Frugal tips that don’t actually save you money

broken piggy bank

MANILA, Philippines – Why do you save money?

According to a 2015 report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 97 percent of Filipino adults believe that saving money is important. And the top three purposes for saving money, as the results show, are emergencies, food and education.

While these are great goals, do you realize that how you save money can directly impact whether you’ll meet your financial goals? Unfortunately, there are some “money-saving” habits that are not actually helping you.

Let’s take a look at a few:

1) Buying promos

Discount coupons, buy-1-take-1 items, zero-percent interest. They’re some of the most attractive offers you often fall for, right? You believe that you’re saving money by buying items and services that cost less than their original price. Well, think again.

Buying promos is not frugality anymore when you do it too frequently than you need to. For example, a coupon says it can slash the price of a prestigious buffet dinner to half. Looks like a great deal, isn’t it? But do you actually need it? Are you going to celebrate something soon or do you just feel like it’s an opportunity missed if you don’t purchase it now? Think carefully.

More often than not, you’ll find yourself spending more—and not saving when you let yourself get overwhelmed by discounts. Again, take a good look at your needs and finances before jumping into a purchase.

2) Income – expenses = savings

When you were younger, did you have elders around you who tried teaching you to develop the habit of saving money by starting with a piggy bank? And didn’t you put in there your loose change and called that piggy bank your savings?

While that may be a good practice for a start, the idea of building your savings after expenses (or just whenever you have loose change) might not work anymore in a larger scale. If you want to reach your financial goals on time, you need to be more intentional.

Effective money-saving happens when you set a particular amount aside before spending for anything. In other words, you allocate for savings immediately the moment income hits your wallet.

3) Buying cheap

Going for less expensive items and services can save you money. Well, this might not always be true.

For one, a lot of cheap items have failing quality, causing you to buy replacements more frequently.

But there’s also a caveat for buying expensive. Just because it costs more does not mean it’s better than its less expensive counterparts. Believe it or not, some expensive brands don’t really live up to their high-quality promise, and ironically, more affordable commodities can have better quality and serve you well.

So, how can you really save money on this matter? One, find brands (expensive or not) that you can trust. Two, make comparisons. What makes Item A more expensive or cheaper than Item B? Look at the ingredients, size, quality, and the like. Then, decide which option is really worth your money.

4) Keeping your savings in a bank account

Are you keeping a savings account? Do you believe that it’s the safest place for your money?

The BSP report found that many Filipino adults who save keep their money either at home or in a bank. And just like you, there are many others—80 percent of the respondents—who want to keep their savings in a formal financial institution such as a bank.

However, with the very low interest rate, a savings account might not be the best way to keep your money. What could be wiser is making your money grow with an investment.

You can explore a lot of opportunities: mutual funds, stocks, real estate, small business and more.

You can find more investment opportunities with real estate developer Deca Homes or learn more money management tips below.


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