Having resolved to beef up our savings, the hubby and I have lately been taking cost-cutting measures, such as:
- Weekly meal planning. I discussed this in a previous post.
- Bringing “baon” (home-prepared meals) for our office lunch. This eliminates the option to eat out, so it’s also a good dieting strategy.
- Brewing coffee at home – though we keep a stash of instant coffee for “emergencies” (i.e., those instances that we’re in a big rush and have no time to brew). Brewing gives us a little bonus, in the form of organic fertilizer for our green tea plants.
- Minimizing, if not altogether giving up iced milk tea purchases. This drink has become quite a fad in Manila and for months we were carried away, consuming several cups every week!
- Going to and from work in one car, except on rare occasions when it would actually be more practical not to.
This morning we also agreed to start using the air conditioner for only an hour every night, which is really not a big sacrifice even in this summer heat if one just picks the correct “aircon hour.”
We’ve actually been blessed for nearly five years now to have been living rent-free on account of a relative. Still, we’re not seeing this translated into savings, so one major resolve we recently made is to allocate a “rent amount” to a savings/investment fund. If we had started doing this earlier, we would’ve already saved up enough to start paying for a house of our own!
The most important stewardship practice, of course, which we can only do by God’s grace, is tithing — a practice that honors God (Malachi 3), reminds us of where all our resources and our capacity to earn these come in the first place, and deepens our trust and dependence on Him who is ultimately Our One Great Provider.
How do you save up? Would love to hear your ideas/experiences, so do share!