When you’re trying to save money, every tip can be a gateway to more money-saving ideas. To make the process easier and more efficient, we give you the ultimate money saving tip guide.
These tips may contain some that you’ve already heard – and more that you probably haven’t heard of yet.
Account for everything.
Save everything related to your money: bills, receipts, even the stubs from your bus rides. It’ll help you see where your money goes, and let you build your budget.
Commit to whatever expenses you have.
The monthly bills are unavoidable, even if it’s just that one subscription to a music streaming service at Php150 per month. If you want to keep it, then you have to commit your money to it.
Save on costs without compromising.
Everything has a cost, there are certain things that you shouldn’t compromise on because of the price like work clothes and appliances. It’ll cost you more when you buy cheap items that are low quality because you’d buy them more often.
80% Expenses, 20% savings can work.
You’ll see the difference that saving 20% of your income makes, and the 80% in expenses can include your fun fund, bills, and putting away for retirement or travel.
There’s no such thing as small savings. Even if it’s just a few loose bills and change, start your savings somewhere, and start now.
Don’t miss payments on bills.
There’s nothing worse than having bills pile up. It’s a headache and an additional cause for stress when you get letters of disconnection, or interest piles up.
Avoid the mall.
Nothing screams impulse buy and eventual buyer’s remorse when you suddenly end up walking into a mall with tons of sales.
Buy in bulk when possible.
Certain home supplies and food items (that don’t go bad as easily) actually save you a lot of cash in the long run if you buy larger sizes. Think of it as stocking up.
Like buying in bulk, cooking larger portions for meals ensures that you can pack lunch for the next day. It’ll also help you flex your cooking muscles a little.
Stop ordering takeout every night.
Takeout once a while isn’t bad. It becomes a problem when your nights are filled with nothing but fast food. As with the tip above, cooking big ensures you have leftovers to span a few days, so cook your fave.
Shop at a farmer’s market.
Most farmers’ markets let you buy ingredients in bulk. Take note, fresh ingredients in bulk. You’ll be sure of the quality, and won’t have to skimp on the quality.
Work from home if possible.
Some companies offer full-time work via online contracts, allowing you to work from home. You eliminate most of your overhead costs, allowing you to save way more.
Maximize free software.
There are a lot of free apps that let you be productive, and the best part is that they don’t cost a thing.
Buy video games that have a lot of replay value.
Gaming can get expensive, so instead of buying several video games at once, buy one that’s got a lot of good content and can keep you occupied in your downtime.
Cut down on artisan coffee.
Instant coffee is just as good, but if you need brewed, buy a bag of grinds and look up recipes on how to make your kind of coffee. It’s cheaper, and you learn something new.
Always go for recyclables.
Going shopping? Take a canvas bag with you for groceries, less waste. Plastic bottles can be repurposed and turned into weights, or plant pots, or even snack clips.
Schedule your essential purchases.
Take note of items that are recurring in your household. Mark these items with a date bought, and you’ll find a rhythm when it comes to buying them. It lets you set your costs and schedule them accordingly.
Repair instead of throwing things out when possible.
Some things can still be saved. The jeans that were left over from the flared 90s trend? Turn them into shorts. The shirt with the torn sleeve can be a new-ish top with a few stitches and creative cutting.
Ignore the need for brands.
Branded items tend to charge an extreme premium for the name. Let’s be honest, brands are nice when you can afford them, not when you’re saving up for other things.
If you smoke, it might be better for your pocket if you quit, or ease up on the habit. Alcohol is best enjoyed occasionally, as is partying. Your sober self won’t have to deal with the bad financial (and emotional) choices your drunk self made.
Make a list before you go shopping.
A list keeps you on point and lets you see a breakdown of everything you need to keep your household running.
Look at long-term goals.
If your list of long-term goals stretches long, making them a reality will require saving and creative juggling of your finances. It should help you focus if you have long-term goals.
Stop being on trend all the time.
You’ll spend too much and regret it later on. Being on trend requires a financial capacity that you may not have, and trying will have you scrambling for cash later.
Read personal finance books.
It doesn’t have to be the super thick ones that tell you how to control your finances. Find even a website that speaks to you, and work on your finances from there.
