Let me tell you something: I have had to hide money from myself.
I have been so un-thrifty all my life that today, my spending habits are a bane to my existence. Just today, I went gaga in a part-warehouse, part rich people’s grocery store buying my housewares. I had just moved into my brand spanking new dorm room in Manila, and the needs were numerous. No more parents to “borrow” my furniture from. :p
Being a spendthrift is no good when you’re living on your own already. You have to budget your meals and your spending because you won’t want to go hungry at the end of the month because you spent all your salary last 15th.
So while admittedly I still haven’t fully gotten over my habits, I did find ways to cut costs.
1) Dislike Starbucks. Yuppies tend to try to keep up with the Joneses by going to posh coffee shops. It’s a good thing I dislike the taste of Starbucks. Saves me quite a lot of money then. :p
2) Choose where you eat. I am fond of “street restaurants” and street food anyway, so this is a plus for me. Fast food would cost you a fortune in the long run, you know.
3) Cut out one or two meals. Being on the hefty side, this is helpful on my part. But it is also helpful in that I actually feel more energetic because of eating less. I guess I am already diabetic, that’s why when I have much too much of starch and sugars, I grow sleepy, which is a no-no, because I want to get so much done. Besides, society could do with less carbs, you know.
4) Get a DSL/broadband connection instead of frequenting Internet cafes or WiFi restaurants. You’d end up paying less.
5) Turn off the lights and other appliances when you’re not using them. Saves energy, saves you from paying a monstrous bill.
There are so many other ways to cut costs, in living as a single girl. I’m throwing in the last two:
6) Do not take a taxi as much as possible. Unless you’d end up paying the same amount from using public transportation anyway, there is little reason to take a cab, aside from the personal space you get and the relatively faster travel time, unless you get into traffic jams. Besides, train rides are fun!
7) Sleep. You conserve energy because your entertainment appliances are turned off, and you get to recharge too. Not sleeping actually makes you end up paying with your productivity/opportunity cost.
I am not a pro at saving or in penny-pinching. But these are the steps I took to save a few pennies from going through my spending sieve. Hope you at least get ideas from them, and save yourself from going hungry at the end of the month. :p