I just got my 13th month today. And it did not stay even 24 hours in my bank account, I already transferred it to a friend’s account whom I owed some money from. When I say “some money” I mean, five digits before the decimal point. That’s actually somewhat a lot.
Perhaps my finances is one of the worst aspects of my life right now, second to my lack of a decent lovelife. And to be honest, I have much more available money back in college than I have now. My friends know that I have always been good with my finances then. I was still getting allowance from my parents (but just enough, not a lot), and I had a lot of time to earn from my little “racket” here and there. And life in my university wasn’t expensive at all. Really cheap food, jeepney rides, and a lot of photocopying were all I was spending on then. I had enough money to spend for things I wanted
But now that I am earning my own dough, I don’t seem to get enough. I spend around P9,000 / month on gasoline alone. Then there are expenses for medicine, toiletries, among others. I also spend a lot on food, both for the daily lunch and the occasional eat-outs. Starbucks is also quite deadly to my pocket, since I have developed a certain fondness for it. I have also spent a lot on some out-of-town and out-of-the-country trips in the past three years. To top it off, I don’t get a big paycheck, since I’m on a “non-profit organization” payroll (but it’s all ok because I love my job).
It’s a real challenge to manage my own finances now that I am earning and spending for most of my own expenses. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions in my finances in the past three years, that brought me to my current dilemma. At one point these past few months, I owed two people a total amount almost equal to two months’ salary. There’s something terribly wrong there, especially I am so used to not owing anything.
One of my biggest mistake was the way I used my credit card. It must be noted that when my very first credit card was issued to me by my bank, it had a credit limit which was twice my monthly salary. That should have been a warning sign for me already. It was just so easy to take that card out of my wallet and swipe away when I see some things that I would like to purchase. Even abroad, I would use my credit card to go shopping. I accumulated a lot of payables because of this. On the brighter side, I always pay my monthly credit card bills in full, so that I won’t incur interest charges. But that always leave me with less cash than I need, and I will start charging things again. It’s an endless cycle.
I’m trying to correct my credit card attitude already. I’m forcing myself to only purchase with cash, unless utterly necessary. I’m pushing myself to charge as little as possible on my account. I still have to get used to using my credit card wisely.
In general, I need to reduce my spending and improve on my buying decisions. On top of that, I’m trying to rethink and re-plan how I manage my finances. I don’t ever want to find myself in such a financial dump again.