Thursday, July 26, 2007

Budget 101

the other day, while i was browsing the Business/Money section of the Inquirer, an article about budgeting caught my eye.

a reader posted a question about the topic, and it says:

"I know that a budget is important to better handle your money. However, no matter how much I work on my budget, I always end up going over it. Is it because my salary is too small? I don’t know what to do. How can I have a budget that works with my small salary?"

tut-tut. sounds familiar no? like the reader is asking in behalf of all of us.

the article listed tips on how to work on your budget (you can read them here), and i agree with them that visualizing and listing down all (and i mean ALL) your expenses can really help you work it out with the little money you're getting every payday. the above article also reminds me of a decision i made a few years back.

you see, four years ago, during my pre-amortization days, i already have a budget, i.e. budget for gimiks, budget for movies, budget for things that are not really important (like cd's, magazines and some more magazines *wink wink*). when the realization came that life is not all about gimiks (that's slang for going out/barhopping) and i need to have a concrete foundation for the future, that's the time i gave budgeting a serious thought, and this time, priorities should be read as priorities (okey, so separate the "needs" from "wants").

when i listed down my daily and other petty expenses, nanlaki mata ko that i am spending so much on movies (like almost P500 a week), transportation (taxi araw-araw?) and eating out. if i want to pursue my plan of getting a house of my own, unabated spending like these should be controlled, if not eliminated.

at first, it was hard. and i mean really hard. it's like having a withdrawal syndrome, or like having yummy food on your plate but you're not allowed to touch it, much more eat it. i am depriving myself of an almost daily dose of watching movie/s, the comfort of taxi ride, i thought i was being hard on myself. but, as our parents would always tell us, roads to your dreams are never easy, kasama ang sakripisyo dyan.

and sacrifice i did.

i learned how to control my movie watching habit, taxi is now only an option when i am in a hurry. eating out? still do that, but you can eat out without spending so much, i am spending for the food not for the ambiance, and besides, andaming pwedeng idiscover na murang kainan. in other words, i learned how to be practical with life.

the complete turnaround was a good decision, i was able to go with my plan and slowly i am reaping the fruits of my little sacrifice. if i didn't do this, i don't know if i can buy some things for the house, or for myself or if i can have savings at all (well, i still don't have, but at least i am seeing where my supposedly savings are going).

the road is not really that well-paved, there are some bumps here and there, i took those bumps as a sign to slow down and eventually they will pass and off you go running again.

the payday is nearing again, do i hear complains that you won't have enough to save? baka naman you are really spending so much on something not needed. cmon, sit and list down your expenses and compared them with the amount you are getting, and oh, that starbucks coffee is really expensive, try something else. :)

i am not an expert on this, i just write based on experience (and pains).

how about you?

43 comments:

watson said...

That's your living room, Zherwin? Ang homey naman! Guilty ako dyan sa getting more taxi rides than I really need (palagi kasing late magising!) and eating out (tinatamad nang magluto pag-uwi ng 8-9PM). I need more resolve to really save up.

~wickedlysexy, c",) said...

hey, you have a very nice living room.
ako din, when I got married I make it a point to write down every single cent that we spend para alam namin kung san napupunta pinaghirapan namin kitain na money...medyo,impulsive buyer kasi ako eh!(my hubby is reacting, hindi daw medyo talagang impulsive buyer daw ako!)


hey, my profile is updated na with my email addy?

jho said...

Ganda naman ng Living Room.

Kailangan talagang ihiwalay natin ang NEEDS sa WANTS. Kasi kung hindi, pupulutin ka sa kangkungan.

Commute ako everyday. May mga nagtatanong bakit ako hindi nagdadala ng sasakayan, my answer: MAHAL ANG GASOLINA. Yung Php500 na gasoline ko for a day, 1 week ko na pamasahe yun.

Occasionally with friends ang mga gimik-gimik (meaning: kumakain sa labas - lunch dapat).

jho said...

dagdag pa nga pala. I have this tickler where I write down yung kinita ko and my daily expenses.

kathy said...

