Saving 100K has been one of my life goals for this year. I’ve always been good at saving up money – then spending it in one go… This year, I decided to forgo the spending part. I’m going to share with you some of the things I did that helped me save 100K. I actually debated posting this one but you guys reacted so positively on this post I made last month that’s about saving/earning more money.
Note that this may not necessarily work for everyone due to various reasons: we have different salary, you live on your own, you’re still a student, etc. I also won’t be saying exactly how much I earn since that is against company policy. I will say that it is in the average salary of an IT fresh grad. I did start from PHP0 savings for this year and I started my job just last January 2015.
Here’s the steps I did to save PHP100k in less than a year. Some include just how much I save per step.
- Have a separate savings account from your payday account. This is important since it helps you see exactly how much you are being able to save. If you’re still a student, having a savings account still helps. Then, allot a certain percentage of your salary/allowance straight to your savings account every payday. Aim for at least 10%. I automatically transfer PHP2,500 every payday to my savings account. So, in a year, PHP2,500 x 2 x 12 months = PHP60,000! I’m halfway there with just this step alone!
- Live with your parents if you can. It’s very expensive to live alone. You have to pay for rent, electricity, water, food, etc. That would at least be PHP2,500 if you’re living somewhere near EDSA yet don’t mind a really small room. Then add the struggle of doing everything by yourself with no help whatsoever. I’m not promoting dependence here. I’m just saying, if you want to save as much as you can, hold off living on your own for now. If you do live with your parents, like I am, don’t forget to give back. Do your part of the household chores. Pay for at least the electricity bill or something. Don’t be a total slacker if you’re living with the ‘rents.
- Track your spending. It’s very easy to track your expenses nowadays with mobile apps. I personally recommend Pocket Expense app – even if you’ll only get the trial version. It’s so easy to say that a Starbucks frappucino per week is not a big deal. However, that adds up to PHP9600 per year! Crazy, right? If you’re using an expense app, you can easily see where your money is going and be more conscious on spending it. Tracking your spending will only take at most five minutes of your day. Don’t be lazy and try it. It works. It saves me from buying take-outs from McDonalds when I see how much I already spend for the day.
- In line with tracking your spending, set a budget. I use the Pocket Expense app since it lets me set a budget for each category. You can set up budget for your food, transportation, etc. on this app. Tip 3 and 4 goes hand in hand. You can see if you’re already nearing your budget using the app. You can also readjust your budget to fit your needs. For example, I set up a specific budget for food per month. If I overspend on the beginning of the month, I make it up by choosing cheaper food options as the 30th/31st of the month nears. I aim to never spend above my budget.
- Don’t be afraid to commute. You know how much everyday gas and tolls gates are? Too damn high, that’s what. Don’t be afraid to commute. You save $$$ and be able to take a quick nap when it’s traffic – read, every day. Avoid the cabs, as well. You don’t want to pay every minute for the traffic that you’re stuck in. And have you read all those horror stories about cabs in Facebook? Thanks, but no thanks.
- Bring packed lunch. No shame in that. I used to eat out every day at work. That’s at least PHP100 per lunch, PHP500 per week. I now bring packed lunch to work every MWF. That’s at least PHP14400 savings per year. Also, packed lunch is healthier than fast food. Packed lunch – 2, fast food – 0.
- Separate your wants from needs. If you’re really serious about saving money, you can do it. Let me put some of the wants that I stopped paying money for:
- Ditch the monthly mani-pedi. I used to do a mani-pedi-foot spa at least once a month. That’s worth Php500~ in Let’s Face it and PHP900 in Nail-a-holics. That’s almost PHP16,800 per year if I have a mani-pedi every two weeks. I learned to stop wasting money that way. Here’s a tip: do it yourself. You’ll also learn a skill on the way.
- Stop seeing every movie showing. You do know that you at least use PHP400 per movie, right? That includes the popcorn and transportation. On average, I used to watch two movies per month. I lessen that to one per month. I easily saved PHP4,800. I’m on my way to making myself watch only five-seven movies per year.
- Stop impulse shopping. Stop! Yes, that top may be cute but you probably have a few more items in your closet that you haven’t worn yet. What I do is I mentally take note of the items that I want to just impulsively buy then when the next weekend comes and I still want it, I might buy it. Most of the times, I already forgot all about it.
- Compute how much you earn per hour. This really won’t add up to your money but it’ll make you more conscious on how you spend it. Like, are you really willing to work 20+ hours for a dress you will wear for one time? Are you willing to fish out 4 hours of working hard to eat that lunch?
- Do some part-time online jobs. There are so many available online jobs! I figure I’ll just make a separate post about it in the future. For now, let me just say that you can earn so much doing online jobs. It could be doing surveys, testing out a website, do some translating, etc. I’ve transcribed an hour long audio for $25 each at Freelancer. Don’t be afraid to research about online jobs. There’s always something for everyone.
- Invest your money. I haven’t actually invested my money, per say. But, I did a lot of research this year and I might start investing next year. I’m actually meeting with aunt tomorrow to learn about an investment plan in another company. In investing your money, it’ll earn around 10%, unlike the less than 1% increase it’ll have if you just leave it in the bank. This way, you’ll have your savings and your money will grow along the ridiculous inflation rate of everything in the market.
Bonus tip: I know it’s that time of the year where we’ll have our 13th month and Christmas bonuses. Please try not to spend all of it. I put all of mine straight into my savings account and try to forget about it. Sure, it feels nice to finally afford the new iPhone or whatever, but do you really want to start with zero savings for 2016? I don’t think so. Spend some, and save some. Your 2016 self will thank you, I promise.
Also, while it is good to save as much as you can, remember to pay yourself too for you hard work. Every month, I allot a special budget for myself to use to whatever I want to. Whether it’s for a movie, a book or concert ticket, it’s my choice. It’ll also make you feel less restricted with you already counting your every peso. Just don’t overindulge with your budget. If you have any money left from this, you have the option to place it back to your savings account or add it to this month’s budget or put it in your ‘wants’ jar. All the trips and concerts I’ve been to this year (and next year) are from my own pocket. It really just comes down to having discipline. Have fun!