Part of me being a frugal is finding means to lessen my expenses. One of the ways I find really interesting, joyful to do and rewarding is gardening. I don’t have a backyard and I only plant on pots at the rooftop where it can get most of the sunlight. I’m not also an experienced gardener and these are all from seeds of the veggies and fruits we’ve eaten. Thanks to the internet too because of the endless information about gardening.
Little did I know that after almost a year (on and off) since I started, I’m slowly building an edible garden on top of my concrete house. And I don’t have plans of stopping anytime soon despite of the small space. Currently, I have Calamansi, Papaya, Kamatis (tomato), Talong (eggplant), Bell Pepper and Ampalaya (bitter gourd).
Gardening does not only help you in saving money, it also gives you the freshest harvests and a therapeutic way to spend your free time.
My roofop edible garden
Eggplant on pot
Ripened tomatoes on pot
Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd) on square pots
I once read a book entitled “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz and it has changed my mindset towards achieving my goals. While reading, I found myself asking questions like “why these things aren’t part of the education curriculum?”. It’s a sad truth.
This is also my same sentiment about the importance of educating children on how to save money and how to spend it, wisely. I believe that as early as childhood, children must be taught how to manage finances so they will be equipped with correct information as they grow up. Unfortunately, this did not happen to me. I can only remember my Math teachers teaching me how to compute but not how to save. My parents are not also aware of these things.
This video of Francisco Colayco, a known financial guru was old but it still hold a valuable truth that will wake our senses about saving money up to this day. His interview in a Power House episode with Mel Tiangco is in Tagalog (Filipino language) so I’m pretty sure that if you are a Filipino and have come across our blog in finding some financial lessons, this interview will surely give you a comprehensive understanding.
It’s good to learn pieces of advice being said by gurus themselves, watching it as if they are talking to me. I don’t have enough time to read books but I’m thankful that I’m able to take advantage one of the most notable benefits of the digital age – free information… and this one is from an expert.
I love Apo Hiking Society and their songs. And if you’re like me, you probably know this song “Kayod! Kayod!”. “Kayod” is a Filipino term which means “to strive more or to work more”. I feel like I’am the person that this song is talking about. It inspires me, actually to improve my financial status. Listen to it and see if you are also one of us! Just don’t mind the old gadgets mentioned in the song. It’s an old song. =)
Disclaimer: Can’t find the original MTV so I just picked this. Credits to the owner of the video and Apo Hiking Society.
I’m sure. you’ve met my Shisha – my cool, mouth-zipped, orange piggy bank. Now, you get to meet my friendly orange envelope which is the keeper of my monthly expenses in credit cards and household bills. She doesn’t have a name though. 😛
This envelope is relatively small and almost the size of a long letter envelope in length but it’s expandable and a little larger in height. It’s handy and requires little storage. The lock is just a string.
I labeled each area with the types of bills to manage them properly. This is where I put the receipts and money that I allotted for each bill. I also have a notebook where I always update my credit card purchases. I used to have 5 credit cards (which I trimmed down to two now – Visa and Mastercard) and these notes are helping me in managing my expenses. Writing down notes maybe be time consuming but it’s definitely beneficial in tracking your budget that involves using credit cards.
Above is some of the credit card receipts and money attached to it with my notebook in the background (please don’t use stapler, BSP don’t like it =P). So I won’t be over with my monthly budget, I normally buy things I was planned to buy but instead of paying with cash, I use credit card to get points and rebates (which will be another topic) and attached the cash then pile it in my orange envelope. This is what I always do unless I purchased some installment items and have some emergency needs. With installments, my notebook keeps me up to date for the next months due and tells me the best time to buy new installments again.
I know that this does not apply to everybody but I’m hoping that upon sharing this with you, I will be able to help you get started. I’d like to share with you things that works for me. I’ve developed this simple strategy when I started building my house to ensure that I won’t miss any bills which would freak me out in the coming months. Sometimes, I get a change from these payments which I now deposit to Shisha.