After years of studying, finally you’ll get what you long for—to work and earn money. Hence, you might feel the excitement upon receiving your first salary and spend it like a millionaire. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself, especially after all your hard work. But think about your budget for the upcoming weeks; don’t be the “pautang naman” type of employee.
And while those shameful experiences are normal for new workers, they are nonetheless preventable. How? By creating a plan for your finances—starting with these practical budgeting tips!
Some of us think: “You only live once, kaya enjoy your salary” or “Money can be earned; ‘wag manghinayang gastusin.” Both are is right; considering this pandemic has greatly affected the way people think and do with their money. However, this should also make you realize the importance of budgeting and managing your salary—especially for a budding career. Besides, you better fulfill your set resolution about your finances this year. To help you with that, here’s a quick rundown of what you should consider with your budgeting.
The first thing to consider upon receiving your salary is your allowance until the next cut-off; unless you want to experience petsa de peligro. Furthermore, your allowance should include food, transportation, and some leisure or reward for yourself—expect some biglaang labas with your friends that you can’t say no to.
Just like what financial advisors always say, “Di ka tao kapag wala kang savings sa banko.” It’s just a joke for many, but this should be a serious matter, especially for new professionals. Besides, savings will not only help you in buying things you want; they can also come in handy during emergency situations. So, your savings should have separate goals, such as emergency, retirement and necessity. To further explain, they are the following:
- Emergency Fund: Also known as contingency fund, it’s the fund you can use for unexpected events resulting in income loss or sudden expenses. It should be at least 10% to 20% of your monthly salary.
- Retirement Fund: This refers to savings for the future (“Di ka habang buhay nagtatrabaho”). Furthermore, you should prepare for the longest vacation of your life. So, save as much as ten times of your annual income; starting now! You can start by investing in the stock market to help you grow your money.
- Necessity Funds: These are for the things you dream of—a house, car, and other things such as the most familiar doodad for everyone, that iPhone 13 Pro. On a more serious note, this fund is for a short term goal, so better think of this one.
For sure you know Judith (or due date)—our monthly besties. And as you start to work, you might know her very well because of electric and water bills now bestowed upon you. Joking aside, you must learn to minimize electric and water consumption or else the corresponding bills will eat a large percentage of your budget.
Another budgeting tip: Control yourself from availing of expenses through creditors. Doing so can help you manage your monthly budget allocations better.
You may ask: Why are people struggling with their budget? We can’t deny the fact that fresh graduates or even some professionals are overwhelmed with their salary. Hence, they buy things they want without thinking of the price. Surely, you’ve come to this point wherein you chose to buy an expensive bag or shoes with your salary, right? Again, it’s normal to think of rewarding yourself, given how this pandemic has given additional work stress to everyone.
Nevertheless, you must not make overspending a habit, or else you might run out of budget. To give you a better understanding about budgeting, here are things you must take note of to avoid bad spending habits.
Have you noticed the marketing strategy of online shops like Shopee and Lazada involving –ber months’ big sales to payday discounts? This tactic impels people to buy things even if those things are outside their budget. Aside from online shopping, people are hooked with mall sales, which include offers ranging from 50% to 75% discounts. But watch out; make sure you spend only the allotted budget for shopping and what your priorities are.
2. Coffee Shops
This is not to hinder the enjoyment you feel with coffee, but to serve as reminder to follow your budgeting. Given the love most people have toward coffee, many fail to realize that they’ve already spent almost half of their daily budget on coffee shops. Hence, they run out of money for other things.
Coffee is part of our life; some of us can’t start to work without it. Just make sure to spend on your caffeine fix in line with your budget.
3. Eat-All-You-Can Restaurants
Before receiving their salary; most people already set a plan with their friends for Samgyupsal or other buffet restaurants. It’s common for neophyte employees to be excited to spend their first salary as reward. This isn’t to say that you can’t do it. On the contrary, you can try it anytime as long as it fits your budget. So set it for at least a month ahead to avoid being in dire straits.
4. Overspending for Grocery Supplies
Maybe you’re not the kind of person who goes out to restaurants or coffee shops. Well, there are things that might still affect your budget like buying stocks for your home. It’s good to buy supplies every week or twice a month for your family, but make sure to distribute the right budget for it. Morevoer, make sure to note everything you need to buy and avoid buying unnecessary supplies.
You might think your partner helps you grow as a person—sweet naman. But can you gauge if having a partner helps you save for yourself? Or does it only account for additional expenses because of the dates and gifts the relationship involves? To be honest, they are increasing our expenses. Most of the new professionals spend their salary in treating their loved ones, walang mahal para sa mahal mo! Hence, they fail to budget right their allowance, and fail to have savings. So to avoid such thing from happening, learn to say no—and how to face tampo moments head-on.
Thinking about how to budget your money right is really a hard thing. Hence, people lacking the budgeting skills usually end up buying and supplying their needs without allocating the right fund for those expenses. But expect you’re not able to do this, because as a new professional; your salary might not be as high as what you want. So what you need to do is create a percentage based on your needs, and use the fund allocation mentioned above. With the right process, it’s not a problem whether you’re a minimum wage earner, because you handle your budget properly.
Aside from that, you can use a jar to name your savings and expenses. This will help you to motivate yourself as you name all your goals. Plus, you see that you’re handling your finances right. I’ll assure you—your year will be fruitful.
Being professional is a tiring and stressful event in our life; but it is also the wealthiest and happiest moment for us because of the rewards that await us—both financially and professionally. So enjoy and explore yourself more. But don’t let your hard work go to waste because of lack of discipline; get your planner and start your financial planning this year using these budgeting tips. Furthermore, if you’re on the lookout for rewarding jobs, FilWeb Asia is here for you. Join us today!