Have a ‘fun fund’.
All work and no play can trigger unnecessary spending. Think of it as separating the “gimik” money into one pile away from your savings.
Have an emergency buffer fund.
Emergency funds and buffer funds are different. Buffers are usually made of spare cash you have as a contingency for a daily basis, like money apart from your daily allowance that you can use in cases like the taxi fare got higher unexpectedly. An emergency fund is 6-months’ worth of your wage that you can use for in case of big emergencies such as job loss and illness.
Piso fares are a great way to plan travel
You can plan to travel a year from now, allowing you to save for the trip in the meantime.
Double down on debt, it stops having to pay more on interest.
The faster you pay off any debt you have, the more money you’ll have to put.
Pass on extended warranties on your gear.
A warranty shouldn’t cost you more money. Having a year’s warranty should cover you if you take care of your gear.
Some online shopping sites offer large discounts on items but make sure that you’re buying from legitimate sources. Confirm that it’s the actual item you want to avoid headaches.
Talk about money in the family.
It’s uncomfortable, but a conversation like this needs to happen, especially when it can impact the way you all live. Case in point: it’s a good idea for someone who is about to work abroad to discuss the financial arrangement.
Get energy-efficient appliances
Appliances that are energy-efficient will help you save on your electric bill, and are good for the environment.
Get creative with your savings.
Make a game of saving, or use jars labeled with a goal and put money into those.Take on a saving challenge, it’ll surprise you how easy it is to fall into the habit of saving.
Consider a low-cost investment to shore up savings.
Do research and find an investment vehicle that works well with your money. A low-cost investment allows you to put away cash and gives you returns after a few years.
Determine your wants and needs.
You can get items in your want pile are things later on, but you should financial focus on items in your need pile instead.
Plan and limit gift giving.
Decide which occasions and people merit gifts. Set a price limit on the gifts you’re willing to give.
Open a bank account for your savings.
Savings accounts are gateways to investing and they earn interest if you put the minimum amount set by the bank to earn interest.
Learn the art of haggling.
Haggling can help you get items cheaper at flea markets and places like that an Ukay store you go to.
Spread your billing dates evenly between paydays.
Bills are inescapable, but spreading them between paydays can soften the blow. This way, you don’t end up with little to no money half the month.
Use what you have.
Make a budget, set goals that you know you can reach, and live with those financial goals in mind.
Assess everything for quality as well as price.
Pricey doesn’t always mean the best quality. When shopping for big-ticket items, look up reviews, and ask people you know who have the item.The sturdiest items may not be as pricey as you think.
Bring only big bills with you. It will be painful to break it for any reason.
A Php 1,000 bill getting broken down into hundreds and fifties will strike you visually, as you can see your money decreasing.
DIY to save on shopping.
YouTube and Pinterest are your friends if you want to make DIY items. If you’re gifting people, doing it yourself will be cheaper and personal.
Take advantage of 0% credit card offers
Certain big-ticket purchases are suited for layaway, and 0% interest eliminates higher payment in the long run.
Go debit instead of credit for online shopping.
Virtual debit cards are convenient for online shopping, because of less spending. You can only spend what’s on the card, and eliminating chances that you’ll be in over your credit limit.
Take the cost of your impulse buy and divide it into your hourly wage.
Doing this will have you asking if a day’s worth of work is worth that sudden buy, or if the four hours you spent working is only worth a pair of shoes.
Read reviews before you buy.
Reviews will help inform your decision to buy something, and in most cases, you might even find suggestions for equally sound alternatives.
Put away money equal to the amount you spent on an impulse buy.
You’re not only forced to save, but you’re also forced to re-think your future impulse buys.
Take on a saving challenge.
It builds up a habit, and you end up with a cozy little nest egg if you follow the plan to the letter.
Skip the expensive gym and lose weight at your own pace.
Gym memberships are at a premium, which can lead to you slogging through your exercises simply because of the price. Ditch the expensive membership and find a different weight-loss regimen that also lets you have fun with it.
Buy the smartphone you can afford
Some less expensive smartphones have almost the same specification than their pricier alternatives. You get more functionality for less.
Have a standard budget for going out.
Peg your night-out at a fixed amount for dinner, drinks, and travel. Your friends might think you’re a square, but at least you won’t be running a credit card tab.
