The do's and don’ts of practical living
MANILA, Philippines – We always want to get our money’s worth with our purchases, whether they are things like food, clothes and gadgets. Everybody is keen on saving money these days, but most of the time being practical and efficient also has its price.
Being practical means choosing the more sensible option or simply living within your means. It’s a matter of weighing your options and making smart decisions, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.
The ability to assess options and confidently backing your own decisions are one of the most difficult things about being an adult. So just ask yourself: Do you need this or want this? Will buying this serve its purpose in the long run? Do the pros outweigh the cons?
Here are some situations where you can find practical solutions and ideas to help you make those decisions.
Trips to the grocery are part of running a household. It’s how often these trips should be is where it get’s complicated. Should you buy groceries for the month, week or couple of days? This depends on your family’s lifestyle and how practical you want to be.
DO: Make a list. They’re helpful in assessing what you do need on a daily basis and can help you prioritize.
If you have a family and only have the weekends off, then think ahead. Take advantage of promos and rewards programs.
DON’T: Buy in excess. This could lead to over stocking your pantry and eventually forgetting to consume some items. You wouldn’t want expired food in your home, right?
Try not to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Researchers found out that you tend to get more items than you need when you are.
2. Dine in or dine out
Craving for some spicy tuna sashimi or a Black Angus burger with extra crispy bacon? The struggle is real. Deciding on food choices also includes whether or not you will eat out or cook your own meal.
3. Going for the trip
DO: Set a financial goal for that big vacation. You can even list down possible expenses to be prepared way ahead. It may take some time – definitely a lot of control and patience – but your vacation will be hassle and stress free.
DON’T: Don’t be impulsive and use your savings or wait for your next paycheck to make the trip happen. It won’t feel good – both in your mind and pocket – and it definitely won’t be worth splurging on something short term. The point of having a vacation is to relax and have fun, not worrying how much money you’ll have when you get back to reality.
4. Post paid plan
We are offered with postpaid plans that promise you it will be worth the monthly billing even adding some perks like free phones and unlimited data. But are you really getting your money’s worth? What plan suits your lifestyle?
DO: Avail of a good promo. Spending just 599 for unlimited calls and texts to the same network plus 400 texts to other networks and 400MB worth of data may seem too good to be true. And you also get a free smartphone and tablet that can complete your gadget collection. You can easily set meetings or contact classmates without having to worry what network they are.
This can possibly be one of the best – and most practical – offers you can get today.
DON’T: Don’t go for plans just because you can afford it. No need to pay thousands per month and cash out to get a good quality phone and tablet.
5. Cash or credit
Think about what you’re purchasing first. Make sure you can put out that amount of cash before anything else.
DO: Keep tabs on your expenses and savings.It’s always good to know how much you’re spending to avoid debt and keep within the budget you set for yourself.
If you do choose to use your card, use it only when it's absolutely necessary. Maybe you have no cash or maybe you have that much control to know what you should be spending on or not.
DON’T: Don’t let your emotions take over. If you need retail therapy, there is always room for control. Anyone can fall victim to impulse buying and won’t feel good after.
So take it easy and think practical. You never know how much of a favor you’re doing your future self. Feel free to tell us what you think or share some tips in the comments section below. – Rappler.com