Being a minimum wage earner in the Philippines is a challenge. If you add saving and investing into the mix, it can be ten times more difficult. However, saving money while earning a low income is not impossible, especially if you use the following money-saving tactics:
1. Find another source of income
Filipinos are always resourceful. If you want to have more savings, find a sideline that can bring in more money, no matter how small. For example, read up on restaurant business tips (even if you’re not going to open a restaurant) and sell home-cooked meals on the side. You can also use Facebook to start an online business with small capital. Regardless of what your “raket” is, as long as it’s legal, it’s one of the best ways to increase your savings.
2. Open a separate savings account
Do you have another bank account aside from your payroll ATM? If not, open a savings account with your selected bank, preferably an account type that has a good interest rate. Then, use this account for your savings, so you are less inclined to spend the money on it.
However, if you have a hard time keeping off of your savings, it’s recommended that you get a passbook only. In this way, withdrawing money is less convenient than with an ATM, which should help you keep your savings intact.
3. Set a budget
Evaluate your current household needs and write them down in a notebook. Allocate a certain amount to each expense and then make it a point to not spend over this set amount. Put whatever is left in your savings account, whether it’s P200 or P1000. No matter the amount, the important thing is to put money aside.
4. Buy in bulk
A lot of minimum wage earners patronize ‘tingi-tingi’ products because they think buying in bulk is expensive. However, buying ‘tingi-tingi’ is actually costing you more.
Take shampoo for instance. One sachet is, say, P5, good for one day. For a month, the shampoo will cost you P150. Compared to a bottle of shampoo that costs P120, which will last you for the same amount of time (if not longer), buying in bulk saves more money.
5. Avoid incurring debt
Taking out short-term loans and buying gadgets on instalment is a common reason why minimum wage earners find it difficult to save money. Hence, if you want to save more money, avoid incurring all types of debts such as personal loans, instalments, and credit card debt.
6. Set goals
A great way to motivate yourself to save money is to set goals. What do you want to do with the money? Are you saving for rainy days? Or perhaps a major expense (e.g. tuition, home down payment, medical bill) is coming? Whatever your goals may be, use them as a motivator to keep your spending and savings on track.
With the rising costs of necessities in the country, saving money is usually an afterthought for most minimum wage earners. But with these tips, you can put away more money despite earning a low income for future investments and expenses.