On Finances and Budgeting

In Junnie's post about Moving up, cutting down he asked: "What are expenses you think you can cut this coming year to give in to something? A planned vacation vs. a new TV? eating out vs. child's college plan? What are they? "

I have been working even before I graduated from College. And it is a great feeling having your own money to spent. Even then, I am not a shop-a-holic. The most that I spent on is food, bowling nights and movies. Then I got married and have kids. But this didn't stop me from working either. Hubby and I each have our own "assigned" bills to pay and we each have our own different bank account. But I have always been in charge of budgeting. We never hold any joint account until we migrated to Canada.

At the time that we were still in the process of planning our migration, we both agreed that I will stay home with the kids. And it was hard for me initially because I have to rely on him on all money matters.

Since we migrated, we rarely eat out, we can't even afford to eat at McDonald's... we rarely go to the movie house... we don't have any subscription nor membership of any kind... I'm not a shop-a-holic [I do spent on scrap materials and pictures, my only hobby!]... and I don't buy toys for my kids unless its their birthday, Christmas and a very good report card... I don't even have to buy them clothes or shoes because their grandma sends them packages every now and then.

We are able to manage to stay debt free [except for our mortgage in Manila]... and so far, we have never been a revolver on our credit cards.

Our monthly expenses involves high-speed cable internet [a must to hubby], cable TV [for me and the kids], home phone [we switch from a regular phone line to VOIP because monthly fees is cut in half], hubby's cellphone [which is partly company paid] and my prepaid cellphone [for emergency]... other necessities are rent, amortization for our car, car/life insurance, gas and groceries.

You might ask about our constant travelling and out of town trips... well, most of our trip to the USA is free [thanks to my in-laws], we just spent on gas and tolls. For our out of town trips within Ontario, they are usually day trips and I always pack lunch/snacks/drinks. In our 5 years in Canada, we only did an overnight outing twice [that's our skiing @ Blue Mountain and Tobermory trip, these were a group outing. If its not a group outing, we might have made it into a day trip too]. The farthest we've driven on a day trip was the 4-hour drive [one-way] to Sudbury in celebration of our 10th Anniversary.

Going back to Junnie's question, what else can I cut down? We don't have any "savings"! What am I doing wrong? I blame it mainly because we have to live on a single income for the past 5.5 years. During the past 2 tax season that I was working, we are able to put aside 70% of my earnings. Not bad eh? Bottom line is I NEED TO FIND A JOB!!! Because as far as I know, there is nothing else to cut down on our expenses. Is there?


Raquel said...

Hi Jo,

I thought you shoulder all of the traveling expense, sabi ko ano kaya work ni hubby kase parati silang nagbabakasyon but I don't have guts to ask kase personal na eh.

I think your conclusion is right! But how about the children, who will watch with them? Can you still manage? Or maybe a part time job only?

gracita said...

hello! makiki-comment lang :) i think it doesn't really matter if you have a LOT of savings, only a few or none at all. basta may pinupuntahan money mo. like you said, you are paying for mortgages in manila. i assume that is for a property? that in itself is savings enough.

cruise said...

something to think about, i might look for expenses to cut down or just like you find another job to increase my resources. hmmm. good idea!

JO said...

Hi Raquel,
I'm lucky I have inlaws who is willing to shoulder all our trips to the USA. ",)

Hi Gracita,
Tama ka din. But I am just worried I don't have any money saved up for our retirement... ayaw ko naman na kailangan pa namin mag trabaho hanggang mag 70 kami.

Hi Cruise,
Start planning for the future. It is never too early.

Junnie said...

someday soon, the savings will come...those are in our prayers for your family every night.

pag artistahin natin mga anak mo...:) hehehe

duke said...

I agree with Gracita but I would also want to have enough money when retirement age comes.
You're doing quite good with your savings, Jo! don't worry!

JO said...

Hi Junnie,
Thanks! Mukhang malakas kayo sa itaas eh. ",)

Hi Duke,
I think we are doing well too, considering that we don't owe anybody, di ba? It's just good to have a savings so we don't have to worry about our retirement.

