12 Money Saving Tips for Filipino Students
“Anong kala mo sa amin, nagtatae ng pera?”, “Ang hirap kumita ng pera”, “Hindi namin pinupupulot ang pera”.
Do these lines seem familiar to you? These famous lines of your parents are no failing every time you ask them for your school allowance or just a few extra pesos. These lines may sound irritating at times but always remember their another famous line “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako”. Parents know best, indeed.
Most students are living on a tight budget due to the limited source of money. Most, if not all, ask money to their parents for their school needs as most of the students don’t have stable jobs yet to support themselves. But, don’t fret! Even if you have limited sources, for now, you can still save money by being a money savvy. Learn how to stretch your peso further with these money-saving tips. (Some money tips may also apply to employees, too).
Budget your money
Avoid the pitfalls of overspending by learning how to budget your money. To start out, begin tracking your expenses from every purchase you make and calculate how much you spend in total. Once you get to know where your money went, you already have a clear view of your spending and this is where the second step comes in. Make a list of all the necessary expenses such as school supplies, food, transportation, rent, etc., and prioritize what is the most important down to the least important. Differentiate your needs vs your wants and cut down the wants if you cannot afford it for now. Practice delayed gratification. Maintaining a budget is tough at first but if you continue doing it, you are doing yourself a huge favor. (READ: 5 Essential Tips to Save Money)
Bring packed lunch
Instead of eating out for lunch or buying food at the school cafeteria, bring packed lunch or baon instead. This can keep your expenses significantly lower as food is one of the big chunks that make up your total budget. Take advantage of lutong bahay or home cooked meals by your mom to save money. Plus, it’s healthy, too, as you know how it’s being prepared.
Drink water instead of soft drinks or juice
Water is the way to go. It keeps you hydrated, it’s free and it’s a better option rather than sugary drinks like soda or juices. Some schools have water dispensers available within the school premises so bring a water bottle with you and have it refilled on school. If there’s none, then bring a water jug with you that can keep water good enough for the whole day. This may mean heavier backpack but it is just a little sacrifice for you to save money.
Cut out vices
Vices are never good for you. Turn your backs from smoking, drinking alcohol, computer games as these are terrible, causes you harm and a total waste of your money. Instead of buying a pack of cigarette, bottles of beer and playing games in the computer shop, just go home and study or help your parents on some household chores.
Cut down your commuting expenses
If your school is close to your home, then it will be better if you will just walk your way to school instead of bringing your car or riding a public transportation. Waking is good for your body and your budget, too. If walking is not possible for you to bring yourself to school, then always look for a cheaper way to go to school. For example, instead of taking a taxi to school, why not take jeepney or bus instead?
Don’t make impulsive purchases
Remember our first tip? Always plan for the things you are going to purchase or you will end up buying things you don’t really need. But you say: “Pero, naka-sale naman, ‘eh. 50% off naman so makakatipid pa din ako ngayon.” (But, it is currently at 50% discount so I can still save money anyway). But have you really saved money by making a purchase on sale? Mall sales are often a marketing ploy. They will lure you and make you think that you save money by buying an item slashed by 50% discount. This is not true all the time. For example, if the item’s original price is 1000 and it is on 50% discount, the price should be 500. But buying an item worth 500 doesn’t make you save money, instead, it made you spend 500 pesos. An expense is an expense and buying an item on sale doesn’t make it an exception. Always spend within your budget and buy things you can only afford.
Sell what you no longer need or use
Convert the things you no longer use into cash by selling it. It can be clothes that you don’t wear anymore, books you used in the previous school years or those things you bought for school but only used once or twice. Do a cleaning on your home and collect all the stuff that you are willing to sell. There are several ways to sell. You can either post it online, on social media or set-up a garage sale on your home. It is a good way of decluttering your home plus you get an extra income, too.
Buy second-hand books
There’s no sense in buying brand new books (except, of course, workbooks that requires you to put some answers) if you will only use it as a reference. You can always ask higher year students if you can buy their used books instead of buying a new one. You can also check out some bookstores that sell second-hand books in case you don’t know someone whom you can borrow. It can reduce your expenses by buying the book at half of its price.
On the other hand, if you only need the book once or only for a short period of time, you can always check the library instead of buying it.
Go to school
This should be a no-brainer. The reason why your parents enrolled you in school is to study and learn. Hence, you should go to school and study and not cut classes. Skipping classes is like having the money go down the drain. Go to school and study well.
Buy whole pad paper but only bring what you need
Buying a whole pad paper is cheaper compared to buying it by pieces. But, don’t let those “parasites” come near you by bringing the whole pad in school. There are some students who won’t buy their own paper and only rely on their classmates. Avoid this by bring what you only need and save the rest in the coming days.
Learn how to say no
It’s not new that your classmates and friends will invite you to join and go with them to a certain place. Some might even influence you to do things in order for you to be “socially acceptable”. Don’t let peer pressure rule you. Also, if you don’t really have money for it, then just say no. They may get mad at you for declining them but if these friends are true, they will understand your situation.
Apply for scholarships
One of the myths about scholarships is that it is only for poverty-stricken students. In reality, scholarships are not based on financial need. It is usually awarded based on some criteria of an institution that gives scholarships but one thing is for sure: you really need to maintain good grades in order for you to be awarded a scholarship. So, if you really want to help your family get out of poverty, you really need to study hard and get good grades at school.
I hope the above tips will help you save money. Keep in mind that the key to financial success is to be aware of your spending habits and cutting down the bad habits. It’s always good to plan your spending so that your parents’ hard earned money will not be put into waste.