Ever wanted to travel with your family pero wala kang ipon? I want to share with you my personal story last 2018 when I wanted to travel with my whole family to Bicol, our province.

The desire

As a breadwinner in the family, with all my family members heavily depending on me (all my siblings are still in school that time), this desire to spend our Holy Week 2018 in Camarines Sur is a daunting dream. I wanted to do this because my father is already growing old and I know he misses our other relatives in the province too. Sobrang tagal na rin kasi nung huli kaming nakauwi na sama-sama. I think it was many years back nung buhay pa si Mama ko.

So, it was in January 2018 that I had this desire na makauwi kami ng province for Holy Week on April. In our church prayer and fasting last January, isa ito sa mga pinagpray ko rin talaga that God would provide for this travel.

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A little background story: I was in law school during this time also. So, aside from supporting my family, I was also supporting my own education that time. So, it was really a challenging task.

My eureka moment

Then, after the fasting week, an idea struck me. I suddenly realized how great of a spender I was. Hindi naman ako yung tipo na laging laman ng mga sale sa malls or suki ng mga sale sa online shops. Pero I have my own versions of guilty spending: FOOD. 😁

Yeah, I am the type of person who’d rather spend a hundred bucks for lots of food than to spend it on makeup or new clothes. I realized that though hindi masama ang pagkain and ito ay isa sa mga basic needs natin bilang tao, I was excessive when it comes to my spending sa food. I spent heavily on eating out in fastfoods and restaurants. I also spent heavily on luxury beverages like coffee frappe and milktea!

This guilty spending applied not only with my own food but also in how I spend my money during grocery shopping for my family. Many times, I buy groceries and food too much that some just go to waste.

So, I was faced with two things: my plan for family travel and my guilty spending. How was I able to reconcile these?

1 – Where did all my money go?

Sabi ko nga, I assessed my spending. Saan ko ba mostly ginagastos ang pera ko kada buwan?

I listed everything in a piece of paper, up to the last detail. Among the expenses I listed were:

  • House amortization
  • Family groceries
  • Personal food
  • Personal transportation
  • Family eat-outs weekly
  • Utilities
  • Prepaid load
  • Leisure
  • Baon ng mga kapatid
  • Medications

2 – What can I cut down?

Using the simple list I made, I drilled down each item by marking each expense as either “reasonable” or “excessive”.

In my own terms, reasonable expenses are those which I spent an amount that is justifiable sa pangangailangan ko. Excessive expenses are those na alam kong sobra ang nailalaan kong pera compared sa ibang expenses of the same importance. Halimbawa, normal na maggrocery ako for our family weekly pero yun bang pinamimili ko ay sapat for the week or I buy too much food, only to end up in waste or sobrang katakawan? Things like that made me decide.

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In my assessment, the following were my reasonable expenses:

  • House amortization
  • Utilities
  • Baon ng mga kapatid
  • Medications

And then, these were my excessive expenses:

  • Family groceries
  • Personal food
  • Personal transportation
  • Family eat-outs weekly
  • Prepaid load
  • Leisure

All those listed expenses, whether reasonable or excessive, I assessed kung magkano ang pwede kong i-cut down to the point that I and my family will not starve or become too inconvenient. Questions like, “Do we really need to eat meat everyday or baka pwede namang maggulay?” or “Will taking the jeep instead of Grab be still convenient yet cheaper?” helped.

So sa bawat expense, I was able to compute magkano ang kaya kong ibawas sa budget ko.

3 – What can I forego?

After classifying all these, I then specifically identified anong mga bagay ang pwede kong i-forego or ipagpaliban.

Alin sa mga expenses ko ang pwedeng hindi ko talaga muna paglaanan?

Alin ang hindi ko naman talaga kailangan?

These must usually be items na luxurious or mga luho lang. Among the items na nilista ka dito ay:

  • Lessen fastfood and restaurant eat-outs. Instead, I opted to eat healthier and to cut down on my food. Papayat rin tayo! Ha ha.
  • Forego spending on expensive coffee, frappe and milktea. Instead, I will drink more water.
  • When doing my grocery shopping for my family, I will list down first what we really needed and what supplies we ran out of. In this way, I will avoid buying things we don’t need or buying things na marami pa pala sa bahay namin.
  • When doing grocery shopping, I will opt to buy the fresh items like meat, fruits and vegetables from the palengke mismo instead from the large supermarkets. Medyo inconvenient lang, pero mas malaki talaga ang difference ng mga presyo, lalo na sa gulay.
  • I also asked my siblings to be conscious of their baon since I told them na nag-iipon rin ako for our travel.

Marami pa akong inilistang mga bagay na pwedeng ipagpaliban. At sa bawat items na ito, I was able to compute how much ang pwede kong matipid by not spending on these unnecessary items.

4 – Where will I get my income?

Next, I assessed all my income sources. In this area, I realized that it really help if you have a side hustle aside from a usual 9am to 6pm job.

I was also into online selling and other side gigs which helped me earn money aside from my usual salary. Marami sa side gigs na ito ay even though hindi kalakihan but at least helped me augment my financial needs that time.

Among these income sources were:

  • Corporate job
  • Online selling of various items
  • Baking pastries
  • Writing gigs

In my quest para makaipon for our travel, I dedicated all my profits from side gigs as ipon. Automatic ko na syang tinatabi.

5 – What will I do with all the savings?

So after all that, I was able to identify that the sources of my savings would come from:

  • Those few hundred pesos I can save from cutting down on several expenses na excessive
  • Those few thousand pesos I can save from foregoing some expenses na luho lang naman at unnecessary
  • Those I earned from my side gigs

I kept a small piggy bank where all money that I should have spent for unnecessary expenses are being stacked away. It went on for a month. Halos hindi ko sya naramdaman dahil I made it a practice at may end goal ako: makaipon for our travel.

Success!

After a month, when I opened my piggy bank, to my surprise, I was able to save approximately 12 thousand pesos! Imagine that!

This experience taught me few valuable things:

  • There are many expenses to which we spend on pero hindi naman talaga natin kailangan.
  • Living simply is very fulfilling.
  • If you have an end in mind and a plan, you can achieve your goals whatever it is.
  • Sacrifice is needed if you want to achieve a goal.
  • Saving is possible whatever financial you are in. Discipline is needed.
  • Start small in saving. Hindi mo mapapansing nakakaipon ka na pala.

I am proud to say that through this simple exercise of saving, I was able to finance our whole family’s vacation in Bicol last April 2018! Sharing with you some of our photos! 😁

Let me know how this story inspired you! If you’d like someone to journey with you on your personal finance success, comment down below! 

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