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6 Unavoidable Expenses to Plan For this 2019

As a new year dawns, so are we faced with new expenses. Problems from 2018 will unfortunately continue to affect us this 2019 and we can do little but brace ourselves and prepare.

Sin Tax

Starting January 2019, the prices of tobacco and alcohol will go up. While these are technically expenses that could (and should) be avoided, how many people can honestly go cold turkey?

Something like that is near impossible for long-time smokers due to their bodies’ reliance on the nicotine they’ve gotten used to, and even those who drink recreationally will find it hard to break old habits.

If you plan your budget for 2019 without planning for the eventuality of slipups, you might end up stressing yourself even more and then end up overindulging your vices in an attempt to forget about your money problems.

Give yourself some breathing room to fail. Just make sure that you actually do your best to avoid these money-sink vices.


If you’re still in school or you have kids, this one will be one of your priorities just behind basic living necessities. Look at your finances to see if you can pay per quarter, semester, or year. Check if the schools have payment plans you can take advantage of to make your budgeting easier. Then start planning.

As you know, tuition fees tend to rise every year, so take that into account. The best way to make sure you have enough to pay for tuition is by putting away a certain amount of money every payday like how you would with your savings.

Basic Necessities – Rice

During the latter part of 2018, there were several reports of running out of affordable NFA rice. Now this could be because people were preparing for Noche Buena, but it could also be a symptom of a rice shortage. Just in case, you should keep a few pesos handy on the off chance you go to the market and find they’re out of NFA rice.

Increase in Oil Prices

With Russia’s decision to reduce their oil production in the upcoming year, there’s a very high chance that oil prices will rise as the supply goes down. That means the prices of fuel and LPG will also increase. We might see an uptake in the prices of many goods and services in 2019.

Electric Bill Increase

When you saw your electric bill for December 2018, you might have been surprised. Starting December, Meralco increased their rates by P0.09/kwh, which means an average increase of P45.00 for residential customers.

This is because the price of electricity in the Philippines is dependent on the price of the gas needed to run the plants. While there were several rollbacks during the latter half of 2018, the overall price of gas went up. And it’s only expected to rise some more this year because of the excise tax and Russia’s decision to cut back on their oil production.

So expect higher electric bills this 2019.

Water Bill Increase

On January 1, 2018, the new rate for water will take effect.

Maynilad – Residential30 cubic metersP41.02
Maynilad – Semi-business30 cubic metersP50.31
Manila Water – Residential30 cubic metersP14.99
Manila Water – Semi-business30 cubic metersP18.48

* 1 cubic meter = 1000 liters

While residential customers will only experience a minimal change, those who run businesses from their homes will probably see a considerable increase in their first water bill in 2019.

It may be overwhelming to see how many added expenses we need to plan for, many coming from basic goods and services that are necessary in our everyday lives. However, we Filipinos are nothing but persevering in the face of challenges. Let’s tighten our belts this 2019 and have faith that things will improve.

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