Monday, May 31, 2021

How I Saved More Money Than Ever During the Pandemic

It's no secret by now that I have moved out of my parents' house. However, if you know me well, you might have been surprised to learn that I did. After all, I was Little Miss Spend-a-Lot. How could I have saved any money to make it this far? (On a side note, did you know that American household debt has hit $14.6 trillion, while here in the Philippines it has reached $41.4 billion? I was one of those people... just to put that into perspective.)

I was literally that person who would buy something if I decided I liked it - without thinking about the price, without thinking about whether I'd actually end up using it, and without thinking about how long it would take me to pay it off on my credit card. I was also the "I can pay for it" person in my friends' group, especially after getting drunk, whipping out her card here and there without a second thought. It was baaaaad. I always felt like, "We only live once, might as well make the most of it and spend my money while I can."

That changed when COVID hit. My social life practically died because of COVID, which meant that I was no longer going out with friends and spending more money than I should be on food and drinks. A few months into it, I realized that I had actually saved quite a bit of money without meaning to. And it felt good. Nay, it felt GREAT. That feeling made me decide to take things up a notch so I took a few extra steps to save... and here I am now, at a new place, with more than enough money to survive without any help.

I made the coffee switch.

I had long avoided making the coffee switch. If you follow me on social media, you'll know how much I love Starbucks and how much I have loved it since I was 14. Yeah, I cut that out. In its stead, I discovered a whole slew of more affordable online stores that offer delicious coffee and I now have more money because of it.

I cut down on unnecessary spending, in general.

It wasn't just coffee, though. I cut down on unnecessary spending, in general, and learned how to say "no" to my mini-me. Moms will know how hard that can be sometimes, but I put my foot down when it wasn't a need and only focused on the things that we really needed. I still got takeout every now and then as a reward or when there was a celebration, but that was about it.

I took on more side gigs.

Pandemic life has been all about the side gigs for me. Back in the day, even when an opportunity for a side gig dropped onto my lap, I wouldn't really jump at it because I valued my social life a lot and didn't want to spend too much time working. With more time to myself during the pandemic, I explored new things and took on more jobs with one specific end goal in mind: to move out and live comfortably, and I am oh-so-proud to say that I am able to do that now.

I took note of all of my expenses.

This is something that not a lot of people that I know do, and I honestly didn't do it myself, either. However, I started doing it during the pandemic and it has made me be more stingy with my money. Oftentimes, we spend and spend and spend without realizing how much we're spending until it's too late. If you keep a log of how much money you spend, you'll actually reach a point where you look at yourself and say, "Okay, you've reached your limit. It's time to stop."

It helps to use an online calculator for this, too. Fortunately, there are a ton of different financial calculators out there to suit your personal needs, including mortgage calculators, auto calculators, credit card calculators, and savings calculators. It will be a huuuuuge help - trust me.

I reminded myself of my goal every single day.

Most importantly, I never stopped reminding myself of what I wanted to achieve every single day. On days when my body seemed to be craving Starbucks (usually during "that time of the month"), I stood my ground and said "no". 
On days when I was ultra tired or felt like I was burned out, I reminded myself why I was doing everything that I was doing. And it paid off in the end. I was tired sometimes, but I am exactly where I longed to be.

1 comment:

  1. That awesome you got your spending down.