Learn how to say ‘no’ on going out when running out of cash.
Your finances will thank you even seem like a killjoy to your friends. If they insist, suggest a house party instead. Less spending, same awesome company.
Go on an automatic debit account for your savings.
You can’t spend what you don’t have, and automating your savings means it’s completely out of your reach.
Do not withdraw money from another bank’s ATM.
Withdrawing money from ATMs that are the same ATM network such as Bancnet and Megalink still carries an extra fee, while withdrawing from your bank’s ATMs are free. That Php 5-10 charge may not seem like much, but it can add up to a lot in a year.
Use an expense-tracking app to reduce your spending.
There are free apps that let you track your spending, putting all your impulse buys on display and can be the ultimate guilt trip.
Get rid of your cable and landline subscription if you’re not using it.
Thanks to mobile data and streaming services like Netflix, it becomes impractical to manage these subscriptions. Save the cash from these, or allocate them on other expenses.
Get passive income earners so you’ll have more money to save.
A sideline or part-time job will help you save more, and the extra income can be allocated as part of your fun fund.
Think about purchasing a “want” for 48 hours and assess if you still want it as bad as you first saw the product.
Letting the thought of the purchase stew in your head lets you assess the effects of said purchase, and whether or not you can actually live with yourself after.
Do not go to the grocery store hungry.
Odds are high that you’ll be tempted to spend more on snacks and quick to eat food while you’re there.
Look for free activities to attend instead of paying for them.
You can argue that everything costs something, and it’s true. Look for activities that won’t cost you any more than you’ve already paid for them. Learn to cook using online tutorials, play apps that are 100% free.
Avoid late payment fees.
Late payment fees and interest can be a one-two punch to your finances that you won’t recover from so easily. Avoid late payment fees and pay on or before the due date, you might even get rebates or freebies.
Use coupons when purchasing.
Coupons are becoming a thing fast in the country. Anything from hotel accommodation, travel tickets, even clothing. Take advantage of coupons from legitimate online sources and you’ll end up spending way less.
Buy items that are out-of-season.
Identify people you will give Christmas gifts to and buy one gift per cut-off starting July.
You’ve got eleven months to figure out gifts for the people closest to you. Consider spreading gift purchases out once a month to the day you need to give them out.
Have no spending days.
Days where you spend absolutely nothing are essential to saving, and keeping your financial health. Stay home, curl up with your favorite book, or marathon that show you’ve had for weeks.
Insurance cuts down costs when you need to go to the hospital, or if you figure in a car accident. The cost you pay for it helps you out later on if you need it.
Borrow books and movie CDs, don’t buy them.
Consider trading with friends who have the films or books that you’ve been wanting. It cuts down on costs, and this way, you all have more common things to talk about.
Identify a monetary amount that you will always set aside (all Php5).
It builds a habit, and helps you save in easy increments.
Buy generic medicine.
Most medicines have generic brands, that have the same effect and cost much less than what you’d normally pay. Ask your doctor for the names when they write your script.
Do preventive maintenance on home appliances at least once a week.
Clean out your fridge, the microwave, your coffee maker, and the kitchen sink.Well-maintained appliances will last longer.
Sell what you have not used for the past 6 months.
Chances are these items will still be in good condition. Sell these items for a little extra cash, and so that you’ll have more space in general.
Buy generic brands whenever possible.
As with medicines, off-brand items cost less and can be bought in bulk for cheap.
Get a smaller living space.
If you live alone, it may not make sense to have a second bedroom. Consider a smaller, cheaper space that you can turn into a perfect solo pad.
Combine the uses of several gadgets into one.
Unless your profession calls for it, it’s ideal to have all your needs rolled up into a single device. You cut on purchases, and have a multi-purpose piece of tech at your disposal.
Take advantage of birthday freebies.
Many restaurants offer freebies for celebrants. Head there if you’re being pressured to treat people to a meal, you’ll get your money’s worth more that way.
Buy items when there’s a price drop.
Price drops give you great items for lower costs, lower them even more with coupons and other discounts when applicable.
Get membership cards.
Memberships allow for discounts, rebates, and freebies on certain purchases. Loyalty definitely rewards you in this case.
