Money and insurance

7 tips on how to save money amid rising prices of gas and basic commodities

We all need to be creative in budgeting our household expenses these days as oil prices are rising due to fears of supply shortfall. At the beginning of March, prices skyrocketed to their highest in 14 years and the rest of the world is already feeling the reverberations from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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Everyone now has to tighten their belts a little more and start budgeting.

But how? Here are 7 tips on how to save money:

1. Be on the lookout for discounts from oil companies.

Caltex, Shell, Petron, Unioil and others have loyalty cards on their own or cards that are tied to major retail companies such as SM, Robinsons, Landers and S&R. With membership shopping cards, minimum spend is required to get a discount voucher; with retail company tie-ups, the amount you spend is converted into reward points that you can use in the future when you fill up your gas tank.

2. Lower your household energy consumption.

Tweak your daily use of electricity. Simple things such as the use of your washing machine and dryer, air-conditioner, microwave oven and other appliances can help reduce energy consumption. Consolidate your wash loads, use one less AC by sleeping or watching TV in one room. Also consider changing your lights to less energy-consuming LED lights (it may be more expensive at the outset but it’s worth it).

3. Bike to work and walk when doing errands.

Using your car less to consume less gasoline is the most obvious way to save on gas money, but people tend to forget it. You need to modify your habits according to your new budget. If you’re going on errands in your neighborhood, force yourself to walk or bike—it not just saves you money, it also compels you to burn calories and keep your heart healthy.

4. Cut down on your groceries.

Junk food is the first to go, followed by purchases that you can forego in the meantime. Even when most people sit down to do their supermarket list, they are shocked when they get home to find out that they had filled their grocery carts with so much more. It’s easy to get stuff from the aisles just because you see them. Be more conscious of what you buy and stick to your list.

5. Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships—online or in the physical world.

We are all eager to subscribe to cloud storage, streaming platforms, cable TV, online sites, gym and membership shopping that we hardly use. We pay for them every month and we don’t realize that they add up to quite a sizable amount. Make a list of what you actually need and what you actually use. Do you really need 3 terabytes of cloud storage? Does it fit your budget? You will find that many of your subscriptions are just going to waste. If you cancel and find out that you really need it, just resubscribe—as long as it fits your new budget.

6. Buy generic products.

Choose supermarket brands like SM’s Bonus for household supplies and non-branded over-the-counter medicines. Generic brands are far less expensive than branded ones.

7. Spend extra income wisely.

If you get a bonus at work or an inheritance, put it to good use instead of replacing your perfectly working TV or game console. Pay off your credit card debts and other debts, which are accruing interest every day on your balance. The goal is to not have to pay interest, and you’ll be surprised how much money you save.

Also, think about investing your extra money wisely. FWD Life Insurance’s Set for Life and All Set / All Set Higher protect you while helping you invest your money in diverse funds that may potentially have higher returns than a traditional savings account.

Book an appointment with an FWD financial advisor to know which product suits your financial goals.