Tuesday, September 25

Stretching your Paycheck

“Budgeting within a slim paycheck is like writing a doctoral dissertation all the time,” groans a suburban housewife. She is a mother of three: her first is in third year high school, with one child each in the intermediate and primary levels. Although she works and earns a little more by selling cosmetics and homemade biscuits or candies on the side, budgeting still taxes her creativity and patience.

Nevertheless, with determination and her family’s heartwarming cooperation, she has devised some means of stretching a thinning paycheck. While doing one, she made another discovery: “It brought the family closer, for I felt that the scheme I came up with needed everybody’s opinion.

That meant a lot of communication between parents and children.” She and her husband realized too that when the children are made to participate in the budget discussion, they even volunteer to cut down their expenses.

With her homemade easy-to-follow budget plan, this housewife knows she is saving up to 25 percent of the paycheck without sacrificing her family’s welfare. To live decently and provide the children with a balanced home life, she has drawn up the following budget tips:

  • When you prepare a budget, stick to it. The plan may be divided into two general headings: fixed expenses (rent or home amortizations, school tuition, etc.) and fluctuating expenditures (food, entertainment, etc.).

  • Shopping is fun, but do it with a list in hand, whether in the supermarket or department store. Check the newspaper for bargain buys. It is also wise to look into flea markets, baratillos, and storewide sales from time to time.

  • Don’t get carried away by name brands. Read food labels and ask your family to help you compare prices of the brands you use in various stores. NESTLÉ product labels, you will find information on ingredients, nutrition, claims and other interesting facts under the “Good to Know & “Good to Remember” boxes. These pieces of information help consumers make informed choices.

  • Some food items – fresh, frozen, or canned – may be bought in bulk at wholesale prices. Why not ask friends or relatives to buy these items wholesale and split the bulk with you.

  • Drop by weekend thrift sales, which are getting popular these days, for home or gift items. Always buy gifts ahead of time to give you a chance to compare prices and choose wisely.

  • When using credit cards, be sure you know the cut-off period so you can program your installment payments.

  • If the kids are old enough to help, why not ask them to do the household chores with you, instead of hiring more than one help? Make washing the car or dirty dishes a family affair.

  • Check installment plans carefully. You might end up paying three to five times more than the real price. Check if the company you are working for has an appliance plan. Your credit union, if you have one, may also be able to assist you.

  • Schedule credit card payments, amortizations, taxes, etc. Let your money earn as much interest as it can in the bank. Find out what services are offered in the bank, which can make your savings earn more.

  • Entertaining at home is part of living in a community. If you must entertain, then have one memorable affair within the year with everyone invited, instead of having several dinners or luncheons.
SOURCE: Nestle Club website


Lynn said...

Stick to a budget, I believe that should be a cardinal rule. If one can afford to keep a certain percentage, that is one good practice for the monthly savings, that percentage is sacred. I know some people who saves money after ALL the expenses - fixed and variable, necessities and whims. There are times whims has to be omitted. :)

Heart of Rachel said...

I've always had trouble keeping a budget. I admit, I'm an impulsive shopper and sometimes I don't think before I hand out the credit card to the cashier. haha! It's a bad habit of mine that I should really do something about.

I appreciate the great budget tips. Take care!

noemi said...

When my husband the breadwinner was out of a permanent job , the first expense we cut down was dining out. It was an expense we didn't miss at all.

rowena said...

Hi Lynn, yeah your right, stick to the budget and save some for the rainy seasons...Hay sana, I can stick to the budget as well, he he.

Hi Rach, before ganyan din ako. I decided to cut all my credit cards years ago. Next time you go out malling, just bring one card, the one with the least credits...Hinay hinay lang sa pag shop...

Hi Noemi, my hubby also is not fond of dining out. Magastos daw even when there's special occasions. Kuripot talaga, he he. Though I admit, he's right.

julie said...

Hmmmis this your way of getting ready for our Nestle Ice Cream Factory field trip? :)

Hard to really budget if there is no budget to speak of, :D

See you later, Wenchie.

ScroochChronicles said...

Great tips Wenchie. I find that making lists of every expense really helps. That way we can pinpoint which of them we can cut out. We can tell which is needed and which is "luho" :)

rowena said...

Hi Julie, it was nice seeing you again and your kids at the Nestle plant. Have to leave earlier because my kids are restless na. Re: right budgeting, I am usually below negative with my expenses, he he.

Hi Cookie, not only the lists, I even keep all the receipts so I know where the money went, even a single centavo (hubby's influence on me, he he).

Belle said...

rowena, great tips on budgeting.

i don't use credit cards myself except when i travel, and then I pay it right away so i don't have to pay for the huge interest. also, when i go shopping for clothing, i usually wait until it goes on sale.

we are not keen on eating out, once a week, maybe, and usually it is something simple, not too elaborate, and inexpensive. anything more than $12 per person is too much.

rowena said...

Hi Belle, I admire your self-control esp. when shopping for clothes...I also agree with you, $12 per head is way too much for a single meal...

auee said...

you know another tip... all the fixed expenses/outgoings we scheduled to leave at the same date every month. That way there's no chance of accidentally eating our budget.

Annamanila said...

I don't make lists, don't budget ... well maybe mentally, yes. That is why I am always on deficit spending. You know, I should be rich ... I spend and give and share as though I am. If 'i think therefore i am' were true, then i should have lotsa moolah now. Where? Or when? hahaha

rowena said...

Auee, that's every payday, we know what to pay on the 15th and the ones on the 30th (for us Pinoys who get their pay on these schedules).

Hi Annamanila, you have lots of moolah but you shared them with others, now you've got more wealth, your friends....Mas ok yun, di ba?