Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On the Budget 101

I am a traveler who is very conscious with my spending so as to not leave me poor or gone mad with debts. My salary is not high, there are bills to pay, there is a future I need to save money for, and there are day to day expenses that seem endless. So even if I travel, I make sure that everything is taken cared of. I see to it that my savings is fat and my investments are not sacrificed because of my trips.

I’m preparing for my South Korean vacation. My target allowance, excluding the terminal fee and the travel tax, is Php 20,000. I’m almost there. How do I do it? Below are some tips on how to save up for your next adventure.

Avoid the theater houses. As much as I love travelling, I am a movie buff as well. But it has been ages since I went to a movie house to actually watch one. The last I guess was Transformers or Kung Fu Panda 2 where my friend Joan got free movie passes for 2 people from Trinoma. I usually rely on my officemates’ downloads which I copy into my laptop and I waste my weekends on movie marathons if I’m not out to see the world.

If you could, cook and eat at home. Why waste away your money on highly priced food, especially those from the fast food? If you have the time, do some cooking.

Pack yourself some food. I usually rely on grabbing a sandwich from our canteen every morning just because I failed to eat breakfast. But now, I did myself a favor by storing some oatmeal in my drawer. It is healthier for me and for my wallet

Eat a full meal and avoid taking snacks. Before, I binge eat and by the time the afternoon comes, I go back to the canteen to get some snacks making me spend a little more just because I felt hungry for not eating enough during lunch.

No softdrinks, no iced tea, no juice. Unless it is free, I usually have tap water or service water (free of charge) to pair with my meal. I work in a water utility company and I know that our water is clean and passed DOH standards. So why would I spend about Php 20-30 just to quench my thirst?

No Coffee. I am a fan of Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I used to treat myself with a frappe (I love!) from these famous caf├ęs. Now I settle with my own coffee shake or just buy some tea bags from the grocery to drink tea.

pay bills on timePay your bills on time. To avoid the penalty charge, on time payment is the way to go.

Maximize your bills. Take for example my water bill. I am charged 10 cubic meters (minimum) even if I only use 3-4 cubic meters a month. So I thought of using water more in a reasonable way. Which leads me to the next tip.

PhotobucketCut on the Laundry expenses. I used to bring my clothes to the laundry shop which a stone throw away from our subdivision. I have been lazy and so every week I bring my soiled clothes for a good washing which costs me Php 150-200 a week. With a little exercise, and some money for laundry soap (I won’t account for water coz I still haven’t reached the 10 cu m minimum even though I went back to my laundry duties), doing laundry has cut my expenses.

Cut out the unnecessary expense. For me my unnecessary expense is my Internet Connection. I’m usually paying Php 1299 for internet services. But since there is unrestricted wifi connection at the office and even my work PC is wired, I don’t feel the need to have 24 hrs internet. So I gave it up.

chikkaChikka and Skype. To cut on my costs for texting, I usually log on to Chikka. Each user has 30 credits for Globe, 20 credits for Smart and 25 credits for Sun Cellular. And to save me from big phone bills , I utilize skype when talking to my family and my loved ones.

Charge somewhere else. Since I bring my laptop and celphone to work everyday, I usually charge them at the office to minimize my power costs.

unplugUnplug!!! We may be used to putting our TVs or stereos on standby but hey, they still consume power. If you don’t use it, put it off totally. Unplug!

Hitch a ride. hitchFor sure there is that somebody who has the same route as you going home from work or from school. So carpool with him or her and save yourself the transportation allowance and spare yourself the trouble of commuting. I always see to it that I go home with an officemate whose subdivision is next to ours. It saved me the hassle and the three Php 8-jeepney ride going home.

Ukay-ukay. I’m a fan of ukay-ukay. During our trip to Hongkong and Macau last year in February, me and my friend, Icile, headed to the Ukay-ukays in Cubao. Since February is the coldest month of Hongkong, we bought ourselves winter clothes from these second hand clothing store. Uhmmm, just make sure you wash your ukay finds thoroughly.

Saving is an art. Saving takes a lot of patience to raise the desired amount and a whole lot of discipline to not spend it. It takes strategy and great sacrifice just to make every peso count.


  1. Hi! Are you through with your south korea trip? Pls post your adventure as we're heading there this may (though i'll try to have it moved by sept). I really enjoyed your blog about palawan its so useful esp the diy tours. Looking forward to read the other blogs of yours.

  2. Luckily, i just saw your korean posts



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