We hope 2016 is going well for all of you so far. In many ways, it is for us—we finally got Netflix, we're just a few months short of losing our shit over all the upcoming big blockbusters, UFC bantamweight champ Holly Holm finally gets to defend her title, and we hooked up with Jennylyn again!
It's gonna be a good year...but only if you're ready to take on new and better habits, especially when it comes to your finances. You'll need money to see, hold, and enjoy all the things we just mentioned and more; and you can't do diddly squat if you ain't got the cash. Hell, everything requires money these days. And that's a fact.
Since we don't want any of our fellow bros to go broke, we've come up with five money resolutions that should help you save up, or stretch the money you already have.
Read on and have a prosperous 2016...and beyond!
Be more disciplined when it comes to finances
It's time we become more disciplined with our finances, and to live within our means. Set a reasonable budget for the coming months, limit your expenses, take out or reduce non-essential costs, and be ruthless in doing so.
Basically: No means NO, guys! (And that goes for other things as well.) Stick only to what you really need. Those new kicks, all the awesome games on Steam, that trendy bar with the astronomical costs for basic food and cocktails? Think about splurging really hard first. If it doesn't directly affect your overall welfare and financial standing or those of your loved ones, it can definitely wait.
Always set something aside
We've said this before (specifically, here and here), and we'll obviously say it again. Whenever you get your monthly salary, project fee, or a big windfall, always separate a fraction of that money for emergencies, or for different funds. The "envelope budgeting system" (read about it here) is a good example of what you can do with that saved money, although you can do online bank transfers as well.
Don't spend all that cash on gizmos that'll become obsolete in a couple of years, overpriced goods meant to make you look rich, or low-quality stuff that'll get ruined in a few weeks. When the time comes to spend on the important things, you won't be caught off-guard.
Remember your barya!
Now that the New Design Series peso bills aren't legal tender anymore, we got to thinking about all the old containers where we stashed spare change. They're still usable, and they'll keep you from reaching for your New Generation Currency peso bills for longer. Don't worry about paying sari-sari stores in coins; they'll probably love you even more if you do that.
On a related note, if you're not particularly fond of coins, don't throw them away. Store them in a nice container, and continue doing so every time you have coins or find them with no obvious owners around. Trust us: If you make this a habit, that piggy bank of yours will grow heavy in no time. Emergency funds!
Look for the free stuff and practice loyalty
Take a closer look at those movie tickets, your credit card statements, the stickers and brochures that groceries hand out during payments, or the list of perks from the various customer loyalty programs you're enrolled in. You'll see a lot of stuff being offered at no extra cost to you, from free meals, free products and services to accumulated points for future purchases.
Your wallet takes a break for once; you get to enjoy with minimal to no expense. That's a good deal, yes? And these can really come in handy when money's tight. From our own experience, we've been able to buy several mid-sized bags' worth of groceries and a month's supply of prescribed medication only with accumulated customer points. We've also availed of free meals and desserts with the coupons most people just ignore and throw away. Being a longtime repeat customer wielding loyalty cards can be good for some things, after all.
Be a slasher
Speaking of coupons and discounts, don't forget about all those online discount sites (e.g. Ensogo.com, Dealgrocer.com) that have become such a big deal in the past few years. If you really have to shell out for luxuries, you might as well take the discounted route. The more established and positively reviewed discount sites still list pretty good and enticing promos for dining, travel, shopping, relaxation, and entertainment, so keep an eye out for them.
Don't take everything at face value
Then again, just because an online seller says it's discounted doesn't mean it's true or it's a nice deal. Check every online deal's terms and conditions and listed price, then check against the merchant's official website for the actual price. Sometimes, the seemingly huge discount is actually insignificant.
The same goes for everything else you plan to buy. Check all of the manufacturer's claims, see if the product has everything you need, and know if that product truly has bang-for-the-buck value. It's easy to fall for marketing spiels and false numbers, but realizing that you paid more than what you should have? Never.
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