Saving up in your 20s or early 30s is no walk in the park—just look at the sheer amount of articles on the internet dedicated to the very topic, present one included. But while there’s no cookie-cutter approach to handling money, these few nuggets of wisdom are still worth checking out.

Take Note

Keeping tabs on your money shows you any unnecessary expense. Keep all your bills and receipts, and go through them regularly. Check your expenditure against your lifestyle. Do you unplug appliances when not in use? They consume power even when turned off. Do you have cable when you don’t watch a lot of TV? Streaming services are just a quarter of the price in comparison, and you get to personalize your viewing experience.
A written list of your expenses serves as tangible proof of where your money went—and a good reminder to ask yourself whether they should’ve gone where they did.

Back-pocket Accountant

Naturally, accounting is backbreaking work—it’s why there are professionals for that. But even without a CPA on call, there are now many apps, programs, and websites available that can do your basic accounting for you, like Pocket Expense for your phone and GnuCash for your laptop. These virtual accountants record your purchases, give you insights on your spending habits, and even provide a budget plan suited to your situation.

These also carry the important feature of automating your payments. Back-pocket auditors can settle your bills without the hassle (and the heartbreak) of physically going to business centers and parting with your hard-earned cash. Many companies also offer an auto-debit arrangement, with bonus incentives like reward points or cashbacks, so be sure to take advantage of those.

Scrap Splurging

A splurge is basically any unnecessary expense, no matter how big or small. Know exactly your money’s worth. This means ignoring your favorite designer bag while it’s retailing at the thousands, and instead getting it discounted later on; or altogether opting for a different, less pricey brand of similar quality. On the other hand, this also means skipping that dirt-cheap but rundown shack in a sketchy part of town, and instead investing in a decent apartment with a seemly environment and excellent facilities, right at the heart of the city. 

When there’s not enough elbowroom in the budget, you have to make sure you’re getting every last centavo’s worth. Popularity doesn’t translate to quality, but neither does cheap equate to savings. 

Sharing is Caring

Millennials have the sharing culture down to a science. In this bear of an economy, it’s only natural they’d look out for each other. And when rent alone can flush half your paycheck down the drain, finding a roomie (or three) to share the veritable cost is not only prudent, but necessary.

If you dream of someday having your own home, you’re not alone. When you share this dream with your loved ones, you also split the burden of reaching this goal, making it easier to fulfill. A condo is a big investment, but what you spend in dues, you get back in better-quality living. Less stressors every day; more opportunities to enjoy life.

Going Forward

So what do you do with the money you did save after doing all of the above? 

You invest it, of course—in the future, and, more importantly, in you. Twenty percent of your paycheck is a good sum to set aside every month. Divide these into aspects of your future, like emergency funds, long-term plans, and insurances and investments. Add to your deposits whenever you can so your overall savings grow overtime too.

We won’t lie—saving money is hard work. But it can be done. Sure, you can’t always control the figures written on your paycheck, but you can fix your attitude and approach to handling money. Make wise spending and saving a habit. Track your expenses, download a virtual accountant, know your money’s worth, find a friend to share the load, and save some for a rainy day. The important thing is to have a fixed goal, and to never lose sight of it—whether it’s a small target like reduced monthly bills, or a big aim like owning a gorgeous unit in 100 West Makati.

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