Tag Archives: freelance money management

Frugality Tips: Coins are important too!

I have found that coins are a frugal person’s best friend. For someone on a small budget, 10php can mean the difference between a tall frappuccino and a grande frappuccino. Well, what are you doing in Stabucks if you’re penny pinching, missy? I admit I am a victim of overpriced coffee. I like to feel moneyed every once in a while. An occasional treat is not only acceptable, it’s a must!

But let me get back to my point. Coins. Here in the Philippines, we have coins in the following denominations: 25 centavos, 1 piso, 5 pesos, and 10 pesos. And like I said, 10 php can get you a long way. Literally. 8 php is the common base fare for a jeepney ride roughly 2-5km. 

Some people treat coins as a nuisance to be free of. They tend to lose them, throw them around or disregard them all-together. Sayang! 

Here’s two things you should be doing with your coins: keeping them in your wallet and saving them for a rainy day.

Wallet fillers. Alright, coins are heavy to tote around. And they make a lot of noise. But believe me when I say, having spare change can curb spending. Let’s say you have a 20-peso bill and a 100-peso bill in your wallet. It’s a hot say so a sundae sounds great. Normally worth around 25 pesos, you just give your 100-peso bill and get the change. Now, you have 95php in mostly loose bills. The next time you want to buy something, it’s just too easy to spend the loose bills. But! If you had a 20-peso bill, a 100-peso bill and a 5 peso coin, you could have spent your 25 pesos without touching your 100-peso bill. The next time you want to buy something, experience dictates that a larger bill will discourage you from buying frivolous things.

Coin banks. It’s popular opinion that you SHOULDN’T do coin banks since it costs your country more to make more coins instead of recycling them in the system. Well, I say let the government pay! I kid. Having a coin bank for a month or two, in my opinion, is alright. When you get home, fish around for some loose change, 1 peso, 2 pesos, 25 cents and drop it in a coin bank. If you’re prone to misplacing loose change in your pocket or bag, just drop them in the coin bank. After a month or two, gather them up and buy some essentials like pens, napkins, some instant coffee, etc. Though your savings may not amount to a car or new phone, you’ll be surprised at how much you actually save hoarding some coins.

Frugality Tips: More Like Not-To-Do Part I

(Disclaimer: I am by no measure an expert at managing personal finances. Heck, I don’t even have a steady income. I’d just like to share the many things about saving that I’ve learned along the way.)

Instead of sharing How-to’s and What-to-do’s, I’d like to impart some of the lessons I’ve learned through making the wrong decisions when it comes to saving money.

Expecting Money

This is something I think everyone should avoid, but a lesson those of us who are unemployed should especially heed. As a student, I was given a weekly allowance. Now, as a freelancer, I get payment for my services. It may seem like I have a pretty solid income stream, but I don’t. Allowance dries up in the summertime and freelance projects stop. As such, I’ve learned not to over-project my finances. 

In the past, I would write down how much I am going to get months in advance and budget my money accordingly. Sound money advice, right? Wrong. At least, for those who are unemployed like me, thinking this way is not going to help. Expecting the same amount of money too far into the future prevents you from planning for emergencies. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say I’m currently getting 500php a week from my writing job. So, in a month I’ll be getting 2,000php. (OK, I know this isn’t a huge sum of money but bear with me, I’m still a dependent). I see this pair of shoes that I want to buy. It costs 1,500php.  I think, “Well, in two months I can afford these shoes because I’ll have 4K, and 1.5K is less than 50% of that. That’s good enough. I’ll still have money left over to put away.” So, I buy it after the first month thinking I’ll still have money next month anyway. But as the freelance game goes, nothing is constant. Payment may be delayed or I may get dropped from the project. A lot can happen in 2 months. In the worst case scenario, I’m left with 500php to spend for the second month supposing I get dropped by my employer. T_T

So, what I’m trying to say (in so many words) is that you should budget your money for what you have presently, and not for what you’ll think you have in the future. As the saying goes, “The only thing constant is change”. And if you want to have more than spare change in your wallet, always plan for the worst case scenario. 🙂