Unplug appliances when not in use.
Slash costs on your electric bill by unplugging items that aren’t in use. If possible, set your appliances to power save mode.
Stop buying bottled water.
Most establishments have house water, for free. Take a water bottle with you and fill up at water fountains and dispensers instead.
Use comparison websites.
Comparing items lets you see which ones are worth the money you plan to pay. You might even find better items for less.
Tell your friends and family that you’re saving money.
They’ll understand, and think of you as a more financially responsible individual.
Use cash for purchases.
Using cash eliminates the odds that you create debt for yourself.
Stay out of stores if you do not plan to buy anything so you can avoid impulse buying.
Window shopping is a gateway to impulse purchases and eventual buyer’s remorse. Don’t visit shops unless you really do plan on buying something.
Have friends offer services at your wedding instead of giving a gift.
Your friends can save on spending and you can save on costs, of course this works if you’ve friends who are willing to offer their services as gifts.
Buy a fuel-efficient car.
You’ll save on fuel costs and help better the overall air quality in the city. Any money you do spend on fuel will last much longer than a normal car would.
Be open-minded to cheaper hobbies like reading, blogging, biking and cooking.
It can be something that occupies your spare time, and you learn new skills – all for free!
Surround yourself with frugal people.
They’ll be just as driven as you are to save, if not moreso. You get #SquadGoals and #SavingGoals rolled up into several people.
Buy low-cost printers so ink refills will be cheaper.
Printers usually use up a ton of ink, consider buying one fitted with an ink injection system to save on ink cartridge costs.
Find ways to get extra income.
A little extra cash never hurt. Hold a garage sale, or a bake sale. Spring clean your home and sell items that are unused.
Avoid “Takaw tingin.”
They say envy is a green-eyed monster, and one you have to resist when someone around you has something new. Be satisfied with what you have, for now at least.
Include a “guilt trip” list at your wallet.
This can be a list of goals you’ll never get if you keep opening your wallet to bust out the cash on an impulse buy.
Buy second-hand things.
Ukay-ukay stores are great places to find runoff fashion that fits your style, and costs way less than that Birkin bag you’ve had your eye on.
Ignore your bonuses.
While you could reason that bonuses could be used to reward yourself for a job well done, consider rewarding yourself with a bigger savings account instead, or shore it up in an investment.
Cut down on entertainment costs.
You’d be just as happy cuddled on the couch with Netflix as you would if you went out to watch a movie, minus the cost of a commute, food, and tickets.
Take care of your clothes.
Clothes that are sturdy last longer with care. Follow the wash instructions on the tags to avoid having to replace an entire wardrobe every couple of months.
Reduce eating out for special locations.
Special occasions being birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones. During these occasions, feel free to splurge a little. Otherwise, home cooked meals can just be as special, and less costly.
Do not buy gadgets when they are newly-released.
Technology has a way of rapidly depreciating, you’re better off waiting for your dream gadget to drop in price before you make the purchase.
Find alternatives for “retail therapy.”
Bad day? Consider alternatives to shopping ‘til you drop. Make some comfort food and curl up with your favorite thing to do. Your wallet will thank you.
Take advantage of happy hours when going out with friends.
Happy hours mean discounts on drinks, maybe even free ones if you know the right bar. Drink responsibly, and make sure you have enough for a ride home.
Life and personal finance advocate, Randell Tiongson says:
“Use a detailed budget, separate needs from wants in the budget.”
Managing Director of Blogapalooza, Hazel Gapuz says:
“I always jot down and keep track of my daily expenses, down to the last centavo. I do that now through mobile apps, but before I would really list them down manually in a small notebook.
That way, I know where my money goes and how I can budget my expenses.”
Author of Tycoon.ph, Roel Manarang says:
“You’ll hear a lot of advice from millionaires that you should “live below your means”, and it’s true.
To save money, the one that works well with my networks and personally is to:
1. List down all your expenses.
2. Distinguish the things you “want” vs. “need”, prioritize your needs and remove unnecessary expenses.
3. Save (or grow) your money.
Of course, this requires discipline. Personally, all of the remaining money that I acquire (usually 50-70%), I either save them or reinvest them in businesses.”
