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18-Trim-Expenses

15 Ways to Trim Your Monthly Expenses

Aug 1, 2020 10:53:00 PM

Living within your means can be a daunting task. Even as you earn more income, your monthly expenses may seem to increase as well. If you’re concerned about your monthly cash flow, we have these 15 tried-and-tested tips for reducing your regular expenses without diminishing your quality of life.

1.) Keep Tabs on Your Spending

Before you start cutting back, it’s important to have an accurate picture of where your hard-earned money goes. Create an itemized list of regular monthly expenses to help you figure out which things you actually value and what expenses you could live without. PayMaya makes this a whole lot easier by allowing account holders to view their transaction history in the app for a more detailed breakdown of purchases made through the platform.

2.) Consolidate Your Purchases

Each trip to the mall or supermarket has its own set of associated expenses. Gas or transportation expenses are the most obvious, but you also need to take into account all of the unplanned purchases you might make each time you leave your house. These should factor into the cost of your purchases but are often neglected altogether.

Instead of making multiple trips, see if you can buy everything you need in one go. Not only will you be cutting back on all those miscellaneous expenses, but you’ll also have much more time left doing other errands as well. For even more convenience, you can use your PayMaya virtual card to order in bulk from your favorite online stores and supermarkets.

3.) Reexamine Your Credit Card Use

Credit cards are convenient, but it’s a bit too easy for your credit card debt to spiral out of control. Thankfully, you can use either your PayMaya virtual card or your physical PayMaya card for any purchase that would otherwise need a credit card. This ensures that you will avoid credit card debt as you will only be spending money that you have.

4.) Check Out Different Online Stores to Find Better Prices

Virtually anything you can find in a brick-and-mortar store can be found cheaper online. Because online stores normally have far fewer expenses than traditional stores, they can offer lower prices than most traditional shops, even when accounting for delivery fees.

5.) Stop All Unused Subscriptions and Memberships

Gym memberships and magazine subscriptions are not always used to their full benefit. If you haven’t been to the gym in months, even before the COVID-19 pandemic happened, you might as well accept reality and stop your membership altogether.

6.) Buy Non-Perishable Food Items in Bulk

Canned goods, sugar, instant noodles, instant coffee, and other long-lasting essentials should be bought in bulk when possible. Buying wholesale may not give you savings in the very first month. However, doing so is almost always cheaper in the long run, and it also helps you save you money on the trips you would have had to take.

7.) Cook More Meals at Home

The convenience of eating out and having food delivered is a major reason why many city-dwelling Filipinos find it hard to save money. Unfortunately, this can be a major drain on your finances. Save thousands of pesos a month by cooking more of your meals at home. Save even more by preparing healthy packed lunches to take to work as well.

8.) Use a Timer for Your Aircon

If you have an aircon, resist the temptation to leave it running all day long. Generally speaking, the air in your room should remain cool a couple of hours after you switch the aircon off, which means it doesn’t have to be on all day for you to enjoy the benefits. Use your air-conditioner’s timer if it has one, or use an external timer designed for energy-hungry devices. You can program your aircon to shut off an hour or so after you sleep, saving you thousands of pesos in energy bills every month.

9.) Check Out Ways to Reduce Your Insurance Premiums

Insurance is absolutely necessary. However, this doesn’t mean your current plan isn’t the right one for your needs. Work with your insurance provider to downgrade or stop your current plan. If you have insurance from work, you can even consider just using this plan and nothing else if you have no intention of leaving. In any case, always make sure to weigh the risks of downgrading your insurance before you reduce your coverage.

10.) Consider Switching to a Cheaper Cellphone Plan

If you aren’t getting the most out of your current data plan, consider downgrading it, or going with a prepaid SIM instead. It’s worth noting that you can use your PayMaya card to make payments to your data plan or buy load for a prepaid account.

11.) Cut Back on Grooming Expenses

Instead of going to the barbershop or salon every two weeks, see if you can get away with going once a month or so. If you have a longer hairstyle, you might even be able to get away with getting it done once every 2 to 4 months.

12.) Move Closer to Work

Sometimes, you have to spend money to save money. If you’re spending thousands of pesos a week simply for transportation expenses, it might make sense to spend the money to move closer to work. If you’re moving somewhere where you can bike or walk to work, that can mean even more cost savings over time.

13.) Move to a Less Expensive Neighborhood

If you work from home or only need to commute infrequently, it may make more sense to move to an area with a lower cost of living. This can allow you to keep more money in the bank while enjoying a lifestyle similar to what you previously enjoyed.

14.) Consider Buying Used and Refurbished Items Rather Than Brand New

Always hit up places like Facebook Marketplace, Carousell, eBay, and local thrift stores when you need something that doesn’t necessarily have to be brand new.

Buying used can get you some killer deals on items that are functionally the same or better than what you can get new. The caveat is that you should consider each item in context first. Used kitchen appliances and furniture is usually a safe bet. On the other hand, cars and electronic devices can be a bit of a gamble, especially if you don’t do enough research.

15.) Be Intentional with Every Purchase

Perhaps the best way to save money is to learn to not give it away so easily. Every peso you spend should be a conscious decision that’s based on how much you value the things you get in return.

Do you really need to take a Grab when there’s a cab right in front of you? Do you need to take the cab when it’s just a 15-minute trip by bus? Do you really need to buy PHP 500 worth of snacks for that movie? Is that PHP 50 bottled water worth it when the restaurant you’re eating at serves essentially the same water from the dispenser for free? Do you really need those new shoes or should you just have your current pair fixed?

This isn’t to be cheap or to completely deny yourself of enjoyment. Rather, the goal is to look at every transaction in terms of the value you receive. You’ll be surprised at how willing we are to spend on things that are not that meaningful or enjoyable. After a couple of months, you will find yourself enjoying life just as you always had. Just with a little more money in the bank.

There is no single solution to saving money, as everyone’s situation is different. In most cases, you will need to employ a number of different strategies to bring your monthly expenses down. It’s also helpful to look at the big picture before you cut back. That way, you’re not just able to save money, you’re still able to enjoy the quality of life you deserve.

Topics:Financial Literacy