That's a great start, Zherwin. Now you're thinking like a family man...malapit na ba? ;) Frugality isn't being kuripot. It's using money wisely. Next you should also start thinking of investing and making your money work hard for you, instead of the other way around. :)

intsik said...

bai!

cool living room! curtain's shade suite every piece there...

alone ka pa diyan bro?

actually, im giving up on spending (except for cds). movies are limite dto those which would really require widescreen experience. hehehe

and as for food, goodbye fine dining. although i miss steaks already... huhuhu

good for friend! really cool place there.

atticus said...

hmmm...may kontribusyon ako sa topic na ito. pasensiya na po, pasintabi po.

http://mayamanako.blogspot.com/search?q=capacity+to+buy+fish

Gina said...

Not living beyond our means is something that hubby and I follow.

It's smart what you are doing Zherwin. Cutting back on some luxuries and making do, because in the long run, you would have saved considerably , or spent the money on something worthwhile.

So keep it up, Zherwin!

zherwin said...

watson, yes, it's my little living room.

nakatulong din naman yung parati kong pagsakay dati ng taxi kasi ngayon me idea ako kung nandaraya yung driver o hindi. :D

zherwin said...

wickedlysexy, thank you.

ang ginagawa ko ngayon is not to bring a lot of money (as if marami ako nun hehe) kapag magagawi ng mall.

i sent you the email na kahapon. :D

zherwin said...

jho, thank you din.

kung nag-iisa kang nagbabyahe (katulad ko), hindi practical na magdala ng kotse araw-araw, pero kung me kasabay ka o di kaya carpooling ang drama, mas matipid naman yun.

ay, wala pa pala akong kotse kaya no choice kundi mag-commute hehehe. :D

zherwin said...

hi kathy, alam mo i'm planning to invest on something early next year, now that lyn is already familiar with how to play with investments (stocks, funds, etc), we agreed to try it, excited na nga ako. :)

zherwin said...

intsik, yes, nag-iisa pa rin ako jan.

i don't really like the curtain hehehe, pampalit lang kasi sya. alam mo bang wala akong alam sa interior designing pero medyo natuto ako dahil sa unit na kinuha ko? sabi sa mga home improvement websites, dapat daw me flow o continuity yung colors hehehe. i think the color of the tiles did the magic, and i am always, always into brown. :)

zherwin said...

atticus, mas okey nga yung pagkakasulat mo eh and i like the "Don't, never, get a mistress." hehehe. :)

zherwin said...

gina, thanks. i think it's what everyone should do, at first it's going to be hard but eventually, if you have the will, you'll get used to it. :D

carlotta said...

hayyy, sana naman matuto na rin ako mag-ipon. hindi naman ako magastos dahil bahay-office-bahay ako most of the week at every other friday lang ako lumalabas with friends. pero parang tubig parin ang aking sweldo waaa.

salamat sa pagshare ng tips =)

zherwin said...

hi carlotta, try mo ilista expenses mo, lahat ha (kasama ang maxx o halls candy), and you might be surprised na minsan yung petty expenses din ang malaki kapag pinagsama-sama. :D

angel directo said...

hmmmm. my take is we're earning too little. un lang iyon e hayyyy. im sooo poor :) hehehe

but seriously, tama ka. disiplina lang talaga ang kailangan

yatot said...

your leaving on your own na? ang ganda ng bahay slash apartment ba yun, huh? hehhehe...

nice tips! gagawin ko iyan when i get older and ready to live alone... may nag-aaral pa kasi sa amin so being independent is very much impossible!

thanks for dropping by nga pala at commenting na din! (^_^) V

Gypsy said...

Hmm...good tip! I actually do expense tracking too..and pareho tayo, I actually spend too much on movies (or buying DVDs!).

snglguy said...

Another tip to earn that extra income, kumuha ka ng sideline. Di ba accountant ka? There are small-time business people who need help in balancing their books... :-)

Anyways, ganda ng sala mo, show us the bedroom naman!

ladybug said...

I tried to live within a budget pero ang hirap talaga....sarap manood ng sine eh...hahaha! Good luck! :-D I hope you can fulfill your dream of owning your own house someday. Ako din, yun ang pangarap ko para sa sarili ok.

intsik said...

brown? really?! i never thought brown to be a decorative or fancy color. ngayon ko lang talaga na appreciate xa. kasi when i think of brown, id rather go blood red or maroon.

but what u did to ur house is really amazing. pampalit? so whats the orig curtain color diyan?

pag may girl na diyan, di na xa mahihirapang mag-ayos niyan. in fact, she doesn't have to change a bit. from what i see, it is comforting already.

