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How I Managed to Save 100K in Less Than a Year

How I Managed to Save 100K in Less Than a Year; Richel Goes Places

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

What money-saving habits do you have?

xoxo, Richel V.

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  • Reply
    October 19, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    I found your blog because of this post and I am sooooo glad I did. I’m such a bad saver which is super super super bad because I’m already 23 and I should already know how to do this but nope, I buy books, new clothes, plane tickets – it never ends. -_-

    Bookmarking this post for future reference, and 100k will definitely be my goal for 2017! I’m honestly so inspired!


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      October 20, 2016 at 11:21 AM

      I get you! I’m so bad at saving this year, but I promised myself I’ll do better for the rest of the year and for the next one. I’m aiming to save 150K next year! *crosses fingers*

  • Reply
    September 12, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    This is such an amazing post! I’m such a bad saver, which is now very alarming for me because I know I shouldn’t depend on my parents forever (they’ve been nice enough to let me take a year off before pursuing further studies which they will pay for *sigh*). These are some great tips you have here! It’s amazing how 5,000PHP per month may seem little but woah, in 12 months it equates to 60, 000. This post makes me excited to save! Thank you so much for this, I enjoyed your blog. 🙂


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      September 15, 2016 at 8:25 PM

      It’s never too late to start saving up! I used to save up in college too, but it never stays in my bank account. I usually crave food, go to concerts, etc. But there’s always the option to do better every day! 😀

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    That Pocket Expense app and Freelancer will help alot. Well, freelancer probably will be much helpful than the other since I work at home. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing what you know about saving up and how to earn so much IN A YEAR?! And thinking of saving a thousand or two aswell. hmmm..

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 4, 2016 at 5:14 PM

      Are you a freelancer? Good luck with saving!! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    I invested last year’s 13th month into stocks, and while I’m a bit bummed that I couldn’t go shopping, at least I’m taking care of my future and I feel like I have my shit together HAHA nice blog post, Richel! Reminded me to be stay on track to my own goal of 100K this year! 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 4, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      Not too confident to invest on stocks on my own so I have to rely on taking investment plans. Haha! True! And after a few years, we’ll have our own money to shop with no worries about having zero balance or credit card debt, haha.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2016 at 9:38 PM

    Excellent post and advice!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 4, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      Thank you, Caramella. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 1, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    I just had my first job this year, trying to save as much as I can. Doing the expense tracker app thing also and I transfer Php2500 per payday to my savings account as well. Cheers to being thrifty!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 4, 2016 at 11:09 AM

      Wish you all the best in the (really hard) path to saving! Haha!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Engen
    July 1, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Amazing idea, love your post here!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 1, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      Thank you, Suz. 🙂

  • Reply
    The Bambi Eyes
    July 1, 2016 at 7:59 AM

    Wow these are all such useful and wonderful tips! Definitely going to be book marking this page. Thanks for this 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 1, 2016 at 10:51 AM

      Glad you liked them! 🙂

  • Reply
    Adele Miner
    July 1, 2016 at 7:12 AM

    This is amazing, I definitely agree with lots of these.. must give it a try! I’m always looking for new blog friends and I think your blog is lovely, let me know if you want to stay in touch and follow each other! x


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 1, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      Hope the list helps you, Adele. Hope to see you again on my blog! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 1, 2016 at 3:08 AM

    WOW this is so inspirational! I’ve become so much better with my money since I started freelancing. When you don’t have a lot of money, you don’t spend a lot! I hope that once I start making more I’ll keep these frugal habits and actually save something… 🙂

    Great post girl!


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      July 1, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      Definitely true! There came a point that I was literally counting down cents – in fact, I still do. I think, once you formed the habit, it’ll be hard to throw that away! So *fingers crossed*, we can still be frugal even if we take home more cash than usual!

  • Reply
    Danica Rama
    June 8, 2016 at 2:45 AM

    this got me thinking about saving (SERIOUSLY SAVING). I’ve downloaded an app to track my expenses too last month, but I stopped using it because I know I am literally going nowhere with my expenses haha. I’m so jealous on how disciplined you are with money

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 8, 2016 at 10:33 AM

      I stopped tracking my spending the last few months and my savings account went to hell. For real. Hahaha! I started tracking it again and all is right in the world. It’s seriously the one keeping my things together. Give it another try! Haha!

