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Facing your finances: A hard look at how you're spending your money

By AYIE LICSI Published Apr 30, 2021 1:00 pm

What have you been spending money on lately? Are you going over your food delivery budget? Are you shocked with your online shopping and banking apps’ transaction history?

There’s a pandemic, but the boredom of working from home the whole day makes it tempting to give in to your luho. When you’re on the phone, you can’t help but check out the games, gadgets and clothes in your online carts, yes?

Remember that on top of all these non-essentials, however they spark joy, you have monthly bills to pay—water, electricity, grocery, rent, and savings. As you assess your finances, check if you’re shelling out as much on your wants as you are on your needs.

In the first episode of Metrobank and The Philippine STAR’s #SurvivingWithMissy, our main character had her financial situation turned upside down after her company announced a pay cut. Now, in the newest installment of the video series, we follow Missy as she reflects on her spending habits and faces her debts.

What are you spending on?

Look at all of your expenses. Start with your wants and list them all one by one: food delivery, games, clothes, books, and more. If you can track each transaction, the better. In the next column, note your monthly expenses—your basic necessities—and remember to set aside for your savings.

After you’ve jotted down everything, it’s time to compare them. If the amount of how much you’re forking out for your wants is as much as your basic necessities, you may have to rethink your finances. Here are three money habits from Metrobank to live by:

    Always track your expenses

    Keep a spreadsheet where you track when your income arrives and where it goes. It’s a pretty rigorous process, but it will help you visualize that you’re spending pretty too much on something.

    Review and compare your pre-pandemic and present lifestyle

    Take a hard look at how you’re allocating your budget now compared to two years ago. Which scenario is burning a bigger hole in your pocket? What are the “new normal” expenses that are breaking your wallet now?

    Step back from non-essential expenses and travel

    We are still in the middle of a pandemic so you might want to spend your bucks on real essentials. Now is not the best time to live beyond your means. It’s better to save that money for a rainy day. You don’t want to live from paycheck to paycheck—not to mention companies are closing everywhere nowadays—and not keep a significant portion as your savings.

    Besides, it’s not like you can go anywhere soon. As tempting as it is to book a cheap flight from seat sales, buy more clothes, or get your hands on the latest gaming consoles, you have your bills and more urgent needs to think of.

    Be the captain of your own finances and take hold of it. Stop spending so much on things you can live without. And if you’re looking for a sign to be more responsible with your money, this is it. 

    For more fun and relatable stories on handling your finances, catch #SurvivingWithMissy on The Philippine STAR’s Facebook page. 

    Visit for more lessons on financial education. 


    Editor’s Note: BrandedUp is designed to provide you with insightful, inspiring and educational content created by PhilSTAR L!fe in collaboration with brands like Metrobank.