Author of Millionaire Acts, Tyrone Solee says:
“PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Most of us are employees. Above all things, you must pay yourself first by using the equation INCOME – SAVINGS = EXPENSES. That is, every time you receive your salary, set aside savings first, ideally at least 20% of your gross pay, before you spend. This is because savings is the most important ‘expense’ since it ‘buys’ your future. You can do this by delaying your gratification and living below your means. Make this a habit, coupled with investing, and you will surely build your wealth throughout the years.”
Rise of The Pinoy Author, Mike Grogan says:
“My money saving tip is more of a bigger picture – listen to audio books / podcasts while in traffic, exercising and waiting in line.
99% of Pinoys miss out on this great opportunity to become more valuable during these times by enriching their mind.
Investing in yourself will always yield the greatest return in investment.”
2015 #SINAG Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards by Sun Life Financial, Abraham Lee says:
“I like cooking so i eat at home most of the time and that saves me a lot of money. I buy good clothes which may be expensive at first but over the long term they last longer and easier to maintain rather than buying cheap ones because the tendency of doing that will make you buy more( since its cheap) and can rack up your closet so maintaining them will cost more. i buy sack of rice rather than the per kilo, they are much cheaper and they dont spoil. a sack of rice could last 2-3months for a single professional.”
Author of Abroad Me: 22 Success Strategies for Young Overseas Filipinos, Anne Quintos says:
“Take time to observe and understand your spending triggers, not just your spending habits. When you’re aware of the possible causes that make you want to spend your money, you can be more in control of yourself and the situation.”
Founder of Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy, Burn Gutierrez says:
“If you find it painful to save money but very easy to spend on unnecessary commodities, put ‘savings‘ as the first item on your ‘expense’ list and make it a habit to pay yourself everytime you receive your salary.”
Financial literacy advocate for millennials and author of The Wise Living, Lianne Laroya says:
“Compute your hourly rate.
Let’s say you work 40 hours a week, 4 weeks a month. Your total working hours for the whole month is 160.
And then you received a salary of P18,000 for the first month you’ve worked.
Hourly rate = P18,000 divided by 160 hours
Hourly rate = P112.50 rate per hour
That P800+ rate for a 3-hour Vikings buffet feast for yourself?
It costs around 7 working hours of your life.
It makes you think twice about spending your money recklessly, don’t you think so?”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WinLongTerm Financial Consultancy, David Isaiah Angway says:
“There are two ways how to effectively save money, first is to be committed with the goal that you want to achieve, researchers says commitment removes all the excuses in the world and second is to spend more time with fellow savers than spenders since accountability improves your overall behavior.”
Co-Founder of Prep2Prime Digital (P2P), Jane Uymatiao says:
“My money saving tips:
1. Make it harder to get to your own money. When I receive money, it goes directly to my bank account. I build it up and transfer it to UITF/mutual funds. Only a revolving fund, with just enough money in it for day-to-day expenses, is accessible for ATM withdrawals.
2. Live a minimalist life and learn to let go. Even garage sales can bring in thousands of pesos on a good day. Convert items you own but never really use to cash by offering them up for sale to friends or on Facebook groups that are into buy&sell transactions. Money from these sales can be invested.
3. It is not always a matter of earning more that makes one save more. It is better to NEED LESS and INVEST MORE that counts.”
Founder of the FQ Bits Facebook Group, Don Crisostomo says:
“Your saving desire should be like a fire, it glows to influence others.”
Author of Ready To Be Rich Guide, Fitz Villafuerte says:
“An uncommon money saving strategy I do is to throw away, donate, or sell an item for every item I buy.
If I want to buy a new pair of jeans, then I must get rid of one item from my closet. Buying a home decor? Then another one at home must be purged.
This makes you think twice before buying anything, especially on impulse. And helps you avoid clutter at home.”
Award-winning motoring journalist, James Deakin says:
“Don’t get a car if you’re not traveling 15,000 km to 20,000 km per month. Having lower mileage means you’re overpaying for your car expenses such as maintenance and car insurance.”
