You had your paycheck three or five days ago. You did the groceries and footed the bills. You stashed away a small fraction for your regular savings. You checked your wallet and told yourself you still have enough for the days ahead of the next paycheck.
Through the days though, you realize you’ve been running out of that ‘enough.’ What’s the culprit? It’s those small things that you failed to buy. It’s those that you forgot to include in your grocery list, or in your actual budget.
Name them — basic cooking ingredients, house cleaning liquids, prepaid mobile credits, simple after-dinner sweets, and even unexpected tricycle rides. Where have these been coming out?
If this happens recurringly, then you better rethink about the way you budget. A simple and direct piece of advice: allocate a certain percentage for such contingencies. While there is no accurate rule for this, you may start with an estimate of how much you usually lose for such.
Likewise, bear in mind the basic rule of household budgeting: every cent counts. You have to make an account of everything, even those loose coins.
Yes, we simply shrug our shoulders and smile once we split a five-hundred or one-thousand peso bill after an unplanned purchase and say, “Wala na. Nabaryahan na.” We always have this mindset that loose change and smaller bills can be more easily spent, and hence disposables.
It doesn’t mean just because you have available coins, you should make use of them for things beyond the real plans.
Make the most of them. Small bills and coins can be used to cover for minor expenses. You can have a jar in your room for these because they still make the budget.
In the end, aside from taking real control of these small bills and coins, it’s equally important to have that regular stash for contingencies. Should there be out-of-the-budget purchases and expenses, at least they don’t hurt much your computations.
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