Naku, sign of getting old na ba itong post ko? Talking about retirement na even if its decades away?

Soulful_SensitiveStreak said...

Hi Jo. I'm thinking of going back to work too some time next year. I miss having my own money. Although my husband gives me money, I still feel that I owe it to myself to earn some money on my own so that I could contribute to the monthly expenses esp. my credit card bills. To my husband's dismay and horror, I've maxed out my gold card. Tsk! Tsk! I could still remember how his face looked like when he got the statement of account. I'm terrible with budgeting! I admire people like you who have a budget sense.


evi said...

eating out is one thing i have to reduce. summing it all up in a week, it is also a big chunk out of the pay.

i don't really see anything you should cut down. i mean, i'm actually impressed on how you control the finances.

i can truly understand the difficulty of depending on a single income. i've been there.

i appreciate your humbleness and honesty.

JO said...

Hi Rach,
I used to work in a credit card company... kaya siguro maingat ako sa pag gamit ng credit cards ko. I have to make sure that I am able to pay the whole balance every due date kasi pamatay ang interest rate.

Hi Evi,
Thanks! Still... with no savings, I don't think I am managing it really well. Something is still wrong in this picture.

Ann said...

Hi Jo! Napaisip akong bigla sa post mo. Kami siguro ang dami kong dapat bawasan sa gastos namin. Yun lang regular na pagkain sa labas ay malaki rin. Jobless pa naman ako.

Thanks for this one.

mama jenn said...

bilib pa rin ako sa inyo - wala man kayong savings, hindi naman kayo lubog sa utang. ang hirap mabuhay ng may utang, ang daming tumatanda kahit bata pa dahil dyan.

fennymun said...

I really think that you have done a great job in cutting down the expenses and still have a lot of fun with the internet, photo albums etc. I have been refraining from listing out items to be cut down as I always can't think of any (especially when I am not a shop-a-holic). After reading yours, I think I have a lot to do...

JO said...

Hi Ann,
As long as you have savings on the side, then I don't see any reason why you should cut down on your dine outs. Mukhang malaki naman ang kita ni Mang KD eh. ",)

Hi Jenn,
Yes, its true, at least we are not in debt.

Hi Fenny,
Thanks! I keep an excel file of all our expenses on a monthly basis. Monitoring them helps me a lot in my budgeting.

Linnor said...

I think we are in the same boat... about not having savings yet. We are still in the process of settling debts and paying amortizations (on 2 properties)...

As long as we plan and keep our expenses minimum, work hard, and pray hard... Everything will fall rightly into place. ;)

Michelle said...

hi jo,
nice post! tamang-tama sa dilemma ko. recently i've been contemplating dahil mukhang mawawalan na din ako ng work (but not finaly yet!). And i was thinking, pano na ang expenses, pano na ang eating out, ang gimicks once in a while, pano na ang future ng baby namin. But, with your post, i think ok lang naman pala. Basta lang cut down talga on expenses. Haaaay, i really hope things will work out with my job.

francesca said...

sa pag
titipid, kahirap if me nakasandal sa atin. Tayong mga pinoy, sa patipiran, nagawa na halos ang lahat. Ang di lang natin matiis, yong meron tayo at may manghingi (or mangutang) di tayo makahindi, kaya tuloy wala ipon!

maraming pinay sa france na kung kumita, daig pa ang stock market, bebe sitting, dog sitting, old sitting serving dinner sa gabi, no day off halos, sige kayod,pero sa dami ng tinutulungan sa pinas, wala ipon... haay buhay...
Unless parunong tayong mag say: No, wala kuarta!!! lol

JO said...

Hi Linnor,
I am not complaining naman, its just that I wish we could have a savings on the side. I'm thankful too that at least we have a roof on our head and food on the table.

Hi Michelle,
Thanks! Hope things will work out for you!

Hi Francesca,
Tama ka diyan. We can't say "no" to our extended families. Lalo na kung alam nilang $$$ earner ka.

In our case naman, wala naman kaming tinutulungan financially sa pinas. Halos lahat naman kasi may sariling trabaho/ipon, o di kaya mas malaki pa ang kinikita kaysa sa amin.