Thoughts On Saving Money This Quarantine

The Jaime Times Thoughts On Saving Money This Quarantine

Since the start of quarantine in March where I began to hear many people crying for help as their primary source of income succumbed to the pandemic, I’ve been slowly learning and perceiving the value of money in a deeper sense. And along with it, I’ve also seen that having continuous work today despite the persistent rollout of COVID-19 in the country is indeed a blessing and saving grace sent from up above. So let me take a moment to thank God a lot for this and pray for those people who were devastated emotionally and economically by this insidious health crisis. 

I will admit that in our pre-pandemic years, especially during the first months after I got a job and began receiving salaries, I used to spend my money so irresponsibly. I threw them like tissue papers from here and there, purchasing various things I knew were totally non-sense or had no relevant importance neither to myself nor my lifestyle. Budget management and a simple saving a little were totally none of my business. 

For me, it's normal for first-time earners to get overwhelmed with the money that comes from their own hard work and perseverance. In my experience, I literally perceived this money as a reward for my sacrifices and deprivations during my student years where I had no means yet to buy the things I desired the most. And so, when my first job began conceiving money, I shelled them out with no second thoughts. 

I bought this and that. In just a single night, imagine, I could easily spend more or less 1,000 pesos for dinner and sort of facial and body washes. Hilarious, I know. 


But you know what, at the end of the day, I still came to consider myself empty-handed despite having a renewable source of income and a capability to purchase during paydays. My heart had personally seen that the happiness when you buy something is just for the interim because the excitement melts away as you start using it in the coming days. Hence, when I find myself with a hundred peso left in my ATM card, and suddenly grew uninterested with the stuff I excitedly bought from my previous salary, it deeply gets to my nerves knowing that there's literally nothing left from what I've hardly worked on. “Peralized” (‘pera’ means ‘money’ plus paralyzed: a colloquial word used to imply when people can’t temporarily shop or hang out because they have no enough budget to do it so. 

Quarantine Pushed Me to Another Looking-glass

I can safely say that I became much wiser in spending my money this quarantine. How? It's actually an unexpected opportunity. Primarily because the restrictions to go outside for non-essential purposes barred me from getting in contact not only with the large crowd but also with various temptations that are just around and ready to attack anytime. So for those who are asking for a sign, I’m telling you that right now is the perfect time to become smarter in handling our finances.

Six months ago, I started allocating a significant percentage of my salary to savings. I became committed to considering this every cut-off because it gives me a strong feeling of security now that our country is drowning into recession. At least, even if my wallet runs flat in settling bills and groceries, in my mind I know that there’s still some amount left in my account. I’m not totally broke.

Checking out some items to reward myself sometimes also became lighter in feeling as I’m assured that I have already saved enough from the cut-off and so I can spend the excess. With the balanced financial mindset, clicking the ‘place your order’ button doesn’t feel hefty and doesn’t entail regrets in the end. It brings a soothing form of relief that really touches me emotionally and of course, physically. 

Aside from steadfast money-saving, this already-six-month-long quarantine has also given me the cue to start some small household investments like replacing our old stuff with the new ones. By far, I have already bought a brand new rice cooker, cooking paraphernalia, electric kettle, cabinet, and many more. What’s next? Perhaps, cable connection? Oh! Let me first think of that so well, it has monthly obligations.

Nice, isn’t it? Saving money, for me, is so therapeutic especially now that we're all sailing in a very uncertain setting. 

You All, Listen

Pandemic has a clear message for us all: We don’t have any idea what the future holds. Our business could be shut down in a click. Our sky-reaching income could stop soaring in a pick. So it’s really the best to be secure financially. If not tomorrow, it’s today that you should start saving and investing. Aim for something where you can benefit for a long-term race.     

With so much convenience wandering around us, I know that we all got intoxicated by instant gratification that's why we perceive saving money as boring and unyielding. But without further explanation, I'm here to tell you that it's really a must. So please start as soon as right now!

Photo Credit: Cam Morin