20 Best Frugal Living Tips to Save Money in the Philippines

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If you are living in the Philippines, it is important to know how to save money. Prices here are often higher than in other countries because of taxes and tariffs. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce your spending without having a major impact on your quality of life.

Frugality isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about controlling your spending to afford the things that matter most to you. This lifestyle can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your life. It can save you money and give you a sense of control. It can also be a lot of fun.

This article discusses what it means to live frugally, some of the benefits of frugal living, and tips that will help you save your hard-earned cash.

What is frugal living?

Frugal living is a lifestyle that involves spending less money on products and services to save or have more money for other purposes.

It is not just about the act of saving money. It’s more about spending on the things that are important to you and cutting back elsewhere.

Frugality can be seen as an alternative to consumerism, which encourages buying goods and services in ever-increasing amounts.

Being frugal is about balancing the things you need and those you want. It’s a crucial distinction because your satisfaction with a frugal lifestyle depends on it.

For example, perhaps having nice clothes is important to some, but not important to others. 

So your frugal living approach will be as different as your values. Figuring out which things are worth more can help you decide where to cut back on your budget. 

Benefits of frugal living

Adopting a frugal lifestyle allows you to achieve your most meaningful goals. It can help you:

  • Less financial stress because you’re able to build an emergency fund
  • Live within your means
  • Get out of credit card debt 
  • Achieve your financial goals faster
  • Lowering your cost of living
  • Building wealth through investing

Related: What To Do When Stressed About Money: 5 Simple Strategies

20 Frugal living ways to save money on monthly expenses

Start your frugal living path and see how much you spend each month. You can reduce expenses by following these tips.

Review monthly bills

This is an easy one. You can save a lot on your bills by just reviewing the monthly charges of each service you have. If it’s too expensive, switch to another provider or company that offers affordable rates for your needs.

But be careful in signing up with new providers because some are known for their high interest fees and penalties if you decide to change again after six months or so.

Here are several frugal tips to save on household expenses: 

» Cancel subscriptions.  Magazines and newspapers you hardly read are top candidates to cut from your budget and save.

» Cut the cord. Switching to a cheaper plan from your streaming apps and other digital services will help you trim your budget and save money.  

Plan your food purchases

flat lay photography of two bowls of fruit and vegetable salad

Saving money on food starts with proper planning. Before going to the grocery store, you should have a list of items you need and an idea of how much each item costs so that your purchase is aligned with the budget.

Having a plan can reduce your trips to the grocery store, thus lowering your grocery bill. It also enables you to avoid last-minute impulse purchases you hadn’t planned.

Lower your credit card rate

Did you know that credit card companies charge much higher rates than banks do? If your income is steady and reliable, call them up to ask for a lower rate. This can save you money on interest fees every month!

If you’re using credit often, consider a credit card with a lower introductory rate. 

Most credit card promotional rates last only for a minimum of 6 months. But the best balance transfer credit cards will offer more extended promotional rates, helping you save money. 

Postpone Purchasing Gadgets

Do not run out to buy the latest electronic gadget that comes on the market unless you need it; wait for at least six months before buying them, as prices will always go down after they are launched.

Take advantage of coupons

Search online for coupons and promotion codes that you can use when shopping. This is one of the simplest ways to save money, but many people don’t even bother checking it out.

There are websites in your local area that list all the discounts available from different businesses in town, plus there are also mobile apps, so you never miss out on any deals again.

We recommend starting with Shopback.

Maximize birthday freebies

Show up on your birthday to a local restaurant or cafe with friends and family. It’s no secret that most establishments offer freebies such as drinks, desserts, food items for birthdays so take advantage of it!

You can also try some online research before going just to double-check if they still have the same policy.

Check out this huge list of freebies to get when it’s your birthday!

Automate your frugal living goals

Automating your savings will make sure that you don’t forget about them.

One thing I love doing with my income is setting up direct deposits from my paychecks into my online bank account. I won’t even see this cash because it’ll be transferred directly into an investment or savings account. No more temptations or having access to all of your hard-earned money! It’s important not only because automated transfers are much easier than remembering to transfer funds manually.

