Part of my reminders to myself this year is to save more and beef up the travel fund for Europe hopefully next year. My target is to save at least Php360,000 (around US$8500) from now until the first quarter of 2013 so I can go on a trip to at least 5 European countries on my birthday. The thing is my sole source of income right now is my salary. It’s a little challenging but when I drafted the target savings per month, I was able to come up with the amount well on target such that I won’t be living like a pauper while saving.
What I have identified are a few simple action steps that I have started this week:
1. Stop buying magazines monthly (limit to 1 or 2 per month). -The ones that I will not be able to buy, I will just read online. You see, I buy a minimum of 6 to 7 magazines per month. They are all in a big pile right now at home and I am thinking of selling them. Any buyers? (Target Savings/Month: Php600)
2. Minimize coffee shop trips. -I actually buy at least one drink from Starbucks right now on work nights. As advised by my NAPBAS roommate Nikki, I should try to just buy instant coffee and bring my coffee to work or take advantage of the free, overflowing coffee in our office pantry. Just think it’s from Starbucks with every sip. What I am thinking is to reward myself a cup of the branded coffee at the end of the work week if I am successful. (Target Savings/Month: Php3000)
3. Pay bills on time. -If I pay my bills on time, especially with my cable TV subscription then I get to take advantage of the Php50 discount. If I pay on time then I would be able to manage my finances and daily allowances better. This way, I also eliminate a certain percentage for late payment charges. (Target Savings: Php50)
4. Say NO to IMPULSE shopping. – I will bring just enough money when I go to the grocery and draft a shopping list as well so that I won’t end up buying something just because it looks good or it’s something new. I would try my hardest to stick to the list. (Target Savings: from Php1000-1500)
5. Reward yourself. – I will reward myself with anything that I can use for my travel if I stick to my savings goal monthly. This would in a way quench my shopping craving. (Target Savings: from Php1000-3000)
6. Save pocket change. -Set aside coins in a container. It may seem little and of no value but in the long run, it will turn into a substantial amount. (Target Savings: Php3000)
7. Cancel gym membership. -This I have done already and I can no longer take just donating money to my gym. Exercise at home. Be creative about sourcing videos and instructional materials that you can use. (Target Price: Php2382)
8. Minimize mobile usage. -I will not use the roaming service as much as possible. (Target Savings: Php500-1000)
9. Enroll in online banking to reduce effort. -This will reduce bank charges as well. (Target Savings: Php100)
10. Pack lunch. -I should wake up a little earlier so I can cook some food that I can eat for lunch at work. I would also be able to see to it that I eat healthy food and I can be sure of how my food was prepared. (Target Savings: Php3000)
These simple saving tips will help me rake in at least Php15,000 in one month. Therefore I would be right on track to saving for my impending travel to Europe. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.