#Adulting101: 10 Baby Steps to Help You Save Money this Year
If you’re having a hard time making your money last until the next payday, you’re not alone. It’s true—not everyone can be that one officemate who seems to be so well-disciplined when it comes to spending money.
The pressure to keep up with bills and somehow stay afloat with your social circle may seem daunting. Budget is perhaps one of the more important factors that people consider when they’re considering job opportunities. But remember that discipline starts with keeping yourself in check and by kicking old bad habits.
The thing is, saving money isn’t as hard as it seems to be. As you start this new year, challenge yourself to be a bit more mindful of your expenses. If you have no idea how to do that, here are a few good points to start with.
1. Draw Up a Budget
First, decide what your necessities are and make sure you’re prioritizing them on top of other things. Schedule when to pay them and diligently follow this schedule. Set an alarm if you must, but remember not to skip any of these scheduled bills because they’ll only pile up—and that’s usually where trouble begins.
2. Skip the Overpriced Coffee
You might feel like this is the most basic financial tip for any millennial out there but you’ll be surprised how much cups of your expensive coffee actually take up space on your expenses. Need a caffeine fix? Find another store with cheaper options. And hey, you may even have free coffee at your office, maybe it’s time to go for that!
3. The Little Things Do Add Up
Turning the lights off when not in use or making sure the faucet is tightly shut after you use it—it’s these little things that eventually add up. If you think about it, it doesn’t seem much. But being a little more aware of the ways you waste resources wouldn’t hurt your bills in the end. Taking care of yourself a little better is also an important point. Imagine never having to buy all those medicines or paying off all those medical bills? Seems like a fair point, huh.
4. Utilize Public Transportation
Okay, hear us out. Traffic these days is just utterly bad; so bad that you think taking the ride hailing apps three or four times a week is just pretty normal but really think about it. How much would you save if you found another mode of transportation and reduced your expensive rides to just once a week? That’s right, it’s a lot. It may be quite the departure to stay away from it, but reducing these rides will also bring you long-term benefits.
5. Use an App to Track Your Expenses
Sure, the old-school notebook and the fancy Excel sheet you have saved up somewhere in your home computer may seem cute and useful. But the best way to keep track of your expenses is to keep it accessible at all times, especially when you’re itching to buy yet another pair of shoes. Technology is a wonderful thing because there are so many choices out there—free apps that can help you with basic tracking, even sending you notifications from time to time. Ever wanted a personal accountant? Well, you can’t afford that. But again, free apps!
Also read: Free Apps You Can Use For A More Organized Life
6. Stay Away from Expensive Brands
It’s understandable how easy we can be captured by the popular brand mentality. We’ve grown to accept that popularity is somehow synonymous to quality, which means expensive is also synonymous to quality. To some extent, and for some brands, this might be true. But there are other items you can buy from lesser known brands of shoes, skin care products, clothes, etc. All it takes is online research.
With the rise of online shopping these days, we’re sure you’ll find the same pair of sandals probably half the price of what you saw in the mall. Social media is overflowing with options. Ask around, you probably know a friend who has a list of Instagram stores you can definitely start browsing.
7. The ‘Emergency Fund’ Mentality
No matter how prepared we think we are, adult life just manages to throw us a surprise every now and then. So it’s best to be prepared. Apart from the money you keep for your savings, you should also start stacking up on your emergency fund. Emergency money is a stash you keep to cover all surprise expenses that come your way. Be it a medical emergency, job loss, etc. Remember, it’s the sudden events that always throws us out of the loop and that extends to our finances.
8. Itching to Shop? Sleep on it.
We’ve all been there: strolling around the mall, you see something, and you immediately think of buying it. You have some extra cash so to hell with it, right? It doesn’t matter if you need it, it only matters that you want it at that specific moment. See, impulse buys are the real enemy here. But the secret to impulsive shopping is to pause, take a deep breath, and then decide to sleep on it. If you still want to buy it tomorrow and you’re confident your funds could handle it, then go for it. But often times, you’ll realize you don’t need it or you no longer want to buy it. Who needs another shirt like that, Helen? You already have seven colors of that same shirt.
9. Declutter Your Social Media Feed
Check your email, your Facebook account, and take a look at the apps you have installed. How much of your mobile content is related to shopping or spending money? A piso fare? A few new suggestions from Facebook Marketplace related to your last search? You have no idea how much these things influence your mind to spend money. Pull off a Marie Kondo and start decluttering the content you follow online. It will help you avoid unnecessary purchases. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by removing all those shopping apps.
10. Treat Yourself! But Responsibly.
No matter what kind of job you have – IT jobs, telemarketing jobs, and others – it’s safe to say that adult life is a high-stress situation. It’s easy to justify spending when you think of it as a reward. It’s not bad to cave in to life’s luxury sometimes, especially after a long hard week, month, or year. But remember that too much of everything is bad. If you treat yourself to an overpriced milk tea everyday, it stops becoming a reward and turns into a habit. That, that is where the trouble starts.
These ten tips may not seem much and you may not always succeed with such grace. But the key to kicking habits is to persistently do so. Do it again and again until you succeed.
Start making these small steps and watch it make big changes. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been employed for a long time or looking for BPO jobs in the Philippines, starting somewhere will get you somewhere. The next thing you know, you’ll be staring at your savings account with #hearteyes!
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