Get Cashback on Purchases

Several credit cards offer cashback rewards programs. If you use these, not only will they save you money in the long-term but also give back some for everyday transactions like groceries and gasoline.

You can get up to 5% cashback on certain categories with a cashback rewards app or credit card.

Good Deals from Second-hand Bookshops

person holding white and black book

If you’re a book lover or have kids who need books, don’t panic!

Good book deals (including school textbooks) can be found in second-hand bookshops and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or AbeBooks.

You can also visit your local libraries (online and in-person) are a fantastic resource for borrowing books.

Try Online Workout Programs

Several websites offer free workout programs where you don’t have to pay for a personal trainer or fitness center membership.

Take advantage of free entertainment

Your entertainment doesn’t have to be costly; there are many free entertainment options that you can take advantage of to save money.

» Try to download or borrow books, DVDs, or magazines from your local library’s collection.

Tip: Get a free 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited, and you can download and read books for free using Kindle e-reader or the Kindle app.

» Take advantage of free streaming apps to cut your budget.

Walk, Bike, Or Catch Public Transport

Rather than driving, consider walking or biking to get around. This is a great way to save money and stay in shape.

Carpool Instead Of Driving Solo

Sharing the ride is not only good for your wallet; it can be fun too. Don’t think you’re taking advantage of people when you ask to share a ride because they might feel like they are getting something out of this arrangement too!

There’s no need to make things awkward about it either; just nicely but firmly offer up if you’ll split gas costs or whatnot and be on your way.

Sell items you don’t need

When you’re trying to save some money, one of the best things you can do is try and sell some of your stuff.

If you don’t need it or use it, why not make a few bucks off it? It may take a little while before someone buys something from you, but in the end, it will be worth it because now you have extra cash coming into your pocket without spending any yourself!

Carousell is a good place to list your items. You can then use the money to pay your debt or put it in your emergency fund. 

Own fewer but useful items

Frugal people buy based on the value that adds to their quality of life. It will be easier to take care of your belongings if you own only the most useful items. When you’re frugal, less is more.

Buy pre-owned

The Philippines have many thrift shops where you can find items in good condition for discounted prices. This is also an excellent way to discover new fashion brands at much lower costs.

Move to a Cheaper area

If you can move to a less expensive area, this will save you money. Try to avoid renting in the best areas of town if they cost too much compared with similar properties outside the city. That could turn into hundreds of pesos in savings each month.

Increase your insurance deductibles

If you can handle a little financial loss, increasing the deductible on any insurance policy is worth considering. This means that in case of an accident or theft, your insurer will pay out less, and you’ll be more careful about protecting your assets.

Call your insurance company and see how your premium would change if you were to raise your deductible. 

Save on electricity

A smart thermostat saves you energy by not running the heat or the AC when you don’t need them.

Other ways to save on your electricity bill turn off lights when you leave a room, unplug devices that aren’t being used, such as chargers for laptops and cellphones, turn off your computer at night.

Install energy-efficient light bulbs, which can save money on electricity costs and help the environment. Energy-efficient also lasts longer, with an average of 25,000 hours vs. 1,200 for incandescent lights.

Bottom line

Frugal living is not about depriving yourself; it’s all about striking a balance that allows you to enjoy life without spending too much on things that don’t matter.

If you want to save more money, try doing the tips above and see how much extra cash you could have.

FAQs – Frugal Living in the Philippines

How can I be frugal in The Philippines?

While the Philippines has high taxes, it’s not impossible to be frugal in this country. Strategies like shopping second-hand items, meal planning, and reviewing monthly bills can save you big amounts of money.

How can I reduce my cost of living in the Philippines?

Try to focus on your major expenses—food, transportation, etc. Saving on these will make a huge difference to your cost of living. Examples include driving less often and replacing short trips with walking or cycling to slash your transport costs. Meal planning, shopping the specials, and maximizing points from loyalty programs can go a long way to reducing your grocery bill.


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