The 7-list: Things you can save money on


It's officially 100 days before Christmas!

I think 100 days is enough time to save up on money for presents before all your money goes to other stuff you have to pay for. I've had times wherein I had little to no money at all when I need it and I don't want that to ever happen to me again so I like having a fallback. While I'm still a student, I don't have a huge source of income yet so if I want extra money, I can either work for it or save. I used to work, but it's tough to now that I have a full load in school, so I save. I realized that living in the Philippines can be pretty cheap when you live a frugal lifestyle. Here are a few things I've learned to scrimp on so I can have a little extra for saving or for going out.
1) Transportation

As a general rule, I don't ride cabs unless I absolutely necessarily have to--if I have a lot of stuff , the place cannot be reached by public transport (eg: Lachi's hahaha) or if I go home late. I don't ride cabs anymore even if I'm running late. I still commute to "punish" myself so I'll learn to leave the house earlier. Of course, I'd ride a cab if there was a lot of us headed the same direction since if you factored in the extra cost (vs commuting with 3 other people), it would account for the comfort and less hassle you'd experience.

I used to ride cabs a lot but now I don't ride as much anymore because for one, I know a bulk of their earnings just go to the taxi operator or gas, not a lot go to the driver. So I ride public transport. Advantages are: it saves the earth (not with the smoke but the idea that it's a lot of people taking one transport) and it's dirt cheap. The downside of commuting though is the dirt--when cars pass by and you absorb all their exhaust--and the fact I have to leave at least an hour before I need to meet someone downtown.

2) Water

You've probably read about this a lot online or in magazines: BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE. It not only saves the earth but saves you a lot of money. A water bottle costs around P250 and can last you about 2 years before you'd need to replace it, while the water you use to refill it is free (maybe 1-5php per refill if you're choosy/have a sensitive stomach and just have to get it at one of those special dispensers). This is versus buying a bottle of mineral/distilled water at P10/day, which is about P50/week, P200/month, or P2000/school year or P4000/ 2 school years. Water in Davao's generally clean and potable so what's stopping you? Shelling P250 is only a sixteenth of the P4000 you could possibly save*.

*assuming your bottle lasts 2 years like mine does

3) ATM withdrawal

If you have an ATM card which you regularly withdraw from, only withdraw from your bank's ATM. It saves you P10-15 for every transaction. 

4) Coffee

Although coffee shops are all the rage--for the internet, ambiance, people, whatever reason you have--cutting them off your daily budget or lessening the times you visit them could definitely save you loads of money in the long run. If you go everyday, that's at least P600-750 you spend a week or PhP 2400-3000 you spend a month! Imagine what you could've bought with that. You could get round-trip tickets to somewhere in the Philippines. Aside from that, you get to save calories too!

I only go to coffee shops when I absolutely have to--like when there's no internet at home--or when my friend's paying (HAHA). Other than that, it's something I could do away with.

5) Clothes

I keep saying that looking good doesn't always have to be expensive. And just because your clothes are cheap, doesn't mean you have to look cheap. So do away with those trendy styles you can only wear once. You just have to look, look, look for the best bargains (check where I get my clothes!), wait for sales (the best ones are in January and July--when all the stores make way for their new stocks) and invest in basics. Basics, always. They're your savior!

6) Entertainment

By entertainment, this encompasses movies, books, cellphone, internet and other things that give you enjoyment. Well for movies, I'd hate to promote piracy but for one, make Kickass your best friend. LOL. I used to watch movies a lot, but now I just pick the really big blockbusters and then just download or ask copies for the rest. Instead of going to the mall (and spending on food and transpo, plus having to shower and get dressed...), why not invite your friends over and have a movie marathon, or challenge each other to your favorite video games?

For books, if you can, I recommend waiting a few months to buy the lower priced edition. Or you could go to second-hand bookshops. Or you could borrow. If you can take reading from an electronic device, then download an ebook. Download the Aldiko app and download books. I get mine from They have a lot of the latest books. (Huhu I'm such a bad influence. Sorry authors)

For cellphones, subscribe to a plan or promo that fits your need. I think the promo that allows me to get the most value for my money is Sun Cellular's TU200, although it doesn't get me internet. To me, it's better to just top-up your phone at the beginning of the month than to just keep having to make pa-load. And I also suggest that instead of having to keep upgrading your phone, why don't you just stick to one that answers all your needs and take care of it? If you have money to spare, let me tell you, phones generally aren't a good investment because after you use them, they devalue. Why not just invest the money, buy something that appreciates over time (like jewelry) or save it?

7) Food

junk food talaga yung example no?

With food, it's pretty easy to save. Just do one of these two things:

(aka stop eating a lot LOL)


2) Choose cheaper alternatives

By cheaper alternatives I mean that for starters, you can bring packed meals from home. This is a boon because you control what you put into your body. Another is, avoid eating out too much. My family and I love eating out but we realized it got so costly to spend about 3000 php in one restaurant a week when that could've been spent on groceries which could've lasted a week. I still do eat out with my friends from time to time cause we love trying out new places, but we make sure it's after a grueling week at school or to celebrate exam week and such. Davao has lots of cheap places to eat (you can check's 100-peso challenge).

What did you think about my tips? Maybe you can add one or two of your own.

Hope I helped! :) :) :)


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