Easy Budgeting Tips for Beginners

I was browsing through my photo files when I chanced upon a photograph taken in 2006 during the budget planning of the group of companies I worked with. I played an important role because I was the accountant / financial analyst. I remember we even had a 2-year turnaround plan for one of the companies that was incurring loss year after year. The problem was the company did not have a budget plan.  It was too late though, the company eventually shut down. 

On a personal level, it only becomes difficult to live on a budget if you don't have discipline. I was very much guilty in the previous years. It was only last year that I got to be conscious of my spending habits. I'm sharing with you easy budgeting tips to get you started.

Easy budgeting tips

Make a list of your annual, monthly and weekly expenses

Your weekly expenses list will include transportation, grocery, snacks, and whatever purchases you make on a weekly basis. House rent, utility bills, loan payments, medicines will be in your monthly expenses while vacation, gifts, taxes are annual list entry.

Know how much you are earning

It is easier for salary earners to know how much is the take home pay. It is more stressful for freelancers like me because we don't have a guaranteed amount of pay every month.  If you are spending more than you are earning, it's now time to review your spending habits. 

Non-negotiable expenses

Non-negotiable expenses are those you have to incur regularly. You can not let go of these  because you need them to live a normal life. You need to eat, you need electricity, and you need transportation. But you don't need to spend too much. 

Negotiable expenses

Negotiable expenses are those you can live without or not a priority. Are you spending too much buying milk tea? Do you really have to eat out every day or every week? Are you subscribing to more than one video streaming providers? 

Set a limit

You don't have to totally deprive yourself of the things that make you happy or make your life comfortable. All you have to do is set a limit on the amount you spend on them. Also, make sure that you set a realistic limit. You can't cut your meal to once a day but you can opt of a least expensive meal. 

Stick to your budget

This is the hardest part. Sticking to your budget requires discipline. Before buying something, ask yourself if you really need it. Never make an impulse purchase. Also, it helps if you don't bring more money than you'll need for the day. 

Don't save to spend

The first goal is to not spend more than you earn. The next goal is to keep the money you save.  Don't save to spend. It is okay to spend a little to reward yourself at the end of the year from the money you saved.

Do You Really Need Collagen Supplement?

collagen supplement

I have been seeing a lot of products with collagen lately. The cream foundation I am using in the past three months contains collagen. I have also tried the collagen drink ( powdered collagen you can mix with your coffee, juice or cereal) and the vitamins I am taking has collagen.

Is it just a hype or collagen a woman's new best friend?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body found in the skin, muscles, bones and ligaments, blood, and even in the digestive system. Although our body naturally produces collagen, the production decreases as we grow older. 

Why is collagen important?

Most of us only knows the beauty benefit of collagen. But it is not just all about promoting skin elasticity. Collagen helps keep your connective tissues healthy and provides protection for your joints and tendons. It also strengthens the protective lining of your gastrointestinal  tract. 

Working out? Studies have shown that those who take collagen burn fats and build muscles faster.

What causes the decrease in body's production of collagen?

An inevitable cause of decrease in the production of collagen is aging. It is very important that we adapt a healthy lifestyle. A high-sugar diet can damage the proteins in our body while vitamin C helps in the production of collagen.  Smoking and sun exposure damage the collagen in our skin.

Dietary sources of collagen

  • Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C such as citrus, kiwi, pineapple, broccoli, bell peppers 
  • Whole grains, nuts, beans, peas, and seeds
  • Beef, fish, bone broth, and eggs
  • Oysters and shellfish

Do you love gelatin dessert?  Gelatin is a flavorless food ingredient derived from collagen obtained from various animal body part (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin) 

Well, It's a good source of collagen but make sure it doesn't contain too much sugar.

Tips for Airbnb First-time Renter

I love a weekend staycation. I had too much in 2018 that I realized I spent a fortune on hotel accommodations. My friends have been telling me to try Airbnb but the horror stories I've been reading on social media scared me. I want my vacation worry-free. 

Last July, I finally booked a condo at Airbnb. If you want to save yourself from disappointment, here are some tips when renting through this service. 

Safety first

Make sure that the host is verified. It means identification has been provided such as government ID, photo, email address and phone numbers.

Choose a Superhost

Since you are a first-timer, it's best that you choose a host who is top-rated and most experienced. Superhosts receive 4.8+ rating from renters and have hosted at least 10 stays in a year. They also have 90% response rating so you expect they reply when you ask them questions.

Read reviews

The experience of past renters tell a lot about the property. You'll also learn some tips from them on how to make the stay more enjoyable. 

Read the house rules

Every property on Airbnb has its own house rules. It's not like a hotel so expect to make up your own bed and bring out the trash. If you are renting a condo space, you also have to take into consideration the rules of the condominium. 

Ask questions

Before clicking the book button, send the host questions. It is better to clarify information such as parking, kitchen essentials, location and house rules.

My first Airbnb stay was awesome. I booked Vicki's place in Bonifacio Global City. I'll share with you my experience in a separate article. 

Have you tried Airbnb? Do you have any tips to share and property to recommend? I would love to read them all. Drop a comment below.