37 Ways To Save Money Right Now

Start Saving NowWe all want to start saving. But when money is already tight, it’s hard to find any extra money anywhere that you can put away in a savings account. So to help you out, we’ve found 37 ways to save money right now.

You don’t have to do all of these (and we wouldn’t want you to — there is such a thing as being too frugal). But implementing even just a few of these tips can have a dramatic impact on your finances. Find out which tips will suit your lifestyle the best, and you’ll be saving money in no time:

  1. Cut your cable. Not only will you save at least P3,600 a year (assuming you had the most basic Sky Cable plan at P299/mo), you’ll also have more time to read books, learn a craft, or go outside and get some exercise.
  2. Reduce eating out to once a week or less. The money you spend on one dinner at a decent restaurant could easily be used for a whole week’s worth of homemade meals.
  3. Make your own coffee. We’ve all heard the cliché about yuppies wasting their money on P200 lattes, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Stop going to Starbucks and start only drinking coffee if you made it yourself at home, or you got it for free at work.
  4. Quit expensive vices. Whether that’s cigarettes, alcohol, or sodas, cut down drastically or, better yet, quit it. An average smoker spends P10,800 a year on cigarettes; one beer a day — imagine how much interest you would have now if you put it in a UITF instead.
  5. Buy generic or store brands. Grocery stores and drugstores offer cheap generic brands of almost anything. (Learn how to save even more on your groceries with our guide.)
  6. Before buying something, see if you can borrow first. If you need some tools to fix something up, or a video camera for a day, or a movie you want to watch, ask your friends first to see if they have one you can borrow.
  7. Use free software. Search the internet for free alternatives to software you need. For example, Microsoft Office is crazy expensive — try OpenOffice instead, or Google Docs. Instead of shelling out for Photoshop for minor editing, get GIMP.
  8. Get rid of your landline. You probably have a cell phone, and never use your landline. Get rid of it and you’ll cut costs. (If you have to provide a landline for credit card applications, use your work’s.)
  9. Sell your unused items. Go through your clothes, check your garage for things you don’t use anymore, and sell it online or have a yard sale.
  10. Start paying for things with cash only. When you use cash, spending it hurts more than it does when you use a credit card, and makes you think about your purchase more.
  11. Buy things in bulk. Split a warehouse club membership with a few friends and save on your groceries by buying things like toilet paper, toothpaste, or soap in bulk.
  12. Buy second-hand things. Used book sales can be a treasure trove, and will add up to much less than if you bought the books new. Thrift stores can yield great clothes for a much lower price.
  13. Wait at least 24 hours before making big purchases. This gives you time to price-check and find the best price for your big-ticket purchase.
  14. Wait at least 30 days before buying an unnecessary item. If you still want it after 30 days, you can buy it. If you forget about it, no sweat.
  15. Ignore your bonuses. You’re used to living without this money; put it in savings, an investment where it can earn interest for you, or use it to pay down your debt.
  16. Ladies, give yourself mani/pedis more often. If you go to the nail salon twice a month, cut it down to once, and do it yourself the other time instead.
  17. Guys, learn how to use a straight razor. The upfront costs can be steep, but once you’ve made your investment, you’ll never have to buy cartridges or blades for the rest of your life. But before you start putting a sharp blade to your neck, ask somebody who knows how to teach you how to do it.
  18. Avoid the vending machine. Not only are the items in there way marked up, they’re also terrible for you. But if you absolutely can’t get through the workday without snacks, have your own secret snack stash, preferably filled with healthy treats you got from the grocery store for low prices.
  19. Meatless Mondays. Giving up meat entirely would save you so much money, but if you’re not ready for that step, try going one or two days a week without meat.
  20. Get a roommate. If you don’t mind sharing your living space with someone else, you could cut your utility bills and rent in half.
  21. Collect your loose change. You’re probably sitting on thousands in coins right now, so take it to the bank. And whenever you’ve amassed P500 in coins, deposit it in a savings account.
  22. Cut down on your entertainment costs by looking for free or cheaper alternatives. Universities and institutions have free movie showings, so check these out instead of spending P250 on whatever cheesy flick is at the mall cinema just because it’s there. Instead of buying albums, use Spotify Free.
  23. For Christmas, limit your spending on gifts. If you’re good at baking, give cookies instead of buying expensive gifts. Or if you have free time, provide your services as a babysitter to your harried, married friends. You can also stop buying wrapping paper and use magazines or newspapers you have lying around instead — be creative! Find out how to save even more on Christmas with our guide.
  24. Cut down on your power bill. Unplug appliances when not in use. Replace your lightbulbs with energy-saving fluorescent lights. Here’s 12 ways you can save electricity.
  25. Keep a budget. You can use these smartphone apps, these desktop apps, or good old pen and paper. Knowing where your money goes will make you more conscious about spending it.
  26. Check your tire’s air pressure. As we said in this article, underinflated tires can waste your gas. A simple check on your tire’s pressure can save you money.
  27. Sign up for all the free loyalty programs you can. This way, you can enjoy rewards for things you already buy a lot of.
  28. Have house parties instead of going out. Going out in Manila can be pricey. Instead of paying P200 for one bottle of light beer, invite friends over to your apartment or house and have a fun night in.
  29. If you do go out, take advantage of happy hour. You don’t have to be a hermit to save money. A lot of establishment have great happy hour deals you can get if you go there before their peak hours. Do a little research so you can have a fun time out without spending too much.
  30. Make meals out of whatever’s on sale at the grocery store. Once a week or so the grocery puts different things on sale. (For example, there was recently a buy 1 kg chicken lollipops, get 500 g free deal at Rustan’s Fresh.) Plan your menu around the sales.
  31. Freeze! You can freeze extra stock, gravy, pesto, tomato paste, lemon juice, and wine in ice cube trays, and toss it in your cooking to add extra flavor. You can also freeze herbs so they don’t wilt in your crisper. On-sale frozen vegetables will also last longer. And keeping your freezer full will actually use less energy, because it takes more to keep an empty freezer cold than a full one.
  32. Find alternatives to retail therapy. Instead of taking out your anger on your credit card, think about what else you can do. You could go for a run, which reduces stress; meditate, which is free; or hang out with people that give you good vibes.
  33. Use cloth diapers. Not only will you spend less, you’ll also save the environment.
  34. Clean with vinegar. Martha Stewart says “a one-to-one solution of vinegar and water makes an effective, economical multipurpose cleaner.” You can clean floors, bathroom tiles, and glass with this, so you won’t need to buy floor cleaner AND glass cleaner any more.
  35. Take care of your clothes. Make your clothes last longer by closing zippers, fastening hooks, and turning items inside out. This way, the zippers and hooks don’t get caught on another item, which could ruin your clothes.
  36. Search the web for promo codes. Just searching for “[online shopping site]” + “coupon” or “promo” can give you codes that you can use to get a discount on your online purchase.
  37. Treat yourself. Trying to live frugally is hard. So every once in a while, spend a little bit of money and get yourself something nice, to reward yourself for the hard work you put into saving money.

So what are you waiting for? Start saving right now!


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