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Tips for Spending Wisely at Work October 25, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Pinoy Money & Finances.
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Unless you have a huge income and plenty of daddy’s money to spend, you definitely should watch your budget.  Inflation rates will routinely drill holes in your pocket and the cost of food, gas and everything else continue to rise.  There really is no reason why you shouldn’t be careful about spending, even now that you have your own source of income – ESPECIALLY now that you have your own source of income.  Here are ways on how to spend wisely at work and make sure you can stretch your paycheck till the next payday:

Create a budget.
Yuck!  The ‘B’ word!  Ewwww… Sorry but if you want your money to last, this is a surefire way to do it.  A budget is simply a list of stuff you need to spend on and stuff you want to spend on.  It will also let you know how much you have, how much money you’re spending (or throwing away) and how much money you can save.

Here’s how to start:

Monitor your expenses.  Write down all the monthly expenses you have.  Directly opposite, write down how much you spend.  Include food, transportation, gas, phone charges, etc.  Include miscellaneous expenses so you could list down all those extra expenses you incur.

Try to itemize everything so at the end of each month, you won’t be scratching your head wondering where all that money went.  Do this everyday.  By the end of one month, you’ll have a pretty good idea how much money you’re spending and how much money you could save, simply by cutting your expenses on certain items. 

Starbucks latte thrice a week?  Try Nescafe 3-in-1.  You’ll not only get your caffeine fix, you’ll also get to save a lot of money in just 30 days.  A few hundred bucks for a taxi?  Try public transportation for a change or hitch a ride with a friendly officemate. 

Do your budget.  Now that you have a good idea of how much you REALLY need to spend on a daily or weekly basis, create a budget.  Once that’s done, stick to it.  At the end of the year, you’ll be very glad you did.

Bring food to work.
Ever wondered why food at the cafeteria costs more than it should?  Simple.  The concessionaire has to cover for the rental of the space with the prices that they charge.  So instead of paying just 20 bucks for a slice of pie, you pay around 35 or 40. 

If you want to save money at work, make a sandwich or bring lunch.  Pack some healthful snacks as well.  Try to maintain a variety of choices so you never get tempted to buy from the cafeteria.

If you can, walk to work.
Thousands of people walk to work, so why don’t you?  If the weather is good, the air is cool and you have comfortable shoes on, use your legs to get to your office building.  A 10- to 15-minute walk will do wonders for your legs, thighs and butt… and your wallet.

Extra tip: don’t exert too much effort in walking or you’ll be drenched in sweat when you arrive at the office.  Wear walking shoes or flats.  Keep your work shoes at the office (in a drawer or a locker) so you can change.

Stay away from visiting vendors.
Someone selling something will always come a-visiting.  Items for sale can vary – jewelry, books, food, shoes, even lingerie.  They’re very tempting because they allow you to pay in terms, which gives you the illusion that the items are pretty cheap.  They’re not.  They’re probably more expensive than the stuff you find in malls and shops. 

Avoid frequent socializing.
This is probably the biggest expense you’ll ever incur when you’re working.  The once or twice weekly ‘gimmick’ will seem harmless enough but if you look at your tab, you’ll find that it will set you back by… well, a lot.  You could easily blow your month’s budget just by going out with the guys a couple of times each week. 

However, that doesn’t mean you should shun your friends and co-workers altogether.  Go ahead and join them for drinks or movies or whatever but make sure you truly have the money for it.  Do this once or twice a month or only on special occasions. 

It would also help if you save money specifically for gimmick – say, 50-100 bucks each week.  So when the opportunity presents itself, you’ll have money to spend.  The advantage is that you can blow it all in one go and you won’t feel like you got mugged.

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