  • Reply
    Ann Christine
    January 31, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    Hi Angel,

    I’m so glad I came across your blog. I love everything you have written. So far this is my favorite, it’s so nice to see someone as young as you, understand the value of money, the importance of savings and the difference between needs and wants. You are just not teaching your readers how to save but also, you are teaching them how to handle their money wisely. Keep it up. Continue inspiring other people.

    Just a tip: this year migth be tough for the financial world but it’s the best time to invest.

    Tita Tin

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      February 2, 2016 at 9:52 PM

      Hi Tita Tin,
      Thanks for dropping by my blog! I aim to be financially secure as early as possible (and travel the world while at it). Sharing it to my readers is just a plus! Thanks for the tip. I am aiming to invest sometime this year, but i have a few travels planned so I might hold it off for a few months. Haha.

  • Reply
    Iris Buenconsejo
    January 3, 2016 at 5:46 PM

    This is an excellent post Richel!

    When I was working I had saved up to 500k in a year and a half work and was able to book myself a ticket to NYC (no parents needed yay!) but of course there were sacrifices along the way. It was a proud moment (not on the amount, but the saving part and not being tempted!) because it is so easy to be swayed as a 20-something right?

    I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished! May I share this on my blog & Facebook page? Let’s connect! You seem like the kind of person I’d want to hang out and talk about dreams and life with. Not to mention you listen to This Century, which is a brother band by my favorite, The Maine.

    You’ve done well last year!

    Iris @ Earth Love Skin

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      January 3, 2016 at 6:52 PM

      Thank you so much, Iris!

      Wow. 500K? Now, that’s goals! I’m currently saving up for a Eurotrip and a NYC trip. Planning to finish at least one of those before I turn 25. And yes, it is very easy to get swayed at this age. I’m just thankful I’m more into books and notebooks rather than branded things or else I’ll be broke.

      Also, you can share this on your social media sites/blog, if you want. I don’t mind at all! I followed you back on twitter, as well. And The Maine’s on my top 3 favorite bands ever! Have you been to any of their shows? Looks like we have things we can talk about.

      Happy 2016, Iris!!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    So glad I came across your blog and this post! This is so cool. It’s so impressive for someone who just started working to be able to do this. I’ve been working for a few years now and almost every item that you’ve started avoiding are actually the same items that hinder me from saving! UGH. And fooooood!! As in a lot of fooooood! I just downloaded the Pocket Expense app and at 11AM, I am almost close to spending 300pesos already. Ugh! Thanks so much for sharing this, Richel!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 29, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      If it makes you feel better, I stopped budgeting for November and December since the holidays are a killer to everyone’s savings! Hahaha. Food’s also where most of my budget is going. I’m hoping to cut down on that next year. You’re welcome, Yshy! Happy holidays!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2015 at 4:54 PM

    This post reminded me to put up a financial goal for next year! 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 24, 2015 at 6:38 PM

      I should probably do that as well, soon. Happy holidays, Eva! 🙂

  • Reply
    Janine Ella
    December 23, 2015 at 3:35 PM

    These tips are really really helpful Richel! Thank you so much for this! I haven’t had any savings for this year because I have a LOT of responsibilities and bills to pay. HUHU. But I will try harder next year!

    xx, Janine | A Blissful Blog

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 24, 2015 at 6:40 PM

      You’re welcome, Janine! I try to save as much as I can while I’m still a ~free woman~, lol.

  • Reply
    Ochi Bernadas
    December 9, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    I’m so guilty of all the things I should be avoiding! LOL. But thankfully, haven’t touched my 13th and 14th month yet. Phew!

    Ochi | Ochi In The City

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 9, 2015 at 10:49 AM

      I’m jealous you guys have a 14th month! Haha!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    This is super cool! 🙂 I hope I could also save up money come 2016! 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 8, 2015 at 4:45 PM

      I’m sure we could all save up on 2016! 😉

      Thanks, Jhanzey!

