Tired of Living Paycheck to Paycheck? 4 Tips to End Your Petsa de Peligro Blues

Published: June 30, 2018 | Updated: October 19, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Personal Finance

Anti Petsa de Peligro Tips | Moneymax

Petsa de Peligro na. Name-meligro na naman ba ang wallet mo? It’s the worst time of the month again. Several days before payday, all you’ve got are a few 20-peso bills and coins. You try all sorts of Petsa de Peligro survival hacks just so you can stretch your money until the next payday. “Kapit lang. Malapit na ang sweldo,” you remind yourself, even if waiting for your paycheck feels like forever. The struggle is real, indeed.

Then after receiving your salary, you pay your bills and splurge a bit. There you go again—you’re broke until the next payday.

Sounds all too painfully familiar? If so, you’re trapped in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, a situation many working Pinoys find themselves in. Living paycheck to paycheck is stressful, as you constantly worry about having enough money to get you through the next payday. It also keeps you from reaching your financial goals.

Start your journey to financial freedom with these anti-Petsa de Peligro tips.

1. Save First Before Spending Your Salary

Petsa de Peligro

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” Successful businessman and investor Warren Buffet couldn’t put this nugget of wisdom any better. Unfortunately, many working Pinoys struggle to develop the habit of setting aside a portion of their income before spending it. In fact, only 7% of Filipino millennials have a monthly savings plan, based on a recent study[1].

If you don’t prioritize saving and investing, you’ll always be grappling with surviving Petsa de Peligro. You won’t have an emergency fund that can save you from unforeseen expenses.

To make it easier for you to remember, keep this formula in mind: Income – Savings = Expenses.

Read more: 6 Reasons Why Filipino Millennials Should Start Investing Today

2. Track Your Spending—and Be OC With It

Petsa de Peligro | MoneyMax.ph

Always caught by surprise when your bills are due? Don’t know where your money is going? It only means you aren’t monitoring your spending closely enough.

So much have been said about effective budgeting, yet its importance can’t be stressed enough. It entails assigning an amount for each spending category and keeping a record of all your expenses—down to the last peso—to ensure that they don’t exceed your income.

Budgeting can be a tedious and time-consuming activity, especially for busy professionals, but it’s worth the time and effort. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re doing it right:

  • Gather your latest receipts and billing statements for utilities and credit card. Document all your purchases and payments (whether by cash or credit card), including rent, groceries, utilities, food, clothing, entertainment, etc.
  • Compute the total of your monthly expenses. Compare it with your take-home pay. If your expenses are higher than or equal to your income, you have to cut your spending.
  • Use a budgeting system that works for you. Some people are comfortable with old-school ways of budgeting, such as the envelope system[2]. Tracking your budget on a computer spreadsheet program is also good. If you’re tech-savvy, you can save time when you use a free budgeting app.

3. Cut Down on Impulsive and Unnecessary Spending

Ever noticed how the rush-hour EDSA traffic turns from bad to worse every payday Friday? It’s when people flock to the malls (that hold a sale) and hang out with friends in restaurants and bars.

If you often experience Petsa de Peligro, then you really need to take a long, hard look at how you spend your money.

Here are some tips to trim down your expenses:

  • Shop around for better deals. You might be paying too much for your cable TV and internet service subscriptions, car insurance premiums, and other recurring payments. Consider switching to a more affordable plan. To find the best deals on car insurance you can do a free online comparison at Moneymax.
  • Bring packed lunch to work. Dining in restaurants and convenience stores eats up a bulk of your monthly budget. You can save a great deal when you cook your own meals. Here’s another money-saving idea: With your teammates or friends in the office, take turns preparing meals for your group rather than going out for lunch.
  • Keep your travel costs low. If you’re a millennial who loves to travel, try some techniques to pursue your love for exploring the outdoors without breaking the bank[3].
  • Avoid going to sales. Even if you get to shop at bargain prices, you’ll be tempted to buy something you don’t actually need.
  • Choose generic brands. Be it clothes, food, or medicines, generic brands can be just as good yet cheaper than branded stuff.
  • Bond with your friends without burning your wallet. There are plenty of cheap weekend activities you can do with your squad. You can even socialize for free, like joining a volunteering group.

Some of these cost-cutting measures may not be worth that much, but they do add up over time. When you get rid of non-essential expenses, you free up money for your essential expenses and savings.

4. Say “No” More Often

Petsa de Peligro | MoneyMax.ph

It’s so easy to get broke during Petsa de Peligro when you try to please everyone. It can be your relative who’s trying to borrow money from you, friends who invite you for a night out, or officemates who often joke you about treating them for pizza because you got promoted.

The magic word? “No.” Politely decline anything that can wreck your budget (Focus on your goal!). Embarrassing as it may be, let them know that you’re trying to spend less so that you can stop living paycheck to paycheck. They’ll surely understand. Your friends and workmates may support you and even follow your example.

Final Thoughts

Instead of just finding ways to survive Petsa de Peligro, work harder to break free from that difficult situation. All it takes are some lifestyle adjustments and being mindful of your spending habits.