by Katrina Paola Lugartos
I am 25, Asian, single, and having a quarter life crisis. Quarter life crisis because it feels like I need to save more money to support myself in the future. That being said, I’m starting to put my eggs in different baskets. I wanna go back to school but the thought of taking money out of my pocket stresses me out.
Similar to most of the Filipino teenagers, I banked on my “Overseas Dream”, that I could move out from my parents’ place and live the Carrie Bradshaw life. At the back of my mind, I was thinking of writing articles for topnotch papers, being on the spotlight and all that jazz and being rich as hell.
Moving from Manila to Singapore, the transition wasn’t that easy. Everything is different and if you don’t have enough money, you’re screwed. That is why I’m starting to learn new tricks and applying them everyday, and came up with some rules for young professionals who are living it up. As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Rule number 1: Coupons and online deals
It’s a no-brainer that there are tons of coupon and deal sites, especially here in Asia. All you have to do is collect and select a promo that works for you. My personal favorite is Rakuten as it has new deals everyday, not only that, they offer combined shipping too! I also use Groupon deals to save on haircut, fancy vegan food, electronics, and travel. Now that I’m calculating it, I actually saved almost $500 from the past month just by getting these deals. Imagine adding that to your bank account. Going to Ebay to sell your pre-loved goods isn’t a bad idea either.
Rule number 2: Be careful of online banking – scams are everywhere
Yeah, I kid you not. I was almost victimized by this – I received an email from someone claiming to be from MasterCard but when I looked at the confirmation hyperlink, I noticed that the address bar didn’t have an “https” sign and worse, it was a phishing site. Double check, if possible, even triple check the sites that you are going to – make sure that it’s your bank’s official site. The money in your bank is hard earned as it’s worth hours, days, months, and years of your work. Security is the number one issue for me. If it’s not secure enough, why would I let them keep my money?
Rule number 3: Use your mobile phone
In this fast times, paying is easy as ABC. What I do is carry my smartphone with me everyday and let it do all the talking. Unlike online banking, mobile phones now have apps in which you can have the confidence to transfer and receive money. Right now, I have an app called MobiSinga on my phone and it made my life easier – aside from saving money with coupons, it also acts like my modern shopping assistant, planning my shopping and making sure that I don’t buy more than what I need. I’m saving money and at the same time, keeping my budget. Apps are also useful for expat young professionals like me when I need to send money back home. It’s cheaper than going via remittance centers, and did I mention handy?
I am thrilled to have gotten so much from my life and my career and now, I’m confident to build my future and save money so that I can enjoy doing things that I love and profiting from it, so that I can spend more time for myself and my loved ones and less time being a workaholic, anxiously looking for ways to save up.
Over the past months, I’ve been getting in touch with my expat friends and they are having the same problem, too. So maybe saving up not that hard to do. And there you have it, those 3 are practically easy to follow. It’s never too late to take advantage of the latest payment and commerce technologies. So why not give it a try?
Katrina Paola Lugartos is the Head of Payment Channels, Center for Business Strategy and Tactics. She designs programs to benefit consumer experience in banking practices.