There's no better way to greet the decade than to set new goals toward financial freedom. Don't know where to start? Overwhelmed by the prospect of failing in the next 10 years? We know why you're here, and we got you covered!
Here are some easy, actionable tweaks to help you achieve your life goals.
- Optimize your commute. On days when you expect minimal traffic along your usual route, take public transportation in place of taxi rides.
- Keep snacks at work. On your next grocery run, add bite-sized foodstuff to your cart. Store them in your drawer to avoid unscheduled trips to the convenience store.
- Don't give in to peer pressure. Just because everyone's having food delivered doesn't mean you have to get in on the action.
- Compartmentalize your money. Delegate bank accounts for specific needs. For instance, assign a separate "rainy day" account from your payroll account.
- Bring a water bottle. You instantly save ₱120 when you keep a supply of drinking water, effectively negating the need to head to the milk tea shop.
- Don't rely on a mental checklist. Before you leave, make a checklist of the things you plan to buy at the supermarket to avoid ending up with stuff you don't need.
- Put a cap on recreational expenses. People who don't set a hard limit on their outdoor budgets get carried away when they travel or dine out, only to regret their decisions once the bills arrive.
- Planning is key. Set a budget for everything – it'll be easier to figure out how much you'd need when you're on long-haul trips.
- If you can't stop splurging, make it a point to pay in cash. The sight of your hard-earned bucks jumping from your wallet to the register should remind you how easily you could lose them.
- Leave credit cards at home. It's super easy to give in and justify your shopping spree as "retail therapy" when you know you could whip your plastic out anytime.
- Avoid temptations from your newsfeed. You may not notice it, but your outdoor spending decisions are occasionally influenced by what you encounter in your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Unfollow them!
- Ditch the cable. When you have Netflix, HBO Go, or Amazon Prime Video, there's no point keeping a TV subscription when you can watch your favorites shows on demand.
- Declutter your home. There's a good chance you have household items that seldom see the light of day. Give them a second lease in life by selling your preloved clothes and accessories online.
- You are the priority. Most folks couldn't achieve financial freedom due to a barrier no one wants to acknowledge: extended family members. When push comes to shove, focus on your needs before helping others.
- Play chef. Even if you don't cook, you're doing this for the experience (and to improve your cashflow). As we said earlier, planning is key, now do this with your meals. Set a weekly menu and add ingredients to your grocery run.
- Distract yourself with hobbies that cost nothing. Got the urge to splurge? Listen to a podcast! Craving for artisanal coffee? Try your hand at picking locks! Don't spend – do something else!
Obligatory tech tips
- Add stuff to your virtual cart, then sleep on it. Go crazy and add everything you like to your online bag. Then get a good night's sleep before checking out. Chances are, you'd be less inclined to buy them afterward.
- Resist the urge to upgrade gadgets. While cutting-edge features in the newest devices are nice to have, the perceived improvements these bring to your life are likely minimal.
- Keep track of expenses. Knowing is half the battle, and having ready access to your historical spending data could help you determine where your money goes.
- Take advantage of technology. Using mobile banking apps let you take back the minutes you could have potentially wasted while waiting for your turn to transact with the teller.
- Pay attention to children. If you have kids, give them your undivided attention during playtime. You don't need an iPad to babysit them.
- Pay attention to friends. No one cares if you show off the latest mobile device when you're socializing with peers.They'd appreciate it if you interact with them face to face.
- Pay off your bills. In full. Now. Procrastinating would just give you headaches once you find out that your credit card balance and postpaid dues have ballooned due to interest and late fees.
- Intermittent fasting for your wallet. Set a day each month dedicated to keeping your purse and bank account absolutely untouched. Too easy? Challenge yourself by setting a no-spend day each week.
- Fail often, but never lose hope. When you miss accomplishing a habit, accept the fact that you're human and move on. You're always a step closer to your goals when you get up and keep walking.
Our daily choices determine how we will fare in the journey towards financial independence. By tapping into our routines and habits, these lifestyle tweaks increase the likelihood of making lasting and impactful changes. The key is to build up on these changes with consistency and practice. Before you know it, these money-saving acts will become your norm instead of the exception.