My husband is a man of very few words, so sometimes it takes a bit of prodding before he gets all gushy and dishes out compliments. And his favorite compliment is “I appreciate you don’t like wasting money and are very diligent with our finances.”
How romantic! 😉
But I do like being a wise spender and saver! We grew up comfortably, getting a great education and lots of opportunities to travel, but my parents raised us with a mindset of saving for a rainy day. Now, in the time of steadily increasing costs, every peso saved counts.
Here are some of my favorite apps/websites in getting more value from our spending:
So far, my hands down favorite. I spend most of my day at home with the kids, and use the Internet to research and buy online.
Shopback is free to join, and gives you rebates everytime you purchase from their online partners. You just need to go to the Shopback site first and click on the store partner, and shop!
Saving on Groceries
I also use Shopback regularly for my Honestbee purchases (see more below). They offer 7% cashback usually, but there was also a promo period Shopback offered 18% shopback. I hoarded on Hipp for Hannah. Hipp never goes on sale at groceries, supermarkets and drugstores, and here they are offering an 18% discount and delivered straight to your doorstep!
It’s legit. I’ve been using Shopback already for more than a year and I’ve earned P15,000 cash back.
Note: Shopback and all other apps will help you save money only if you buy if for things you are already planning to buy/necessities. Spending is still spending, even if you’re saving off the retail price.
TIP: Even though Shopback promotes its app, it’s better to use Shopback from your desktop or mobile browser. Shopback doesn’t work if you’re shopping app to app (Shopback App to Agoda/Honestbee/etc. App), and if you do a transaction from the Shopback app to any of their partner sites, it doesn’t register your “click” right away.
Honestbee was a lifesaver when I just gave birth to Hannah and when our cook returned to her expat boss (we borrowed her for 8 months and it was heaven). At the time Honestbee was quite new, and I had some doubts.
What drew me to Honestbee were:
1) free delivery above 2500! no need to drive and park! If you compute the cost of gasoline + parking, that’s already money saved.
2) wide array of merchants – I now buy from Robinson’s Supermarket, and South Star Drug most often
3) promo vouchers – the best deal I got was P5,000 off P15,000 purchase you’d be surprised how quickly your cart can reach P15,000 when you stock up for a family of four. There was also a time they gave P11,000 voucher off for P30,000, and I rallied with my mom to reach the amount. Update: Where are the vouchers now, Honestbee? I haven’t used one in ages!
4) partnership with Shopback – they currently offer 7% shopback, but at times have “Mega Shopback” days that give as much as 18% off shopback.
I’ve never bought groceries from Robinsons since they don’t have a branch in Makati, but now I am a suki. I found that overall the quality of fresh items (fruits, veggies and meat), were good and the prices were reasonable. Sometimes, I’d observe that the prices are higher than regular market price, but if coupled with a 7% Shopback, it would be ok.
Having two kids and a business, I’d rather spend my time with my children than braving through traffic and looking for a parking space. I know some moms who love grocery shopping and find it relaxing… I’m not one of them. All in all, a week grocery trip (including travel time) takes 1.5-2.5 hours, and I am more than willing to pay the 99 pesos fee that Honestbee charges for their concierge shoppers. By the way, for the other stores like South Star, they don’t charge the concierge fee.
There have been times where there have been a few mishaps, I ordered bananas and were given near spoiled ones, but Honestbee either quickly replaced, or issued a refund, and gave a small token voucher as an apology.
Among all the financial management books I’ve read so far, the first and easiest way to save money is to “STOP EATING OUT”.
I’ve had lengthy discussions about this with my husband. I am a decent cook, but my husband really likes the eating out experience. He’s the type of guy who closes his eyes to savor the taste of a good steak. At a nice restaurant, we both get to take a break from the daily dinner routine at home. It’s our way of reconnecting and talk about something else aside from the kids.
So we compromised and use Eatigo more often now.
Our current favorite Eatigo spot is Man Ho, one of the best Chinese restaurants in Metro Manila. We book on Sunday evenings and get 50% off on a great 5-star meal with a very serene ambiance and excellent service.
Talk about value for money! The 50% off that Eatigo offers is even greater than the paid hotel membership card discount. Update: it used to be at 7:30pm booking for Man Ho’s 50% offer, but they now pushed it an hour back.
There a lot of other restaurants in the Eatigo app, and you can filter according to location or cuisine. In times of increasing inflation, it’s prudent to save as much as you can, but wisely enjoy your passions.
Wally is an expense tracking app. Diligently listing your expenses is an eye-opener, believe me. It was a shock and awe experience when I realized we were actually spending 40% more than my initial estimate.
That quickly opened my eyes to start “trimming out the fat”.
I ‘ve tried a lot of budgeting apps, but I like Wally the best because:
- it’s free! No need to upgrade to the paid subscription, the free version gets the job done
- easy interface, not too crammed. color scheme is relaxing
- they can generate daily, weekly, monthly reports on your spending
- spending is classified per category and in percentage so you know where you can cut back
Honestly not sure if I would include this as a “recommendation” as I don’t use it as often now.
Snapcart pays you to take photos of your grocery, medicine and cosmetics receipts in their app. From what I understand, they’re a data gathering firm and they sell the info they get from our purchases to market resesarch companies.
This is my least used app. First, because only paper receipts are accepted (no e-receipts allowed). Second, because they recently lowered their prices for snapping your receipts. Previously, Snapcart would give P30 for every P2,000+ receipt, now, it’s down to P15 per P2,000 receipt.
I’ve had a positive experience in “cashing out”, but I’m not as mindful anymore in keeping and snapping receipts due to the lower incentive.
Earning Vs Saving
I want to end this post by what my dad always likes to say. Saving is important, but at the end of the day, what you earn is more important. And it’s true. I don’t mean to invalidate the entire post above, but it wouldn’t be right to just advocate a saving mindset. You should also be geared towards increasing your income. It’s the difference between “playing to not lose” and “playing to win.”
We can only save so much from what we spend, but there’s no cap to our earning potential. Example, if you spend P100,000 a month for your family, there’s a certain amount that you can only save. But what you can earn from your own business is limitless.
From our savings, I also shared How We Invest for Our Kid’s Financial Future.