Saving Money (Part 2)

(This is the continuation of my ‘Saving Money’ series. For Part 1, click here.)
finance book crystal superal
The book that started it all for me: “Your Money Or Your Life”


The illusion of superiority states we are not who we think we are. So, it helps to have specific anchors to guide us. When it comes to consumption, I create barriers that limit me. 

One of them is to simply avoid temptation. I’ve stopped going to the mall, the money-sucking machine. Instead, I spend a whole lot of time at my favorite lake. Simple Dollar’s Trent likes to leave his wallet in the car, buy  bulk in Amazon for basic nonperishables (to avoid shopping), stick only to the grocery list, carry cash only, etc. Little things like these seem pedantic but everything counts.


Ramit Sethi argues that there’s a limit to what you can save, but not what you can earn. The book, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” details a very specific plan on skills growth, so that the person can be indispensable. Imagine a never-ending stream of skills that every employer dreams of. Or being someone or building something so remarkable and unique, you or your work is considered a “purple cow.”

I started writing this blog for practice, to have fun and to share all I know from stuff I read. After several months of consistent posting, I finally received a request for a paid article – a first in my lifetime. It’s not about the money. But how my theory of self-development, combined with time and effort, finally paid off. Plus, this side gig gives me joy.

Aside from my work and blog, I am an avid cook and baker. I have a binder with a collection of alphabetized recipes, focusing on healthy, affordable meals for a family. I’d love to become a Filipina version of Ina Garten. I also workout every other day, read extensively on health and nutrition, travel, color, essays, personal finance… Point is, I do not ever want to get stuck. I’m maximizing my plethora of knowledge because generally speaking, the more education you have, the more opportunities you get. Therefore, the better quality of life you’ll have.


Excessive frugality, a.k.a cheapness, is being such a tightwad that it makes your companions uncomfortable. For example, I always take home my own extra food from restaurants, but I will never scrape down anyone else’s plate for it. I remember once a family friend who got obsessed with recycables. He stops at almost every garbage can and dumps the stuff in his smelly car. Is it worth his time and annoyance of his friends for a few bucks of picking bottles?

Scarcity mindset is believing that there’s not enough in this world to go around. It is rooted from a poverty mindset, where long-term growth is overshadowed by short-term needs. It’s when we are selfish. My tendency is to get guilty of splurging or sharing since my budget is so transparent. I also tend to buy cheap things instead of quality things. (Working on it!) The opposite of scarcity mindset is the abundance mindset.

Limits of saving too much money. Many things are worth the expense — things that save time, enrich life, education and relationships, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to draw the line between what is enough or when to extend one’s comfort zone.


“Your life is the sum of your choices.” – Albert Camus

Personal finance is a life skill, something that everyone has to deal with, yet very few know about. I’m thankful for having read “Your Money Or Your Life,” that started me on track. Granted, I cannot explain credits, stocks, retirement accounts or investments yet, but I’m starting to get a good grip on saving.

I do not know if any of my peers take such care in budgeting as I do. I cannot preach them either, because principles are useless unless one experiences them. If my siblings ever come for help, I’m here as a living example. So far, my careful planning has lifted a huge weight off my family and I get tremendous satisfaction on self-reliance.

I have no inheritance or mortgage, nor do I belong to a high-income tax bracket, therefore my finances are simple. I’m young. And that’s precisely the reason why I’m starting as early as possible — for the highest possible return on investment in this lifetime.


(This is the continuation of my ‘Saving Money’ series. For Part 1, click here.)