Belle said...

way to go Zherwin! good job! see what you have accomplished so far? nice and cosy living room. i love the colors and the looks of it. atta boy!

even i had my house paid for, cars paid for, no debts whatsoever, am still watching what i spend. i don't eat out often, once or twice a month in a not so expensive resto, i don't watch movie in a theater, i am contented of watching movies on tv. am also helping my relatives din kasi in the province so part of my salary goes to them.

Major Tom said...

It's good that 'budgetting' works for you so well---I have been trying for the longest time to be good at it and see results, but so far, I did not fared as good as you...

vernaloo said...

so magkano ang kurtina na yellow? hehehe loko lang..ganda bahay zherwin o...ganda kurtina hehe

hmmmm lemme see..ano nga ba pinag-gagastahan ko?

shoes?--nahh!
clothes?--nahh!
pirated dvds?--nah!

I'm such a big fat liar noh?!

p.s.
uy gusto ko yung yellow na kurtina ha...i was just messing hehe defensive lol

Mon said...

yup, I agree with you bro, kailangan talaga ang well laid out plan if you are to succeed with your finances.

ang ganda ng bahay tol -- mukhang iba na nga yata ang iniisip mo tol, delikado yan. hahahaha

lady cess said...

cheers to you zherwin. youre experiencing the benefits of being vigilant with your finances. your gf/future wife and future kids will be so fortunate to have you for their haligi ng tahanan. keep it up.

Abaniko said...

Instead of going to the moviesw, what about borrowing dvd's instead? :)

Ferdz said...

Wow! Congrats zherwin at meron ka na rin palang sariling bahay. Mabuti naman at naging financially literate ka ng maaga at gumastos ka more on assets and not much on luxury.

Ngayon kelangan mo na lang ng additional passiv cashflow. teka nag so sound richdad/poordad ako dito. haha

pero magandang example ka na not too spend so much on temporary luxuries. Although yes we can enjoy ourselves spending once a while, maging aware lang tayo sa mga gastusin natin.

zherwin said...

angel directo, ganun din ang reasoning ko dati, pero kapag nadagdagan ng konti yung sweldo mo nadadagdagan din ang gastos hehe, so tiis-tiis na lang hehe. :D

zherwin said...

yatot, oo, eversince magtrabaho ako, on my own nako, pero sa bahay magto-two years na. :D balik ka ulit. :)

zherwin said...

gypsy, yun lang siguro ang bisyo ko(kung bisyo syang matatawag hehe).

zherwin said...

sngl, dati nakisabay ako sa friend ko sa ganyang sideline, di ko rin natagalan kasi napakadugo! nasa events management kami ngayon so me konting sideline din...

bedroom? naku, saka na lang pag maayos na sya hehe.

zherwin said...

ladybug, a few more years nasa pangalan ko na sya, for now tipid-tipid muna dahil sa amortization.

masarap talaga manuod ng sine, just this weekend nakatatlo ako sa cinemalaya (bitin pa yun ha hehe)

zherwin said...

intsik, wala kasing problema sa brown eh, para syang black na pwedeng bagayan ng lahat ng kulay.

yung orig na curtain mix na green at yellow (na medyo pale tingnan), si lyn ang pumili nun para bagay daw sa sofa at mas okey sya. :D

zherwin said...

thanks belle, you're so generous kaya lalong dumadami blessings mo. i really admire you for helping other people. :)

zherwin said...

major tom, uhm, well not exactly good but at least i was able to control some, sabi nga old habits are hard to break that's why from time to time, i still give in to movies and books and cd's :)

zherwin said...

verns, expected ko na yang reaction mo sa yellow curtain hahaha at mura lang sya, sa tiange sa quezon ko pa nabili yan! hehe

zherwin said...

mon, delikado ba? hahaha, naalala ko tuloy yung movie na The Bachelor na kapag nababanggit yung "future" parang nagkakatakutan silang magkakabarkada hehe, kapag bro, wag mo akong takutin hahaha.

zherwin said...

thanks lady cess, actually lately ko lang naisip that i should have done this earlier. pero okey lang at least i didn't deprive myself of experiencing splurging on things i like. :D

zherwin said...

abaniko, i also do that but there are movies better seen on the big screen (e.g. Transformers, The Simpsons? hehe) at late din kasi ang dating nung ibang titles, pero ibang usapan kapag pirated hehehe

zherwin said...

ferdz, exactly. sabi ko nga dapat ginawa ko na to noon pa pero no regrets, nag-enjoy din naman ako. :D

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