This is all so foreign to me.
I mean, I used to run a regular Finance Fridays column in my old blog, Davao Mommy. I used to spew all kinds of financial wisdom — from technical stuff like investing in stocks or mutual funds to life concepts like being contented and living beneath one’s means.
I know we used to live way beneath our means. Despite paying for the amortisation of a house and lot, we were still able to set aside ample emergency fund.
Things are different now. We’re no longer paying for amortisation (we actually withdrew our application and, with the refunded payment, bought a bigger lot just outside the subdivision). I am no longer freelancing and have been working as a full-time employee for a year now, and Job is in Riyadh. Ideally, we should have been saving more because the income is more regular, but the bitter truth is, our savings account are stagnant.
Well, it’s funny how regular salary gives you a false sense of security. I thought we were doing okay, financially, until I took the time last weekend to assess how we were really doing.
The Hidden Expenses
I’ve been a bad money manager.
I used to write regular posts about financial wisdom, saving and investing in my old blog (if you’re interested in reading them, here’s my old Finance Friday series). To be fair, I am still very much interested in learning about the proper way to manage personal finances.
Then life happens.
When I had a full-time job (still homebased but very different from my previous long-term freelancing gig), I was suddenly thrust into a fortnightly payment scheme. What a vast difference from my old once-a-month pay!
And, get this: regular pay. Haha I know this sounds weird to people who have always held regular paying jobs, but for someone who used to get paid on a per-essay basis (read: no essay/work, no pay), this was a welcome change.
So I got used to life with a regular salary every two weeks. And then I got comfortable — too comfortable. Before, because I couldn’t predict how much work I’ll get in a month, and because I receive my salary only at the beginning of the month, I needed to be careful with how I spend the money. I create budgets, follow them strictly, and even set some aside for an emergency fund and a retirement fund. Looking back, I was wise with money.
But now, not that there’s anything wrong with being paid regularly and on a fortnightly basis (in fact, I am very thankful for it!), it seems as if I forgot the values that made me financially wise before. I can spend everything I receive in one fortnight — down to the last peso — without fear because I know it’s only a short matter of time before I receive another pay. I could live from paycheck to paycheck because I needn’t worry about the immediate future.
What a dangerous mindset to have.
This year, I’m making the conscious decision to commit to growing my financial wisdom again. Here are the specific steps I plan on doing:
This is a guest post from PawnHero.ph.
There are times when no matter how much we work and no matter how much we save, we just can’t seem to have enough money. Our family’s expenses just keep growing. What’s a mum to do?
During these tough times, mums like us need to think creatively to stay within our budget. We can save a lot of money just by thinking out of the box and doing things differently.
Here are some tips that may help you out.
10. Borrow Instead of Buy
Whenever someone in our family needs something, our first instinct may be to buy it. But before you do, think hard if you really need to buy it or not. If the item is something that you need for the long term, it might make more sense to buy it. However, if it’s something that will only be used for a while, such as books for example, just borrow it from someone else and return it after you’re done using it.
9. Go for Value