Thursday, June 03, 2010

On shopping budgets

Based on recent blog posts, it looks like I'm swimming in money. So I guess it's kinda strange when I start talking about how baby stuff are so expensive, I don't want to spend on baby clothes, and all my gasps and exclamations over the cost of having a baby. Well, I'll tell you a secret: I really set aside a budget for everything!

I'm not an impulse buyer. I will sleep on something I saw in a shop window for days, weeks, even months! If I really want it, I take out envelopes and mark them: "Topaz Ring," "Maternity Dresses," "Sunglasses," "Eyeglass Frames," etc. So, for example, my budget for maternity dresses is 10K. Every pay period, I will slip in 1K or 2K or P500 in that envelope, whatever amount I can set aside after paying the bills. When it finally reaches 10K, BAM! Off to the stores I go and so it looks like I went on a wild shopping spree!

Then when I say, "I don't have money for that breast pump!", it's kinda true. I just mean the envelope marked "Breast Pump" isn't ready yet. 

Here's another secret: When I go on a spree, I don't bring the cash. I usually charge it to the card so that I collect points. I don't despair because I actually already have the cash to pay for my credit card purchases—they're just in my little envelopes. And I always pay the balance in full to avoid fees and other charges. Of course, I can afford to do that because I've already spent a lot of time saving up for it!

I also usually don't get money from my salary. I use the money I earn from blogging, eBay and writing projects. The money that comes from the paid blogging network I belong to is the best because I feel I get it for free. I just write posts and I get $5 for each blog post. It's a small amount but after a month or two, it really adds up. That's how we buy our Threadless shirts from the US and film nerd tees from London. Blogging money!

So though I might appear I'm throwing away money, I'm not. I scrupulously save every extra peso (emphasis on "extra"!) so that I can shop! It takes a lot of discipline and patience but the reward is oh so sweet!


  1. i've been a silent lurker of your blog for a long time. i can relate more now since i'm 5 months pregnant :D.
    i have to agree with you that to have a baby is really expensive! we went to babies r us over the memorial day weekend, found some good deals but thought it was still to early to be buying baby things plus we are getting a lot of hand me downs from my SIL and cousin so we thought of waiting it out.
    and yes, payu2blog is a big help! the $5 an entry goes a long way.

  2. ohh!!!

    that's a great tip. i should start doing that too..i have heard of payu2blog & other sites like but i haven't really got into it much...

    i remember trying to register my other blog (not my beauty blog) & since i was rejected i hadn't tried registering my beauty blog for fear that if i get rejected or something i might lose interest in!

    sounds shallow but it's true..hahaha

    you look so cute in that shirt!
    you know you really look like you're just in your early 20's when you don a simple 'this is my house dress' type of clothes..very different from the 'professional frances'..makes me wanna cuddle you because of your cuteness!

    but i don't think i can just do that or you'll bonk me in the head...hahaha

    hope you'll have a happy friday,hun

  3. ohhh :D i remember tuloy when we were still saving up for nathalie. we used an old cellphone box and labeled it "chuboink's fund" and everyday we would put money in it, and every payday we would count it and then deposit it right away sa atm.

    kahit pa-hulog hulog lang, ayun di namin alam we saved enough na pala :)

    you gave me an idea tuloy with your envelope-saving thing. haha :D

    btw, i love your bunny shirts. have i mentioned before that we used to have pet rabbits too, 3 lahat. pero ayun nasa bunny heaven na sila :(

  4. And your readers don't realize how cheap your husband is! That's how we can afford our small luxuries.

  5. im like this also frances!!! super miss budget this, budget that!!! kasi i feel na i worked hard for the money... dapat when u spend, u put a lot of thought into it.

    it feels so much better... saka u dont notice it.

    i also got myself a credit card for the points. but i always pay in full cus it's better that way. basta i don't spend money that i don't have... i mean, why buy something tpos baon ka sa utang diba?

    i love this post!!!

  6. Those are very sound tips :) I am an impulse buyer but I am now learning to be more mindful of what I buy. Good thing I don't have a credit card or I would have been waist-deep in debt x_x Working for a bank myself, I know how people get in debt even more by making just the minimum payments. I'll keep your tips in mind when I do get one, thank you :)

  7. Hey, thanks for the tip on taking out envelopes and marking them on the things you buy! From now on I'll do that para maiwasan ang impulse buying :)

  8. Ate Frances you really have to teach me how to do that, I'm really not good with budgeting and saving :(

  9. The envelopes are an excellent idea! I think I'll do that the next time I feel the need for a wardrobe overhaul.

  10. hi, ms. frances :)

    i am just starting to do the envelope method, i hope this will work for me :D


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