaid plan
Mobile postpaid plans can also hurt your budget, especially if you’re constantly going beyond your monthly credit cap either on data usage or text and call charges. High-end phones can rip you off about P1,000 in postpaid charges, so you might want to choose a mobile company that offers more value-added features to help you avoid additional charges on top of your monthly payments.
You could also opt for prepaid plans since they’re more flexible and put you in better control of how much to spend for text, call, and data charges.
Public transportation is the best way if you’re keen on lowering your transportation expenses. Unless you’re offering carpooling services to your neighbors or friends using your own car, you’re shouldering the costs of gas, parking space, and car wash services, which could be worth P3,000 weekly in conservative estimates—all by yourself.
If you’re still making monthly car and car insurance payments, then you’re certainly not saving in this department. The same goes if you’re booking a ride-hailing service to and from work every day.
On the other hand, taking a bus, a shuttle van, or the train could do wonders for your transportation allowance in double to triple savings.
- Eating out
Whether it’s a popular fast food joint, a promising local restaurant, or your favorite coffee shop, there’s no denying that eating out can cost you more than if you were to bring your home-made meals to work. Plus, you won’t be limited to the amount of serving you could have if you prepared your own snacks and lunch.
When it comes to your daily fix of caffeine, which can be had for P75 to P150 per cup, you could save a lot more by making brewed coffee with your office coffee maker. Not to mention, being able to share with your colleagues at work for free or in exchange for a bag of coffee beans the moment you run out of them.
- Gym membership
On average, gym memberships can cost you another P1,000 on your monthly budget. Your gym expenses could even stretch even more when you opt for a personal trainer and a customized workout program.
While it’s understandable that you’re all in it for health and fitness goals, you know that there are free or inexpensive ways to help yourself stay in shape. There’s your corporate wellness program, your choice of fitness exercises on the internet, or plain running or walking in your neighborhood or at a nearby park after office.
It’s quite easy to get carried away stashing grocery items into your shopping cart on every trip you make to the supermarket. Whenever you scour every lane in the grocery store, you tell yourself now is the time to buy what you couldn’t buy in your previous grocery shopping, and so you go for it. Before you know it, the cash register shows you’ve exceeded your budget allotment by a few hundred or a thousand pesos.
The key is to make a list of essential items for your household, including the amount you need to make your groceries last a good while. This will help you cut the number of times you have to go to the grocery, where there’s always the likelihood that you will, again, end up rationalizing that you failed to get that imported Ricotta cheese, for example, the last time around and throw it in your cart for an extra P360.
You might argue that these expenses are necessary in your daily living, and we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt in that case. Then again, you need to figure out if you’re overspending for items that you could actually live without or in smaller amounts.
With the proper mindset and by taking advantage of unique services like online pawning, you don’t have to be in a constant struggle trying to have some extra padding in your monthly budget.
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