Controlling your purse strings: The starting point in building a financially secured future

Originally published from HF Volume 36 Issue 3


Living life to the fullest and planning a secured future costs a fortune as the hustle becomes twice as back-breaking these days. Savoring life’s pleasures while we can becomes an easy way out when our long-term plans seem to get further and further away — but soon we hit the cap and regret the impulsive decisions we have made along the way. Making smart decisions with money sounds easy, but difficult to practice in a world that seems to tempt you with the next shiny thing. 

Wanting to be wise with your finances is natural, especially when you have fought tooth and nail to earn them. But financial literacy goes beyond just saving money, as it requires a basic grasp of financial management to prevent our money from going down the drain. As many beginners always find it difficult to start somewhere, The HERALDO FILIPINO listed down some orders you may add to cart and check out, from simple management tips to investing to a kind of future we all dream to happen.


  1. Keep track of expenses 

With expenses piling up from left to right, we often do not have the time to keep track of where our hard-earned money goes. As students, there are also other fees that we might overlook like our excessive last minute food deliveries from Foodpanda and Grab, , the monthly Netflix and Home Box Office (HBO) subscriptions, and other leisure activities that could easily put our money down the drain. While letting go of these expenses would be difficult to bear, keeping track of them would not cost you any harm. Either an old-fashioned notepad, a simple sheet tracker, or digital applications such as Wallet and Monefy could be a start on keeping tabs over your weekly and monthly budget.


  1. Identify needs and wants 

There is no doubt that retail therapy works wonders when we’re feeling down. The high we get from spending can feel like we’re buying our way through stress, but research from Regis University says that our shopping decisions must be put in moderation in order to cut unnecessary expenses. This means cutting the impulse and instead contemplating future purchases. Using the 48-hour rule could help create objective decisions especially when having second thoughts just by simply writing down the item’s name and price into a handy notepad instead of checking out unnecessary items. Within the 48-hour period, allow yourself to reflect about the desired item and ask yourself these questions: is it really necessary or not? Is it a “need” or a “want?” Because if your answer to both of these questions are the latter, then you might as well reevaluate your purchase plans.


  1. Avoid the inescapable pit of debts

The temptation of splurging money for temporary relief and satisfaction is a test of self-control especially when the algorithms seem to know exactly what we want before we even realize it. Oftentimes, expenditures go out of hand to a point that we resort to borrowing money just to satisfy our urges, therefore leading us to an inescapable pit of impulsive and unproductive spending. Whenever these temptations get loud and resistance seems futile, remember this: no amount of sales and discounts would pay your household bills, your personal needs, and monthly fees that are more pressing than any new arrival items in your shopping cart. Consider taking debts only if the situation calls for it, like emergencies, immediate payment of bills, and more. If debts are quicksands for those who even dare to dip their toes in it, how much more for those who borrow for luxuries?


  1. The splurge and peer pressure

Our social circles may put pressure on us to spend money for a casual hangout, which may result in following the steps of frivolous spending. Being with people who do not enchant you with Shopee or Lazada budols can be a lifesaver, along with friends who do not make you feel bad when skipping a samgyeopsal lunch because of its expensive offers. Surround yourself with friends that talk about saving for the future, investing on secured life plans, and even kickstarting a small business with you. Occasional splurges are understandable, but when splurge is all your circle of friends entices you to do, then it may be wiser to step away for a while and save for the future.


  1. Beware of scams

Scam artists never run out of ideas in finding ways to trick people into financial scams, utilizing online platforms in various ways to get you to fork over your hard-earned cash. Little to no financial literacy renders individuals vulnerable against phishing, identity theft, investment scams, safe account scams, and many more. Vigilance and decisiveness is of utmost importance in encounters with financial scam attempts. Ignoring suspicious messages, emails, and links is a hassle-free option. It also helps to use a much proactive approach and report the scam attempts to authorities to make criminals behind accountable. 


  1. Consider opening savings account

Opening a savings account can save you when unprecedented things come your way. No one knows when an emergency strikes, so it’s better to be one step ahead from future troubles. For students who might be earning their hard-earned income at this age, you might find this point as the right time to open an account when rules are more convenient and lenient. For instance, some bank institutions only require a minimum deposit of P100.00 in opening an account – small enough for those aspiring to turn their three-digit savings into six sustainable digits. The pressure of adding more to these savings may daunt us along the way, but the rewards we can reap from good financial management may bring us more than what we sow. 


  1. Familiarize with investments and insurance 

There’s no telling what life has to offer us, may it be good or bad, but it doesn’t hurt to always gear up for some worst case scenarios. A well-prepared future that we could lean on in tough times is the whole point of venturing into worthy investments and even getting an insurance plan. From opening small startups, buying a house and lot, to securing life insurance plans, being in the know of these things head on prepares us for anything that lies ahead in life. Investing in things that are close to home – may it be the simple habits you are so passionate about or bigger yet more risky ventures, is sometimes the jump you need towards the most worthwhile leaps you can ever take. Consider these investment plans not only as a starter pack, but a sustainable venture that could help you reach your end goal whatever roadblocks that the tomorrow may bring.  



Adulthood requires sharp decision-making and a keen sense of responsibility as we become independent in exploring the world outside our comfort zones. Planning ahead of time and a controlled lifestyle may not automatically guarantee a prosperous tomorrow, but it wouldn’t cost us a fortune nor harm when we try mapping out things. Remember, a step ahead is always better than stepping backwards or not taking any steps at all.


Graphic Art by Alexandrea Rey

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