It her own words, Jessica Lange beautifully encapsulated the role of a mother: “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.”
Raising kids and maintaining the top shape of your home is a challenging task. Although you desire to spend more money to your beloved ones, money can get tight. This is why you must employ efficient ways to save money.
If your husband is in Australia and you are taking care of your children in the Philippines, you are responsible of keeping the household in tact. If you are an OFW in Australia and seeks to provide a better future for your children back home then, you can send out money strategically.
Devise a Strategic Plan to Save
To kick off your money management journey, start by creating financial goals for the whole family. The list of financial goals will act as a guide when you allocate your money. The goal that you are reaching for can be as small as taking your family out for dinner or as huge as visiting your OFW husband in Australia. Organize these goals based on your priorities.
After designing a layout for your goals, it is time to create a realistic budget. Gather all the information needed to support your last month’s incomes and expenses (e.g., credit card statements or grocery receipts). The data will give you a rough baseline for your initial budget. Subtract your savings.
Then, allocate money for your essential expenses that recurring every month (e.g., mortgages or utility bills). The remainder of the money will go to funding your goals and wants. You deserve a responsible amount of money to splurge on leisure, entertainment, and extracurricular activities!
The problem with most Filipinos is not their motivation to save but, their definition of savings. Money management is a subject that is rarely taught in schools. Our perception of the equation is usually “Salary – Expenses = Savings”. There may be nothing left for you if you kept focusing on expenses.
Hence, it is recommended to pay yourself with at least 20% of your total income. This amount of money must be directly placed in your savings account. You will not only save sufficient money for emergencies but you will also save some for your retirement.
Stay on Top of Your Expenses
Aside from allocating your money properly, you can maximize your wealth by reducing your expenses. Let us face it! It is easier to tighten your expenses category than to wait for the coveted promotion. Here are some suggestions to keep you going:
a. Plan your meals strategically.
The amazing homemakers in the Philippines can map out a strategic plan in the beginning of the week. Planning your weekly meals on Sunday can help you save time, effort, and money. Scribe a grocery list of all the necessary items and ingredients for your recipes. Follow this list diligently to avoid impulse buys.
On the flipside, you can plan your individual meals if you living alone in Australia as an OFW. Bring packed lunches as much as possible to save loads of cash while in the office.
b. Give generics a chance.
It is no secret that you can save more money if you bought the store or generic brand. There are certain products with quality that differ slightly than their famous counterparts. These said products include dry goods such as sugar, salt, and baking soda. You may also invest more on generics when it comes to diapers and cleaning products.
c. Eliminate your cable and landline services.
With the invention of the high-speed smartphones and laptops, do you really need to pay the bills for the television cable and landline services? You can do away with these two if they seem like accessories than necessities. Simply pay the bills for the Internet provider so you can stream your favorite shows online.
d. Patronize the local products and produce.
Whether you are residing in Aussie or Pinas, buying local goods are generally cheaper than patronizing the imported counterparts. Doing so will not only benefit your wallet but also help the country’s economy. Go and hit two birds with one stone!
You and your family can enjoy a whole day of fun without having to break the bank. Simply search for the places that offer free or nearly free entertainment. Start by scouting the parks, libraries, and museums nearby. Check out the newspapers and online ads if there are free events coming up!
The simplest trick to saving money is to never spend the money that you do not have. Living within your means is easier said than done if you do not have a realistic budget in place. This is why you must employ an organized system and allocate your money accordingly.
The rule of thumb dictated by most financial consults is the 50-30-20. At least 20% must go to your savings, 50% must go to your essential expenses, and the remainder is for leisure and wants.