What is this blog about?

A BIG hello from The Little Girl! This blog is about my tips on saving money. I'm one of the stingiest persons I've ever known. So if you feel that your piggy bank doesn't seem to stop losing weight, you're in the right place!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to have the Willpower to Save Money

Money Hand Holding Bankroll Girls February 08, 20117

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a chance to enjoy the luxuries that most of my classmates had enjoyed. I went to a school with lots of rich kids, and I never felt that I belonged there.  My family had financial problems, and our earnings were hardly enough to cover the bills. As a result, I was deprived of a lot of things during my childhood and adolescence years. Years passed and things had tremendously improved. My family now earns more. We’re not rich, but life has become much easier.

In my opinion, when a poor person becomes rich, two things happen:
  1. He becomes ridiculously stingy
  2. He becomes a BIG spender

I know someone who has been thrown out to the streets for failing to pay the rent. Now, she is very rich and has this irrational fear of losing her wealth. She becomes very thrifty. I’m also very thrifty despite my having “extra” money to spend on luxuries. Why? Because I worry about the future. Prices continue to rise, and at this rate, things that I can afford now would probably become unaffordable years from now.

On the other hand, some people become extremely extravagant after becoming rich. They are those enjoy-now-and-worry-about-tomorrow type of people. When told not to spend too much, they would reason, “I have been deprived of these luxuries for so long. If I save, it might be too late for me to enjoy my wealth. Life is too short.” Their argument sounds very reasonable. Life is indeed short. We never know when we’ll die. So, since we’re only mortals and it will be sad if we leave the earth without enjoying our life, how do we motivate ourselves to save? Anyway, deep down, we still know that we have to save. Here are my suggestions:
  1. Make a goal. If you have no goals, there is no reason for you to set aside money. I don’t know about you, so I can’t suggest what kind of goals would motivate you. In my case, just thinking about buying my own house is enough to motivate me to save like crazy. Before I buy something that I don’t really need, I would visualize my dream home and decide which of the two I prefer: the item I’m holding or the dream home that I couldn’t afford yet. Sometimes, I choose the former, especially if it’s on sale. I have to enjoy my life, too, you know. But most of the time, I choose my dream home.
  2. All riches have limits. A lot of times, I hear people say, “If I won the lottery, I will quit my job and enjoy my life. I will not try to earn more money because my riches are already enough for me to enjoy a lifetime. I’m not greedy. Rich people who make themselves richer are greedy.” I call their attitude laziness. They’re the #2 type of people that I’ve described above and they will surely run out of money. Not long ago, a poor man had won the lottery. He quit his job and “enjoyed” his life. Soon after, he lost all his money and went back to being poor. If only he knew that riches have limits, he would probably modify his spending habits and set aside some money.
  3. Think of your family. In relation to the previous tip, some people don’t want to be greedy, but being extravagant and spending frivolously is selfishness. Maybe you have enough to enjoy a lifetime, but would it be enough for your children? If you’re single with no dependents, go ahead and spend since you have no one to take care of except yourself. Single people who are capable of earning ample salary have every right to spend. On the other hand, if you have a family, it is your responsibility to take care of them. Why would you live luxuriously and leave nothing for your children when you can live a simpler (but comfortable) life and leave some inheritance to your children? If you’re really worried about having too much (because you don’t want to be greedy), you can always give it to charity.

It takes time and effort to change from being a spender to being a saver. If it’s too difficult for you, take baby steps. Save a small percentage of your earning. No matter how small you save each month, it still adds up. The important thing is you’re saving. Of course, you can still spend a bit to enjoy your life. Life is too short.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Separate Your Savings from the Rest of Your Money

You would see this advice from a lot of money saving articles. That is because it is very effective. Do not underestimate the power of setting aside your money. I used to put all my money in one bank account and would withdraw from it once I needed to buy something. I thought having all my money in one place would make it easier for me to monitor them.

Lately, my family decided to save money to buy our own house (we’ve been renting a condo unit since forever). We can afford a lot of houses but my parents want to provide the best home possible for their two daughters. They want it to be not too far from our workplace. They want us to live in a nice neighbourhood where crime rates are low (or non-existent if possible). But such homes are in the higher end neighbourhoods where affluent families live. We came up with a plan – to set aside our savings and deposit them in a different bank account. The rule is once we’ve deposited our money in that account, we can no longer withdraw them, so we have to make sure that whatever we deposit in there is the “excess” money that we have.

Weeks passed and I am so happy to see our money pile up. By having a different bank account for our savings, we can clearly see how much we already have and how much longer we have to wait before we can afford our dream home. We all feel more motivated to work hard and to save.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stop Buying Bottled Water

Photo by stevendepolo on Flickr.com

In the Philippines, tap water is not safe for drinking. There are some people who might not get sick after drinking tap water; nevertheless, it is still advisable to drink distilled or boiled water, or better yet, to boil distilled water to remove dangerous contaminants from the water.

My family doesn’t boil drinking water except in the morning for my parents’ coffee or my sister and myself’s hot chocolate. At work, we used to regularly buy distilled water for everyone. We consume up to 25 gallons a month, which cost Php350 (approximately $8). In some months (especially during the hot summer months), we consume much more.

To save a bit of money, we decided to buy a water purifier, the type that is installed directly to the faucet.  The unit was expensive (more than Php1000 or $23), but we could save in the long run. Before this, we had been paying Php350 a month just for the distilled water plus another Php300 for the water bill, a total of Php650. Now, we’re only paying Php350 a month (sometimes, Php500). We are able to save Php150 to Php300 a month. I was happy with the results.

Stop buying bottled water (Read the effects of bottled wateron the environment). Doing so would not only save the earth. It would also save us some money.

save the earth

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Unsuccessful Saving

Source: Robert Bejil Photography on Flickr.com

It’s forty-six days before Christmas. My family has started to buy gifts for our clients. Every Christmas, we’ve always bought brandy for our clients. This year, apart from brandies, we decided to buy cocktail juice for our female (or non-drinking) clients. We have already bought boxes of brandies last month. I accompanied my mom this afternoon to buy cocktail juice. I’ve heard that it costs only Php143 in Mandarin Supermarket (Ongpin) compared to S&R and Landmark (Trinoma), which cost Php154 and Php157, respectively.