• Work/Money Diaries

    How to Save Money During Quarantine?

    I have been monitoring my expenses since Day 1. Most of it is spent on rent, debts, and food. Yes, I have never gotten out of debt. I have been trying the best  I can to manage my debt so that I can recover once the pandemic has passed. Even though we were allowed to work from home, we were not allowed to return to our provinces so I still pay rent. We do not know how long this pandemic will last, so now is the time to hold on to our money.

    Read : 10 More Ways to Save Money

    With the bills piling up and poor cash flow, not all stuck at home are saving money. Like many others, I wonder how to pay my bills and make my way through this financial crisis. The pandemic has affected both our daily activities and our finances. This is the reality of it. If there is a way to save money right now, I want to know.

    Plan Your Meals

    In the previous weeks, I have been thoroughly planning my meals. Arranging meals can help us keep our grocery list tight. It keeps us from buying too much food at the grocery store.

    I do not know what to buy in the first seven-day stretch of quarantine since I do not have a refrigerator. I have decided to store breakfast cereals, oatmeals, instant noodles, canned goods, pasta, and pasta sauces. We are in the eight-week now, but I still have those in my pantry.

    Make a Grocery List

    When buying, have your grocery list ready and follow it carefully. This is the quickest way to cut the bill down in almost a half. Before, I don’t mind not having a list. I always take my time shopping. Since we have a limited time inside the grocery store, we cannot do that anymore. Apart from saving time and money, preparing a grocery list has many other benefits.

    Batch Cooking

    I have been doing this for quite while now. Preparing meals can sometimes be tiring- the planning, the cooking, and the clean-up. But when you cook in large quantities, you are going to save more time. You are only cooking once or twice a week. Not only that, but you will also only be grocery shopping once a month.

    Cut Out the Non-Essentials

    It will be much more financially efficient to buy the essential food. Refrain from buying unhealthy processed foods, sodas, and juices for now. Get serious about what you need and want for the moment, and use it to spend less.

    Grow Some Food

    I do not know if I can grow food in my unit or at the roof deck. Even if I could, I do not know how to start.

    Unplug Unused Devices

    Unplug devices (cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, and wifi routers) that are not in use. Even if the device is in standby mode or off, the plugged-in devices’ energy costs may add up. This will help you save on your electricity bills as well.

    Turn Off the Lights

    Also, keeping the light uses a lot of energy. Let the natural light come into your home. Imagine the difference you can make if you turn off your lights during the day and take advantage of the natural light.

    Stay positive. Do your best to focus on what is generally essential to you.

  • Work/Money Diaries

    {Why} Work from Home is Not for Me

    With the current coronavirus outbreak, the entire Luzon has been placed under “Enhanced Community Quarantine” for almost a month. Many organizations are increasingly adopting telecommuting or work-from-home arrangements to mitigate threats from further transmitting the coronavirus disease in the country. As the outbreak has grown, more and more companies are encouraging employees to stay at home and operate work-from-home arrangements. Our company is one of those who responded. I feel lucky to be able to work from home.

    Honestly, I do not hate the idea of working from home. I feel that home is meant for fun things and the office for work. I do not fault anyone who loves the idea of working from home. Besides, we are all different and unique in many ways.

    I can focus on getting work done when I am in the office. Here are the reasons why work from home is not for me.

    No Dedicated Work Area

    Working from home is a perk for some people, but not when you live and pay rent for a small apartment where you have no space for desk or chair. While working in a bed sounds great, a desk, proper lighting, and a comfortable chair would be perfect for a productive day. Meanwhile, I am using a Megabox container as my desk and my bed as my chair.

    More Stressful

    Working from home is more stressful, more intense work pace, more vulnerable to working long hours, and higher performance expectations. I cannot count the number of times I have been handling separate discussions at the same time, which can make me stressed, especially when I still have tasks to complete by the end of the day.

    Temptations are Everywhere

    Home is filled with many distractions. When you are working from home, you are ostensibly free of distractions like chattering and singing coworkers. But being home, I feel obligated to do more household chores— clean the entire apartment, wash the dishes, dispose the garbage, and so on.

    Hard to Separate Personal and Work

    It is harder to switch off when your personal life and work are under the same roof. You sleep at home, and you are working at home. Establishing a line between work and home is tough. We have to find a way to distinguish between being “at work” and being “at home.”

    I cannot wait to go back to work. I wonder how people who work from home manage all of these. For now, I will stay at home as long as the health authorities advise.

    What challenges have you overcome?

