(SPOT.ph) Determined to be more financially responsible in 2023, content strategist Rose cancelled two of her credit cards and tracked her expenses so that she would no longer be tempted to purchase items that would only incur more debt.
Like many Filipinos during these hard times, the 26-year-old from Pasay City is hoping that the upcoming year will give her a fresh start when it comes to her finances. Aside from limiting her credit card use, she would also allot a bigger portion of her salary for her savings, she said.
“This year has been really bad for my wallet because I spent more than what I’m supposed to. So one of my New Year’s resolutions talaga is to be more conscious of my expenses para hindi na ako mahirapan sa money,” Rose said.
By having a financial goal at the beginning of the new year, people like Rose will be able to plot their budgets and grow their money ahead of time, taking away the risk of getting buried in debt or worse, going bankrupt by yearend, according to a financial adviser.
“Ang maganda dito by the end of 2022, we can check ano ba yung naging effect sa atin ng 2022. Meron ba tayong na-check doon sa ating checklist? Naging aligned ba siya sa ating plan? Kung hindi siya naging aligned, 2023 is another chance na mag-plan tayo ahead,” financial coach Joanna Marie Almonte-Detera told SPOT.ph.
“Meron na tayong something to commit to ourselves kapag meron tayong financial plan na susundin. So pagttrabahuhan natin ito, hindi yung bahala na,” she added.
How to be more financially responsible in the New Year
The New Year signals new beginnings, and many people take it as an opportunity to try something they have never done before or have been longing to do. For someone like Rose, 2023 is the year she will set financial goals for herself that she would want to keep for the next 365 days.
While it may be difficult for some to keep New Year’s resolutions, the key to make them work is to start doing them as soon as possible, according to Almonte-Detera.
“Sa sobrang daming distraction sa ating environment, mahirap na papalipasan mo pa. You have to start right away,” she said.
“Maganda na sisimulan mo agad, i-implement mo siya, you have to commit to your plan,” she added.
For those who want to be wiser on their finances this 2023, here are some tips from Almonte-Detera that could act as New Year’s resolutions:
Create a financial worksheet
The financial worksheet is where you can list down your expenses and plot your spending according to your needs, may it be for your bills, your groceries, or even travels with friends and family.
“Itong financial worksheet na ito, you have to review your 2022 --- yung fixed expenses mo, yung iyong leisure and investment. Yan kasi yung pinupuntahan ng ating pera, ito yung ating lifestyle,” Almonte-Detera said.
Cut unnecessary expenses
Are there items in your grocery list that you can start living without next year? Do you have cable or internet subscriptions that you don’t get to use nowadays? Maybe you can cut them from your expenses in 2023 so that you can save more money, Almonte-Detera said.
“Baka yung P500 or P600 kada buwan, hindi mo na siya nama-maximize. Why don't you try something else para ma-cover yung subscription na yun?” she added.
Automate your savings
Saving money is difficult to do most of the time, especially with all the temptations to spend. If you want to ensure that you keep a portion of your salary on a more regular basis, you can automate your savings by getting a VUL policy that automatically debits from your account.
Alternatively, you can also set a portion of your salary that will be set aside for savings.
“As a first step, try mo muna kada salary mo, mag-save ka sa bangko or magtira ka na. Kapag regular mo na siya nagagawa, magiging habit mo na rin siya. Gawin mo lang siya straight na seven months, magiging okay na yan sayo,” Almonte-Detera said.
As you set your plans for 2023, it’s also important that you protect yourself from any health-related conditions or emergencies. You can do this by getting an insurance policy that will cover your medical bills or indemnify your family in case of accidental death.
“Best way to do it is to check kung anong gusto mo, and kung may preferred kang company, you have to check the credibility. While you're young, healthy, single, start mo na siya agad. Kasi mas mahirap kapag meron ka nang mga sakit,” Almonte-Detera said.
If possible, do away with credit cards
Having a credit card may give you a financial space to spend, but it also comes with the responsibility to pay up on time to avoid incurring huge interests. If it’s not for an urgent or essential expense, do away with credit cards so you can be free of debts, Almonte-Detera said.
“Tama na yung isa o dalawang credit card basta may purpose. Kung wala, huwag muna,” she added.
How to keep your financial resolutions
As in many other New Year’s resolutions, financial goals may be hard to keep, especially if there are emergency expenses or if external factors like inflation or economic downturns come along.
If you are serious of being more responsible with your finances next year, do a regular check on your goals and seek the help of your family or friends. This way, you get motivated to save and grow your money because you have someone to do it with, Almonte-Detera said.
“Ask ka sa mga kapatid mo, sa pamilya mo kung okay na mag-set kayo ng goals. Parang china-challenge mo sila. Para alam din ng family mo na meron kang goal na kasama sila,” she said.
It would also help to set realistic goals that you can actually achieve within a specific time frame. This will ensure that you will only devote your time and energy on things that you can control, Almonte-Detera also said.
“All you have to do is commit yourself and also engage mo yung family mo. Gawin mo na magkaroon kayo ng bonding with your financial goals,” she added.
Joanna Marie Almonte-Detera is an engineer by profession and a certified investment advisor and financial coach. Reach out to her here if you need advice on financial management.