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Saturday, February 20, 2021

How To Budget Wisely This 2021?

 2020 shocked everyone with the Covid19 Pandemic started all over the world. We've experienced strict lockdowns, major changes in the workplace, in schools, and more. A lot of businesses, big or small, have closed down or laid off many employees. If you or a family member, unfortunately, get the virus or be hospitalized due to other circumstances, I'm sure the bills just skyrocketed for you and drained every bit of money you have. 


This year, 2021, a sliver of hope is upon us with the Vaccine for Covid19 is starting to be distributed(as for the Philippines, it's around 3rd quarter this year). With this, restrictions/lockdowns have been lifted or modified and businesses have started operating again and the economy is on track to recovery. 


It's not bad to be prepared for the worst. That is why BUDGETING is really important and here are some tips on how to budget wisely this 2021.


Tip # 1: INCOME - SAVINGS = EXPENSE

This has been around for quite some time and while it is quite difficult to do. It is better to prioritize savings even more during these trying times. So how can you do it?
  • Set a fixed amount that you want to save during your paydays
    • You can start small and gradually increase it if your expenses allow it
  • List down all of your expenses
    • Utility Bills (Internet, Mobile phone load/plan, electricity, water, etc)
    • Debt (Credit Card Bills, GCredit, etc)
    • Groceries (either monthly or bi-monthly)
    • Other expenses you may have (Subscription services, etc)
  • Compute Using the formula (Income - Savings = Expense 
After computing this, you will have a baseline of whether the amount you can save is viable or not.
If it's not viable what can you do?

Tip # 2: Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Most of us are working from home right now which means a chunk of our budget for commuting and other expenses that we normally have, has been freed up now. However, being work from home does not mean you did not incur any additional expenses.

Here are some of the expenses that you may reduce/cut to increase your saving capabilities and have a better budget allocation:

  • Application-Specific Subscriptions
    • Netflix
    • Spotify
    • etc.
  • Food Deliveries
    • It would be cheaper to actually cook than do food deliveries(especially if cooking for a family)
    • You also improve on your cooking skills ;) 
  • Online Shopping
    • Yes, there are a lot of sales from online shopping apps, but see if what you're shopping for is actually a need or just a want. 
    • Try setting a HARD LIMIT to your shopping budget :)
    • You may also opt to only buy on ONE SALE EVENT PER YEAR. Probably need a strong discipline for this one, but super helpful if you can pull it off. 

Tip # 3: STAY AT HOME

Yes, staying at home can help you reduce your expenses all while helping not to spread the COVID19 Virus. 
Restrictions/Lockdowns are kinda loose nowadays, but that doesn't mean you should already be going out and about and risking not only your personal health but also your family's health when going out. 

COVID19 is still here and variants are even beginning to appear. 

I know it's your life and your rules, but think about it for real. If you go out, you spend more because of the following:
  • Gas expenses if you go out using your cars
  • GrabCar/Commuting expenses
  • Food expenses when dining on restaurants/fast food
  • etc.
I know it sucks and we all want that old normal we once have. I want to travel as well, even just on close destinations like Batangas or Laguna, but the risk, for me, is not worth it. At least until we for sure know that the virus is not life-threatening anymore. 

As an alternative, you can still enjoy time with your families at home. Top of my mind right now are the following activities you can do with friends/family at home:
  • Movie Dates
    • Make a "home" theater experience using your TV or a cheap projector(if you have one)
    • Buy ready to cook snacks like popcorn or buy chips at the grocery
    • If you want to do this with friends or family from afar, use DISCORD and watch the movie together while on a Discord Call <3 
  • Play Games!
    • If you have a PS4/PS5 or other consoles, play with your family
    • If you're on PC, play online games with friends/family
    • There are also mobile games that your friends/family from afar can join you with! 
  • Work Out!
    • Improve your health and enjoy the workouts with your family at home
    • No equipment needed, you can do bodyweight exercises or look up some DIY workouts on Youtube
    • Make an accountability group with friends/family and do online workouts together via videocalls :D

Tip # 4: Make A New Income Stream

Now, this tip requires more effort, especially if you also have a full-time job but I do recommend this if you are up for it and would like to add more to the INCOME part of the formula and can help you save more. 

There are a lot of ways to earn right now just from doing it at home.
  • Offering your skills as a freelancer
    • This can be related to either your current profession or a hobby that you're actually good at
    • Some ideas are Social Media Management, IT Skills, typing jobs, coding, photo editing, video editing, etc.
  • Start an online business
    • Find a product that you can resell in your area with a small capital
    • Maybe find a supplier that lets you just send orders to them and they do all the shipping
    • Or maybe sell via Lazada or Shopee
  • Start a Content Creation business
    • Blogging/Vlogging
    • Streaming
    • IG/Tiktok Content
Again, as mentioned, these are not "get rich quick" stuff. These require effort and time to become a really good supplement to your budget but if you do it right, you'll be able to save more for your future needs. :)

Tip # 5: Plan And Track Your Budget

Planning your budget ahead and creating a system that you can easily follow is a good way to budget your money and be able to save for the future while taking care of your responsibilities. Keeping track of your budget via Apps or simple excel sheets monthly can also help you monitor where your money goes and what spending habits you can curb to help you achieve your financial goals :)

There are a lot of apps for IOS and Android for this. You may also search for google sheets/excel templates that you can use. 

I'll update this post or link to a new post regarding my own expense/investment tracker so be sure to check back from time to time :)

Anyway, some apps that you can try:
I've tried out Spendee before, but not extensively as I made my own tracker via google sheets that I can replicate on a monthly basis. But do feel free to try it as well. :)

Next steps..

Hopefully, upon reading these broad tips you get an idea of how you can budget wisely this 2021 and take control of your finances to achieve your financial goals. What's next? We will dive a little deeper into some of these tips and bring you more actionable things that you can apply to further help you on your financial journey.

Budgeting is such an essential part of this journey as this gives you the resources for the next phases and also give you peace of mind during these trying times. 

Personally, I'm also still trying to improve on this aspect and always on the lookout for ways to refine my strategies and whatnot. I'll share more on the My Journey section of my blog. 

If you've reached this far, thank you for reading! 

Share this with friends and family and be sure to check back every now and then for more tips like this!

Feel free to follow me on my social media! I'll be posting content there as well! :)
Tiktok: coming soon ;) 


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