When my husband and I started living together, we don’t really care about expenses, budgeting or even saving. In fact, our grocery bill can be as much as P8,000, buying items we don’t really need. We even go out every week for our “date night,” watching movies and eating out. After quite some time, we both realized the mistakes we did and decided to keep it simple. We don’t really starve ourselves and deprive us with the good things in life. We simply cut down unnecessary expenses to increase our savings.
So how did we do it?
First, we keep a list and stick to a budget. Grocery shopping can be tempting, with all the free stuff and effective packaging of unhealthy food. As much as possible, we buy the basics and what we really need – meat, fish, chicken, our babies’ needs, toiletries and stuff for the house. We buy snacks but stick to the healthy ones. We eliminated artificially sweetened drinks, chips and processed food and only buy chocolates once in a while. And most importantly, we don’t bring the baby with us. My eldest tends to point at food she likes and throws a fit if we don’t buy it.
Also, we cook at home. Home cooked meals are way better, yummier, healthier and cheaper than eating out or having a food delivery. We look at recipes on the Internet or experiment on new dishes and whip up our hidden culinary skills. We sometimes buy ready mix brownies since it’s cheaper compared to buying one in stores. Plus, it’s a good way for me and my husband to bond too.
Another thing, we don’t shop unless needed. As a young couple, we both have the tendency to buy things for ourselves like shoes and clothes. Unless we don’t need it or there is no special occasion, my husband and I seldom shop. We still treat each other once in a while but there’s a limit as to how much we are going to spend.
And lastly, we save. We’ll never know what’s going to happen in 5, 10 or 15 years time. It’s better to be prepared for the rainy days. Whatever is left on our weekly budget, we deposit it in our savings account.
Call us frugal, kuripot, but we’re simply playing it smart. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. Again, we don’t deprive ourselves because once in a while, my husband and I go out and treat ourselves. We even buy clothes, shoes and toys for our girls too. We just limit our spending and train ourselves and our kids to be simple and wise when it comes to money. At the rate the economy is going, it’s better to start saving for our kids’ future because again, we’ll never know what will happen.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.