When you’re at the office, there’s always a danger of needing to spend – whether it’s for your own coffee, or when your office friends want to get out of the office for an hour and have lunch somewhere that work-talk is shelved for a while. It’s worse when they want to socialize outside of the office, because that’ll mean that spending barriers go down faster than The Wall.
If you’re trying to be office-frugal, meaning trying to cut your overhead costs on weekdays, it’ll involve shoring up as much willpower as you can to say no to a whole host of things. Here’s how you can get started.
It’s okay to say no
The word that often gets thrown around when it comes to going out with your colleagues is pakikisama. It’s never in a negative sense, but in this case it’s a means to solidify your mutual existence in the same office. Some people will be receptive, some will not.
When you’re trying to spend less, and save more, it’ll be okay to say no to a number of invites to go out. You’ll feel just a little guilty, and your work friends might chirp on you a little, but remember that you’re trying to spend less. Agree to one or two every once in a while, just to blow off some steam.
It’s usually meant as “bring your own beer”, but in the context of a working environment, it’s supposed to mean “bring your own baon.” Bring more than your own lunch. Bring snacks, breakfast, food and drinks that are cheap and will stop you spending any more than you normally would.
Most people will have a drawer with coffee, some biscuits, maybe a bag of oatmeal. You’re doing your body –and wallet – a favor by choosing to take meals with you instead of relying on expensive meals, or on fast food to get you through the day.
Water over designer drinks
Heading to coffee shops on occasion is fine, but turning it into a daily habit will cost you quite a bit. The same is true if you do eat out. Drinks at restaurants can be a little pricier, but the water’s free and cold all the same.
You’ll want to run on water plus coffee or juice packs if you feel the need for a little more taste in your drinks. If your office friends also happen to be coffee/tea addicts, pool your money together to buy beans or tea bags for your daily consumption. Bonus points if your office has a coffee maker to make brewing that much easier.
A frugal commute is better for you at times as well. In order to avoid traffic, long lines, and full compartments, you’ll get up earlier, and go home as early as possible. A Php 50 back-and-forth price tag on your commute is better than having to deal with surge pricing and the hellish traffic.
Walking is also great cardio when your actual office is a little removed from the main transport areas, it’ll also help get your juices flowing in the morning, and let you slowly process the day you had when you’re going home. Music at a reasonable volume is a great way to distract yourself from the distance.
Working with a daily budget and these tips can help you live an office-frugal life, even if it seems that you’re a little less willing to socialize. Odds are your office friends will understand your motives if you can explain it to them.
Kyle Kam is a Digital Marketing Specialist of MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.