Looking back I never thought I can actually do it.
I was once a one-day millionaire. I went all-out when it comes to spending my salary. I always justify my expenses as a reward for my hard work.
Although I didn’t have any debt, I had zero savings.
I spent every bit of money I earned from working 9 to 5, Monday to Saturday. Even the money I made hosting weddings and events.
Everything was gone. And I had no idea where they all went.
When I started reading other personal finance blogs, a flame ignited in my heart.
These men and women are sooooo A-MAZ-ING in how they handle their finances. They budget, save and invest most of their money.
I knew right then that I needed to a change how I manage my own money.
The more I learned about personal finance, the more I find out loopholes in my system.
I wanted to get my financial life together once and for all.
And now I finally did it –
My first Php 100,000 saved and invested, a quarter of a million pesos net worth in total!
In this post I’m going to show you how I did it. Let’s begin!
Calculate your net worth
The single most important step you should take is to calculate your net worth.
Knowing your current net worth is an important aspect on financial freedom.
This is your reference point, a map that could lead you to your chosen destination.
Without calculating your net worth, it will be hard to save your first Php 100,000 moreover invest it!
Here’s the formula when it comes to computing your net worth:
Why you should compute your net worth?
1. It reveals your current financial status.
2. It helps you create possible next action to stay on track with your financial goals.
3. It gives you an idea on how much you really owe and what area you can adjust.
4. It motivates you to strive and to hustle more.
How to compute your net worth
If you have access in the SavingsPinay Resource Library you can actually download a free simplified Net worth Tracker. It is the same format I use when I calculate mine every recap and extra income report I publish.
The steps you need to do is simple:
1. First, make a list of all of your assets, including the market value. Your cash at hand, money saved and invested, the properties you have. Everything that has value!
2. Then, enumerate your liabilities with amount too. These are the money you owe to the bank, to someone else and others. It includes debt, mortgage and everything you still need to pay.
3. Subtract your total assets to your total net worth.
4. Viola! Your Net Worth is ready.
Having that clear, real numbers to work on for is very important. This will help you in deciding what the next step would be.
Tip: Reserve a focused 15 – 30 minutes to do this. Sit down and thoroughly list down everything. If you get a negative amount, don’t fret. There is still a way to turn over your financial life. The good thing is that you are already aware of your current financial status.
Focus on the debt
If your net worth is negative because of debt then the next big step you should do is to get rid of debt and reclaim your finances.
Being in debt is an awful and stressful situation.
It is way easier to save and invest your first Php 100K if you don’t have any financial obligation or debt.
There are two kinds of debt in this world. We have what we call “good debt” and “bad debt”.
Good debts are considered as debts that can generate you income and increase your net worth. Best examples of good debts are as follows:
- Buying a camera to start your photography business
- Getting a loan to start your own business
- Obtaining a house and/or lot to be sold or rented out
- Purchasing jewelries or collectibles Borrowing money to invest
Bad debts are the dangerous kind. These are certain debts you get by purchasing depreciating assets. Some examples of bad debts are:
- Credit Card used to pay for a want (maybe a new phone, a new appliance at home)
Although wise saying suggests that the best time to save and invest is 20 years ago, the second best is now, if it means you will be getting into more debt then I will have to still say no.
Instead here’s the option I have for you.
1. Pay down your smallest debt. (Or your biggest debt, if you can).
2. On the following month use the money allotted to that debt as your initial investment. You don’t need a lot to start with. Php 5000 is enough to open a mutual fund or invest in the stock market.
3. For every debt you conquer, choose to either save or invest the money on the following month.
4. Live frugally as if baon ka pa din sa utang, only this time you are paying yourself first instead.
Budget, budget, budget
First, you learn how much your net worth is.
Next, you see how much debt to combat with.
Then, you do the most actionable item you can do – BUDGET.
A budget is a living financial document you should use, always!
It will help your track your income and manage your expenses as well.
Over the years, I developed a love and hate relationship with budgeting. To create one is easy but committing to it is another level.
Budget involves tough choices to make all ends meet and it is your responsibility to make one.
It involves practice. You need to do it over and over again, tweak your budget over and over again until you find one that works!
How to create a budget?
Step 1. Choose your system
Are you more of a pen and paper kind of person or you love using apps for your budget? You need to identify which budget system applies to you.
