The holidays went by so fast but so did your 13th month pay and Christmas bonus. With all the gifts you had to buy, party potlucks you had to bring food for, and holiday sales you could not resist, it wouldn’t be surprising if you find your wallet near-empty. You’re most likely experiencing what many call “petsa de peligro,” which literally means “day of danger.” It’s most commonly used when payday seems so far away and you feel like there won’t be enough money to last you until then.
If you find yourself in the same situation, here are five helpful ways to survive financially until the next payday:
1. Bring your own lunch.
Food is one of your main daily expense and by bringing your own lunch from the leftovers of the previous night’s dinner, you immediately cut down on your daily cost. Avoid take outs such as the fried chicken meal you usually order at McDonald’s or Jollibee. All the grease from your fast food and the packaging that comes with it can also do much damage to your physical and environmental health. Opt for home-cooked meals. Canned tuna is also a good option, if you run out of options.
2. Choose water.
Skip that milk tea you could always get the next time or that bottled fruit juice that only has artificial flavors. Drink water, instead, as it remains the best liquid to keep you hydrated. You can buy a liter of clean, drinking water for as low as 10 pesos. Pure coconut juice can be a sweeter yet still healthy alternative for water. Both are good for flushing out toxins from the body.
3. Endure instant coffee (for now).
We now how coffee makes you functional throughout the day. We also know very well how much you love Starbucks. However, you’ll have to give it up for now and turn to a more affordable alternative – instant coffee. It might not taste as good, but at least you have caffeine running in your system. There are a lot of options, too, such as black, white, and creamy coffee. Approach the attendant at your company cafeteria or the trustee auntie selling at the sidewalk outside your office.
4. Avoid the shopping malls.
Never enter a mall at this time of the year because it’s likely that clearance sales are underway. You know how shops can offer unbelievable deals that could send your wallet into overdrive. Skipping the takeout food and your favorite coffee drinks will be completely useless if you spend what little remainder you have on your wallet on clothes or shoes. If you can’t avoid the mall, bring a friend who can stop you from buying anything.
5. Minimize Uber/Grab rides.
Commuting to and from work can be horrible. You can find yourself waking up as early as 5 a.m. and still arriving a few minutes late to your 9 a.m. shift. This is obviously where ride-hailing services like Grab and Uber become even more appealinv. The drivers, armed with smartphones and the Waze app, can take you to your office quicker than a normal commute would. With your dwindling budget, though, you might need to minimize booking rides. Get ready faster and earlier in the mornings and maximize alternatives such as the train system.
Holiday season or not, it all comes down to money management. You can indulge on expensive coffee, branded clothes, and delicious meals without hurting your wallet or bank account. This way, you won’t ever have to deal with a “petsa de peligro” situation.