  • Work/Money Diaries

    10 More Ways to Save Money

    You must learn to save first and spend afterwards. – John Poole

    If I am going to write down all my expenses, below are what I spend lavishly for a month. I splurge on things I do not really need. I am such a huge spender. I need to cut down these expenses and grow my bank balance again. It is probably a lot of money if I had to add it up. The main reason why I do not have any savings is because my expenses and my debts are piled up. And for the next few months, I have/need to think about my credit card and hide it deep down before I have settled all my debts.

    I  have been thinking about this over and over. I had to cut those extra expenses and start saving for my future. Cutting my daily expenses to a simpler life will make it possible for me to save a lot of money without finding an additional source of income. For the sake of saving, I need to make small sacrifices.

    Break Off my Caffeine Fix

    I love love coffee. Who doesn’t love coffee? And it is now time to say goodbye to fancy coffee at Starbucks or Coffee Project and say hello to Great Taste White Caramel. Giving up isn’t that easy especially for a coffee addict like me. But cutting back on expensive coffee will make substantial savings.

     Money I Can Save – Php 150/day; Php 1,200/month 

    Cook/Pack my Own Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Bringing my own lunch and also dinner to work will save a couple of bucks. I don’t need to worry about health and sanitation issues anymore.

     Money I Can Save – Php 120/meal; Php 240/day; Php 5,760/month 

    Cut down Massages/Spa

    I can’t give up on this completely. For a very stressful week, pampering myself is the only thing left. There are still ways to look good, but with a smaller budget.

     Money I Can Save – Php 500 – 1,000/month 

    Stay Home More Every Weekend

    Staying at home can save up. I spend too much on things I don’t need and end up still buying when I go out. Getting together with friends and family at home can save money. Enjoy the benefits of staying at home ; staying in is more fun.

     Money I Can Save – Php 1,000/weekends 

    Save Money on Movie Watching

    My sister and I love watching movies in theaters. A movie costs us Php 200-400 each depending on the cinema/theater. That’s a lot of money.

     Money I Can Save – Php 800/weekends 

    Sell Stuffs

    I have a full of unused, unneeded, forgotten stuffs in my closet /storage. I am thinking of selling instead of keeping to make use of it.

     Money I Can Earn – Php 5,000/year 

    Clean out my Credit

    I am working on paying off our debt. Interest has already summed up a large part. Before, I disciplined myself to pay full each month. Since, we put all our expenses on it and exceeded our monthly budget, it incurred large amount of money.

     Money I Can Save – Php 1,600/month 

    Save Automatically

    A certain amount of money or percentage of my paycheck must be deposited in my savings account.

     Money I Can Save – 20% of paycheck/cut-off 

    If you want to save even more money, sacrifice little changes. Hopefully, I can stick to this to save up money. By the end of the year, I have a huge amount of money in my savings. Just embrace the idea of budgeting and it is going to be simple.

    The more I can save, the more adventures I can have the sooner.

  • Work/Money Diaries

    {How} I Save Money

    I have been struggling for over two years now. I never imagined myself going through this. I got no issues three years before. Whenever I use my savings, I make sure to return it the next payday. Same as when using my credit card, I always maintained zero balance.

    Then, I became so obsessed with shoes, planners, and stuff. You know what I mean. I started buying things I want. Who needs four pairs of sneakers? Much more, three planners in a year? I felt so much guilty of splurging too much on weekend and online sales. My savings turned upside down, and my credit balance went low. I am not kidding. I do not earn that much, yet I spend more than what I earn.

    It is not too late to change. I need to pay my debts. I need to save. But how?

    Salary – Expenses = Savings

    I never followed a formula for saving. Whatever is left on my salary is my savings. There were times when my saving is big, but most of the time, it is small. Instead of keeping what was left, I will spend that small amount that was supposed to be allotted for savings on little things and save next time when the payout is much bigger.

    Too much spending plus bad attitude equals NO SAVINGS.

    Salary – Savings = Expenses

    Today, I am learning a new way to save. I make sure that I set aside first a certain amount then budget what is left. My expenses usually cover food allowance, transportation allowance, house rental, water bills, electric bills, phone bills, loans/debts, etc. It is difficult at first. But mind you, it will be successful in the long run. We will learn the art of thriftiness.

    Start this early. Save for your future.

    Update: I am currently using the 50/25/15/10 formula. I set aside a certain percentage of my salary for my loan, debts, housing, food and transportation allowances, savings, “paluwagan” and even tithes. This is more detailed than the previous. My salary is properly disseminated to what I need most. I even opened a savings account so that I will not be tempted to spend. In time, my loans/debt will be paid, plus I have extra to shell out in times of need.

    50/25/15/10 Formula

    50% Loans, Debts, Housing
    25% Food, Transportation
    15% Savings, Paluwagan
    10% Tithes
    100% TOTAL

    How do you save?