How to Save Money Each Month: A Definitive Guide for Pinoys
Today I will teach you how to save money each month. And this post is highly dedicated to those who are just beginning to take a serious look at their financial life.
There’s no mistake that learning how to save money each month is one of the fundamental step towards financial freedom.
Your savings could affect how you live your life, achieve your goals and shape your future.
How to save money each month is a question I get asked most of the time. Instead of featuring it on a reader question post like this one, I decided to do a definitive guide. Thus, I highly suggest that you bookmark this post so that you are guided for every update I will include in the future.
In this post you will learn the following:
- Who Needs to Save Money Each Month
- The Proper Way To Save Money Each Month
- How Much of Your Income Should You Save Each Month and
- How To Save Based On Your Salary
Who Needs to Save Money Each Month?
Everyone should save money each month. It’s a must, especially if you want to take charge of your finances one day.
Most confuse saving money from investing money.
Saving is income/money not spent. It is the act of preserving your money for future needs. You save money for emergencies (emergency fund), a needed vacation (travel fund) or forthcoming retire life (retirement fund).
When you invest your money, you are basically putting it at work. It is the act of spending your money on vehicles that may earn interest. You invest money to beat inflation, to grow your current net worth and to reach your financial bucket list faster.
Saving should come first before investing. You need a proper money cushion ready to use whenever you need it.
Invest only when you secured a proper savings. Why?
Because here’s the deal:
If you jump in the investment bandwagon without a saving bucket, you are endangering your finances. Investing comes with inevitable risk unlike saving.
The Proper Way To Save Money Each Month
To save money each month requires only two key factors:
First is FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE.
Second is AUTOMATION.
Once you master these two important factors, you will turn your money lifestyle 360°. To say the least, you are bound to a financial overflow.
Key Factor #1. Financial Discipline
Financial discipline, for me, is the by-product of a good financial lifestyle.
What you do with your money, how and where you spend it as well as whether you save and invest contributes to how financially disciplined you are. To have the financial discipline to save money each month means taking control of your desires and following certain rules needed to achieve your monetary goals.
Below are steps you can do to develop financial discipline within you.
1. Review Your Finances
What it takes to get financial discipline and save money each month is a constant proper financial review.
The more you undergo a financial review, the more you become aware on what areas of your financial life needs to improvement.
Awareness is the knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. It is being conscious, being able to recognize and to realize things. When we become more aware, we become wiser when it comes to spending our money.
That’s why a financial review is a must for everyone and it only takes an hour of your time to do. I created a free Financial Review Workbook you can easily download on the SavingsPinay Resource Library. You can read my own Mid-Year Financial Review to know exactly how it made me figure out my next actions.
2. Track Your Spending
Are you tired of living from paycheck to paycheck? If yes, then you might want to try tracking your expenses. Most of us spend our money unconsciously, we get our paycheck on the 15th and in just a week all the money is already gone. And the saddest part of it is we have no idea where our money went.
Tracking your expenses can take away a fraction of your time but it’ll be worth it. As soon as you make it a habit you will find it easier to do. Here are the benefits of tracking your daily expenses:
- Identify right away what kind of spender you are. Are you someone who spend mostly on your wants or on your needs?
- Avoid mindless spending. Because you are keeping a record on where you spend your money, areas where you can save money each month is easier to detect.
- Allows you to take control. Taking notes of your spending give you a better control on your money. You can easily change your lifestyle so you can save each month.
3. Create a budget
Budgeting plays a crucial part on how to save money each month. If you don’t create a spending plan, you will easily spend more than what can and what you are allowed to spend.
To make it easier for you I encourage you to follow the 50-20-30 Budget Rule. I see this as the easiest and the most flexible budget template that can adapt to who and how you are with money.
- First, input your net income. This is income less tax, government fees and tithes.
- Second, divide your net income on three important categories – essential expenses, financial freedom and lifestyle fund. You can allocate your desired percentage. The most common is 50-20-30 hence, the name of the budget rule.
- Third, try not to go beyond the percentage you set. Always aim to be as close or lower.
Related: I wrote an exact post on The 50-20-30 Budget Rule Works and How It’ll Save Your Finances you might want to check out.
4. Think of your goals
I urge you to set your yearly and monthly financial goals now. Goals work as motivational tool that will keep you from building wealth instead of the other way around.
Once you have a set of clear financial goals it will be easier to you to assess your next action list. Here are sample goals that can give you the financial discipline to save each month:
- Pay-off 50% of my credit card debt before 2017 ends.
- Start a side-hustle and generate my first 10,000pesos extra income.
- Put up an emergency fund with at least 60,000pesos by January 2018.
