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It's Time To Stop 'Broke Bragging' and Do Something About It

By Jivashni M.

It’s almost payday. Some old mates you’ve caught up with from quite a long time ago, have created this new WhatsApp group where everybody’s planning for a quick catch-up session over dinner, this weekend. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t think I have enough for me to last until then!” because chances are, you’ve splurged on a bunch of things, in the beginning of the month that you deemed “necessary” or maybe you spent lavishly on your loved ones to pamper them. Whatever it was, you spent a lot in the beginning of the month and you’ve put yourself in a position to be extremely frugal with your expenses to make it to next month, with still a little something to save.

In simple words: you’re broke.

If the similarities don’t just stop there, you probably think, “It’s okay, I’ll just tell them that I’m broke,” but it doesn’t come as easy as you thought it would. You hesitate because you don’t think it’s appropriate to withdraw from something that all your friends are excited about after a long time.

My best advice? Don’t.

Stop right there. It’s high time we review our expenditures from earlier this month and analyze why and where did we go wrong in planning our budget for the month. Here are some things you could try to make sure you wisely spend your hard-earned money:

1. Keep a log of your expenses

It might not sound like a helpful tip but trust me, this is the most effective reminder that works on me. I dedicate a page in my bullet journal, for each month to track my income and expenditure in which, I note down every single penny I earn and spend.

From personal experience, when I started, I was able to visualize the exchanges that happen in my purse, and I must say, I was surprised at how every small buy that I didn’t mind because oh well, they don’t cost that much were the ones that left me penniless at the end of the month. It also made me realize that I was spending quite a lot on items like food and laundry which I could do on my own so, keeping a log of my accounts really did help me identify the holes in my pockets which is a great stepping stone to start on!

If you prefer jotting it on-the-go, a handy app like Wally would be able to help you out. If you’re lazy to key in your expenses, you can just snap a picture of your receipt and store it within the app too! #LAZYHACK

2. DIY to the rescue

While cooking and laundry are basic living-skills, we tend to resort to paying for these things because we often think that we don’t have the time for them when in reality, all that it takes is five minutes, and your will to do them.

Let’s be real, getting your hands dirty doing your everyday chores is a sure way to make sure your money is safe in your wallet. Apart from chores, there are a thousand and one other things that we’ve been spending on that we could actually do on our own; like mending simple furniture defects to preserve its longevity instead of letting it be because more often than not, they’d get worse, quickly and sooner than you’d expect, you’d have another item joining the queue on your list of to-buys.

Or even stitching up holes on your clothes, baking a simple butter cake for your friend’s birthday instead of buying them, and the list goes on, endlessly. All you’ve got to do is to fire up your YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat apps, and you have the help you need!

3. Wait for the infamous sale season

This is pretty much a common tip for most and it could be a dangerous game if you’re not careful enough. There is a fine line between making use of a sale and misusing a sale, and the difference could seem as petty as pre-buying clothes, as needed, in bulk instead of buying every cute dress you lay your eyes on. One such practice I grew up with is shopping our everyday outfits during the Raya sale. With today’s information technology, word on sale spreads like wildfire.

Plan ahead and list down items that you need for future use, whether it’s a white shirt that you’ve been wanting to get for a long time or the liquid foundation that would run out in another two weeks because this is an essential you will inevitably need to buy.

4. Mind your waste

Whatever you discard as trash also has a cost. When it comes to food, plan your meals ahead. Some people like my roommate aren’t very good at estimating portions but worry not, for you can always pack leftovers in airtight containers and refrigerate them to be reheated for later!

Water and electricity are also some of the most common wastage that cost huge amounts but newsflash: cutting down on them is as easy as turning the tap and switches off when you’ve no more business with them. Another tip is to wash your laundry in cold water because apparently, cold water cycles use less energy than hot water cycles.

5. The little things make big differences

I have a very vivid memory from my childhood, of my grandmother saving coupons from Cosway in a tiny bottle, that she always made a point to use by their deadlines. She mostly spent them on buying household items but sometimes, there’s really nothing she needs from their catalogue so she buys fruit cakes and chocolates, instead so that there’s always food on the table for us to snack on. Happy times. Coupons are a great way to save you a lot of money, when used optimally.

With apps like Groupon and Fave, it gets so much easier! Especially when it comes to getting things that aren’t really a need but a want.

It doesn’t just stop here. There are a many other ways through which you wouldn’t go broke again, provided that you’ve set your heart apart from temptations and impulsive-spending but these are some of the baby steps you could take to do something.

Broke-bragging is not cool.

It’s not like you wouldn’t have gone for the catch-up dinner, anyway but now that you do have some extra cash to back you up, go have fun with your friends.

(Minus the guilt, of course)

You may find Jivashni on Instagram too.

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