Let's Have Some Funds: 7 Ways On How To Manage Our Finances Efficiently

Managing our finances is part of our daily life. It can either be a piece of cake or a struggle. As for me, it can be both. How we manage our finances today will determine how we are going to live in the future. When do we need to start managing our finances efficiently? I say, WE START RIGHT NOW.

Last week, we attended the #SunlifeFUNday: Let's Have Some Funds event. Mark Bonifacio and JB Fabian were the guest speakers. Here are the tips I learned on how to manage our finances, especially for millennials like me.

7 Ways On How To Manage Our Finances

1. Create a realistic budget and stick to it.

I am lucky because I am still living with my mom which means I get to enjoy my salary all to myself. Maybe I am enjoying too much because at the end of the day, I would ask myself: "WHERE DID MY MONEY GO?" That is when I realized that I need to do something.

  • List down all your expenses- down to the last centavo. I do this when I go traveling so that I can control my budget for the trip. So why not do this everyday? You can keep a notebook or use your journal to track your daily expenses. Whenever you spend on something, you can list it down on your Notes app on your cellphone then transfer it to your notebook when you have time.
  • Set aside your savings before anything else. Normally, we would spend our allowance/salary and whatever remains will be put to savings. That is, if you did not spend all your money yet. Haha! Here is the right thing to do: secure 10-20% of your income to your savings before spending on anything. I swear, you will not regret it.
  • Establish an emergency fund. This is the type of fund that we wish would not be put to use. For example, when a family member gets sick. Of course, we do not want that to happen. More so, we do not want to be unprepared if these kind of situations arise. The ideal emergency fund is 3-6 months worth of your salary.
  • Spend LESS than you earn. As simple as that. Ball is in your court.

2. Find ways to earn more!

Do not settle with one source of income. Do more and earn more! There are a lot of ways to earn more money. You just have to explore your options and manage your time wisely. You can try a part-time job (there are a lot of opportunities online), make use of your skills and talents, go online selling, small business or invest in stocks. This will also help you gain knowledge and experience.

3. Pay your debts and avoid using your credit card.

Prioritize the interest-bearing debts and settle those as soon as possible. Those extra money you pay for the interest or penalties can be used for other useful things. No matter how small it is, it is still money and you worked hard for it, hun.

I do not have a credit card and I do not think I need one. The idea of it will only be a burden or temptation to me which will more likely result to additional expenses. Haha! I remember that I almost asked my dad if I could use his credit card to buy a camera. I thought for a while and realized that I can save up for it in less than 2 months. I challenged myself and I succeeded! As long as you have goals and you work for it, you can do it!

For people who have credit cards, take care of your credit score. Make sure to pay on time and go for lower interest rates. Do not just swipe and buy things you could not otherwise afford.

4. Examine your bills and subscriptions.

Again and again, pay your bills on time. It will give you peace of mind. You can examine your bills to know where your money goes. If you are curious about something, you can ask the customer service to help you. Maybe there are subscriptions you do not use or fees that can be waived.

5. Be wise and disciplined. Stop bad spending habits.

Afterall, no one can dictate you on how you should spend your money. The only enemy you have is yourself. Here are some bad spending habits that you might be guilty of:
  • Emotional and Impulsive buying- Okay... we are still in number one and I am already guilty of this. Haha good luck to me. Do you ever get sad and think that shopping is the only therapy you need to feel better? Have you ever splurged on shopping just because they were on sale? If so, how often? I never forget to reward myself after a hard work. Guuurl, I deserve it! I do not like asking money from my parents and I do not have a boyfriend, so the only person who can spoil me is MYSELF. For me, it is nice to treat yourself once in a while. I mean it makes you happy and motivated so why not? You just have to do it in moderation. Too much of anything is bad ya know...
  • Lending money to friends and family often. I have a couple of bad experiences about this. I won't forget what my dad told me during that time: "If you want to lend money to someone, make sure you won't feel bad if they will not pay you back. Think of it as a gift to them, otherwise do not do it. You will only be disappointed, or worse, it will ruin your relationship with them." And I could not agree more. Help people who are in need and not those lazy ones. Set also a limit not only to them but also to yourself.
  • Investing in the unknown. In investment, the higher the level of risk means greater potential return. While this is true, make sure you are making a smart investment. It is crucial to invest your money to things that are up in the air or allegedly scams.

6. Invest in yourself and set SMART goals!

  • Education/Training- acquiring new skills and having a higher education will help you find a better paying job. Learn as much as you can.
  • Read books- You will learn a lot from it. Here are some books I can recommend: "The Millionare Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko, "The Investment Answer" by Daniel Goldie and Gordon Murray, and "The Psychology of Investing" by John Nofsinger.
  • Travel- MY FAVORITE PART! Haha. It feels nice to travel for free aka sponsored by parents. And it is more fulfilling and meaningful when it comes from your own pocket. It is true that you can learn a lot from your travel experiences. From saving money to afford those plane tickets, patience in dealing flight delays, budgeting during the trip, social skills in meeting new people, learning different cultures, the list goes on... If there is one thing I would never stop doing, it is traveling.
  • SMART goals. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

7. Insurance.

We are talking about saving for the future here. Not anyone else's, but you and your family's future. This is to secure a safety net against risk of illness, accident, and death. Maybe it seems distant to matter, or it may be too overwhelming especially for us millennials. However, the earlier you start saving, the more money you will have later on. Start as early as you can! Consult your Sunlife Financial Advisor today for your financial plan. Hint: they have good offers tailored for young entrepreneurs and professionals like us! You can message them on Facebook:Sun Life Financial Philippines.

"Let's start a partnership and pave the way for a brighter life!" -SunLife Financial Philippines


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