Once you start thinking and remembering your goals you will be encouraged to save more.
Key Factor #2. Automate
Apply the principle of automation! That is one habit that will ultimately help you save money each month.
Set up an automatic transfer with your bank. Personally I did this once with BPI when my BPI Save Up + Automatic Account was still open. I set an automatic transfer for 500pesos per cut-off every 1st and 16th of the month.
You can also go directly to your chosen bank and ask if they can set up an automatic transfer on your behalf. I’ve read this once in Ang Pera Na Hindi Bitin, wherein the author requested the bank to automatically transfer a part of his income to a savings account. This is called the Automatic Millionaire Savings System. Because of automation you will leave yourself with no choice but to save.
1. Start small
You don’t have to make it big at first. Always start with small and doable amount. Psyche yourself and your wallet on saving 1000pesos every month for example. At the end of the year you’ll have 12,000pesos more on your savings fund. Do not force yourself to save a lot of money at once, make it as gradual as possible so you won’t slack off midway.
2. Reduce your monthly bills
Now, if you really want to save money each month then you need to reduce your monthly bills. A sudden decrease on your monthly bills give you the means to save automatically.
- Cut back on your energy consumption. Unplug electronics not in use. Spend less time on watching TV or being on the computer. Turn-off the lights especially at night time. Find appliances that have energy-saving features.
- Reduce monthly subscriptions from cable TV, Netflix, magazine, gym membership or beauty box. Just focus on what you truly need.
- Focus in paying your debt. Debt hinders you in saving money each month. Pay-off high interest slowly but surely. Avoid using your credit card and being more in debt. For personal loans try to negotiate with a lower monthly pay so not all your money go in paying.
3. Join a saving challenge
A good way to force yourself to save money each month is to join challenges. You see those testimonial pictures and videos of successful individual who manifest financial discipline and was able to save. Among my favorite saving challenge are as follows:
- The 52-week Money Challenge– Rhea Mocorro of Kuripot Pinay localized the 52-week money challenge and became widely popular every year. The idea is very simple, on week 1 you save 50pesos, week 2 100pesos, week 3 150pesos and this continues to increase based on your starting amount until week 52. If you succeed your total savings for the whole year will be as high as 68,900pesos! You can read more about this in Different Ways You Can Apply the 52-Week Money Challenge
- Invisible Money Challenge – I’ve done this challenge last year and is continuing it for 2017. It is very doable for those who want to save money each month. You choose an amount you will treat as an invisible money. For example every 50pesos that come in your hand/wallet are automatically considered as invisible money. You need to put those bills directly on your savings or alkansiya.
- The Jar/ Bote Money Challenge – Another viral saving challenge at the moment is the jar/bote. You basically dedicate a separate jar/bote for each of your saving goals. Put every amount you have from loose change to proper savings to each jar/bote as part of your short-term or long-term money cushion.
4. Make Extra Income
Engage yourself in extra income projects that you are passionate about. Choose a side-hustle you can work on along with your full-time job.
You can begin by selling your pre-loved items. Go through items you no longer need but still has applicable market value and sell them online or through garage sale.
If you there is an area you consider yourself an expert then try teaching to others. Whether you teach English online, tutor Math or Science subjects to lower year or coaching a specific type of instrument.
There are a lot of ways you can make extra income and save automatically.
I created a list of best side hustles to try this 2017 you can check for ideas.
5. Diversify your finances
It should be your ultimate goal to make money work for you. Create multiple income streams that will set your savings into autopilot mode.
How Much of Your Income Should You Save Every Month?
Perhaps that question has been on your mind for quite some time. We were always taught that saving money each month is important but we weren’t aware of how much we should really be saving. Of course not all of our income can be put in our reserve money. It all depends on certain circumstance that I will unveil in a moment.
What’s Your Age?
Your idea of perfect savings depend on your age. People in their 20’s will have plenty of time to worry on their retirement so most of their saving goals are short-term. They may be thinking on a car, a condo, a gadget or a branded handbag. Thus, how much you save each will be lower.
Once you hit your 30’s your priorities will differ. You start to build a family of your own and will have to take care of your aging parents too. Your savings will long-term now. You start to think about retirement, your kids’ education and your health. This will require a bigger amount to save each month.
Your age surely plays a vital role in know how much you should save.
What’s Your Goal?
- Short-Term Goals are things achievable in less than a year. This could be the vacation abroad you’ve always wanted, a special gift to your loved ones or a debt you’ve wanted to pay off.
- Mid-Term Goals are things are achievable in 5-10 years time. This could be a house, payment for your wedding and/or start a business.
