My Old School Money Saving Allowance Strategy

Whenever a strategy to save my money gets complicated, I tend to drop doing it. I do so whether consciously or unconsciously. I don’t like doing too much. I want to have some spare money. I hate the fact that I end up spending all that I earn so I’ve been experimenting on different ways to get the job done.

I came up with the allowance strategy. I remember my late gradeschool days until I hit college. I always had the money to buy what I want. I also had some extra. I enjoy looking at how much money I had on hand. For some reason I was content with money. I didn’t have a lot but it felt like I had a lot. That’s all I remember.

The other thing that I recall is that, I had an allowance. A weekly allowance that I got from my dad and a daily allowance that I got from my mom. It’s practically half. My dad gave me a bit more on a weekly basis and my mom gave me mine daily.

To duplicate the result, you must duplicate the process that leads to the result. I tell myself. My experiment begins.

Another factor I considered is that writing down your expenses doesn’t directly lead to better savings. The advantages of writing your daily expenses is having a log of how much an errand would cost. I’ve been recording my expenses for a bit over two years since I got my iPod touch. I use an app called Nexus Money which sadly is only available for iOS devices. It’s a neat little app that allows you to record your expenses. Because of the data I’ve gathered I was able to come up with how much it costs me to go to certain locations and anticipated day to day and weekly expenses. I also know what I’m most likely to spend on and over spend on.

With the information I’ve gathered, I came up with a specific amount. I use it as a daily allowance for my expenses. I often spend Php 160 per day on commute and a snack for most of my trips to work or wherever and then I added a bit of allowance. A hundred bucks or so is fine so I came up with the amount Php 250 per day.

Here’s how I put this strategy into action..

My weekly budget is Php 1,500 per week. I pull this amount from my bank and ask them to split in Php 50’s. My daily budget is Php 250 per day so I give myself this amount on a daily changes.

Here are other factors that you might find interesting. I spend Php 1,000 on weekly groceries I give myself this amount weekly. I don’t always eat out. I make meals from home because I recently learned how to cook. This gives me incentive to cook consistently because whatever’s left from my money can be used for buying whatever I want.

So here’s how it works. I give myself Php 250 daily. I try to keep expenses down as much as possible and I use the spare cash or in come cases I call it leftover money to pay for whatever the hell I want.

Now you might ask what happens to the rest of the money. I use it to pay for things I couldn’t imagine that I could pay for. I was able to free up a bit of cash to pay for my debt. I completed my emergency fund. I use some to pay for my projects and experiments. I use some to save up so I can buy investments.

Dead simple because it worked for me.

Some things you need to avoid. I learned them the hard way. Don’t leave your cash where other people have access to. Only bring your daily allowance (not your whole weekly budget) with you and the leftover money in a separate container if you have to bring it.

Here’s how I decided my daily budget.

I was learning how to program using Python and I made a program that helps me compute my expenses.

What money saving tip has worked for you?