Updated: September 14, 2020
It doesn’t matter what you do, how old you are, or how big your income is — you need to develop your financial IQ if you want a comfortable future.
The good news is, there are plenty of opportunities for anyone to do this. You can attend seminars, read books, or simply just learn online.
But of course, everything starts with having the practical habit of saving money to improve your finances. And that’s what today’s post is all about.
Here are some quick tips that you can apply in your life every day.
- Choose your bank wisely. Start by learning the different types of banks and what they can do for your wealth-building schemes.
- Create your own gifts. It’s 2017 — there are plenty of DIY crafts or recipes out there that you can do yourself.
- Give simple gifts. Children, for example, will often be happy to receive creative and fun toys regardless of its price tag.
- Turn off the TV. A lot of people have a habit of leaving the television on while doing other things, like eating, reading, or working. Do yourself a favor and unplug it for once.
- Turn off the lights. Same as above, make it a habit to turn off lights that aren’t needed.
- Use energy-efficient lighting. LED or CFL lights can bring electricity costs down. The impact, of course, is more noticeable in the long run.
- Inflate your tires. Believe it or not, this will improve your gas mileage by up to 3%.
- Switch to a fuel-efficient car. This can be a big commitment, but switching your bulky SUV for a more fuel-efficient car will lead to huge savings.
- Quit smoking for good. Fair enough, it’s easier said than done. But you’ll have to deal with bad habits sooner or later.
- Create shopping lists. A simple notepad may work, but you can also use a free app like Evernote with a checklist feature.
- Shop nearby. Before shopping, check online for the nearest store you can visit.
- Plan meals. Fast food and snacks from convenience stores aren’t only bad for your health, they can also knock you off your budget.
- Repair old clothes. An old or torn piece of clothing may make the perfect “basahan”, but they can still be mended quite easily.
- Stop “virtual” window shopping. The urge to shop can be overwhelming if you constantly browse sites like Lazada, OLX, or Facebook “buy-and-sell” groups.
- Acquire a taste for black coffee. If you look at the big picture, this can help you save thousands from creamers or fancy lattes.
- Sign up for customer loyalty programs. Most — if not all — major retailers offer a customer rewards program.
- Go for simple clothing. Don’t go out of your way to acquire expensive, branded clothes.
- Think about keeping your collections. Whether you collect paperback novels or action figures, it’s time to rethink if you should still keep them or sell them for cash.
- Swap movies, books, or games. If you can’t let go of your collections, try swapping with others — at least temporarily — rather than purchasing new stuff.
- Monitor your spending. Use an app to track your everyday expenses. This will help you identify and eliminate the root causes of compulsive purchases.
- Track your savings. Create a spreadsheet that logs how much you’ve saved every week.
- Save first, spend later. On paydays, set aside the amount you want to save first before planning how to spend the rest.
- Live below your means. You can probably afford to eat out a handful of times per week, but that doesn’t mean you should. If you can spot an opportunity to save money, you don’t think about it — you just grab it.
- Do menial tasks. Rather than paying someone to do the laundry or clean rain gutters, pick yourself up and try doing it yourself.
- Get enough sleep. Think about it: you can’t make impulse purchases while you’re asleep. Being well-rested will also help you make better spending decisions throughout the day.
- Create a collage of your financial goals. Eventually, you’ll come across temptations to make a big purchase. To stay motivated, create a collage of everything you want in life — be it a luxury car, a big house, or an overseas vacation.
- Stop making excuses. There are many reasons why Filipinos fail to save money, but it all boils down to your willingness to persist. Don’t wait for another sign — just start now and don’t stop.
Finally, remember that saving money alone won’t bring you financial security. When the time comes, you’ll need to learn the art of investing. But for now, use the tips above to build a safety cushion before pursuing riskier goals. Good luck!