Tipid Tips for the Employed but Still Struggling



As a girl who wanted to spread her lanky wings and see what’s life outside of a small town, I must say I’ve had my share of ups and super-duper, major, I-can’t-even low downs when I started out in the metro. Why did I make that life choice? I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure that part out. You’d think that three years after getting your degree and passing the board exams you’d know the secrets to the universe by now. But reality will slap you in the face and bam! Adulting motherhuggers! Somewhere along the way you’ll mess up but it’s okay. Just remember the reason why you started and keep on going. So, for those who are adulting all over the place, I hope this personal list of mine will help in getting you through to your next payday. Now you can search for yourself without having to worry if you still have money in your bank account. Yey!


Ditch the laundry service

It’s very tempting to just stuff your dirty clothes in a bag and drop it off a laundry shop when it’s a close enough replica of Mt. Apo. But saving up a couple hundred pesos can make a huge difference if you’re still in the phase of living paycheck to paycheck. You don’t have to finish them in a single washday. Doing them per batch makes it a lighter task. Besides, the sense of fulfillment after doing your laundry is SO satisfying.


Skip the take-out coffee

Majority of employed individuals run on caffeine. I can only name a few of my friends who can be fully functional without coffee. Inevitably, there will be times that you’ll run late for work and think of grabbing a venti on the way, but you’ll save more if you fix yourself a cup in the office pantry. Most of them have free coffee, so take advantage of it. ABUSE IT.

coffee tumbler, coffee tumbler with grinder and filter, Cafflano Klassic, Cafflano coffee tumbler with built-in grinder, Cafflano coffee tumbler
Cafflano Klassic

Now if you’re a bit of a connoisseur or are a serious coffee lover, it’s best you invest in a handy coffee mug with built-in grinder and filter. This way you get to have quality coffee at one-tenth the price of a Starbucks coffee. Cafflano Klassic is the original and most popular option. A brainchild of Korean inventor and CEO of Beanscorp, Hansang Yun, this portable coffee-maker lets you enjoy organic coffee beans and make sure you have nothing but pure antioxidants and caffeine in your coffee. A healthier option. Practically the best way to enjoy freshly brewed coffee while on the go. 

I-Coffee Tumbler with built-in grinder and filter, Portable Coffee-Maker, coffee tumbler
I-Coffee Tumbler with built-in grinder and filter / Portable Coffee-Maker

Cafflano Klassic is sold at Lazada for Php 4500. If you want a tipid alternative, you can go for the I-Coffee tumbler/handy coffee maker. The concept is completely like that of Cafflano Klassic. It is currently available at Lazada at a discounted price of Php 2261. Click here to purchase.

I-Coffee tumbler, tumbler with grinder and filter, portable coffee maker

You can also purchase a Cafflano Klassic on Ebay.


Learn smart commuting

Beep cards! Shell out a hundred pesos if you don’t have one yet, and you’ll be saving up a lot of change in your pocket in the next few days. Plus, it will save you more time from falling in line on the ticket outlet.

If you take buses and it doesn’t seem to be a rush hour, ride the non-AC ones. Just make sure you are equipped with a mask and other EDSA warrior essentials like a sanitizer and a portable fan.

And oh, use promo codes at Grab or Uber. They send notifications for promo codes via the app or text message every now and then, or you can always check their Facebook page for updates. I’ve had numerous experiences when I didn’t have to pay a single peso for a ride because of this awesome idea from their app developers (THANK YOU!). But of course, tipping the driver afterwards would be nice.

Or you can always walk. Every place is walkable if you’re on a budget.


Be smart with clothing shopping 

If you don’t really mind owning non-branded clothing, thrift shops are your best friend. Everybody pretty much knows how low prices can go on these havens, so invest here. Also, it’s always awesome to discover unique finds that you don’t usually see at the malls. Or you can subscribe to UrbanPonder.com and stay up-to-date with awesome promotions from your trusted merchants like Zalora, Lazada, and Ebay. Coz being tipid doesn’t translate to being unfashionable! 😉

On this note … Zalora is offering massive discounts for their Chinese New Year Collection, which will run until January 19, 2017. You can get up to 50% off on curated items from Zalora and Something Borrowed. An affordable way to go corporate chic! 😀


Skip Spotify Premium

I’m guilty of spending money for subscribing to a service which avoids a few seconds of ads that help businesses market their products (ayeee, palusot). Of course, if you’re not that kuripot, why not right? But after a few months of using Premium, I realized I don’t really mind having limited skips of music on shuffle play. I would just go to a Radio, play music on the background while I go on about my day or have fun discovering new songs (check out Futurist by Golden Coast). So, that’s Php 129.00 added to my savings.


