Saving P100K: What It Looks Like
My friends have shared that one of their financial goals this year is to build their emergency fund. It's a pocket that you can reach into should an unforeseen financial emergency hit. Building your emergency fund involves you being comfortable with your saving skill. It's about building the habit which involves discipline, technique and a little fun.
Whether you're saving P100K or any amount, let me show you how saving can look like as I share how I went through my own journey...
#1 Heavy goal, easy saving
I'd say this should be your foundation. The more stable your foundation is, the more it can hold out through time. Determine the "why" of your saving efforts. Your reason to save should be something that you put great weight to. Are you saving up for your emergency fund? Are you saving to go to your dream country? Are you dreaming of building your family a house? The more you believe that saving is needed, important, and a non-negotiable, the more likely you'll follow through.
I've met someone who saved P900k who tied their saving effort to a comfortable retirement. They thought that it was their responsibility to take care of their older selves. They wanted to enjoy the remaining years of their life with their family. Who wouldn't want to live the hustle-free life, right?
I've also come to meet someone young who saved P300k. They believe that a life abroad would secure their future and give them the quality of life they deserve. Their dream country can offer them those. I love my country but I'm with them on this that we fall behind in the quality-of-life criteria.
Having a goal will also make you remember why you have to stick it through. When times get rough, as they always will, once you remember your why... you get back on track.
#2 Not a straight line for sure
You may have already heard of this but I think it's worth saying again for emphasis -
Starting is always going to be the hardest part.
You are going to see yourself miss a lot of times especially in the beginning. You'll feel that you're not making any progress and at times you may just want to back out.
When I started out, I was really excited to open my first savings account and just fill it up to the brim. But like any human with bright hopes of the future, life punched me in the face and said "We need money for this, we need money for that..." My savings have seen the pit of below-minimum-maintaining-balance and was even deducted the penalty. Talk about rubbing salt to the wound 😣. Nevertheless, I picked myself up and got excited when my thirteenth month bonus was deposited to my payroll account. I immediately transferred a portion of it to my savings. I trusted the process and I got addicted to doing it.
The graph above is the actual movement of my savings with time. You can see that there was a huge dip before I got to my goal. Life came in on me again but I still pushed through. Know that the dips are normal and as long as you stay the course, you will hit your savings goal.
#3 Enjoy your money
We may have already justified our splurges with "We can't take our money with us when we die, might as well spend now." It's true that life can leave us now but it can also leave us tomorrow. What I'm saying is we need to find that Goldilocks zone where we can hit our saving goal and enjoy the fruit of our hard labors every now and then. We need to enjoy our money so that we can make saving money a positive experience. The more you enjoy saving, the more likely you will do it again.
Let's learn from the experience of someone I know who took saving to the extreme that they didn't eat or buy whatever they wanted anymore. They didn't enjoy the process that they regretted saving in the first place. I don't know where they are in their relationship with saving right now, but I can only hope that they are fine with it.
One tip that I have so as not to overdo enjoying your money is to plan for your expenditures. I've always wanted to take my family to a mini-vacation every start of the year, so I allocate a portion of my savings for that. When you plan for big transactions, it's less likely that you'll overspend.
#4 Automation helps
There are a lot of rules you can follow to automate your savings. You can follow the 70-20-10 rule, fixed percentage rule, fixed amount rule - whatever rule that works for you. The purpose of following a rule is to take away any emotion that you may have when you need to actually do the work. The truth is, you will not feel like you want to save all the time. You may also have limiting money beliefs that need sorting out which can hinder your saving efforts at the moment. A pre-determined rule will bypass the emotion and makes sure that you follow through.
If you have trouble following rules, you can make technology work for you. There are auto-saving features in online bank apps that you can use. There are also auto-saving schemes in companies and coops that you can try out as well. Whatever you choose, the keys are to do it consistently and with less hassle.
#5 It's not the be-all and end-all
Sure, saving can be fun and addictive. Just keep in mind that saving is but a step to your overall financial journey. Saving money can reap you good rewards but if it doesn't outpace inflation, you are losing your purchasing power. After saving, explore other financial vehicles to grow your money. You can explore investing in bonds, stocks, and better yet - crypto.
Well, that's how saving looked like for me. Your journey may look different from mine and I can't wait for you to share yours. If you're feeling up for it, comment down your saving goals and experiences below 👇 We can share best practices that might help others in theirs too 😁
See you in the next one!
She is on a mission to become better than who she was yesterday. A chemical engineer and a financial advisor, she hopes to give value to this space as a motivated individual. She found the perfect marriage of what she wants to do in life and her mission in financial advising. She balances her work and life at the comforts of her home. She loves to meet like-minded people and watch The Bold Type in her free time. Watch this space for tales of self-improvement and self-acceptance, per Mark Manson, "the philosophical tightrope."
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