Living Solo: Budget, Bills, and Bigger Purchases

Living Solo: Bills, Budget, and Bigger Purchases

I FIRST THOUGHT about writing it shorter and simpler, but now I guess I’d take it beyond an ordinary post — a solo living journal entry, I should call it. I’ll keep things more personal and candid as I try to share some updates on my personal finances and frugal living practices under the fresh category, and this but comes a prelude to such topics worth more episodes to write about.

Consolidating and Footing All Unpaid Bills. Just today, I was able to consolidate and finally settle all household utility bills — Meralco, Globe At Home, and Manila Water — after skipping for quite a while all end-of-March due dates. Paper bills did not make it to the mailbox, and since I have the mobile apps for Meralco and Globe At Home running, I could easily check for outstanding balances.

Surprisingly, there’s a shortcut to checking water bill balance online amidst the lockdown — simply send both the contract account number and the actual account name to Manila Water (official Facebook page) through chat and get the figures in less than five minutes.

While I still have the paychecks for the whole April as a privilege promised to all regular school employees and half of which I received as early as today, I did not hesitate to pay all bills despite the extended due dates, with all given a 30-day grace period. I could have paid them all by the end of April, but I don’t want all unpaid bills to pile up as I still have the apartment rent ahead.

Cutting the process short, I had all bills paid and accounts even successfully enrolled with GCash after a real-time bank transfer with zero convenience fee, courtesy of InstaPay.

Keeping the Fridge and Pantry Well-Stocked. Two weeks ago after receiving my end-of-March paycheck and extra honorarium, I restocked the fridge with meat, vegetables, and all other staples, and the pantry with canned goods, snacks, and instant noodles. I had trips both to the supermarket and the nearby wet market until I became totally appeased, however spent around PHP3,000.00 right then.

With three meals a day plus snacks in between, the fridge now runs almost out of staples, but most canned goods are spared. I plan to restock the fridge any time soon, preferably within the week, but I still have the second thought because, as what I have observed, there’s nothing much to buy on weekdays, rather on weekends, at the wet market.

Making Bigger Purchases One at a Time. I got a loan payment moratorium, which I should really be thankful of, from my sister this month. Just on time before the quarantine, I borrowed PHP22,000.00 for the purchase of a new laptop. I got the old broken, and the new one cost me around PHP30,000.00 less the discount for cash payment.

I feared about getting no salary for ‘no work, no pay,’ but fortunately, it was the opposite, and I knew I should always have an extra cash for any emergency. I had the money though to sit in the bank account for an indefinite time.

Apart from this, I am also into paying a monthly installment of PHP1,600.00 (for 12 months) for the Panasonic refrigerator which I purchased before Christmas. The monthly installment just started last month, and I do understand I have more to go about it. It’s not a big purchase to regret though, even the PHP30,000.00-Canon DSLR last year which I’ve been using to cover school events. At least, I’ve started making bigger purchases for a more comfortable lifestyle right within my means.

Becoming a SiteGround Affiliate. I rolled out another AdSense ad alternative (after Innity ads) while the review and approval of this domain for content monetization are put on hold after Google’s operations being affected by the pandemic.

You might have observed already that square banner that displays about SiteGround and its three-month web hosting promo for just 0.99USD (around PHP50.00). Nearly everyone in the blogging landscape agrees that SiteGround offers the top-notch, fastest, and most secure web hosting services. Apart from these, its 24/7 chat support is what keeps the number of clients growing and growing each day (now serving over 2 million domains around the world).

I have never ever imagined myself migrating this blog from SiteGround to somewhere else. You can also start your blog with SiteGround now with this AFFILIATE LINK and help me earn a commission.

Buying More MRSGI Shares. Aside from stashing away for loan repayment and savings, I also spent a fraction of my extra honorarium for additional 2,000 MRSGI shares at a discounted price of PHP1.47 apiece. Given the economic slowdown and the market dips, I took such a huge opportunity to average down my stock position and benefit from the additional dividends which I expect to receive within the next couple of months.

By and large, I must say that somehow I’ve been doing well FOR NOW with my personal finances, but I do hope I could find more opportunities very soon to boost my savings, something that I will detail out in the next episodes of this journal on living solo.