It's exciting once you land your first job. You can't seem to wait for the so-called "real world" experience and of course, paydays.
For sure you already have plans on what to do with your salary, but before you enjoy it too much, let me share some money saving tips I've been religiously following since I started on my first job.
1. Save as much as you can
My money goal per month is to save 50% of my salary and spend the remaining 50% for my needs. It's all about knowing my priorities such as rent, food, groceries, bills, and transportation. If there's money left, that's when I spend for my wants.
I stand by living within or even below my means because I want to feel secure in the thought that I always have savings left. They say emergency savings should cover at least 3 to 6 months' worth of your salary.
2. Save before you spend
This is pretty much straightforward. Be sure to set aside your monthly savings before spending for your needs and wants, and not the other way around. You will want to stick to your goal of saving rather than settling for less.
Yes, saving is possible no matter how little you earn on your first job. I'm personally trying to work my way up to my first million when I reach my early 30s and that's a goal.
Why not discover your own way of making saving fun? Try saving all your new bills, keep all P50 bills you will have on hand in a few months, or follow these tricks to save money.
3. Have a written budget and spending diary
I have a list of my monthly budget and daily expenses because I need to make sure I track where my money goes. You don't want to get surprised at the end of the day that you don't have money left and keep wondering where it all went, right?
This might sound tedious but it's really worth sticking to this kind of habit, because who wants to live paycheck to paycheck? The trick also lets me monitor if I'm following the budget allocated for certain needs. If not, I try to adjust along the way to survive with my cash on hand.
How do you manage your bank account?
4. Needs over wants
It's important to classify your needs and wants. Before you jump into buying a new piece of clothing or eating at a new restaurant, ask yourself if you really need it or if it's an impulse spend. Wait for at least a day or even up until a week to decide before you take some cash for it. If you're really meant to be with that new stuff, it's gonna be worth the wait and the spend.
5. Bring lunch to work
I cannot emphasize how much this trick helped me save money. Imagine buying a meal outside for around P100 each compared to doing your own groceries? You can stretch those P100-per-day expenses to many more workdays.
It takes time and effort to pack your lunch to work but it's all about working on a few tricks to make this efficient. You can cook your packed lunch per batch at the start of the week and store them in your fridge. You can also opt to have it fresh by waking up early every day so you'll have more time to prep. Know which routine works for you and stick to it.
6. Grocery tips
Here are some bonus tips whenever you do your own grocery. Try going for generics rather than branded ones because it's way cheaper. It's okay to switch brands, you wouldn't know if it works for you too.
Be sure to stick to your shopping budget and don't do emotional shopping on the spot. Also, buying in bulk will save you more money than getting small packs in one go. If you want to save more and more, don't forget to wait for the sale season.
7. Save on transportation
Avoid getting a cab to work and know how to commute. If you're living near your workplace, it's best if you walk your way to it. Never mind the hassle of the metro commute because aside from saving money, you'll get to effortlessly exercise here and there.
Remember to keep in mind the traffic situation and leave hours before your call time.
8. Avoid unnecessary subscriptions
Guilty? Cut down your expenses by cutting out your subscriptions to music, cable, streaming, and other entertainment fees. Most of those are really services you don't need and can live without.
Best if you can enjoy them for free by looking for alternatives. How about going prepaid rather than postpaid so you can control your mobile fees? Why not go for free music by streaming rather than paying for it?
It's time to cross out a few things from your list to save more money from now on.
9. Forget YOLO, FOMO
Learn how to drop the feeling of "You Only Live Once" and "Fear Of Missing Out."
Once it's payday, don't be a one-day millionaire. It might be overwhelming to have so much cash on hand during this time but it's not an excuse to spend it all at once and be left with nothing.
Aside from this, there will be times when your friends will ask you to eat out or watch a new movie. Learning how to say no never gets old, especially when you're saving money. Check out these other money resolutions for 20-somethings.
10. Have separate bank accounts
I used to have one account for both payroll and savings, and this is something I don't recommend because money grows slow and it's not safe. Fast forward, I decided to open a savings account, kept my other expenses on ATM card, and opted to put most of my savings on time deposit.
If you're conservative about keeping your money for a certain period of time while earning more than savings, it's good to go with time deposit. But if you're knowledgeable about investment and a risk taker with money, go the other way around.
Don't forget to save for your emergency funds and know why you're saving so you'll be more encouraged to keep going.
11. Avoid credit cards, use cash instead
Be aware of how much you're earning versus how much you're spending. Do not spend more than you can pay because you'll be in debt for long. As they say, a credit card is not free money. Imagine paying that month after month with all the interest.
Instead, pay with cash as much as you can. Or always pay what's due in full. You'll be able to control your spending by doing this.
12. Don't touch your 13th month pay
It might be tempting to spend your 13th month pay because you think you deserve it after working for a year. Nope, act as if it's not there. Save it instead, invest in something worthy, or follow these money saving tips after receiving your 13th month pay.
Don't fall for your wants and regret losing all that money.
Which of these money saving tips work for you and which will you follow? Start saving now before it's too late. Let us know in the comments if you have a few tips to share too. – Rappler.com