Money Saving Challenge Report: Week 1

So last week, I started challenging myself about saving money. My plan was drafted in such a way that it would not be very difficult and forced. I will not pretend that I could start saving big because I did that for so many times in the past and I failed.

To recap, my plan included:

– Avoiding Grab or Uber at least once.
– Skip getting coffee from McDonald’s or Country Style.
– No food deliveries, less fast food.

Doing so would save me Php665 a week or Php2,600 a month.

So how did my first week go???

– I didn’t book Grab and Uber to work last Monday. I managed to take that one tricycle and jeepney ride instead! Which means I was able to save Php75.

– My co-worker treated me to Starbucks on Wednesday so I didn’t buy coffee for one day! I saved Php50. Now I will need to discipline myself to not buy coffee for at least a day next week, or pray that someone will treat me again. LOL.

– For the first time in many weeks, I did not order food online. I also started cooking (although all fried), so my breakfast and dinner were not the usual takeouts. Which means, I only spent food money on lunch. This is the tricky part because I figured I needed to factor in the money I spent for groceries. But I am confident that I was able to save more than my 500 peso target.

This means, I was able to save Php665 as planned! Now if I do this weekly, I will be saving Php2,600 every month. And if I will be able to put all my money saving tips and plans into regular practice, I’m sure I’d be able to save more! This is exciting!

Wish me luck in this journey. What money saving tips could you share?

Things to Give Up in Order to Save Money in 2018

So last week, I started listing down different things on how I plan to save money, one week at a time. Because I am that guy who finds it very hard to save money, I decided to make it a weekly plan instead of a daily plan, at least as a start. I am hoping that it will become a regular habit in the future, and blogging about it keeps me motivated. In a way, it pushes me to discipline myself knowing that I would end up deleting all these money-saving-tips posts if I won’t do them.

Now, before I list down the things that I plan to give up in order to save money in 2018, here are the ones that I already gave up in the past years which have helped me save money:

1. Television – It’s been four years since I gave up television! Prior to that, I couldn’t seem to live without it.
2. Cable subscription – I have had cable TV since college. I am so happy that I was able to make cable TV a thing of my past.
3. Fast food – I still eat fast food everyday, but managed to turn it from three times a day to just 5-6 times a week. That’s an improvement, but I am aware that it is still an issue health-wise.
4. Movies – I went from 2-3 times a month to once every 2-3 months.

I didn’t even realize these four helped me save money in a way, it would have been nice if I was able to track my before and after expenses with them.

Moving on, I now turn to the hard part of consciously identifying the things that I could give up in order to save money. I say “could” instead of “should” because just like my weekly plan, I do not want this to be a forced activity. So in 2018, I believe I could give up the following:

1. Uber and Grab – I took a trycicle and a jeepney ride to work for the first time yesterday, and I was very happy with my accomplishment. I initially planned to do it on a Friday, but I did it on a busy Monday! In 2018, I plan to do this more often. For my safety, I will still be booking Grab or Uber to get home.

2. McDonald’s Coffee – I am not a fan of Starbucks but I drink a large coffee from McDonald’s at work everyday. That is still 42 pesos times five. As an alternative, I am getting a coffee maker for myself this Christmas. I’ll brew my own coffee and bring it to work!

Take the last bite!

3. Eating out – This is my ultimate weakness because I don’t cook, and I am too lazy to cook. My philosophy is – I’d rather save my time and energy preparing my food in to doing something else. And by preparing food, that includes going to the market or grocery up to the time you need to wash the dishes. That’s exhausting! Why do I have to endure all that when I can just go somewhere else to eat and leave when I’m finished?

But because I am on the mission to save money, I will start limiting this habit. I think the weekly plan that I just started works for me. I know it will be difficult but I’m up for this challenge.

So these are the three things that I think I could give up or limit this coming 2018. They are not something that I could promise to let go totally, but who knows? That’s the good thing about not forcing myself to make abrupt changes, it becomes easier when I do one small step a a time. Starting big never worked for me as I have been conditioned this way for so long.

