6 Tipid Money Tips To Cut Down Your Expenses When Living On Your Own
Save money while working on your independence.
So you have decided to move out of your parents’ house and experience the freedom of living alone? Well, congratulations for entering the next chapter of adulting! However, this is only the beginning. The next challenge is to manage all your finances and make smart decisions about where your money goes, especially since you’re entering brand new territory. Don’t worry though! Here are tipid lifestyle tips so you can cut down your expenses while living alone. Check them out!
Tip #1: Plan your meals.
Meal planning is not as complicated as you might think. In fact, it not only helps you save money, but saves you time as well. Twenty-eight-year-old Gelai vouches for this tip!
“I’ve been living alone for four years now, and meal planning has helped me save thousands every month,” she shares. Meal planning simply means that before the start of each week (or before your scheduled day for grocery shopping), you are already going to plan all the ulam you will be cooking for the rest of the week. This way, you know exactly what you need to buy at the grocery store and will be more unlikely to stroll around and buy things you don’t really need.
“Once you’ve planned your meals, all your ingredients are planned as well already and you know which part of the grocery you’re going na,” says Gelai. “I’ve been doing this for over a year now and it has changed my life.”
Tip #2: Learn how to cook.
You have probably heard this tons of times already, because it is true. Learning how to cook saves you money, because you won’t have to dine out or order delivery every time.
“Dati hindi pa ako marunong magluto, I was 24 na nu’n, grabe ‘di ba!” Gelai shares. “When my mom told me to move back home instead because I wasn’t able to save money from my salary, sabi ko hindi ako papayag. I taught myself how to cook and it removed unnecessary expenses.”
Cooking your own ulam means that you won’t have to pay for delivery fees and overpriced meals anymore. It positively affects your bank account more than you realize!
Tip #3: Cut unnecessary subscriptions.
Jennifer, 26, who has been living independently since her early twenties, says, “Hindi madalas napapansin ‘tong mga subscriptions na ‘to kasi a few hundreds lang siya per month,” she says. “Pero nag-a-accumulate itong hundreds na ‘to ‘tapos hindi mo mapapansin libo-libo na ginagastos mo for unnecessary things.”
You may like watching movies, but that doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to several streaming platforms all at once. If you can listen to music on free applications, ask yourself if there’s a need to pay for music streaming subscriptions. These little things tend to accumulate, and can either make or break your wallet.
Tip #4: Be energy efficient.
Living alone can be exciting, especially because you can turn on the AC without asking for your mom’s permission! But it also means that you must be disciplined enough to be energy efficient.
“We live in a tropical country, understandable naman na gusto lagi natin nakabukas ang aircon, but you don’t have to turn it on every day,” Jennifer recommends.
To help save money and energy, schedule a certain number of hours every day or every week that you’ll allow yourself to use appliances that are extra heavy on the bills, like the AC and shower heater.
“Since I live in Metro Manila, mainit talaga sa tanghali at hapon.” Because of this, Jennifer turns on her apartment’s AC for 5 hours in the afternoon, and saves energy by just using a fan while sleeping, since the breeze is way cooler at night. But of course, you have to figure out what works for you, depending on your budget and location.
Tip #5: Rethink your monthly “budols.”
We’re all for retail therapy and self care, but not to the point that you’re draining your savings for “budols”! Fellow shopaholic Gelai recommends setting aside a portion of your salary every month to miscellaneous purchases. “Not a lot, just enough so you won’t feel repressed from shopping. It’s like fooling your brain,” she says.
Of course, before setting a budget for shopping, you have to ensure that you prioritize your bills, savings, and necessary expenses like food and water.
“It takes commitment and discipline because you have to make sure that you won’t go over your budget. Plan your expenses well,” Gelai adds.
Tip #6: Live within your means.
The most important tip is to remember to live within your means. Don’t purchase anything that you know you won’t be able to afford. Be disciplined enough to not only set a budget, but to stick to it as well. Once you learn all these tricks, you’re on your way to financial independence. Now, who doesn’t want that?