If you notice, I have distanced myself from the turbulent goings-on now rocking the Philippines. Politics is after all not my business. But it doesn’t mean that I do not feel for the rest of my countrymen who must once again suffer the follies of their duly-elected leaders.
The painful fact is that life has not become better for those of us who chose to stick it out in our country of birth, pay our taxes and obey the laws . I don’t know who is to blame more: our officials who flaunt their power (and abuse of it) with impunity, or the people who never to learn their lessons and elect the same nincompoops/ego trippers to public office again and again. We are definitely going to the dogs when wages have not increased and yet the prices of petroleum, services and commodities have shot up by as much as 300 hundred per cent. It is mind-boggling how laborers and ordinary salary earners can cope with it.
Those among us who don’t consider going abroad as an option can adopt the motto: “work hard, live smart.” Extravagance is out, frugality is in. Time-tested ways to do this are the following:
– Use public transport whenever possible. The MRT and LRT can get you there in due time sans the traffic and high gas prices. If you must use the car, think about car-pooling.
– Car pooling is not the only option because you and your friends can also share books, DVDs, CDs and other possessions among yourselves. The few hundred pesos you can save buying these products can be better spent somewhere else.
– Brownbag your lunch. If you spend a hundred bucks in the cafeteria for a meal, you can cut that in half by just bothering to pack. When you do, steer clear of culinary boredom by preparing the usual tapa, hotdog, corned beef and tocino. There are healthier, creative ways of dishing out office meals other than those which scream “sodium nitrite!”
– By all means, go to the mall…but only to exercise and (sigh) window-shop. Traversing Megamall’s Building A and B equates to a 30-minute treadmill workout.
– Dine in instead of dine out. Because dining out these days will cost you more VAT, and fat.
– Get a second, third job.
– Think twice about buying high-ticket items that easily depreciate in value, such as cellphones.
– Don’t rush to the nearest midnight sale. Because overloading on sale items can also cost you lots.
– Get rid of stuff you have not used in years. Conduct a garage sale, advertise it or auction it on eBay.ph
– Ditch the credit card, pay cash whenever possible.
– Draw up a budget and stick to it.
– Rediscover places where you don’t have to shell out oodles of moolah. Example: smell the breeze in Baywalk and Luneta.
– During your spare time, use your brain..instead of your wallet. Blogging and surfing the net is certainly much cheaper than shopping.
More tips on Frugal Homemaker. Care to share your proven money-saving technique?