With COVID-19 looming above us, it may be high time to reflect a little more about your money-saving habits (or lack thereof). What do your bank account and your love life have in common? Are they both empty?
That may be true…but not quite. The sad truth is that you probably don’t want to talk about either of them and in that lies the problem. Being in denial about your financial situation is a one-way ticket to failure. Remember, not all saving strategies are foolproof and you may be doing it all wrong even if you hate to admit it.
For example, living frugally to save money is certainly a skill to be applauded, but reaching big financial goals—like getting started on your mortgage, saving for a master’s degree, or even preparing for retirement—will take more than just stashing your cash away. This was true before, and it’s even more relevant now that we’re living during a crisis like COVID-19.
If your cash inflow is good but somehow you still find yourself crawling to your next paycheck, then it’s probably time to rethink your financial strategy. Here are other telltale signs that you’re doing it wrong.
1. Buying on sale just because it’s on sale
Let’s face it, even the most frugal spender can go gaga over the sight of a 50% off poster. But buying on sale doesn’t always translate into saving.
The rule of thumb is to buy stuff on sale that you actually need, not want, first. Before going to the cashier, keep asking yourself: “Do I actually need it?” But that doesn’t mean that you should completely avoid sales because splurging during sale season is actually a perfect time to reward yourself. Time your shopping after a big project, after a promotion, or even on your birthday.
If you’re really into shopping, consider getting a credit card that will help you save in the process. Credit cards like the Rewards Mastercard can help you rack up rewards points to redeem gadgets, tickets, gift certificates, among others. The Complete Cashback Credit Card, on the other hand, gets you up to 5% Rebate on your most essential expenses. Both credit cards also give you access to exclusive promos and discounts. If you’re interested in applying for a credit card, head to our credit card application page to start your online application.
2. Not Tracking Your Spending
Tracking your cash outflow is vital if you want stable finances. With all the online transactions, subscriptions, and other electronic purchases available today, it’s easy to lose track of how much you actually spend per month. Add that to the fact that you probably don’t care as long as you meet your budget, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
Whether it’s a mobile app or a comprehensive spreadsheet, you should always have a breakdown of the ins and outs of your cash. This way, you can look for areas where you can cut costs as well as areas where you can spend more. If you already consider yourself the king/queen of frugality then try tracking your spending for a month. You might be surprised at how much more you can actually set aside.
With Security Bank Online, you can rest assured that your transactions are monitored in real-time. You can even get SMS updates every time you make a purchase. It’s a safe, secure, and convenient way to manage your money even beyond banking hours.
3. Not Investing
Keeping your money in your bank account is good, but investing it is even better. If you’re looking for a secondary stream of income then investing is one of the best ways to go. Not only does it help you accumulate more wealth over time, but it can also become your financial safety net should an emergency arise.
With all the investing instruments available out there and the optimism in the Philippine market, it’s almost a crime not to take advantage. Pooled funds like UITFs (Unit Investment Trust Funds) can get you in the game for as low as P10,000 with an expert-curated portfolio, minus the hassle of micro-managing your funds. On the other hand, financial vehicles such as VULs (Variable Universal Life Insurance) can help you grow your money while also preparing for emergencies.
Still not sure where to invest? Click here for a full list of investment options or here to try our new easy-to-use investment calculator.
4. Having to Make Too Many Decisions
Am I still on track for my monthly budget? How are my investments doing? Do I have enough money for coffee? Where did my money go? Am I broke? Now that’s a lot of questions. If you need to answer all of these on a daily basis, you will burn yourself out after a few weeks.
Treat saving as a routine that you don’t have to think about and decide on. And don’t be so uptight in meeting a daily budget. Instead, update your spending record on a weekly basis and set realistic goals to keep your financial sanity.
Living like a monk is not the way to go. Saving should always be done as a proportion of your monthly expenses (The 70-30 formula of spending and saving is a good way to start). While a lot of financial advice suggests spending for the bare essentials and saving for long-term goals, it’s not always practical. After all, saving for only the things that you need can make you hate the whole process.
If you’re looking for a bank account that can meet all of your needs, check out our All-Access Account. It’s a checking and savings account in one that comes with your choice of a passbook, checkbook, and/or Everyday Debit/ ATM MasterCard. It lets you transact, pay bills, monitor your account—it has all the banking essentials in just one account. Interested in opening an account? Click here to start your online account application.