How to stick to your New Year’s Resolution to save money

At the start of every year, we usually make promises to ourselves to be better or do better at various aspects of our lives.

These New Year’s resolutions may involve taking our personal relationships to the next level, pivoting our career paths or leading healthier or more active lifestyles.

Often, we also resolve to be better with our finances, especially when it comes to our savings.

What are savings?

Savings comprise the money that we have left after we subtract our spending (the cost of the goods and services we purchase) from our disposable income (i.e. what is left of our income after taxes).

This can be set aside for planned major expenditures in the future such as school tuition, home or car purchase, vacation or even retirement.

Why is it important to save money?

Having ready cash to spend on the things we want (such as the wedding of our dreams or a grand graduation gift to our child) and need (such as home or car repairs) is always great for our peace of mind. Going into debt for these major items, or even for small expenses, not just adds to our stress but may also derail our financial standing in the future.

Also, in case of unforeseen circumstances such as medical emergencies, having some funds set aside that we can dip into so we won’t go into heavy debt is such a relief, isn’t it?

Hence, we have an urgent need to save money.

How to save money

We already know that saving money for our future is essential: the problem is how to go about doing it.

After all, with the rising costs of living, the near-constant stream of messages in the media to always consume, consume and consume some more, plus the emotional high we get when we acquire something, we often finds ourselves reaching for our wallets again and again.

In this kind of environment, saving money is near impossible, isn’t it?

From my experience, this can be achieved by creating opportunities to increase our income and reduce our expenses. This may sound complicated at first, but with a few adjustments in how we view and treat our money, we can soon come up with a sizable pot for our savings.

Ways to increase your income

Saving up requires you to have earnings from which you will draw your savings. Earning more money, therefore, gives you a bigger room to spend (or save) money.

  • Pursue a job promotion. If you’ve been with your current employer for quite some time, you excel at what you do and are open to taking on additional responsibilities and work challenges, going for a promotion (and the pay increase and perks it brings) is one way to significantly grow your earnings.
  • Start a side hustle. If a promotion at your current job is a long shot, you can supplement your earnings by making money out of your talents and skills that provide value. In my case, I accept content creation assignments and writing jobs for food businesses. This way, I get to sharpen my skills as a content creator which also benefits my existing job as a marketing professional, while making some money on the side.
  • Create a passive income source. You will be surprised at the ways you can make some money with little to no effort. These include property rentals, royalties from published works and sales of online products. For example, I have enabled ads on my blog and while its earnings are still minuscule at its early stages, it still adds to my earnings with no additional work required from me.

Ways to reduce your expenses

Increasing your income will be for nought if your expenses are increasing at the same rate, or worse, at a faster rate than your earnings. Cutting down on your spending will greatly increase the funds that you can set aside for savings:

  • Trim down your monthly bills. You hardly notice them but those monthly recurring expenses do add up. Prune off the monthly subscriptions that you no longer need or can easily replace. For example, you can limit yourself to maintaining just one video streaming subscription instead of five, or give up your gym membership and just learn yoga by watching free videos on Youtube. You should also check if you have a house leak that shoots up your water bill or set a timer for your heating or air-conditioning system to manage your electricity usage.
  • Prioritize your “treats.” Sure, you may feel like indulging yourself to a daily cup of handcrafted beverage at your favorite cafe, or getting a bi-weekly spa treatment but those little expenses do add up. Limit the frequency of your self-indulgences; not only will you save money in the long run, but the anticipation for the treats will make experiencing them even more special.
  • Shop smarter. If you’re used to winging it at the grocery or department store, it may be time to start shopping with a list. The exercise of making a shopping list involves assessing the things you have versus the things you need, minimizing overlaps or wastage.

Begin with the end in mind

By taking these tips to heart, you can find yourself accumulating savings in due time.

To really get you in the mood to save money throughout the year, it’s best to set a goal. It may be for something to reward yourself with – such as a trip you’ve been dreaming of taking or a new car – or something for your future – such as capital for your future business.

At, you can set the goal amount for your savings, the amount of money you currently have set aside, the interest rate and how much time you intend to save money for. The site’s calculator will then show the future value of your existing savings and how much you need to set aside each month to reach your goal.

Other calculators in the site can help you calculate:

Saving money may not get us that instant high we get from spending it, but it does set us up for a more comfortable future.

So stick to your New Year’s resolution to save money. Your future self will thank you for it!


Will debt consolidation ease your money worries?

Like it or not, the state of your finances can and will affect your physical and mental well-being.

If you are experiencing chronic financial anxiety – the near-constant state of worry, stress or emotional disturbance over the state of your financial affairs – you might also be prone to disorders and behaviors that can negatively affect your body and mind.