Step 2. Identify your income streams
If you’re employed this will be your take home pay less government fees and taxes. This money will act as your baseline. If you have side hustles you might want to put the money also here.
Step 3. Choose your budget categories
Budget categories refer to the items where you’ll allocate your money. This includes Tithe, bill, house rent, food grocery, etc.
It is important to have the budget categories that work for you. Keep it as simple as possible so you won’t go crazy budgeting every end of the month.
Step 4. Follow a proper allocation
I recommend you use the 50-20-30 Rule of Budgeting to calculate how much of your income goes to each category.
50% for Essential Expenses (Transportation, Food, Bills, etc.)
20% for Savings and Investments (Journey to your first Php 100k!)
30% for Miscellaneous Expenses (Shopping, Eating Out, Subscription Expenses)
The key here is start with the percentage you are most comfortable for. Some people use 70-20-10 or 80-20-0.
Step 5. Put the numbers in
Because you have the percentage set it is easier to put the numbers in right category. Put an amount dedicated to each category and stick to your budget. Don’t forget to adjust your budget if needed.
Here’s an example:
TIP: Adjust your budget until you get to the correct percentage you set. For a Php 20,000 net income only Php 10,000 should be spent on food, transpo, bills, etc. TRY NOT TO EXCEED! If you really can’t, cut some money from the Miscellaneous instead.
In case your budget revealed that you have more amount set on your expenses than your current income then you need to harshly cut-off on items that can be cut-off.
From coffee dates, dining out, movie times, etc. you have to simply stop for awhile so you’ll have money for more important items. You may also try a no-spend week or month rule where you can’t buy anything and save a ton of money.
Track your expenses
Just like budgeting, it took me awhile to get serious on tracking my expenses.
I find the task of listing where my money went tedious. I can’t seem to find the right motivation to do it.
But when more and more bloggers and personal finance enthusiasts post about the importance of tracking your expenses I was blown away!
Tracking expenses is actually the key to make a budget work.
You can’t just stop by allocating where your money should go.
I soon realized how important it is to make sure that your money goes to where it should go.
And you can only do this by TRACKING EVERYTHING.
Start with a simple In and Out spread on a notebook. You can also use the cash envelope system for this.
Here’s a photo from my DIY Spending Tracker in 2015
Choose a saving percentage and stick to it!
Filipinos find it hard to save money for plenty of reasons.
1. Not having enough money.
2. Leaving things to fate aka bahala na mentality.
3. Not knowing how to save money.
4. Debt, debt and more debt.
5. Thinking it is already too late to save.
Here’s what I want you to remember:
Saving money is the single most effective way to get rich.
If you can live within your means, save and invest the rest, you have done well for your(future)self.
Far well than you might ever think.
Why should you save money?
A lot prolong the need to save money until they are in near their retiring years.
They thought saving is not for them and that they still have a lot of time left to grow their money.
But here’s the truth, the earlier you save the more advantageous it is for your financial life. Compound interest will make your money grow without you even doing the hard work.
Here are more reasons why you should know how to save money:
1. To reach financial independence
The ultimate goal to those personal finance savvy is to finally reach total financial independence wherein you never have to worry what tomorrow will bring in terms of your finances. This can only be achieved if you take care of your money.
2. To be prepared in case of emergencies
Unexpected expenses such as car repair, loss of job, medical issues in the family call for an emergency fund. Your savings could cover the amount needed for the said unexpected expenses so you won’t be in debt.
3. To reach a financial and/or personal milestone</b>
I have mentioned to you my financial bucket list. I also have my life bucket list up on my other blog.
Saving money enables me to achieve each of the financial and personal milestone I have.
Without proper savings you can never buy and invest for a house and lot or a start up business for example. You need to save money to have enough down payment on a bigger house. Other personal milestones includes a new car or a trip abroad etc.
4. To not pass up an opportunity
Sometimes life opens opportunities to us that can cost money. Opportunity like a seat sale to your dream destination, a pre sale house and lot within your budget, a new stock on its IPO stage or an even a new business idea.
Enter Opportunity Fund, one of the nine financial terms I have learned last year.
According to Get Rich Slowly, opportunity funds are money on hand to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Joe of Retireby40, one of my favorite personal finance bloggers to read, says once in a while you’ll come across a good opportunity and you need money to take advantage of it.
That is opportunity fund in a nutshell.
