How do you survive?
I bet people asking me about my life now have one question on their mind which they're itching to ask me (but maybe finds it awkward to ask): how do you survive?
So let's get to the real deal of this. To survive, there are two factors to consider - the income and the expenses. For this piece, I will share my "hacks" on how I manage to keep my expenses at bay.
Cutting my expenses to more than half does not mean I cut the quality of my life - I still eat great food, you know, Lol.
A fool proof hack on food is to make your own.
A sumptuous dish? I cook. A hot and aromatic coffee? I brew. A mouth watering dessert? I bake or prepare. They aren't the perfect or the tastiest version in the world, but Levy and I love most of our home cooked meals. And that's more than enough!
Cooking our own food slashes a big chunk of our expenses and boy I am loving every minute I spend in our kitchen!
Of course, I don't deprive myself with experiences at good restaurants but I do it "wisely". Ever heard of "Happy Hour"? Oh, it's heaven sent! Prices are generaly cheaper, no rowdy guests, and you practically have the entire restaurant to yourself (and your friends).
And the most important part of it all is this: I enjoy my food in an unrushed and tasteful manner. That, alone, improves the quality of my life!
My first attempt of Japanese gyudon with poached eggs
Happy Hour at Draft Gastropub
Since I do not need "power dresses" on a daily basis (and I am not stressed to divert myself to shopping), I ditched my regular visits (and purchases) on high end stores. I purged (and still getting rid of) my gamut of clothes. And it feels so much better!
This does not mean though that I am denying myself of dressing aptly. I still make an effort to look presentable sans the hefty prices of my clothes, bag, and shoes. I do this by scoring some nice buys at Divisoria. Believe me, there are so much finds in that shopping mecca that are at par with the branded ones. And wearing them does not make me less of a person.
Branded bags and shoes? Been there, done that. So thank you, but I am not wasting my money on those just to make good about myself.
Strolling the shores of Boracay in my full Divisoria outfit
Casual night in my Divisoria top and bag
Travel is part of my core system and no way will I trade it just to "save". I fly to Bacolod more often now but I plan my flights during weekdays (either Tuesday or Wednesday) to get the best and cheapest deals. Moreover, I also freely plan my trips without the worry of work hindering my schedule (cue unexpected and rushed work deadlines). And the best part of it? I enjoy every trip I take without counting the remaining days and hours and not being anxious of unfinished jobs back at work. It's.the,best.esperience.ever!
I also freed myself from random trips to "momentarily leave the hustle and bustle of city life" which I would normally end up paying high prices on hotels and airfares. Hooray to a life that isn't in "dying for 5 days to live for 2 days" cycle!
3 days, 2 nights beach bumming (with a bit of work) on weekdays
With the fambam on my father's birthday
Coffee shops, movie dates, impulse shopping - these are the primary culprits of syphoning your wallet for a temporary "happiness" and to justify that so called "I am so stressed, I deserve this!" syndrome.
I let go of them.
I'm turning our home to be a haven for relaxation and entertainment. I also created interesting nooks to serve as my "office" or quite time area. With this, I mostly opt to stay at home to get some things done than waste my money on coffee shops.
With thousands of movies and series to watch on Netflix, I do not clamor for a movie at the mall nor give in to the hype of Beauty and the Beast, just because.
Massage? I get it at the comforts of our home with my tea and relaxing music at half the price during non-peak hours.
I also cut my postpaid line because really, who needs it when you have a 24/7 wifi at home?
Getting some work done here on my PJs
Afternoon read in this area of our home
Set up for movie night at our home
We can buy a new car, but Levy and I wait for the right timing on when to get one because there is that so called - making mature decisions. For the meantime, we still ride at our 12-year Altis car and we are perfectly fine with it!
Since I don't drive, I make use of Uber but I carefully plan my schedule to have all errands done in a single trip and not on a rush hour so I maximize my Uber ride. Because really, rush hour sucks!
I may not be riding the latest Fortuner but I am pretty sure I am way more relaxed sitting in our old Altis knowing that I do not need to wipe somebody's ass to get a hand at a company-owned car *wink*.
Genuinely happy while driving our 12-year old car
Needs vs wants. Priorities vs temptations. Life vs made up excuses.
These are some of the basic necessities which at one point in my life turned to be lavish wants. But needless to say, I am happy that I realize what really matters in my life.
I may not have an extravagant lifestyle now but I am sure I am having a quality life. And that's the more important thing!
Here's to knowing your priorities and freeing yourself from society's pressure!
Let me end this post by sharing a quote from Charles Spurgeon:
"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."
So what's one "luxury" I can't let go of? A trip to a nice nail salon. :)
Now, I'm off to my bedtime tea!