MEH

I Earn P12,000 A Month, And This Is How Much I Spend In A Week

I pay P180 for parking every single day.
by Cosmopolitan Philippines
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Name: Tris, 26

Industry: Architecture. I work in a small firm.

I live with my grandmother and two aunts. My dad lives in the south with my stepmom; my mom and stepdad are based abroad.

Financial support: My lola pays for my groceries, and my dad covers my water and electricity bills, but I pay for my own internet (P1,299/month) and phone bill (P999 to P1,200/month).

Day 1 (Monday)

It's 8:15 a.m. and I'm at work early, which is not unusual. I always try to arrive early to get a parking slot in the pay parking lot near where I work. This particular one offers a whole-day rate if you get in before 9:00 a.m.  

I clock in, then go back down to mail a postcard (P17) to a friend in London. We like sending each other snail mail occasionally. Luckily, I don't have to walk too far since the post office is conveniently nearby.

Breakfast consists of two large pan de sals, which only costs P14 for both. I use the communal Cheez Whiz in our pantry and pair it with hot Milo (also from the pantry).

For lunch, I usually bring food from home. Seeing that I spend the most on parking on a daily basis, I try to keep food costs down. Meh. Officemates decide they want ice cream, and we make our way to the nearest McDonald's. I get the sundae cone for P13.

I leave the office a little after 7:00 p.m. I pay P180 for parking—ugh. Steep, but not as bad as other hourly rates. After exercising with my friend, I get home around 11:30 p.m.

Daily total: P224.00

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***

Day 2 (Tuesday)

I'm at my desk by 8:30 a.m. and, of course, I'm hungry. I realize I left my wallet at home today. Oops! So I have to I skip my morning pandesal. I make hot Milo to get by until lunch.

Nothing interesting happens and before I know it, it's lunch time. I eat what's in my lunchbox.

It's the end of the month and it's time to get paid. I wait until 7:30 p.m. to get my pay (we still get paid in cash, and as much as I complain that we need a payroll account, the cash served me well today.) Lucky me, 'cause I would've had to borrow money to pay for parking. I pay the usual P180 and head home.

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After dinner, I get extra (read: side hustle) work done at home, and I'm asleep by midnight.

Daily total: P180.00

***

Day 3 (Wednesday)

I'm at work again early, but thank GOD I have my wallet. I go get my morning pan de sal (P14). I wait until my officemate gets in, and we leave for our meeting by 9:15 a.m. We take a GrabCar to and fro. I shoulder the fare, but this will be later reimbursed by the office. I technically spend nothing.  

We're back in the office in time for lunch, and I eat the baon I brought from home. A few of us decide to get ice cream again. I wanted the Family Mart twirl-it-yourself cone but came out empty-handed after checking out three different stores. I make my second mug of Milo for the day (will probably regret this later).

I leave the office by 7:15 p.m. and pay P180 for parking. I go to my friend's place to work out.

Daily Total: P194.00

***

Day 4 (Thursday)

I have a hard time waking up and realize I should stop staying up browsing social media and, instead, sleep earlier. The drive to work was thankfully faster, since traffic was a little bit more forgiving this morning. I get pandesal after clocking in at 8:20 a.m. They didn't have my usual order so I get the wheat kind. It's P16 for two.

I don't spend again on lunch, since I brought food from home. Seriously, bringing baon saves me so much! It's corned beef, egg, and rice today. I eat at my desk 'cause I have to leave before 1:00 p.m. to get to meetings. An officemate pays for our GrabCar.

I'm out the entire afternoon for back-to-back meetings in different places. I end up meeting another officemate for our second meeting, and hitched a ride with her back to the office. We arrive 15 minutes before quitting time. I leave by 7:00 p.m., pay the P180 parking fee, and drive home. I stop for gas on the way back. I charge it to the credit card (my dad pays for this 'cause, TBH, I wouldn't be able to afford it. I also don't know how to commute that much so I opt to drive).

Daily total: P196.00

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***

Day 5 (Friday)

I'm at work before 9 a.m. and buy the usual pandesal for breakfast (P14 for two big ones). I spend the rest of the day at the office. There's free lunch today. I choose that over my baon, which was a good call 'cause it was lasagna, salmon, chicken, and salad. What a spread!

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After finishing up with work before the weekend, I clock out at 6:30 p.m. I pay for parking (P180) and head to my friend's to work out. I'm home by 11:30 and have whatever was in my baunan for dinner. LOL!

Daily Total: P194.00

***

Day 6 (Saturday)

I wake up at 8:00 a.m. and chill in bed for a good hour—mostly scrolling through Instagram. I finally roll out of bed and decide to clean my room some more. At 10:00 a.m., I get ready to meet my boyfriend.

We make it to lunch at a Korean BBQ place in Ortigas early enough that there's still parking out front. We're the first ones there. We decide on one order of pork, an order of beef, and a spicy tofu stew. We split the bill: P510 each. Not bad, since we usually spend less than P200 when we go out to eat. At 1:00 p.m., I drag my boyfriend with me to the mall to buy pants. This shopping trip is courtesy of our office as it's for our new uniforms; we need to get the same colored bottoms. All I have to cover is parking, which is P55.

I drop my boyfriend off in Katipunan, since he has something planned for the afternoon. I go back home and take a nap. I wake up close to 5:30 p.m., and I'm a little late in picking him up. We head to U.P. Diliman for an evening run. Afterwards, we get ready to go to my officemate's birthday party. I don't know the place so well, so I decide to book an Uber. (My dad pays for my Uber rides.)

We stay for a few hours and head back to my house at around 1:00 a.m. in a cab. This time, my boyfriend pays.

Daily Total: P565.00

***

Day 7 (Sunday)

I wake up at 7:30 a.m. but immediately fall asleep again for another two hours. I get ready for church (I don't go every Sunday) and a family lunch. I drive my lola and two titas to Makati, where the mass and lunch will be. I chat with my cousin and play with a baby until it's time to go home. We get home at around 2:30 p.m., and I end up napping the whole afternoon. Don't hate! It's Sunday. I'm called for dinner, which is the first time this whole week that I get to sit with my family. I'm still pretty full from lunch, so I eat a piece of lumpia and rice. I spent the rest of my night fixing my closet, tidying my desk, and sweeping my floor. My room's still messy, but it'll do. I'm in bed by 11:30 p.m. but I fall asleep at 1:45 am, which is usually around the same time I regret taking such a long nap.

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Daily total: P0.00 

***

Weekly Total: P1,553.00 

This was the first time I've kept track of my daily expenses down to a T, and it just reaffirms my frugalness. I used to spend a little more on food when parking was cheaper (I used to only spend P50/day on parking but they now also charge an hourly rate, so I had to find the next best option). My co-workers spend about the same amount in a day as I do, but since most of them commute, they spend less on transportation and more on food instead. Luckily, there's always a lot of free food in the office from suppliers and on birthdays! If I can find a free alternative to something, I'll most probably take that option. I'm lucky that I don't have live on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis and that I can still set aside money for small investments, since I don't have household contributions. But despite penny-pinching, I do treat myself once in a while (most of the time, it's a good meal) because that's still important. 

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