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How to turn spending pains to saving gains 

June 26, 2017

Lifestyle Upgrade 101

Cover art Erka Capili Inciong

Starting May 29, we will be running a column by the bestselling authors of I Wish They Taught Money in School, Sharon W. Que and Clarissa Seriña‑de la Paz. The column will come out every Money Monday.

Look back at the past few weeks, and try to recall what and where you have spent most of your money on. We’ll take a wild guess and say that the top four answers would probably be food, gadgets, travel and clothes. To be honest, we can’t really blame you. We understand how all these could really be so alluring. The good news, though, is we can actually turn all these pains of spending into gains for saving.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

You and your friends enjoy eating out and scouting the must‑try restaurants in the metro. It’s quite a splurge to do this often, but at the very least, make it worth your while. Explore the dishes and cuisines, and consider recreating them later on. Bring your latest concoctions to potluck dinners with friends, or better yet, earn money from cooking all these meals. Who knows, you might actually discover a new hobby, and a potential business idea, in cooking.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

The newest model is launching in a month and pre-ordering is a must. It’s got a bigger screen and increased megapixels for photos. But, is a new phone really necessary? Skip riding on the fad and maximize the potential of your current phone instead. Use it to earn yourself some extra income by taking a crack at photography and videography. Market your skills and maybe even sell your photos or videos online. Developing your craft and working hard will build you an impressive portfolio which clients will die to get their hands on.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Traveling could be quite costly but it’s possible to get a portion of your money back after spending thousands for airfares, tour packages and accommodations. Use your skill in writing and create reviews of your many travel experiences. Who knows, your collection of honest and helpful stories and tips might thrust you into becoming a blogger and social media influencer. This might even bag you a couple of free trips and perks for your next travels. Exciting, isn’t it?

Art Erka Capili Inciong

Shopping is not something we could easily resist, especially when three‑day sales come by more often than actual paydays. Sometimes, impulse buying really cannot be helped. It may feel like a good purchase today, but after a day or two, it wouldn’t seem like a wise decision after all. Should you find yourself in this ordeal, there’s no need to fret so much. The good thing about this is it doesn’t really have to be money lost for you. You can opt to re‑sell clothes you haven’t used or even consider doing garage sales for items that are still worth someone’s money.

Remember, these tips are not to deprive you of spending anything for yourself. By all means, reward yourself from time to time for the hard work that you do. The key here is to never get stuck in merely spending and to keep an eye for opportunities in saving. We’re telling you, the possibilities are endless and you just have to be more tactical and creative in utilizing your current assets.

Push this idea of gaining even more and give investing a try. Learn more about the magic of compound interest and enjoy seeing your ₱10,000 at 15 years old exponentially grow into ₱100,000 (at an interest rate of 12%) by the time you’re 35. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see your money work for you this way? Or, why not even try investing in mutual funds or the stock market at an early age? Don’t only practice saving, but find opportunities to grow your current fund.

What we’re saying is enjoying some luxuries can potentially be sources of income for you as well. Buy and invest on experiences, not on material things and possessions. These experiences and skills will come in handy and will give you more leverage to turning these seemingly pains into actual gains. Not only will this grow your bank account, but it will also let you grow more as a person. 


Clarissa Seriña‑de la Paz and Sharon W. Que are financial literacy advocates and the bestselling authors of “I Wish They Taught Money in School” and “Money Grows on Trees” Check out their books at www.lifestyleupgrade101.com. Get 10% off, plus a free notepad and bookmark, by sharing this story with the hashtags #MoneyMonday and #SparkUp. Remember to make your post public!