I used to be the WORST when it comes to saving money. I try to save every now and then, but knowing that I still have money in my ATM, I always end up buying things that I want. The worst part is, I don’t just buy average-priced stuff. I’m a gadget-freak (hence the name geeky kat!) so I am always on the lookout for the latest, coolest mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. I also never keep track of the things I buy — as long as there’s still cash in my wallet, I’m gonna burn them all up. My argument was: I worked hard for this so I deserve all the nice things in life. Whatever.
The turning point for me was when I had 100k not too long ago and spent it all in a span of two weeks without buying any expensive gadgets. It was just a regular two week period, I did not even go out that weekend! I was so confused with what happened to my money. I then decided to compute all the bills I paid and the purchases that I remember and it just totaled to about 70k. So where the heck is the other 30k??
It was at that point that I realized I need help.
I got licensed as a financial advisor for Sun Life for the sole purpose of being financially literate. I underwent a rigorous training process and I learned A LOT. It was an eye-opening experience for me and I feel so stupid for getting my shit together this late. But at least I’ve started and that’s what matters right? Now my mission is to convince people to NOT be like me and start making smart choices today.
So as a non-saver/big-spender turned financial advisor, here are my 3 easy tips for the lazies who want to get their shit together and get into the habit of saving:
1. Accept the fact that it’s gonna hurt.
For a lazy person, saving money is painful and it’s a tough pill to swallow. According to financial experts, if you are saving money and you don’t feel it, chances are you are not saving enough. Saving has to be felt so hard that you are forced to change your spending habits. Think of it as an additional monthly expense that you have to commit to every month.
2. Keep track of EVERYTHING.
Get into the habit of tracking your every purchase. From groceries to even candies bought in a sari-sari store. Everything, no matter how cheap it is, counts. At the end of the month, go back through your list and highlight those purchases that you think you can forego moving forward.
Lazy tip: Every time you go out and buy something, get the receipt and take a photo of it using your smartphone. Always bring a pen with you as well just in case you are out with friends and you split the restaurant bill — just write the amount you paid for in the receipt and snap a photo! For purchases w/o receipts, quickly jot it down in your phone’s notepad.
3. Make your money work for you.
I used to believe that the only way to earn money is to have multiple jobs (read: slasher). I have completely dismissed multi-level marketing companies either because I know it’s just not my style (I respect those who excel at it though, way to go guys). If you are one of those people who’s not into sales and don’t really feel like having a part-time job, the best way to go is to invest (i.e. mutual funds). Instead of letting your money sleep in the bank that earns an interest way lower than inflation, learn to invest so your money can gain higher potential interest. It is easy, doesn’t require huge capital, and you don’t even need an extensive knowledge in the stock market!
Like I said, saving is painful in the beginning and it takes getting used to. No matter how much (or how little) you earn, saving is a necessity and the key is to simply live within your means. Start the habit now and believe me, you will thank yourself in the future.
If you are looking for guidance on how to reach your financial goals, contact me and I am happy to help you create your financial roadmap! 🙂
Need help on planning your finances well? Kat Antonio is an insurance advisor and a financial wellness advocate from Sun Life Financial. It is her goal to guide people through the steps of successful financial planning. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.