If you don’t save enough money saved how can you say yes to opportunities?
During the early days of my journey to financial freedom I’ve learned the value of emergency fund. Then last year, I learned it’s smart to set aside money for opportunities too.
The easiest tip that will help you reach your first Php 100,000 is this:
How does the Anti-Budget Rule work?
Every payday remove 20% of your salary as your savings (This can be adjusted based on how much you can commit to save). Then you are free to do whatever you want for the rest.
- Decide how much you want to save.
- Pull this off the top.
- Relax about the rest.
Because you already secured that 10% or 20% as savings you are pretty much okay to spend the rest.
The next best thing you need to do is increase your monthly savings rate.
Choose how much of your income you want to save and stick to it.
Pay yourself first!
Center on Small Savings
Here’s another key area where I manage to increase the money I can save and invest.
If you buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks for Php 170 every day it adds up to Php 62,050.
Lessen that to just every other day and you should have saved half of that money already.
Put that Php 31,025 in an investment vehicle that lets you earn at least 8% interest every year then you could have your first Php 100k in less than 5 years.
This is the power of compounding. The longer your money stays invested, the more interest over interest it could earn.
The small amount you saved today can add up to big money tomorrow!
Look at the budget you created. Are there little ways you can change in order to save money?
Probably your vices? Do you smoke? Php 50 a pack, a day means Php 18, 250 savings for you a year.
Here are some genius ways you can implement control of the small savings.
- Empty your pockets daily (or weekly) whatever spare change you accumulate at the end of each day will now be part of your savings!
- Create a list before shopping for groceries.
- Avoid going to mall after work.
- From Leo Babauta of Zen Habits – write what you want to buy on a paper. Keep that listed in the next 30 days. If you still like the item after 30 days then you can purchase it without much guilt.
- From J. Money of Budgets Are Sexy – which a combination of “spending” and “saving”. All the extra money you saved from spending on a discounted item or a buy 1, take 1 promo, etc. will automatically be saved on a separate account!
You will be surprised how small savings add up after a month or even a year.
Increase Your Income
Having additional income stream will help you reach your Php 100,000 goal faster.
Paula of Afford Anything explains this better in her post about Minding the Gap.
In between “what you earn” and “what you spend,” there is a gap.
Your job is to make this gap as wide as possible. Mind the gap.
There are two ways to increase this gap:
- Earn More
- Spend Less
Both are critical. But the more you make, the easier it is to save – and the more substantial those savings become.
Living within your means is good.
Spending less is better.
But earning more is, let’s be honest, the best option.
If you earn far more than the money you need to support your lifestyle AND save and invest it, Php 100K is just a piece of cake.
8 Things I’ve Done To Increase My Income Every Month
- Become an Event Emcee for all Occasion. On October 2011 I created an online advertisement about my talent in hosting. I have never hosted professionally but people around me knew that its something I can and I love to do. I used to emcee school programs and family gatherings plus I took up a Communication course. In 2011 alone I manage to emceed about 50 special occasions. To date I am still hosting and its one of the side jobs that gave me soooo much extra money.
- Wedding Planner/Wedding Coordinator. I also widen my horizon in event management and tried to sell my service as a wedding planner/coordinator. It was a nice experience sharing my ideas to the couple and helping them sort out ideas for their big day. I created my own wedding coordinator team and have been to Tagaytay, Antipolo, Batangas etc.
- Makeup and Hairstylist for Special Occasion. My love for makeup made me earn instant extra income. I have widen my event management experience by applying my knowledge in makeup and hairstyling. Making debutant, bride, entourage and guests beautiful makes me happy.
- Invest. One of the biggest financial decision I’ve made so far is opening my FAMI-SALEF account. It is a mutual fund investment where you and other investors money are pooled together to fund a common financial goal. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing but the younger you invest the better. Time will be your greatest ally to make your money grow. I have shared most of my FAMI-SALEF investments here.
- Start a Blog. If you love writing and sharing on the internet then why not start a blog? You can earn through advertisements, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and the traffic you get through your blog. There are many who’ve found massive monetary success online and this is such a great avenue to relieve stress etc. Click this for all blog-related posts. How to Start a Blog
- Create a YouTube Channel. If you’re comfortable talking to the camera like me then why not start your own YouTube Channel? I have a beauty and lifestyle YouTube Channel that helped me earn some money through ads and views. All you need is a good camera, laptop, internet connection and you’re ready to go. My YouTube Channel.
