13 Money-Saving Tips for the Modern Nanay

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If you’ve been living in the Philippines your whole life, you know saving money is always a must. At least, that’s what your Nanay and Lola always said.

Being a mother, you know that finances are never easy. It’s an everyday challenge, especially if you’re also trying to earn money.

Now, it’s easy to forget the dos and don’ts of being thrifty, so here are a few easy-to-remember tips you can follow to keep that saving streak going:

1) Buy your food from the market.

This means you’ve got cheaper vegetables and cheaper meat. As much as you don’t like to do your pamamalengke the old way, it’s actually the best place to find awesome deals for fresh food.

2) Bring your own bag (BYOB).

If you do your market runs or shop at grocery stores, it’s best if you bring your own shopping bag. Some grocery stores like SM Supermarket have banned the use of plastic bags during weekdays. If you’re traveling by public transportation, you’ll be forced to buy extra plastic bags or their shopping bags so you wouldn’t have to carry your grocery items in a box or, worse, in a paper bag.

3)Eat something before you shop for food.

If you shop while you’re hungry, you’ll realize it’s easier for you to put stuff in your grocery cart. It’s also advisable to rely on listing your items before you shop. This will keep you in line with what you’ll have to spend for—what you’ll ONLY spend for. 

4)Avoid calling for taxi service.

It’s usual to aim for convenience, but if you’re going to head on to traffic anyway, might as well use the bus, jeep, or MRT. These will always be cheaper compared to getting a taxi. At times, if you call for home or pick-up services, taxi drivers will charge way bigger than the initial flag down rate. So if you really need a ride, get one in taxi stations rather than phone or app services to save money.

5)Schedule your purchases.

Training yourself to spend at only specific dates allows you to keep a tight grip on your budget throughout the weekdays or weekends.

6)Download budgeting apps.

Don’t use your smartphone just to take baby or family pictures. It’s a smartphone for a reason, that’s why you’ve to download certain apps like Mint, Wally, or BUDGT. This way, the only math you have to do is the one on your kid’s homework rather than your bills.

7)Make electricity-saving practices a norm in the house.

Unplug appliances when not in use. Don’t turn off lights when they’re not needed, or when no one is in the room. Constantly remind everyone to practice this so you wouldn’t have to go running around the house just switching off light switches and electric fans. Everyone should share in the responsibility.

8)Pay off your debts as soon as possible.

If you’ve got multiple debts with different banks, try to avail of a debt consolidation loan so you can focus on one single payment every month. The less debt you have, the happier you’ll be.

9) Leave your credit card at home.

In other countries, it’s a trend to use your credit card to improve your credit standing.

In the Philippines, you better think twice because your credit card might make you spend more than you earn. Limit your swiping power.

10) Cut the Starbucks habit.

There are many nice coffee shops in town that entice you with their aromatic coffee deals and mouth-watering pastries. After all, don’t you deserve to just sit and relax with your steaming mug of alamid goodness?

Nope. You shouldn’t when you’re saving, you’re not.

Channel Starbucks at home with a super cheap pack of Good Day Vanilla latte or Kopiko Coffee instead.  

11) Always go for the recyclable.

Use cloth towels instead of paper towels. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. Thinking long term is always the key. Knowing family life with children will last for decades, make sure you aren’t wasting valuable items like plastic bags, containers, eco-bags, and hand-me-downs.

12) Limit your Yes. Exercise your No.

It can be hard to deny your kids (or even your spouse) something they really want. When the requests are seemingly simple, you’re always tempted to just say yes because it’s not that big of a deal, right? Well, if you count all these little things, you’re going to end up with a huge total. Saying no might sting now, but it’ll definitely be rewarding later on.

13) Include the family in your money-saving schemes.

Gone are the days when mothers singlehandedly carried everyone’s burdens. Instead, make it the norm in the house. Talk to them about it, make them understand, tell them about the benefits of saving money, and start making little adjustments around the house.

It’s not impossible to live a thrifty family life in this expensive world. With the right attitude towards money and the help of everyone in the family, saving wouldn’t be as hard as it seems. Using resources available to you carefully and wisely will definitely pay off in the long run. Soon enough, your children will be thanking you for teaching them the importance of money early on in life—now that’s one of the best things about being a mom!

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