My interest for personal finance started when my classmate introduced Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad book to me. While some of the things discussed in the book are not applicable in Philippine setting, somehow there are some very specific topics, which are eye-opener for people like me who are clueless about personal finance. Since then, I started reading other personal finance books and later on blogs. Somehow, I managed to have a mind-set of SAVE, SAVE, SAVE and INVEST, INVEST, INVEST but I have to admit that I haven't been disciplined enough in handlilng my money. As I look into my current financial standing, I realized that I need to re-focus my financial priorities in order to achieve my financial goals and eventually financial freedom.
Here are some thoughts on how to achieve my short-term financial goal.
- I created a spending a plan from now until the end of the year and for 2008. This way, I'll have an idea of expected upcoming expenses and projected savings. It is just a simple matrix/excel sheet with all the recurring and expected expenses. For example: car payments, SSS and Pag-Ibig contribution, budget for Christmas gifts, budget for daily/weekly expense, etc.
- Moratorium on shopping. As I was telling my colleague earlier, I will impose upon myself to have a moratorium on shopping for one year. Okay, okay, I know my friends (and my husband too) are raising their eyebrows now. But give me a chance, okay? I know it's difficult but I'll try.
- Avoid use of credit cards. Pay cash or through debit cards as much as possible. It's proven, tried and tested: buying on credit is very tempting.
- This is difficult but I'm re-considering our travel plan next year. As I've said, it's difficult but let me put it this way: I've always wanted to go to London and we've been planning it for a long time. We've got free tickets from Qatar Airways mileage program so our expenses will be hotel and pocket money only and I've already allocated funds for those. But if we decided to postpone it, I'll have extra savings next year.
There are many ways to save money. For me the two things that break my budget are travels and shopping so curbing those spendings can really save me a lot of money. I will try my best to spend wiser for the remainder of the year and next year and ofcourse I'll let you know if I'm successful or not.