- Long-Term Goals are the ultimate things you want to achieve. Retirement is a solid example of a long-term goal you want to think deeply.
What’s Your Income?
Your income has a lot to with how much you’ll be able to save. Maybe you are thinking a saving goal that’s too much that what you’re being paid. If you want a better savings you need to increase your income, find other sources of extra money you can put in your kaban.
Given the three circumstance above, this is how we will approach the whole “How Much Should I Save” question.
Save depending on your age, goal and income.Click To Tweet
Save in accordance to your span, your reach and your means. The more your income grows, the more your savings you should have and not the other way around. Treat it as a never-ending cycle of wealth.
How To Save Money Each Month With Little Salary?
No matter how little your income is, you can save money each month. It all boils down to the two key factors I mentioned above. Master financial discipline and find a way you can automate your savings.
If you are still doubting your power to save with little salary I decided to give you a saving money action list from those earning 10,000pesos to those who have as high as 20,000pesos a month. You can follow the initial steps below to boost your savings as early as today. Let’s start.
As someone who is starting out it would mean to slowly but surely save.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that you are getting an amount that may be lesser than your expenses. Make sure to follow these three tips.
Live Less – Do not be bounded by the pa-sosyal society. Try to live simply but still in the alignment of your goals. Instead of buying drinks in the cafeteria, bring your own bottle and you will save a lot of pesos. Eat in the pantry together with your new-found work buddies instead of going alone to fast food because it might cause you to order more.
Start Learning – Stock up on knowledge for it will make you be better in handling your finances. Try to buy books about saving up and/or if you are saving do this trick that I did before, I go to the bookstore and find books that are opened and read there. I love National Bookstore Glorietta and also Fully Booked Greenbelt for the wide variety of book selection!
Save 1000/month – 1000 a month is big enough for a newbie. Join my mailing list to get the free 50-20-30 Budget Rule Template.
As someone who got his/her first rise it would mean to do maintain and sustain your cash flow.
These three tricks will help you sustain your cash flow with your first raise. The idea is to level up your goals and objectives in your finances.
Build an Emergency Fund – Since you were able to live with your newbie salary it would be nice to have any portion of your raise as part of your Emergency Fund. Make sure to build your emergency fund in account that you can’t easily withdraw.
Live Simpler – Don’t rely on your raise and just act as if nothing happened. Top up your investment from 1000 a month to 3,000 a month or more. This way you will save a lot at the end of the year.
Reward yourself – Once in a while try to reward yourself to be able feel more inspired. Just make sure to do it ONCE-in-a-while.
As someone who got rewarded with major promotion it would mean to take risk and start investing.
Follow the tricks below to amplify the growth of your money and work your way towards financial freedom.
Take Every Opportunity – Do not just stay with your job and instead find some sidelines or other opportunities that will make you grow your finances. Sell online or tutor someone or maybe start blogging and accommodating advertisements from others.
Work on your Portfolio Income – Remember my post on 3 Types of Income??? Now that you are on a major promotion it will be timely to start working out on your portfolio income by finding means to invest of either mutual fund, stock market or VUL accounts. Start as early as possible for it your money will mature better that way.
Commit – Make saving money each month a habit. Be sure to save and invest on a regular basis. Once it became part if your routine you’ll be able to handle every financial battle that might come your way.
Related : I’m Finally Investing in Stocks
Two Things Worth Sharing
1. It’s a must that you save on a regular basis
Saving money should be more than just a task but a rather a habit for everyone. And you can never develop a habit if you are not doing it regularly. Once the paycheck comes automatically save a portion. Live with the rest for your everyday expenses. Again, treat it as a payment you will give to yourself. You deserve it because of your hard work. READ: 40 Financial Habits For Life
2. It’s a must to budget
I know, I know I sound too pushy in the whole budget thing here in SavingsPinay but it’s just how things work. You can never save without a budget. A spending plan is everything you need to have an idea whether you are over spending your money or to track down where your money goes.
Create a budget today if you want to grow up happy and still be able to live in the lifestyle you’ve wanted. If that’s the case then you need to start prioritizing your retirement savings.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
It’s given that saving money is one of the fundamental step towards financial freed
om. Nobody can be called financially free without his or her savings. Your savings
could affect how you’ll achieve your goals, live your life and prepare for the future.
I hope this post encourages you to save money each month. It’s actually not about the exact amount… what matters most is you set an intention to do so. I have a lot on my plate right now in terms of saving
money but instead of discouraging/limiting me… I see these numbers as a motivation to work hard, be ambitious and strive more.
Just remember, you owe it to your future self to save.
How much money do you save each month?
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org