Sufferers of financial anxiety are also likely exhibiting sleep disorders, weight fluctuations and disruptions from normal eating habits, unexplained aches and pains, as well as physical health concerns such as headaches, heart and blood pressure problems, and stomach issues.

Financial anxiety can also affect mental health. Feeling burdened by money worries could lead to the waning of self-confidence or sense of competence, as well as exacerbating the feeling of isolation.

With such worrying effects arising from financial anxiety, it is clearly a condition that needs to be avoided or immediately addressed if one is a afflicted by it.

Debt Consolidation Pics from Pexels

A recent CNBC article cites the aside from job loss, the continually rising cost of living and the lack of knowledge regarding personal finance, financial anxiety is also commonly caused by money missteps.

One such misstep is getting into quite a lot of debt. Whether this situation came about due to abusing your credit card, falling back on your payments to previous financial obligations, or other actions or lack thereof to put yourself in a better financial state, knowing that you owe a big sum of money can feel quite stressful.

If you find yourself in this situation, experts advise not to beat yourself up about it. The best recourse is to clear your mind and make a sound plan of action.

A step that you can take is to consider debt consolidation. As discussed in this 2021 article, combining multiple debts into one with a single monthly payment and usually with a lower interest rate through a personal loan or a balance transfer credit card helps to streamline your finances and speed up paying off your obligations, thereby getting you closer to being debt-free.

Debt Consolidation Pics from Pexels

With that said, you would still need to think carefully on whether debt consolidation is the best option for you. The same article posits that debt consolidation may come with added costs – such as origination fees, balance transfer fees, closing costs and annual fees – and does not resolve underlying financial issues such as lousy spending habits which may lead you to getting into more debt.

Debt consolidation may be your best bet if your total debt amount is high enough to justify the additional fees and efforts involved in getting a new loan, if you are set on working to improve your finances through positive changes in your money habits and if your current cash flow is sufficient cover the new monthly payments. Having a credit score high enough to qualify for a lower interest rate will also go a long way towards making debt consolidation work for you.

Debt Consolidation Pics from Pexels

At the heart of this issue is the need to have a thorough understanding of yourself and your financial habits, your current financial standing and your future financial prospects to be able to gauge whether debt consolidation is the right course of action for you.

It also helps to read more about debt consolidation so you can take the first important steps towards your financial freedom and, hopefully, to a better physical and mental state.

Photo credits:

Sun Life rallies millennials to reach for their dreams

If you feel like you’re headed towards a dead end, that you’re not where you feel you’re supposed to be, well, chin up, young person.

With its newest campaign, Sun Life Philippines is encouraging you to hit that reset button and claim a fresh new start in your journey towards the future you’ve always dreamed of.

Entitled “Ito ang Araw Mo,” the campaign launched on March 8 with a digital video highlighting the unique experiences of today’s generation, such as graduating in a virtual ceremony, exploring gaming as a career, pursuing online entrepreneurship, and starting a new family in extraordinary times.

The “Ito ang Araw Mo” campaign takes inspiration from the pursuits of the Millennials who are keen on building their career, growing their wealth, and finding self-enrichment amid the pandemic.

“The times we are in may have pushed Millennials to put their goals on hold, but it also brought out their creativity, resourcefulness, and undeniable spirit. They are well equipped to fulfill all their dreams, even as they navigate their way in a new environment,” Sun Life Chief Marketing and Client Experience Officer Gilbert Simpao said. “It all begins with recognizing the start of this new chapter in their lives, taking control of what they can accomplish today, while working on their bigger goals in the future with Sun Life as their partner.”

To inspire and enable them with specific actionable to-dos, Sun Life will hold an interactive workshop entitled “Build Bright Habits to Reach Your Goals” on March 20, 10am, featuring international author, speaker, and life coach Dr. Christine Carter and AHA! Behavioral Design Managing Director TJ Agulto.

These bright habits on self-improvement, relationships, and personal finance will be reinforced through a Facebook community where they can avail mini mentorship programs, weekly challenges, and exclusive promos in the company of their fellow goal-achievers.

Those ready to craft their financial plans and be experts in handling their money are encouraged to seek the help of a Sun Life advisor, who can help them create a financial roadmap that matches their needs and will put them in a better position to make their plans a reality.

“Ito Ang Araw Mo” updates and other relevant information will be posted on Sun Life’s various online platforms for those who wish to take part in the activities and for those looking for added inspiration.

“There may have been a tremendous shift in our lives, but Millennials have the power to realize their goals and aspirations. It can start today,” Simpao said. “Ito ang araw nila, and it would be Sun Life’s honor to be their partner for life in this journey.”

So equip yourself with the right attitude and the right habits that will help you as you forge your way through life. And, make sure to enjoy the journey as well.