The 39°C wind is saying hello to my body as I start writing this. Am I already in hell? Oh no, it’s summer again. And not to mention seeing Halo-halo and Mais Con Yielo being sold 2 blocks away from my house.
Summer is here. And it’s freaking here to stay.
I love this time of the year. I have a next-level kind of love for it. As a flower child, I feel extra pumped up getting different energy from the summer sun. I mean who doesn’t?! Actually, as of this moment sitting in front of my laptop, I would do ANYTHING to put myself on the beach right now: in front of the setting sun, with a book in my left hand and my right hand holding a damn cold beer.
Even though my spirit, heart, and body are united to grab my bag and take the plane, there is one villain. And that is no other than my bank account. The shitty antagonist of my lame boring life.
Since this year is all about “Living life to the fullest”, I have to work on a self-discovery project called “Eat, Pray and Hustle” that requires me to go to this specific island somewhere in South East Asia on the month of July, which is 2 months away from now. And in order for me to get the best of that trip, I really need to start saving chunks of money starting TODAY. And because of that, I therefore conclude:
1. Have a dedicated “Travel Fund” Bank Account
Ask yourself how much money you’re going to need to save up for traveling. Where do you want to go? How long are you traveling for? What activities would you like to do? Researching is a BIG HELP. Like I swear, familiarizing yourself with the way of living of a certain place will help you a lot in terms of determining your specific target budget you need to hit on your travel fund.
Once you have your ideal budget, save it on a separate bank account or piggy bank, separate it from your own savings account, and do not use the money until the day of your trip. This way, you’ll get to track how much money you’re saving and at the same time feel secure with your own savings.
2. Cut down daily expenses
Buying lunch every day at work is definitely causing us a huge chunk of our savings. For example, an average meal costs P120. That P120 is worth 3 large chicken thighs from the supermarket. And if it means 1 home-made fried chicken thighs a day then my P120 can last for 3 freaking days! You just saved yourself some money!
Another big help tracking down your expense is to list your daily prerequisite itemized budget breakdown. This will set a standard amount of money for your everyday normal life. And by cutting it down, it means you can adjust it based on the budget that best works for you! Religiously sticking to it is the next obstacle. Are you devoted enough?
3. Procrastinate on buying things
You’re good at delaying your agenda at work, right? So you might as well do the same when it comes to stuff cravings. Your self might be dying to buy those shoes today, but it’s not anymore next Tuesday. We all have that confession of being a shopaholic, right? And I couldn’t be any prouder of myself because I haven’t used my credit cards for the last month! I remember craving to buy a gym bag a few months ago and delaying myself to buy it actually did work. Needless to say, I no longer need the said gym bag. Money saved.
Always remember the “30-day rule” which means waiting 30 days deciding if buying it is worth it. Because, well, “24-hour rule” isn’t doing any much. For me ha!
4. Always bring a water bottle
With all these heat, and milk tea shops and cafés scattered all around, it’s so hard to resist. But bringing a water bottle everywhere I go really helps. Sometimes, your body only needs to hydrate properly to avoid making bad decisions because of thirst. You’ll go home at the end of the day smiling because you’re adding another P200 to your Adventure Fund, that could have been spent on Venti Frappuccino.
5. Stay cheap
Do you really need to spend that money getting drunk on Saturday nights? How about inviting your friends over and buy a much cheaper brandy instead? After all, the hangover is, all the same, the morning after.
Do you really need those shoes? How about you try to remember that you have 5 more pairs of shoes that only needs some cleaning up to do.
Do you really need this? Do you really need that? If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Evaluate your needs and wants, my friends. And always think thrice.
6. Sell your stuff
Decluttering is probably one of the most underrated satisfactions of life. Getting rid of things you no longer need and actually getting money because it is super lit. If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, then I think it’s time to freaking sell it.
That tent that you only used twice for the past 3 years? Sell it. Those books that you keep on hoarding for the longest time because you don’t really like it? Sell it. Those clothes that you only wore one time when you went to Boracay last year? Sell it.
The minimalist lifestyle is underrated. Let’s listen when they say we should collect more memories instead of things.
I also have listed some great tips for saving money that I found online:
- Write a list before shopping and stick to it.
- Invite friends over instead of going out.
- Drink more water.
- Avoid convenience food and fast food.
- Turn off the lights.
- Swap books.
- Quit using credit cards.
- Plan your meals around the grocery store’s flyer.
- Always do a price comparison.
- Make your own when you can.
- Avoid stress-spending.
- Share your dreams with the people you love.
- Cancel unused club memberships.
- Buy used when you can.
- Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.
- Give the gift of labor.
- Join up a volunteer program.
- Prepare meals at home.
- Avoid the mall.
- Eat breakfast.
- Don’t fear leftovers; jazz them up instead.
- Learn how to dress minimally.
- Ask for help and encouragement from your inner circle.
- Pack food for road trips.
- Suggest cheap activities when meeting up with family and friends.
- Exercise more.
- Always keep looking ahead.
- Build an emergency fund.
- Save automatically.
As I publish this blog post, I have already started sticking to this project and I’ll let you know by July if I have saved enough for my 2-week trip!