  • Reply
    Mommy Rockin' In Style
    December 8, 2015 at 9:51 AM

    I definitely agree on everything you said. Living alone is a never ending expenses. Congratulations dear! I used to be a big spender but hubby helped me to cut down my expenses hehehe


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 8, 2015 at 10:25 AM

      My mom is a huge spender and is the reason for most of my impulse shopping. I’m trying to convince her not to shop so much so I’ll help myself, as well. Haha!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2015 at 11:22 PM

    Great tips!! We only recently started tracking what we spend and I didn’t realize how much we spend on food!! It’s definitely something we can cut down on.


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 8, 2015 at 9:43 AM

      The biggest portion of my budget is allotted to food! I’m still trying to cut back on it – but it’s Christmas season, so that’ll probably happen next year! We can do it. 😉

  • Reply
    December 7, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Thank you for these smart saving money tips, Richel! I will give Pocket Expense app a try 🙂 I also want to share, one of the things that really helped me was ditching my postpaid plan and CREDIT CARD. Saved me almost P4,000 a month.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 7, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      I’m actually planning to get a credit card when I turn 21 to take advantage of the perks (i.e. free miles). As for the postpaid, I can’t ditched it because paying for the surf promos via prepaid is more expensive. 🙁

      Thanks, though, Grace! I’ll definitely think over having a credit card since I have a year to go. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2015 at 6:58 AM

    I’ve signed up for online jobs like Freelancer and Essays.ph too. The bad news is I have not applied a job. I should make it work now that you mentioned it. I’ll wait for your post about your experience on Freelancer.

    By the way, thank you for visiting my blog. Come back soon. 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 7, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      I think for every 20 jobs I’ve applied to, I only get 1-3. Hahaha! There’s little jobs available and plenty of freelancers (most with better ratings than me since they’ve been there longer.) The rates are really good at Freelancer, though. Way more than what I make in my regular job. 🙂

      You’re welcome, Jhecel. I’ll definitely be dropping by for your future posts. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 6, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    I’m using money lover app to track my expenses. It really helps!
    This post is very informative and I admire your discipline. 🙂
    It’s just hard sometimes to save because of emergencies. But these are great tips!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 6, 2015 at 4:22 PM

      I save up for an emergency fund, as well. Better safe than sorry! 🙂 Thanks, Dianne!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    You are very disciplined when it comes to saving money 😀 Thanks for sharing! this will serve as my guide 😀

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 6, 2015 at 4:12 PM

      I got that from my dad! Thankfully! Hope it helps you even just a bit, Dice! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 5, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    Really helpful tips! I am currently trying to build a healthy saving account, reading this is inspiring me to save more. Live the frugal life. haha


    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 6, 2015 at 10:04 AM

      There are times I just want to spend them all! Frugal life is a ~struggle~. Hahaha!

  • Reply
    December 5, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    This is super helpful Rich. I work in the same company as you are by the way 🙂
    From now on I’ll transfer 2,500 to 3000 to my personal account every payday 😀
    The only struggle I have is that I live on my own and I pay for everything. Got no time to prepare packed lunch as well so I’ve got no choice but to buy outside which adds to my expenses and my transfo allowance costs 2800 to 3000 per month.

    Congrats on saving such a huge amount by the way! 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 6, 2015 at 10:02 AM

      I’ll hopefully start putting 3,000 per payday to my savings account next year. Haha! It really is hard to save if you live on your own. I reckon I won’t be able to save half of what I have now if I got my own place. You can try making packed lunch the night before though! 🙂

      Thanks, LA! 😀

  • Reply
    Jeini Relova
    December 5, 2015 at 10:43 PM

    This is so nice. I’ve been having problems with saving a lot of money. This tricks will do the trick to attain that goal. Thanks Richel. 🙂

    http://www.ajeinomoto.com | Spices + Everything Nice

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 6, 2015 at 10:03 AM

      Hope the tips can help you and that you can save a lot. Thanks, Jeini! 🙂

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