Congratulations and welcome to club!
I think the majority of the Filipino after getting married is bit short for money. After the glamorous wedding comes the reality of living with another human being and figuring things out including the budget. I actually struggled for a bit because I like keeping my money to my self ha ha ha.
I made this blog post because I can totally relate, I made the same mistakes too (ruining the budget) that is why this is very special to me. These things are just temporary solutions, though. Until we can all get our footing in budgeting or until the money comes in and life is blissful again. But please, don’t mind the budget too much, enjoy the start of your married life!
1. Make Your Own Or Buy Cheaper Coffee
Coffees shops in general are quite expensive but has the BEST tasting coffee ever. I actually prefer to write these blogs in there, with all the lightings and the never fading aroma of coffee + a husband at sight!
You can actually save up to 10 times the amount of money when you make coffee at home. My husband and I love drip coffees from Japan but when our stocks run out we switched to Nescafé stick and Nestle Coffee mate (Php 8 only for both coffee and creamer). Say you really must head out, I recommend McDonald’s because it is cheaper (Php 32 for a 12 Oz premium roast coffee) compared to Starbucks (Php 120 brewed coffee tall). See, different prices but all taste like coffee.
On a plus note, 3-in-1 coffee is also famous here in Philippines but I don’t really recommend it since it has a lot of sugar content and is not healthy in the long run.
2. Minimize Food Delivery Apps
Another way not to save money is buying all things online, including food. GrabFood and Foodpanda is definitely the most convenient way to eat now, effort-wise. However, since you are paying for the convenience, the foods are not as cheap as you think they are. One order would usually cost me Php 250 including delivery fee. I cannot even feed my husband for that. LOL.
Another food delivery recently is through online shops. Due to the pandemic, a lot of people have resorted to selling their goods online, most of all food. Suddenly there’s an abundance of banana cake, chicken wings and baked sushi in all social media platforms. Some are actually cheaper compared to GrabFood and Foodpanda but you will have to pay separately for the delivery fee. Still expensive.
If you are on the money, this lifestyle will cost you a lot. I suggest you order when it is extremely necessary or reserve it for special occasion. You are actually helping riders (drivers) and small businesses when you order, just make sure you keep track of your household’s expenses.
3. Try Meatless Monday
Somewhere around the globe there’s a campaign that encourages people not to eat meat on Mondays, they called it Meatless Monday.
According to http://www.pbs.org, the recent global campaign [Meatless Monday] aimed at lowering our overall meat consumption for our health and the environment. Read more about the history of Meatless Monday at https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/history-meatless-mondays/
Unless you are already a vegetarian, we can all agree on the benefits of the campaign. What I like about this campaign is its effect to the budget of one’s household. Unlike biblical times, meat nowadays are expensive. Meat also makes my husband’s ankle to swell, so he is very welcoming to the thought of us joining the campaign!
4. Watch Out For Deals
Now that I am married, I became more inclined and focused on things I really want. For a long time, I wanted to go to a specific resort but I cannot afford it. So I talked to my husband, he agreed but he set a specific budget. So I diligently wait. I checked from time to time to see if the resort will make a discounted deal and luckily they did!
Make sure that you really know what you want so you don’t jump on every deals that come your way. It takes a lot of discipline but I guarantee, you will not regret it. If it’s only for leisure and considering no time constraint, why go for a regular rate when you can have it a discount? And usually, they WILL give a discount.
5. Say No To Bottled Water
Remember the saying of Sir Benjamin Franklin, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”? The winner of that category is no other than the bottled water we buy every time we’re out.
It also damages the environment due to high level of plastic wastes disposal. Also, some tap or service water are not really safe now so it is better we bring our own drinking water.
According to WHO, globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year.
Visit their website for in depth information: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water
6. Minimize Eating Out
Like food delivery app, eating out so often also damages the budget of the entire household. Currently, it is also deemed unnecessary and unsafe due to the pandemic.
I noticed that whenever we eat out, it becomes harder for me to go back to routine cooking. I like the convenience it brings and my tendency is to do it again. Then we suffer the rest of the month.
Also, note that restaurant needs to profit so they charge 100% to 300% more to cover up their expenses.
7. Meal Prep For Lunch At Work
Meal prep is an old method of preparing food ahead of schedule. It’s popular with busy people who does not have the luxury of cooking often. Thus, saving them time and effort.
This method actually works for us. Time-wise and budget-wise. I cooked everything on Sunday, store it and our lunch is ready for the whole week. I still cook daily after work for dinner. I intentionally make it bigger in portion so that there will be leftover for breakfast.
This meal prep idea stemmed from my fascination in bento making. While in Japan, I noticed how appetizing the lunchboxes are. Now, when I do meal prep for lunch, I don’t just stack everything. I arranged it carefully to be bento-looking!
8. Skip The Invites
After getting married, there were a lot of party invites coming in but we politely declined them all. First, because we think it’s not yet safe to be in the crowd for a long period of time. Second, because of our budget.
Of all money saving hacks, I think this one is the hardest. We feel sad that we cannot be with our loved ones and witness their important milestone due to budget constraints.
Our budget is made a month prior. Any unplanned expenditure is difficult for the budget. Also, we don’t want to come unprepared to events without any gifts or look unpleasant, out of respect to the host.
If you live in Cebu, I recommend you try Cebu Sakura. It’s a free magazine promoting Cebu tourism with around 150 free coupons to enjoy. It is written in both English and Japanese language for the benefit of Japanese tourists and students residing in the Philippines.
The free coupons are in partnership with the participating merchants from different business areas; tourism, restaurants, hotels, spa, English schools, real estate, movies and more.
I think now that the internet is more accessible, Cebu Sakura is the only physical magazine I read. It covers a lot of new and useful information about Cebu and other places in the Philippines. Last April 2019, I used their itinerary when I went to Siargao Island.
Note: Due to COVID, Cebu Sakura stopped publishing magazines to prioritize health and safety measures for the mean time. For more information, visit their website https://cebu-sakura.com.
10. Stay At Home
Nope, this is not a COVID blog. But as a frugal person, staying at home only means more savings. Expenses for taxi, eating out and impulse buying are eliminated. Sometimes, unnecessary groceries too!
Staying at home also means more time with my husband and keeping safe from COVID.
If you are newly married, how is your finances like? Do you have tips to share with us?