How to be Financially Ready for the Ghost Month
There are many reasons to be extra careful this August—heavy rains, flooding, and typhoons. But for the superstitious, it’s the “hungry ghost.”
According to Chinese legends, spirits freely roam the earth during the 7th month of the lunar calendar, causing bad luck and disasters. The “hungry ghost month” does not choose misfortunes—even your finances are not spared.
Better be ready before bad luck bankrupts you. Here are tips to thrive financially during the unlucky season.
1. Think Twice Before Making Any Purchase
There’s no denying that shopping feels great, and sometimes, a stress-reliever. But, be careful of losing control and buying items you don’t really need. Before you realize it, you’ve already spent way beyond your budget.
So, before making any purchase, think twice. The ghost month is known for bringing misfortune, and making impulsive purchases may not end up well.
Don’t let your wants overcome you. Ask yourself, is it really that important? Remember, no one suffers financially with proper planning and budgeting
2. Make Lists
It’s a good habit if you want to monitor your money. Break down all possible expenses that you might be spending on for the week such as groceries and bills. Set a budget for every category, and follow it. No exceptions and excuses.
On the other hand, take note of the things you spent your money on. Sometimes, we buy items that are out of the budget. Even the little things add up, and you’ll find yourself asking “where did my money go?”
Document your daily expenses and review it at the end of the week to identify which purchases were impractical. Once you’ve identified your purchasing mistakes, it’s easy to avoid repeating them again.
3. Stay in for Late Nights
Partying and dining out are fun once in a while, but when done regularly, it can be quite costly. Avoid spending too much money at night outs especially this ghost month. Why? Aside from the possibility of attracting bad luck through pickpockets and muggings, you may end up paying too much than planned.
Dine in at home and cook your own meal to avoid going overboard with your budget. Invite your friends too and ask them to bring something to chew!
4. Start Saving with Small Amounts
Saving is a necessity and not an option. If you find this hard to do, start with small amounts. Think of this like a diet where you begin with little. Once you get comfortable with it, increase your savings gradually.
Other than the money set aside for bills, it’s good to maintain a savings account you can tap on when bad luck hits you this ghost month. Commit saving at least P500 per month and you’d be surprised at the result in the long run.
5. Set Aside an Emergency Fund
Superstitious or not, having an emergency fund especially this ghost month is important. Emergencies are a fact of life, and most of the time, these emergencies come with a financial toll that you have to face.
Set aside an emergency fund by trying to save at least P1000-P1,500 per payday. Set up a different account from your savings where you can deposit and not touch your emergency fund. Commit to depositing monthly and prevent yourself from withdrawing for non-emergency needs.
If unexpected emergencies hit you this ghost month and you’re out of cash, look for alternatives such as pawning your items. Online pawn shop, PawnHero, is now available in the Philippines, and it’s very easy to use! Download the app or go to the website to get a free appraisal for your items with only 2.99% fixed interest on your loan.
Ghost month or not, it’s better to be prepared financially. With these tips in mind, it’s easy to protect your finances from bad luck!