Cheap is the new fabulous.
We’re not sure if somebody already coined this phrase, but someone really should. In an age where everyone’s trying to keep up with the Joneses—buying the latest gadgets, scampering for online sale, or test-driving the newest car model—going the other way is one that most certainly can be called being, well, a hipster.
But being cheap is not only about going against the tide. It is, in fact, a training of sorts for bigger and better things, like setting yourself up for an early and comfortable retirement. By skimping on unnecessary stuff, you allow yourself to gain a full understanding that there is more to money than spending; it is, instead, a tool you can use to build your wealth which should come in handy for future financial plans or emergencies.
So if you’re ready to adopt this “kuripot” lifestyle, Phillife Financial is on-hand to give you a boost with six ideas you can use to enjoy the life of a cheapskate.
Be stingy with your bath stuff
Start by developing the habit of slicing your bath soap in half. This way, you nearly double its lifespan. If you can get your hands on scrap soap, which sell cheaper than commercial soap and has the added benefits of organic soap, buy them like crazy. Again, cut these in small portions. Also, avoid overfilling your toothbrush with toothpaste. In reality, you only need a pea-sized toothpaste to get the job done.
Ditch the car
On average, motorists spend about P80,000 a year on gas. That’s a lot. If you can manage it, choose to commute to work instead of bringing your own car. Doing so lets you save up on gas, toll, and the unreasonable parking fees being charged these days. If you really can’t let go of the comforts of driving to work, arrange with your neighbors or officemates who live nearby to carpool. That way, driving is more fun, especially knowing that three or more people will share your transportation costs.
It’s OK to Ukay-ukay
Don’t be fooled by the bad rap it’s been getting; thrift shops like Ukay-ukay is still the best way to get quality clothes without draining your paycheck. If you are a patient scavenger, there’s a good chance that you’ll find branded clothes that are barely used. Just make sure to check for stains or damage. Also, wash the clothes well right after you buy them. Here’s another tip: leave your contact number to the store staff. They usually send out text messages to customers once a fresh batch of items are on display. Likewise, you might not know that ukay-ukay slashes their price by at least 10 percent per week, until the tag goes down dirt cheap. Have them also text you once they are on the last week of a price slash. That way, you can buy fresh stock for your office attires and get super discounted clothes for your casual wear.
Apply some strategy in your food supplies
Getting your food from your usual palengke does not always let you save money. Sometimes, groceries offer items especially chicken and pork at very low prices. Grocery chains usually do these to lure people to get their meats at low price so they can buy expensively-priced items such as fruits and veggies. So if there’s a sale, buy your meats there and get the other stuff from the wet market. Better yet, if you have a pocket garden, you can replace ornamental plants with vegetables like upland kangkong, talbos ng kamote, petchay, and other leafy greens. Not only will you be able to save, you’ll end up eating healthy organic foods.
Stay at home for weekends
Staycation is a word invented for a good reason. It’s fun, it’s more relaxing, it promotes quality time with the family, and it’s certainly cheaper than going out to malls. When you’re at home, you resist the temptation to dine out and buy from stores. You also save on gas simply because you don’t use any. To make your home stay even more worthwhile, you can cook a really nice brunch or dinner. Go buy kikiam, cocktail hotdogs, or squid balls, and use that electric frying pan. It’s just like having lunch in a Chinese hot pot restaurant. If you feel like splurging a bit, buy a kilo of rib eye from a local meat shop (which should cost around P600), and give it a quick fry. It’s your way of having steak night like a boss, without breaking the bank.
Bring out that lunch box
Since you’re staycationing, why not use the spare time to prepare the week’s lunch menu. This, for one, lets you manage your LPG consumption better. By preparing your lunch ahead, you force yourself to brown bag your lunch at the office, instead of eating out. This also has the added benefit of making sure that you and your loved ones are getting safe and healthy food even when they aren’t home. (Pro-tip: since you bring a lunch box to work, you now have a handy container to take in as much left-over food in case there’s a sudden birthday blowout in the office. Just like that, instant dinner).
Are you a self-confessed cheapskate yourself? Do give us your creative habits to save money. We’d like to have more suggestions from you.