Finance Manager of SEDPI Development Finance, Inc., Neil Palteng says:
“The 15-20-5-60 Budget Rule
Allocation is the key. 15% for your savings, 20% on investment or payment to productive loan, 5% on insurance and 60% on personal expenses including payment of taxes. Before I get my salary, 20% is automatically deducted from it.
Needs VS Wants
The common excuse of people who cannot save is that they don’t have enough income. Review your expenses and separate the needs from the wants so you can prioritize.”
Founder of Cardinal Buoy Group, Christopher Cervantes says:
“Saving money is a luxury everyone can choose to afford. If we thought of saving like buying luxurious things we’ve always wanted, we would be more willing to spend. Trick yourself. Instead of thinking of the obligation to save money, think that you are spending it for your true luxury which is financial freedom.”
“1. Be Grateful.
Most of the time, we tend to focus on what we don’t have rather focusing our energy on the things we are blessed with. Once I shift my energy to being grateful, I am able to stop myself from spending on things I don’t really need or want.
2. Get back to basics. I still maintain a coin bank, but this time there would be days when I would put bills instead of coins. I would put something in there every day regardless of the amount.
3. Have a support group. Saving with the spouse, relatives, or friends is more fun than saving alone. I have a support group who I save with and I allow them to give me a nudge if I am spending too much. This way, I am challenged to do it regularly and my goals are being supported.”
“1. You can allocate part of your emergency fund in a money market fund for higher returns, or a savings account with insurance for a boost in your protection coverage.
2. Talk to your spouse on how you can both work and pool resources together to achieve your goals. Communication is key.”
“True wealth starts from within. It is not the size of your money that will make you wealthy, rather it is who you become in achieving your life’s goal.
Sync your goals with your values. It is a wise advise in money management to keep your goals congruent with your values. It strengthens and provides more meaning as you get closer to your goals.”
“Take advantage of airline points. Most airlines nowadays have some sort of loyalty points program. Find out how you can accumulate these. Why spend money on tickets to travel when you can have them for free? Take advantage of this when booking for your next scheduled holiday.”
“1. When you are tempted to buy stuff at mall sales or bazaars, control yourself and remember that the truly rich do not buy stuff. They buy assets that actually pay them.
2. Before making supermarket and wet market purchases, make full use of what is available before making new purchases and develop the practical ability to convert left-over food into something new.
3. Learn how to cook the family’s favorite dishes and desserts in order to temper their craving for both fine dining fare and fastfood.
4. Instead of international travel, explore local destinations where you will experience the same amount of delight but expenses are considerably reduced.
5. If you are contemplating on buying a home, choose one where you will be able to live a life that is comfortable yet allows you to live simply so that you can save a lot for your other personal goals.”
“It is highly recommended for an individual who wants to put his finances in order by spending wisely and spend less than he earns.”
“Automate your savings and investments. For most of us, our income comes usually monthly. Make it easy for yourself to invest and save for the long-term. Create a system wherein a fixed amount will be placed in your savings and investment. Some banks offer auto debit to a savings or an investment account. Even paying bills can now be automated.
Spend only what remains after deducting the essentials. After setting aside money for savings and investments, rent, food, and clothing and other recurring necessary expenses for the month, the remaining amount may now be used for your wants.
Buy a low cost index fund or ETF
Buying a low cost index fund or ETF will achieve the same returns with the market with lesser fund management fees.
Choose e-books instead of paper or hard-bound books. E-books are usually cheaper compared to hard-bound books and they’re easier to bring along. A tablet may contain hundreds of e-books.
Buy fresh fruits in season. Aside from being cheaper, they’re also fresher.
Buy more non-perishable essentials when on sale. Essentials such as canned goods, soap, toothpaste, or toothbrush can be stored longer. You may buy more of it when there are promos, sales, or discounts.
Sell recyclables to junk shops. Separate your trash to recyclables and non-recyclables. Newspapers, bottles, PET bottles, old kitchenwares and recyclables may be sold to junk shops. You can save the environment and make some money too!
Go for carpooling. A better way to travel is carpooling with friends or using pooling option when using ride sharing apps. You get to meet new friends and pay cheaper fares.”
-Josefino Gomez, RFP
When you’re trying to save, these tips can easily involve into mantras each time you get tempted to impulse spending. Think of them as guidelines for yourself, because everybody saves differently.