Experts say that saving money is both an art and science.
It is an art, as one should posses the right attitude and discipline to save. It is a science, as it involves careful planning, a little bit mathematics, and common sense to prioritize things and eventually save.
In an event last November 14th in Makati City, invited members of the media were treated to the exclusive Insular Life’s Table of Absolute Dreamers get-together.
Aimed at bringing awareness to financial literacy a notch higher, Insular Life launches their Finance Manager app (available in both Google Play Store and Apple App Store) during the said event. With the use of this app, Insular Life hopes in eliminating the unproductive cycle wherein people who intend to save ends up losing their enthusiasm and fails in reaching their dreams, their goals.
I obliged and volunteered myself to be part of an 11-day challenge to see if I will be able to save with the help of the Insular Life Finance Manager app. From November 14th until the 25th, I have the following self-imposed budget:
|Phone & Data||PHP1,000|
Rationale for the budget:
- FOOD: not that I am a foodie, but my mantra is “eat when you’re hungry” and my friends know that I am one such hard person to feed. Not that I have many restrictions, let’s just put it this way: I hate eating some kinds of food (i.e. veggies, veggies, veggies). I allocated PHP350 per day as my allowance for food (while outside home) during the course of the challenge.
- GROCERIES: our weekly household allowance for groceries along is around PHP5,000. I am budgeting a total of PHP10,000 for this challenge to cover around two (02) weeks worth of supplies at home.
- TRANSPORTATION: my business requires me to be several places daily. Recently, you may consider an avid fan of app-based transport network. Thus, I am allocating PHP4,000 as transportation allowance during this challenge, taking note of a scheduled out-of-town trip 600 kilometers away from Manila.
- PHONE & DATA: while maintaining a postpaid line (mainly for calls), I still have a prepaid mobile number for data purposes. I am setting aside PHP1,000 for the duration of this challenge for data sachet purchasing purposes.
- UTILITIES: a monthly necessary evil. We need to pay MERALCO, MAYNILAD, etc for the electricity, water, and anything else we consume, monthly.
- OTHER EXPENSES: life is full of surprises. My friends and colleagues know me as someone who always have a Plan B. Thus, I am budgeting a sum of PHP2,000 as contingency fund.
This is how it looks like in the app:
People say you need some motivation so that you will persevere in saving up. For this challenge, I wish know if I will be able to save up to buy a replacement battery for my aging Macbook Pro (and we know that Apple parts and accessories ain’t cheap).
So, how did my 11-day challenge went? Here you go…
|Phone & Data||PHP1,000||PHP160||16.00% BELOW|
|Other Expenses||PHP2,000||PHP351.25||17.56% BELOW|
Lessons learned after the challenge:
- I eat a lot! Just kidding ;-) The overage in the budget for FOOD is brought about by lodging under that category the household meals instead of being under GROCERIES.
- Related to the previous point, the actual amount spent under GROCERIES is way under the budget (by around 50%), since food items were lodged under FOOD.
- I can save up some PHP if I will opt to take the public TRANSPORTATION often. These past few days, I learned how to ride (again) the jeepney and the MRT (during off peak hours).
- I managed to save a lot of money from my PHONE & DATA spending by utilizing telco promos and data packages.
- Nothing much we could do with UTILITIES…
- Saving is fun and do-able if there is a tool that can help you make it as a habit.
Thank you to Insular Life for introducing the Finance Manager app and for making me realize that the dream of having a “Magandang Araw” is not impossible!