The year is about to end and you’re currently auditing all of your savings and expenditures for this year. There is nothing bad about this. It’s just normal after all to analyze whether you have made any financial mistakes this year, what may have caused it, and what may be done to revert that mistake to financial success. Moreover, we Filipinos are conscious and alert when it comes to all things financial, whether towards saving (discounts, promos) or spending (night outs, gadgets, food), which is why we listed down a few factors to consider in preparing yourself financially for the new year. Take note that the following would not be achieved without self-control, which is why strategy and discipline go hand in hand when it comes to financial stability:
1. How much did I spend this year alone?
Food, transportation allowance, house rent, and utility bills are just some of the major expenditures of an average person. While these things are the usual responsibilities of people in their lifestyle, sometimes, they tend to spend much more than they should. Night outs for example incur about P500-P1,000 worth of food and drinks, perhaps even twice or thrice the amount of what you spend on food and beverage on a normal basis. This is why you should list down your expenses, whether on a regular day or not, to identify what may be eating up your allowance, or worse, your savings and be more aware of what you can do the next time you encounter such concern.
2. How much did I save?
Whether big or small, knowing your savings is important as well, as it helps you identify what you need to do in order to save more in the upcoming year.
3. How much do I spend for myself alone?
It’s one thing to spend for the bills, but another to spend on your personal needs and wants. Grooming charges such as haircuts may be a minor thing to consider when auditing your expenses, however, try to remember how many times you had a haircut in one this year alone. An average local barbershop charges P35, so if you groom every 3 months, multiply that by four and you have yourself P140 worth of haircut expenses. It may seem small, but this amount already has a big impact on your budget. Knowing this helps you find alternatives to be able to save up. If you work in a company with no strict haircut policy, you may cut down your haircut charges by either finding a more affordable barbershop, or perhaps getting cut every four months instead of the usual three.
4. How much do I spend for other people?
It’s okay to spend for your family, friends, and loved ones. It is a common part of Filipino culture to help others, even financially. However, one must also learn to say no. If someone were to borrow cash, analyze your budget and how this will greatly affect your bill paying. If it would hinder you from paying this month’s electricity bill, resulting to a blackout, you might as well just have kept and used the amount to pay bills. It is not to say that you shouldn’t share. However, also consider your options when it comes to stabilizing yourself financially.
5. If you happen to save a few amounts in your bank account, remember not to withdraw any amount at all.
This is due to the very obvious reason that you need to save. Whether you had saved big or small, do not ever touch it, except for emergency purposes. It may be tempting to buy new gadgets, but always remember that the needs should always come first, never the wants. This would bring us to the next important factor…
6. Planning to buy a new gadget or item? Consider function over fashion.
What better way to financially prepare for next year than not having to spend for anything that came out this year? Cellphones are a perfect example for this, seeing that they get outdated after a year, and then get replaced with a new one with much better features. If you are planning to buy something new, ask yourself if you’d really need it, if not, just keep on saving for next year, until such time that you would come across an item that would really tend to your needs.
7. Own a car? Get insurance then.
Spending for something is one thing, but what happens if someone damages or destroys your beloved possession? A car is no different. You may be a great driver, unfortunately, others do not share the same ability and skills. People encounter accidents on the road, which is why you should avail of car insurance, to avoid spending a lot for the damage to your car (and worst case scenario, spending a lot for your injuries as well).
8. Reduce utility charges by going for items which are environmental friendly.
Electricity charges take up a majority of our monthly bills. This is a common truth among us Filipinos, hence we should switch to appliances which only feed on minimal energy. Light bulbs, for example, should be replaced with their fluorescent counterparts as they consume lesser energy. There are also certain brands or air-conditioning units and refrigerators that offer the same feature and are much more affordable than normal units. If you plan to save more for next year, consider replacing a few of your belongings that are high-maintenance.
9. Sell the things that you wouldn’t need any more in the upcoming year.
If you plan on reducing the junk in your home, why not organize a garage sale. A new year deserves a new beginning. Hence, selling a few unneeded gadgets, appliances, or even furniture will not only provide you with a breath of fresh air; it would also enable you to earn a few cash in the process, enough to get you through the first few weeks of the new year. Much better, if you plan on not touching the proceeds from your mini garage sale, you may even keep it until your savings pile up all throughout next year.
10. Pay your taxes.
This may sound like an advice which seems out of place from this list, however, paying your taxes is one major thing you shouldn’t leave off this year, unless you want to suffer the huge penalties next year. You may hear news of celebrities, athletes, and even politicians being chased by the BIR due to failure of paying their taxes. They even have to settle their concern by the millions, so just imagine if the same thing were to happen to you. You wouldn’t be financially stable midway into the New Year just because of tax penalties alone. Pay now, save later.
After following our tips, you may still find yourself having trouble within the first few weeks, but it’s normal, as with other routines being practiced at first. With that in mind, you may want to provide cushion to your starter budget in the first month of the New Year. No worries as Cebuana Lhuillier has got you covered. With their Micro-Loan Services, reaching out for assistance is never a hassle, due to their simple application process, easy terms, and fewer requirements, cutting long lines and long waiting time. With a network of over 1,800 Cebuana Lhuillier branches and online presence, you are given unlimited access and utter convenience in applying for a loan. Their five-point application to disbursement process ensures services are delivered on time. So what are you waiting for? Visit your nearest Cebuana Lhuillier branch now – we assure a fast, easy and secure transaction.