The holiday season is long gone, and before you know it, summer is here. Now, you find yourself needing extra cash to set aside for the activities you have planned with family and friends. With all the expenses you have every month, though, you may find it hard to save.
And you’re not the only one encountering this problem. A 2015 national survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) found that only four out of 10 Filipinos have savings
. Only 32% of those four set aside their extra cash in banks. This lack of money is why our country has a low financial literacy rate, according to the BSP.
Financial literacy means having the ability to make smart decisions about saving, borrowing, and investing your money. Only 25% of adult Filipinos are financially literate
, a recent global financial literacy study by the World Bank Development Research Group found.
Not all hope is lost if you want to be more financially literate, at least in the “saving” part. Here are 35 great ways to save some cash for the holidays.
1. Don’t Increase Your Spending Unnecessarily
You may be tempted to upgrade your lifestyle by buying more expensive coffee or food every day when you get a raise or promotion. While it may be satisfying at first, you’ll soon realize that you’re not saving anything by doing this. Focus on increasing your savings instead of spending every time you get an appraisal.
2. Give Yourself a Realistic Challenge
If you really want to get into the habit of saving, create a system! It can be as simple as saving around 500 to 1,000 pesos every payday, to more complex ones like the 52-week money challenge. This challenge involves saving in 50-peso increments a week (first week 50 pesos, second week 100 pesos, third week, 150 pesos, and so on). You can earn up to 68,900 pesos from this. If you can save more, by all means, do it! Plus, if you save using your bank account or an investment plan, you’ll earn even more with the returns they provide.
3. Reward Yourself Once in a While
Just because you’re saving up, it doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of rewards. Treat yourself occasionally and buy an item you like every few months. Set aside some cash equivalent to the price of that product next month.
4. App Up Your Budget
If creating a budget takes too much of your time or is just too boring for you, try budgeting apps like Mint. Here, you can create a budget for every expense you have, letting you track everything from your phone or other devices.
5. Give Yourself Time Before a Big Purchase
Before purchasing an expensive want, like shoes and jewelry, give yourself up to a week to think about it. This way, you’ll know if you really want an item and it’s not just an impulse buy.
6. Small Change, Big Difference
We often take small change like one-peso coins for granted, spending them on street food and convenience store goodies. If you have any loose change at the end of the day, keep them in a piggy bank! You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by the end of the year.
7. Don’t be Tempted by Debt
You may be tempted to buy lavish items like a new watch or gaming console, and you may be tempted to use a credit card to pay for them. However, you’ll likely end up paying more than you should. Develop good discipline when using your card, by using it only when you know you can pay for the item in cash. This way, you’ll be getting good credit while keeping yourself debt-free.
8. Get Rid of Unused Subscriptions
You could be paying for subscription services you don’t need because you think you’ll use them in the future. If you already have Netflix and a postpaid cellphone plan, get rid of your cable and landline. You won’t even miss them.
9. Stay Insured
Whether it’s for your car or your health, an insurance plan will keep you from paying a hefty amount in case of an emergency.
Food and Groceries
10. Start Meal Planning
You’re probably spending more than you should on food when you go out for meals every lunch break. Search for meal planning recipes online and start cooking at home. And if you don’t have the time, you can always cook during the weekends and portion them throughout your workdays.
11. Eat Before Going to the Mall
Have a meal or a quick snack before heading to the grocery store. This way, you won’t be tempted to go to the nearest fastfood place after shopping.
12. Stick With Your Shopping List
Create a shopping list containing only the groceries you need. This acts as a guide that keeps you away from buying unnecessary items.
13. Buy in Bulk
When buying personal care and non-perishable food items, it’s best to buy in bulk. A five-liter bottle of cooking oil will cost less in the long run than buying multiple one-liter ones every month.
14. Look for Affordable Alternatives
Compare prices of items from your preferred brands and other manufacturers. If you find that another company makes similar quality goods for a fraction of the price, make the switch.
15. Treat Yourself With a Homemade Meal
While takeout is convenient, steep delivery fees can eat into your savings. Treat yourself with a delicious home-cooked meal instead. Just look for recipes with the ingredients you have at home and try them.
16. Bring a Mug to Work
Though you may have to wash it every morning and before you leave for home, bringing a mug to work does wonders for your wallet. With your own cup, you don’t have to buy a water bottle or coffee every day. Just get them free from your office’s pantry.
17. Get Routine Checkups
The phrase “health is wealth” still rings true today. Prevent small health issues from worsening into life-threatening and expensive ones by addressing them through routine checkups with your doctor.
