Everyone’s most likely guilty of wasting money every now and then. You see a new make-up kit in an online shop, you click “purchase” and without hesitation enter your debit or credit card details. You chance upon some new fancy restaurant on your way home from work, you quickly indulge yourself. You see the word “sale,” the next thing you know you’re already holding two bags of shoes and three bags of clothes.

What you fail to realize here is that the money you are spending for these items can actually get you a home in the near future.

So the next time you say there’s already nothing left in your bank account to save for a home, think again. You have a lot to save; you’re just wasting your money on these instantly gratifying, yes, but costly things:

1. A morning latte


You may reason that this costs you only P150 a day. But that amount adds up, right? A P150-cup of coffee everyday will cost you roughly P4,500 in a month and P54,000 in a year – that’s money you can definitely save up for your dream home instead.

2. Excess groceries


Whenever you do grocery shopping, make sure that you carry a list of the items you really need. Don’t buy items just because you think you might want to eat them later. Chances are you won’t and they’ll just get spoiled in your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet.

3. Pre-sliced food


You can slice your meat, fruits, vegetables and cheese, can’t you? So there is really no reason why you should not buy these items whole.

4. Fancy restaurants


Eating out occasionally is fine, but everyday is not. Think about the money you can save if you make your own meals at home. The money you pay for a plate of creamy carbonara at a fine dining restaurant can get you 6 plates of the same meal cooked at home. So the next time your friends invite you out for dinner, why not invite them over for home-cooked meals instead?

5. Fast food


Aside from being unhealthy, fast food also hurts your wallet. Instead of binging on those large flavored fries every week, why not just fry (or bake) your fresh potatoes at home?

6. Sale


Well, who doesn’t love to splurge on clothes, shoes and bags? But the question to ask here is: do you really need them now? Whether you admit it or not, you probably buy sale items merely because they’re on sale and you feel it’s a lost opportunity if you don’t purchase them, and not really because you need them. You feel you’re saving up money whenever you buy sale items, but the truth is you’re not. You’re actually spending more on items you did not intend to buy in the first place.

7. Brand name products


Take note: generic brands don’t equate to low quality. For example, when you go to a local drug store, ask for a generic version of the medicine you’re looking for then look at their labels. Most of the time, you’ll find their ingredients pretty identical. So there’s really no need to spend too much money on the big brand names. The same goes with your leather shoes, toiletries and skincare products. The key here is to prioritize and pick which ones you can’t really let go and which ones you can purchase as generic.

8. Subscriptions and memberships


Sure, you’ve read that magazine twice or thrice and you liked it, but did you like it enough that you’re sure you’re going to pick it every month and really spend time reading it? Subscribe to a magazine if and only if you’re certain you’re not going to just leave it as a display on your shelf. Likewise, when applying for a gym membership, know for yourself if you can really commit. A three-month membership isn’t cheap.

9. Taxi trips


Yes, they’re very convenient and comfortable, as compared to taking the MRT/LRT or bus or jeepney, but cabs and other taxi services undoubtedly take a huge part of your monthly budget. Why not try leaving your home earlier so you won’t be forced to book another taxi ride on your way to the office? If you start saving up your money, soon you’ll be able to rent or buy a home closer to work. Isn’t that better?

10. Unnecessary smartphone data


Ask yourself: do you really need that P500 worth of 3GB data every month? Most people pick a mobile plan without really bothering to check if it’s the right one for them based on their usage. Try monitoring your data spending so the next time you go to your mobile subscriber, you won’t easily pick that unlimited data and text messaging plan they’re offering you.

11. Online shipping


Many online retailers offer free shipping of your purchases right to your doorstep. That’s hassle-free shopping, alright. But what many people don’t realize is that most of these retailers require a minimum amount of purchase before you can avail of their free shipping. So in short, you need to spend more first.

Always be conscious about how you spend your hard-earned money. Don’t let it go down the drain so easily. If you really want to be able to rent or buy a home in the next two years or so, start saving up now.

Do you feel you’re financially ready to have your own home? Whenever you search for a property on zipmatch.com, a mortgage calculator will help you find out which payment term for a condominium or house and lot is perfect for you.

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