January 9, 2016

In my blog, “3 Things to Include in Your New Year’s Resolution”, I have mentioned Planning Ahead, Saving, and Growing Money. My last week’s blog The Five Ways to Prepare Your Financial Road Map” talked about the first in the list, which is Planning Ahead. It briefly discussed the 5 simple but sensible ways of planning a financial life. Today, I would like to continue this blog series by sharing with you 3 easy steps to save money.  
Are there people who are born savers?
Well, maybe there are but one thing is sure. 
Saving is a skill and everybody can learn to do it.
I believe that everybody has the ability to save. Money does not choose which person to stick to. It’s the person, it’s us who actually choose to whether end our relationship with it or mend and cultivate it.
What’s your purpose?
Before you start saving money, you should have a purpose. You should be emotionally involved in this endeavor to succeed. You should have a deep personal reason why you are saving money.


What is that you are saving for?


Are you saving money to have more money or are you saving money so you can afford to live a life of your dream?

Remember this: Saving money starts with the right mind set.
So how could anybody save money?  
1. Every peso counts
It is a cliché but it’s often ignored. For me here in China, “Every RMB/Yuan counts”. 

In my room I have a bottle full of 1 Mao (1 RMB is equivalent to 10 Mao). These numbers of Mao have been accumulated since the time I started working here. I spent some of course but the last time I counted, they amounted to more than 60RMB.

So, imagine if by the time I arrived here in China I started accumulating 1RMB or 5RMB or 10RMB and never spend it.


How much Chinese money might have I accumulated through the years?


It could be more. This shows that every penny, whether it’s an RMB or a Peso, every tiny penny when accumulated becomes enormous.


So, if your goal is to save for example 100 thousand pesos and you are just an ordinary employee earning maybe 15,000 Pesos a month with high monthly living expenses, how could you apply the principle of “every peso counts?”


Don’t be overwhelmed by the figure.  It is possible, believe me, that you can achieve your goal.


For 100,000 Pesos, you just need to save 1 Peso 100 thousand times. If you’re aiming for 1,000,000 Pesos then save 1 Peso 1 million times. Sounds funny? But it makes sense right?


Save consistently. Never lose track. Never lose the motivation. Think of your purpose. 
2. Delay  gratification
 I still can remember when I was a little girl. Growing in a “barrio”, we have this “alkansya”, a Filipino version of the piggy bank which is actually a bamboo trunk or a hard coconut shell where we keep our coins. 
Then I remember also that every time I wanted to buy Texas or Bazooka, the popular chewing gums at that time, I ran to my “bamboo trunk bank” with a small knife in my hand to take some coins out from it. Haha, sweaty, peeping at the coins and trying hard to take out some. 


At a very young age, although I was given the chance to meet the concept of saving money, it was not the right one. See, I used to always give in to my short term wants. 
By the time my friends were drinking soda, I no longer had enough money to buy one for myself because I habitually took my money out for an ordinary chewing gum. 
One of the reasons why people are poor is because people don’t know how to delay gratification. People live life as if there is no tomorrow.


Don’t pity yourself when you don’t give in to your wants now because you are doing yourself a huge favor. Don’t feel bad for yourself when you don’t buy that new smartphone model, although you can afford it, because you are saving to buy a tricycle or a car for hire that can help you earn more.  In short, you are forgoing good things for greater things.


Owning a latest smartphone model is good but it is great to have a car rental business that helps you earn more so that you can afford more.


Think of the long term and not just of the short term. Forget good things for great things. Forget the ordinary for the extraordinary.


3. Don’t mix it all up
Be organized with your money. Don’t put your spending money and savings all together.
If you have bank accounts, have a separate bank account for daily expenses and another account for savings.


If you do envelope budgeting just like the one I wrote in one of my blogs, “MyEnvelopes to Wealth”, savings should be separated from money for expenses.


Mixing them up together won’t work. It will be hard to mentally segment your money. Even though you have a photographic memory, I doubt if you can quickly imagine how much money left for expenses-for utilities, food, entertainment, etc.


So, separating which money goes to which makes a lot of sense.


Happy Saving!!!
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