I am hopeful that I would be able to add more to this list before 2017 ends. I have over a month left to prepare so wish me luck!

What are the things that you have given up, or plan to give up to save money?

How Many Bank Accounts do you Need?

Do you need more than one bank account?

I started with a savings account when I was in college. It was easier to get one back then because all you need to present is your school ID card. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to do banking at that time and had my account closed after less than a year.

Upon employment, most people would start with their payroll account and later on would feel the need to have a separate savings account. I think that is perfectly fine, but according to an article from the Daily Worth, three is the ideal number:

  1. Curveball fund. Automatically transfer at least 5% of every paycheck, to cover random expenses (a lapse of reason at a yard sale, a broken toaster).
  2. Emergency fund. Ditto, but only tap this in a true do-or-die crisis. When they say, “Save three to six months’ worth of living expenses,” this is where it goes.
  3. YouNameIt fund(s). Set up at least one other account for a looming goal or project: a cushy reading chair for the bedroom, a holiday party (or getaway from the parties), adopting a child.

How about you, how many savings account do you have?

For me, I currently have six:

⁃ my BPI payroll and savings account
⁃ a BDO savings and checking account
⁃ savings account with Security Bank
⁃ the GetGo debit card from UnionBank (which also qualifies as a savings account)

I didn’t start needing all these accounts. Two of them I had to open when I purchased a condominium, and one for my secured credit card. Some of you could probably relate if I say that 5 of these 6 bank accounts only have maintaining balances! My goal now is to turn the remaining one into an Emergency Fund. And I will have to assign a Curveball Fund and a YouNameItFund to 2 of those 5 barely surviving accounts.

How I Plan to Save Money Starting This Week

Yes, not today but this week! I know how hard it is to save money even if we actually have an idea on how to do it. Have you been saving and ended up spending it shortly after? I am exactly that. So I’ll go easy on myself and not pretend that I could do it right now. 

When I started this blog, I knew I will be needing to divulge information which I don’t normally share. I made the decision to carry on and talk about stuff that often involves little details about my personal finances. And since I am now on this topic of financial struggles, I thought I should blog about my plans to recover and free myself from the burdens of living from paycheck to paycheck.

Save now, coffee later!

I mentioned this to my friend while we were in a café yesterday. We laughed at the irony of talking about saving money while drinking expensive coffee. We both know that we are not savers and we are aware why; it’s right before our eyes. And so I said I should go take that painful steps in saving money, and document it in my blog. This is my introduction, and here are my plans.

1. Lessen my Uber and Grab trips.

“I am willing to pay for comfort”, that is my motto. But since I could barely afford that now, I thought I should start going back to the basics in terms of my commute to work. One trycicle ride, plus one jeepney ride.
Uber/Grab: Php100
Trycicle and Jeepney: Php17+8 = Php25
Savings: Php75

2. Brew my own coffee.

I’m not a Starbucks fan but I do drink coffee everyday. I buy them from either McDonald’s or Country Style which are both way cheaper compared to Starbucks. We have free coffee at the office but I don’t like it. I also just stopped drinking 3-in-1 coffees as they’re too sugary. Last month, my former boss gave me a bag of coffee all the way from Costa Rica, I am taking that as a sign that I should brew my own. I will need to buy a coffeemaker though.
McDonald’s Coffee: Php42
Country Style: Php50
My own brew: Free for now
Savings: I’ll put this at Php50

3. No Food Deliveries.

I love the convenience of having my food delivered to my place. There are three McDonald’s branches near me, each about 5-10 minute walk away. But I still prefer having my order delivered instead of going to any of these stores!

Savings on delivery fee: Php40

4. Speaking of food,

I spend a good Php2500-3000 a week on food! Worst, it is almost 100% fastfood. This will be very difficult but I think it’s time to learn my way around the kitchen.
Savings: I’ll aim for Php500 a week.

It is not gonna be easy so I am giving myself a chance to do this at least ONCE a week. My total savings for one week would be Php665. That is Php2,600 a month. Not bad! Successful or not, I will be posting an update next week. I wish myself the best of luck!