Warm welcome 2014!

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By Nirmla Motoomull


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LIKE any new year, we look up to 2014, the year of the horse – galloping like a handsome stallion, as made up of fresh, novel, young and green stuff that inspires hope in us.

But hope is not enough to achieve our desired life for 2014.

One’s impressive resolution must be accompanied with dogged courage, will and determination to fulfill a change come what may.


The year 2013 ended with dire forecasts of tighter budgets, reduced benefits, higher interest rates, costlier fuel and possible natural weather disruptions of record proportions.

In order to survive 2014, economists advise that families must learn to adjust their budgets by adapting changes in lifestyles and spending habits.

To start with, one’s phone bill is not just for the phone.

It is bloated by add-ons such as caller ID, call waiting, IDD plans, NDD plans, portable landline phone, call forwarding and DSL (internet connection).

If you decide to trim your phone bill by maintaining internet and basic landline subscription only, instantly, you start paying several hundred pesos less per month, amounting to savings of several thousand pesos per year.

It is the same thing with the cable TV subscription: just the basic subscription for all the locals, no extras about a dozen foreign channels including CNN, BBC, movies and documentaries.

And get rid of the other TV sets elsewhere in the house which consume electricity and cost extra in cable subscription.

On my part, I consume within my senior citizen discount in my electric and water bills monthly, thus, I’m training my family members to do so also.

Another way, we buy store brands instead of the heavily advertised brands of shampoo, soap, detergent, milk, sardines, flour, oil and many other consumer products.

While name brand products are good, store brand products are much cheaper and just as effective.

I’m pretty sure that those who have switched to store brands like me save 25-50 percent in their weekly grocery bills.

Large chain stores and supermarkets in the Philippines have launched their own line of products, making it much easier to save on purchases of prime commodities.

Whenever I leave the house for errands or shopping, I bring my water container and packed rice (sometimes) to keep within our budget.

If you save P80-P100 on lunch or snacks per short trip, this switch could mean thousands of pesos as savings per month.

I commute by jeepney, and if possible, I just hike my way slowly with my umbrella from one mall to another.

What about you? I’m sure same with you for budget purposes.

Frugal office workers do not buy bottled or canned drinks.

Instead, they stock up on sachets of coffee, tea and powdered fruit juices and take advantage of the office cold and hot water dispensers and microwave ovens.

When eating out at parties and other special events, ask your family members to note which dish on the menu or buffet they would like to have at home, and learn how to cook it.

Take them shopping for the ingredients to educate them of how much the family is saving by preparing at home the same food items they would otherwise have spent a lot of money in restaurants.

And so forth. We have endless worthwhile ways and means in managing our money to live comfortably all year round.

Let us pray for a prosperous 2014 for all of us!

[Email: dr.nirmla_motoomull@yahoo.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 08, 2014.


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