- Create an Instagram Shop. I also tried selling stuff online through Instagram. Creating your store is free, marketing is fast and the return of investment is good. There are a lot of things you can sell online from clothing items, accessories, phone cases, baked goods etc.
- Freelance Writing Online. With my degree in Journalism I decided to try doing some freelance content writing work online. It turned out great with clients from abroad asking for web pages and other writing materials for a high pay. $$$
More side hustle ideas for you:
Don’t be afraid to invest your money.
The reason why I manage to save Php 100K is because I opened vehicles to park my money.
Have I left all my money on a bank account I don’t think I can really stay true and save everything.
There is a serious difference between saving and investing your money.
Saving is simply putting your money at rest. You save to be able to spend on something within an applicable time frame.
– You save for a vacation
– You save for a new bag
– You save for your kid’s tuition fee next month
– You save for an emergency fund
– You save to invest
Investing, on the other hand, is putting your money at work. You invest to get something
in return. Mostly, to make your money grow.
– You can invest in stocks
– You can invest in mutual fund
– You can invest in gold, silver or copper
– You can invest in a business
– You can invest in a condo unit and rent it to others
Another big difference between saving money and investing money is the risk factor involved.
When you save or put your money in a savings account, there is only a little risk involved. Your money will not be reduced unless you decide to withdraw and spend it.
Investing has added risk involved because it also give your money a potential to grow in the long term.
Savings = Low Risk, Low Return
Investing = Mid to High Risk, Mid to High Return
According to Philip Taylor of PTMoney,
“Time in the market is better than timing the market. Just start saving/investing now. Automate it. Pay yourself first. Your future self will thank you for it.”
What does this mean for you and me?
If you invested your money 10 years ago, you have already won. There’s no need to be greedy at all. Whatever happens to the market in the next 6 months to 1 year is not your battle anymore. Focus on the long-term possibility instead.
Over the years these three things remain the wisest advice I’ve ever read when it comes to the stock market.
Invest now, Invest regularly and Invest for the long-term.
Yung pa-wait wait mo, yung tsaka na lang pag may pera na ko at yung di ko naman alam yan, ayoko will be the biggest regret of your life 10 years from now.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
I can summarize what it takes to save and invest your first Php 100,000 it would be with the following steps:
1. Change your mindset
Literally (and figuratively) graduate from your one day millionaire mindset to a someday millionaire one.
The best way to do this is to think about your financial bucket list. What you want to achieve financially before you die.
Have strong goals that will make you rethink every decision you make with your money.
2. Don’t be in debt
Strive to stay out of debt and have a positive net worth.
Trying to save and invest your first Php 100K is hard if you have debt.
Only once you have paid off your high interest debt can you begin to truly set aside some money to save and invest.
3. Budget the income you have and track your expenses
This two should work together.
You allocate your income to the categories they should go AND track your expenses accordingly.
Doing both will reveal so much about your spending habits. You will realize where to cut off and learn whether it is your need you value the most or your wants.
4. Just save
Again, pay yourself first.
Choose a spending percentage you want and just save it.
I started saving and investing 30% of my salary automatically.
Then I just got surprised I am already in the Php 100K mark.
5. Increase your income
Fast track your journey to Php 100K by hustling on the side.
Whatever money you get from doing other jobs aside from your day job, save it and invest it!
6. Invest now, invest regularly and invest for the long-term.
There are basically two ways you can earn money in your lifetime.
Either you work for it.
Or you make your money work for you.
I’d aim for the latter by investing whatever money you save.
When your money goes to work it has the potential to earn more money for you.
As long as you have set aside money for an emergency fund – good 3 to 6 months worth of you expenses, you can now start investing whatever little amount you saved next.
Lastly, I’d like to impart to you this great post by J.Money that the first $100,000 is the hardest.
I find this to be very true, at least for me.
Before you hit your first 1 million you need to save your first 100k.
This same math happens to me in my Google Adsense earnings.
It took me 4 years to earn my first $100 in Adsense.
And after that, I’m earning $100 every three months.
Trust that whatever your current circumstance is God will provide. Do not neglect Him in the process.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
How long did it take you to save your first Php 100,000? Also, if the first Php 100,000 is part of your goal what simple ways are you implementing to accomplish it?
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org