Working with a tiny budget is not as impossible as you may think. Even if you account for your daily but necessary expenses like commute and lunch money, it is still possible for you to set more money aside as long as you’re resourceful. What can you do to limit your spending as much as possible? Are there any expenses that you can avoid altogether? For a sample reference, check out our tipid tips below:

1. Problem: Commute woes: Your expenses to and fro work amount to P100 per day.

Solution: Cut your expenses in half by stripping down to the bare essentials. Do you usually take a trike from your house to your village gate? Ask yourself if you really need to take that five-minute jeepney ride from your place to the MRT, and try walking instead. Ditch your usual taxi ride, but if you must, split the fare with a colleague who lives within the same neighborhood.

Expected output: Approximately P50 (from P100 per day)

2. Problem: You can’t function without your coffee.

Solution: Try to barter with your colleagues. Tell your co-worker that you’ll help her with her tasks (provided that you’re already done with your responsibilities) for a good cup of caramel latte. You can also try trading your own prized assets (instant cup noodles, anyone?) for some coffee sachets.

Expected output: None (from P10 to P150 per cup)

3. Problem: The cheapest cafeteria meal is P150.

Solution: Bring baon to work. Buying the ingredients from the grocery is definitely cheaper than paying for a full meal. Don’t have time to pack your own lunch? Arrange a business deal with your sister or any member of the family to do it for you.

Expected output: Roughly P50 for a meal (from P150 per meal)

4. Problem: You need to stay hydrated at work (which costs you around P50-60 for two bottles of water per day).

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Solution: Bring your own tumbler to work and join the water cooler community at the office. Not only will this save you a relatively significant amount of money, but it's also a great way to keep you from buying those prepackaged juices at the nearest convenience store.

Expected output: Around P20-50 per month (from P50-60 per day)

5. Problem: Even after cutting down your work expenses, you ultimately can’t hold on to your money.

Solution: Pay yourself first. Think of yourself as an employee who needs to be paid a certain amount (a.k.a. all your savings) every day. This way, you won’t find yourself thinking of things to spend your money on!

Expected output: None

(Illustration by Sabrina Lajara)

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