Is your paycheck not enough to cover your expenses for the month? Some of you might have the same dilemma wherein your monthly or bi-monthly salary cannot cover your expenses until the next paycheck. In the Philippines, we often splurge more than our pocket’s capacity, especially during holidays, when we buy gifts for our friends and loved ones. However, we end up losing our Christmas bonus and 13th-month pay buying too many items off our budget.
The main solution is by managing your expenses and salary better to make saving for the future easier. Let’s start by citing some avoidable common payday habits that Filipinos must stop, and some effective ways to defeat them:
Not tracking your expenses
Do you take note of all your credit card swipes, cash purchases, and other expenses? If not, you may consider jotting them down now. One of the common problem, why most Filipinos spend more than they should, is because they don’t have any idea how much they’ve been wasting for items they don’t need. Soon, they’re left with little cash in their pockets and living the rest of their days in poverty until the next salary comes.
Solution: Mentally remembering your expenses is not advisable in this process, as we tend to always forget our last purchase. What we suggest is to get a notebook and list down all your expenses for the month or for two weeks. Then, review them afterward to see which one you could skip next time.
“Bahala na si Batman” mentality
In the Philippines, where people are ‘happy go lucky’ and ‘living their lives to the fullest,’ a common mentality arise which affects mainly our money spending habit — “Bahala na si Batman” (or “Come what may”). This phrase is often uttered by Filipinos when they finally hit rock bottom and realized they haven’t saved enough until their next salary. They accept the fact that there’s nothing they can do with it and just face their fate. However, this cycle goes on and on until you lose your work and realize you don’t have enough cash to pay your utilities and basic needs.
Solution: Take this mentality out of your system and start thinking about your future. The longer you delay the process of saving, the farther you are away from the reality of a financially-stable future.It pays to consider mutual funds (collecting stocks) and time deposit (a bank deposit that cannot be withdrawn before the set date), so you are continuously saving than spending.
Shopping all you can
Salary day is almost equivalent to the holidays in the Philippines. We tend to get too excited on these days that we spend and splurge on almost anything that comes our way — new clothes, eating at a fancy restaurant, getting the most expensive and tallest coffee at Starbucks, and more. Making it more difficult are the mall sales that always happen when you receive your paycheck, luring you to buy items off your budget.
Solution: To avoid wasting all your salary in a day, it’s best to strategize on how you plan to use them properly. Spare a percentage for your basic needs, some for your bills and rent, and consider opening a separate savings account, so you won’t be tempted to use your cash. Consider rewarding yourself monthly by buying something within your budget.
Giving more than saving
Since we are highly family-oriented and live in the “hiya” mentality, we often neglect ourselves when we get a big sum of money. Often, Filipinos consider treating their family out or giving them gifts, under the impression that family comes first. Most parents also live in the idea that if they work hard for their children today, they’ll give it back to them when they get old — living them with an empty pocket and only a little pension to live by when they retire.
Solution: Although we don’t discourage those who work hard for their family, we just want to help you realize that you also need to save for yourself. Invest on more personal items such as a health insurance to help you pay your hospital bills, and not burden your family with any expenses. It can also be extended to them, which they’ll highly appreciate in the long run.
Remember that your paycheck can only cover enough of your monthly expenses. Thus, consider taking out unnecessary expenses on your list, and save some of your salary for future use. The best way to save is by getting health insurance. If you aren’t covered yet, compare some of your preferred insurance firms to see what coverage they have for you on their list of plans.