It was fairly obvious that we had a deficit in our monthly budget (Hello! I kept on selling stocks and taking out credit card loans on a regular basis just to keep up with the bills), but I wasn’t really sure exactly how much that deficit was. To be perfectly honest though, I think I was mostly just scared to know how much in the red we were every month.
But I sucked it up and crunched the numbers, and, like what usually happens when you face your fears, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Our deficit was Php14,500.
Christmas doesn’t faze me one bit. Nosirreee.
This is primarily because I don’t subscribe to the notion of giving the perfect gift to everyone you know. It’s just unnecessary stress to add to an already stressful season. It also helps that I grew up with parents who didn’t wax poetic about Christmas being the most magical time of the year.
I would have done this review of Landbank’s Mobile Banking app earlier except that my smartphone ran out of internal memory and the external memory I added was useless, so I couldn’t download the app. I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to make do with Landbank iAccess using my desktop and really, it wasn’t such a bad deal because iAccess addressed most of my banking needs, except for the interbank fund transfer.
But just recently, an officemate downloaded the Landbank mobile app and I was ecstatic to discover that interbank fund transfer was possible using the app! And so I reassessed the existing apps on my phones and deleted the ones I didn’t use (I’m talking about you Grab…) and also deleted photos and other nonsense that my phone would automatically save. To make a long story short, I now use the Landbank Mobile Banking app and it has made my banking chores so much easier.
Budgets come in all sorts of variants and permutations, but the best type of budget is the one that actually works for you.
The strictest budget that I know of is the zero-sum budget. With it, you have to “spend” every cent you make or to be more precise, you give every cent you make a job to do since money that isn’t allotted will only be spent mindlessly. My preferred budget though is the anti-budget by Paula Pant of Afford Anything where you save/invest a pre-determined percent of your income per month. It pretty much goes like this: take out money, save/invest accordingly, and spend the remainder of your monthly income as you please. Easy peasy.
Unfortunately, it will take me a while before I can use the anti-budget since I still have consumer and mortgage debts to deal with, necessitating that I micro-manage my money until I can completely wipe out my debt.
As part of the Uber Frugal Month Challenge, I’ve been scrutinizing our expenses to see what parts of our household budget we can improve on. My main goal in participating in the UFMC is to minimize spending and throw all that extra cash towards building up our savings and investments which have been decimated because of life and its sick humor.
A second goal, although no less important, is to reset my mindset by being deliberate with my spending and thinking over each purchase before I open my wallet. Hopefully, by doing it often enough, a month to be exact, this will become second nature and my purchases will end up aligning with my goals (i.e. build up savings and investments).
First up for scrutiny is our food expenses. Here’s how we fared food-wise in the past 6 months: