One of the things that I want to watch over this year is our finances. Last year, buying personal stuff was a priority (my daughter had growth spurt last year that almost all of her clothes did not fit anymore, I bought 2 pairs of rubber shoes because our company finally allowed us to wear it even on weekdays, the husband owned another motorcycle etc.) My family also enjoyed our travel (Zambales with friends, Batangas for my friend’s wedding)
P and I also spent quite a large amount of money last holiday season for family, friends, food, and aguinaldo for our 20+ god children. Sharing our blessings and having money to spare for the things that we want brought extreme happiness to me and my husband and since we were able to accomplish a lot in 2017, I would like to be more wise in spending this year in order to achieve greater things.
I made the list as short (and realistic) as possible. These tips in saving money can help both you and me in handling our finances better this year.
1. Practice delayed gratification
Delayed gratification, or deferred gratification, is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward.
It’s typical for us to reward ourselves when we receive extra money from hardwork. My husband and I also do this. There’s nothing wrong with spoiling yourself every once in a while. This year though, I would like to start practicing delayed gratification for more satisfying rewards in the future. I haven’t created my dream board yet for 2018 but some of the goals I set require saving money for me to achieve it (Z’s Jollibee birthday party, a desktop, out of town with the kids) If P and I continue to indulge ourselves with instant gratification, there’s a little chance that we can make our plans happen. Longing to have a dream vacation, your own house or even your own business? It’s okay to not treat your friends or family members EVERY WEEK OR EVERY PAYDAY. Stop yourself from grabbing that new pair of shoes as you just got one the last time you received an incentive.
Try this: When you feel the desire to make an unplanned purchase, instead of immediately buying or researching the specific item, consider checking your financial statements instead. Comparing the spending habits and expenses of bank accounts and credit card statements against the information within your credit report is a great way to curb your instant desire and motivates you to stick to your initial saving plan! Plus, checking your financial statements and credit report regularly can help you catch and dispute errors, thus helping you achieve your financial goals sooner.
Remember that just like love, better things happen to those who wait. So hold back before you spend that money, think of greater rewards that you can avail in the future.
2. Clean-up Facebook and Instagram accounts from shops and buy and sell groups (that you don’t really need)
With shopping made easy thru Facebook and Instagram, buying things you don’t really need is just a click away. Who can resist a chic mother and daughter twinning outfit or a branded watch for half the price? Online shoppers and buyers call it “steal price” and you end up ordering it without thinking twice. Trending items like essential oils and korean skincare products are temptations, too. Facebook share of new places to eat at is also trending nowadays and I am guilty of joining the bandwagon (It’s not all the time though and I still consider the price and location of the cafe or resto) But as much as I don’t want to admit it, I let myself get carried away by social media.
To cut down my expenses, I started unfollowing buy and sell groups and online shops on FB and IG. I do not browse my newsfeed that much as I am also changing the way I eat and if I happen to encounter a post about a new cafe which is accessible to my place, I might end up asking P to take me to it. Keeping temptations away from my sight helps in making sure that I don’t spend money on things I can live without. Clean-up your social media accounts and see if your spending habit will change.
3. Be creative in saving money
Have you read about Money Challenge on social media? One of the most shared posts last year (based on my observation at least) is money or ipon challenge. Filipinos love success stories about saving money and we are becoming more smart (and creative ) in finding ways to make it happen. An example is the 52-week Money Challenge I chanced upon from a financial group 2 years ago. 52 weeks because one year has this total number weeks and it requires weekly savings. If you are able to complete it, you can earn as much 60,000php by December 30th, if my memory serves me right. The starting amount was 100php and the amount you have to save weekly increases by 100php. It sounded like a good idea and I thought of doing it but did not pull through for some reason. Fast forward to today, I am glad that there are variety of money challenges you can try. Check them out on Google or Facebook. Just a tip, choose which one suits you best. It must be realistic and should not compromise your needs. Mommy Pehpot, a blogger from the Philippines, shared money saving tips and this one is perfect for me:
Majority of Filipino workers get paid every 15th and 30th of the month (we call it kinsenas katapusan) and that’s where this money challenge is based from. The amount that needs to be saved every payday is just enough, it won’t hurt your pocket plus, it does not have to be weekly, it’s bi-monthly, which makes it more convenient for me. I also shared this to my friends and one of my associates told me she started it last payday and she promised to finish this money challenge. I am excited to update each other about our ipon. You think you can do it, too?
The year is just starting and this is the best time for us to create plans, set goals, and make them happen. If you were financially challenged or need a nudge this time as you overspent last year, cheer up because it’s not too late to get back on your feet and save.
For other money articles by Nocturnal Mom Talks, click these: