'Evaluate your money habits’


WITH essentials taking the front seat in today’s priorities, consumers are forced to save money in the face of bills piling up.

Louis Sasedor, a financial adviser from Pru Life UK, advised consumers to apply belt tightening measures.

“In this time of crisis, we have been challenged financially. Bills are piling up, and the emergency funds are being depleted. Some didn’t have the luxury to build on their emergency funds because they were living from paycheck to paycheck, but there are some ways we can survive these trying times,” Sasedor said.

He said consumers should focus on the essentials.

“Now is not the right time to buy new clothes or to do online shopping. Cut out the unnecessary spending,” he said. Consumers should also choose less known brands. “Most likely these brands are the same and as good as those top brands but more affordable,” he said.

Sasedor also advised consumers to use mobile apps to their advantage. He said apps that give rebates also help.

There are some apps that give a 10 percent rebate for every prepaid load bought or give P5 off if one pays using the app.

“Make use of technology to help you save even to the last centavo,” he said.

Sasedor added that some rents have been waived for the time being due to the crisis.

“You can ask your landlord if they do the same or maybe ask if you can settle the rent on a later date because the budget is tight,” he added.

Avoid credit

As much as possible, Sasedor said, one should avoid credit.

“It will lead you to a bigger problem. It is better to live within your means,” he said.

Consumers can also look around in their area for business opportunities.

“You can resell or post to social media your neighbor’s business. Or you can check your clothes or things that you do not use and sell them online,” he said.

“Now is the right time to really evaluate your money habits. An easy way to do budgeting is the 50-30-20 rule. No matter how small the salary is, creating a habit of saving goes a long way by adjusting what needs to be adjusted and prioritizing emergency, savings and investment funds because we will never know when crises will come. Always save for the rainy days,” Sasedor added.