Personal Finance, Family and Career

Category — Frugality

Lower your Expenses with PERK

I am a big fan of increasing income. But lowering expenses is the other part to get ahead in your financial life.

PERK

PERK is a system that Robert Pagliarini, author of The Six-Day Financial Makeover created to reduce expenses.

The PERK System is easy and most people can reduce their expenses by a few hundreds to thousands per month in a matter of minutes. The PERK System consists of just two steps:

Step 1

List  all of your expenses individually and then add them up together. Include recurring monthly expenses like rent, as well as those that occur less frequently which includes car insurance.

Step 2

Next to each expense, write a P for Postpone, E for Eliminate, R for Reduce, or K for Keep.

  • Postpone – These are expenses  that you can putt off for a while. For example, vacation or a new car purchase.
  • Eliminate – These are expenses that you can completely remove from your budget. These are things like gym memberships and cable.
  • Reduce – Any expense that you can lower the amount you pay for. A nice example for this is lunch which you can choose to bring from home
  • Keep – Some expenses can’t be reduced such as mortgage payments

If ever you didn’t reduce your expenses, you should get back to applying PERK to your expenses and make sure you reduce your expenses.

I love this approach and has been my system for a few years now. I must say that I am still working at it and continually applying it on my everyday expenses.

You should try it out.

May 18, 2011   No Comments

How To Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo

I’ve been looking into doing a lot of lifestyle changes in my life lately. I’ve come up with watering down the shampoo since I often use more than I used to. I’ve also ended up planting some vegetables at home to save more on food. Another attempt at living the frugal lifestyle is aimed at actually eliminating the shampoo from everyday use. This is by far the craziest attempt I’ll be taking on.

Why eliminate the shampoo
First of all, shampoo is does the job of cleaning our hair. It leaves our hair smelling good and feeling soft. A lot of shampoos contain aloe vera, vitamins, minerals and fruit extracts.

So there’s actually no reason to eliminate the shampoo, right?

Introducing some Hidden stuff
A big concern for unnatural or man-made products is that they don’t do as much good as they say they do. Some resources have claimed shampoos may be actually be harmful.

Shampoos are also detergents. The chemical mechanisms that underlie hair cleansing are similar to those of traditional soap. This means that it strips off our hair with the essential oils that it needs to shine naturally.

Expensive
You can just imagine the cost of shampoo for an average person. As of this writing, the average cost of a shampoo sachet is about 5 PHP. This means that an average person would be spending around 150 PHP for a month or about 1,800 PHP a year. You could open up a savings account with that money. Did you know that a lot of Filipinos don’t have a savings account?

Here’s the Healthier and Cheaper Alternative
Vinegar and Baking Soda. Yes, I actually use baking soda to clean up my hair now. I find it easier to find. If you want to try it out. You’d better read on.

First, get a bowl and fill it up with some baking soda and water. Mix it up until it becomes as thick as traditional shampoo. Experiment a little on the amount of baking soda for the mixture. This baking soda-shampoo could last a full week.

I’ve honestly haven’t tried vinegar but I’m quite sure you’ll find these a lot more helpful.

There’s always a good feeling after you’ve tried something out of the ordinary to change routine. The best part is when breaking up your routine benefits you in so many ways.

I should probably try baking soda as a toothpaste…hmm… nah!

Photo by jilldoughtie

November 30, 2009   2 Comments

Simplify your Life

There has been a lot of buzz lately about living simple.

We have blogs about uncluttering and minimalism.

We have books about simplicity.

We have radio shows about the simple living

I think we can all agree that there is a good cause for it. Life is much much happier when we can focus on things we really love.

What’s that? You don’t agree? Don’t worry. That’s normal. Millions of people haven’t seen the light.

Consumerism is a growing problem in the world today – people buying houses they can’t afford, getting into debt by spending more than they earn, living a lifestyle they can’t afford.

Advertising

We are being bombarded everyday with tons of advertising materials on television, internet, radio, magazines and newspapers. Advertisers are using all necessary means to get our attention. In fact, Media Dynamics, a New York-based firm, estimates
that the time devoted to advertising has increased 25% since the 1970’s. We are now being exposed to 254 different commercials a day[1]. And you know what? It is working.

Simplification, on the other hand, solves consumerism. When simplifying, we don’t mean living a dull and boring life. When simplifying, we reduce everything to the point that we have enough. Enough, to live a wonderful and comfortable life.

Enough

Enough is the goal of simplification.

Enough for survival.
Enough for comforts.

Not enough for clutter.
Not enough for unnecessary wants.

People go through life not knowing what enough is. It is very common in today’s world and the whole idea of simplifying is unnerving. Here are a few things you can do right now to simplify your life.

  • Turn off the television. Let’s face it. There aren’t a lot of good television shows lately. Turn it off
  • Live in a smaller house.Besides, a big house is a lot more expensive and harder to maintain.
  • Cut your own hair. This is entirely up to you. I want my hair short and cut my hair with clippers.
  • Use a simple blade shaver. Dropping the mach5 for simple shaver reduced expenses by 1000%
  • Walk. When you’re going to somewhere near, forget the car. Walk. It’s free exercise.
  • Buy clothes you can mix and match. You don’t need a lot of clothes. Mix and match and you’ll have an endless wardrobe.
  • Have a simple budget. I recommend Tyagi’s Balanced Money Formula.
  • Use the ATM or online banking. If you can do everything without physically going to the bank, do it. I do all my payments except PAG-IBIG mortgage payments through the ATM. I set a date to pay all bills and pay everything on the same day every month.
  • Consume less media. You have a fighting chance against advertising if you watch less television, read fewer magazines and browse fewer websites.
  • Stay away from the mall. When you go to the mall, you will spend money. According to Carlyn Wesson, author of Women Who Shop Too Much, 53 percent of groceries are spur of the moment[2]
  • Create a shopping list. Some may argue that they need to go to the mall or grocery. In this case, create a grocery list and stick to it. Don’t get anything that’s not in the list.

Is living simply for you? Here a few resources that will help you on the road to simplicity.

1 The Tipping Point p. 98
2 Your Money or Your Life p. 171

photo credit

October 27, 2009   No Comments