18. Don’t Hesitate to Buy Generic Meds
Just like groceries, your medications may have cheaper alternatives in the form of generics. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist if there’s a generic version of the drug you need.
19. Always Use Your Benefits
You should always have your company health card with you in case you will be hospitalized or need to go for a checkup. Couple this with your insurance and you’ll pay way less than it actually costs.
20. Make the Most of Your Plan
Your employers’ health plan may also provide benefits to dependents, like your loved ones. Take advantage of this perk so you can save on hospital bills for the whole family.
21. Keep Your Appliances Maintained
Like your body, appliances need regular checkups and tune-ups so they can perform at peak performance. You can easily maintain items like electric fans by keeping their blades clean. For air conditioners and refrigerators, however, you may need to call in professionals. Keeping your appliances maintained will save you from costly repairs and replacements in the future.
22. Open the Windows When You Can
If you want to beat the heat, you don’t have to crank up the fan or air conditioner, and ultimately increase your energy costs. Open a window to let in air and natural light.
23. Be Smart About Your Laundry
You won’t need a dryer if you’re not doing laundry in a rush. Your clothes will dry better under the hot PH sun.
24. Beware Phantom Power
Your devices may still suck up significant power while on standby. Unplug them when not in use.
25. Get LED
Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs emit a brighter light while using less energy than incandescent ones. Replace your lights with LEDs, and you’ll have significantly lower bills.
26. Invest in High-Quality Kitchen Equipment
You don’t want to lose precious time and energy waiting for your pot or pan to get to the right temperature. Use efficient kitchen equipment like copper pans that heat up fast and induction stoves that use less energy than their gas counterparts.
27. Get Better Prices Online
Need to shop for a new pair of jeans or jewelry? Get them through the brand’s online store or an online marketplace. They tend to be cheaper because they don’t include the cost of running a physical store in their prices.
28. Always Hunt for Coupons
Turn on your notifications or subscribe to the newsletter for your favorite online stores. They may send you discount coupons that allow you to save big on your next purchase.
29. Buy Multifunctional Items
When buying printers or coffee makers, make sure they have multiple functions. Instead of buying a printer and a scanner separately, why not get the best of both worlds with an all-in-one printer. And if you want a versatile brewer, a French press can give you a great cup of joe, cold brew, or even tea.
30. Wait Out for Sales
Once in a while, online marketplaces and stores will announce a sale that drastically lowers the prices of your products. Again, keep yourself updated for these events. You’ll regret buying an item at full price, only to find out that it got slashed 50% the day after.
31. Used Doesn’t Mean Bad
Looking to buy electronics or jewelry? Consider getting second-hand ones. Not only are they more affordable, but they also work just as well as brand-new items. Ask the official stores if they have refurbished models or browse through buy and sell Facebook groups for the best deals.
Spending Time With Loved Ones
32. Make Staycations a Regular Thing
Instead of going out to the mall or the theater, try planning more staycations with your loved ones. Whip up one of the great meals you just learned and pull up a Netflix movie. Make your place the hangout location by inviting friends over for board games and drinks. You’ll have endless fun without breaking the bank.
33. Explore Piso Fares
Like store sales, Piso Fare flights can be elusive, but they’re worth it. Check your preferred airline’s website or social media regularly to be one of the first people to get a great deal when they release their Piso Fares.
34. Go on Active Dates
Another way to save money on dates is to go active. Visit the nearest hiking trail or beach. If you’re in the city, try a new workout or jogging path with your partner. Be physically and financially fit together.
35. Give Handmade Gifts
Your gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful or enjoyable. Search for craft gifts online and create handmade presents for your loved ones. Not only are they more affordable than store-bought gifts, but they’re also more intimate.
If you want to save money, you often need to make big changes to your lifestyle. You’ll have to wait for sales and your own savings to buy expensive items with cash. You need to learn new skills like cooking your own food. You have to hold off on purchasing that giant cup of milk tea every day. These MAPERAAN decisions you make will be worth it once you have your savings to fall back on.
Save for the Future
The savings you get from your MAPERAAN
methods are perfect for investing in your or your family’s future. Invest in what’s ahead with Insular Life’s insurance products. Whether you’re saving up for your retirement fund, your child’s education
, or your family’s health, we’ve got you covered. We offer personal insurance, business, or group insurance.
If you’re wondering what MAPERAAN is, it’s our financial literacy program that educates and empowers Filipinos to save and invest their hard-earned money correctly.