Master your eating out hacks

If you know your area well, you probably already know where the cheapest yet good eats are. Ihaw-ihawans, Bentelogs, and Pares places are always on top of my list. When I miss home cooking, I have an eatery where I could buy half rice which still looks like a whole serving. This is a super tipid move for rice-lovers. That way I still have enough change for my preferred ulam. If you’re super stretching your budget, you can always order half a serving of veggies instead and ask for free soup. SOLB!


Bring your tumbler

Lifestraw, water filter

Other than the importance of staying hydrated, this will save you a lot especially when travelling. Whether you’re stuck in EDSA or off to a vacation, this saves you a few coins that you can use for more important stuff later. Water can be expensive at some places like the airport or rest stops. Whenever you can, refill your tumbler at establishments that have dispensers. If you’re a bit of a germaphobe, I suggest investing in water filters like LifeStraw.

Lifestraw has earned the Time Magazine Invention of the Year award. It boasts advanced microfiltration membrane technology that makes it capable of removing up to 99.9999 percent of bacteria (i.e. Salmonella typhi, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli) and 99.9 percent of protozoan cysts (i.e. Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum) that cause waterborne diseases. A worthy investment, it contains no batteries, no chemicals, and no moving parts that may wear out in time. It has a high flow rate but weighs as little as 2 oz – perfect for the city commuter, traveller, backpacker, hiker, or camper who like to go ultralight. Lifestraw has been used worldwide for humanitarian relief activities under extreme conditions. A portion of all its sales go to donations by Green Beetle, LLC. It is currently available on Lazada at a 45% discount. Click here.

You can also purchase Lifestraw on Ebay.


Redeem your points

I do not have a postpaid plan so what I usually do is subscribe to a one-month unlimited Internet service at Globe, which comes with 250 free texts and 20 redeemable points. This usually works for me since I mostly communicate via the Internet and not SMS. Also, when I run short on money, I could easily redeem my points and subscribe to a service that works for me.


Skip the gym

But not the workout! Exercising is always good for you. Staying active can help you a lot in terms of avoiding health issues that can lead to high hospital bills in the future. If you can’t afford the gym fees, you can always set up a yoga mat in your bedroom or do cardio at the Fire Exit stairs of your apartment (just make sure the doors do not lock you out). I’m supposed to list avoiding cigarettes and drinking as a different item but I guess I can just merge it here. I used “avoiding” since I have my history of bad habits, but I can say that I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in terms of switching to a healthier lifestyle AND saving up a lot by staying home on weekends.

yoga mat, extra thick yoga mat
Extra thick Yoga Mat available on Lazada at 45% discount. Click on the image.

Many of us struggle with sticking to an exercise routine. Based on experience, one of the best ways to stay fit and ensure we exercise more is by removing the barriers that keep us from getting started on a daily basis. >> We may not want to waste time, money and energy for commute to the gym. >> Or we may not be in the mood to put on our best exercise attire and be around people. >> Or we may have failed to keep up with our gym membership fees. This myriad of excuses can be addressed by setting up our own little gym at home. Start with the essential – a good yoga mat. Then add in dumbbells for the helpful weight training, or even an indoor stationary exercise bike for your much-needed daily cardio burn. This way, it’s easier to jump in and exercise even in all our haggardness glory anytime of the day! No excuses.

high quality dumbbell set, dumbbell, dumbbell set
Top grade Chrome Dumbbell Set available on Lazada at 51% discount. Click on the image for further information.
Indoor stationary Exercise Bike available on Lazada at 54% discount. Click the image to purchase.















De-clutter and sell your stuff

Roll up your sleeves and let your wardrobe breathe. If there are things that you don’t really need, give them to charity or sell them. Apps like Carousell and Shopee are helpful if you don’t have the time to set up a garage sale. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can make out of selling your stuff, just be careful not to get addicted to it though.



Colleen Lantajo, beach bum
Beach Bum Colleen Lantajo


It is important that we take control of our finances so we can have enough resources for doing the things that we love … like traveling and bumming out on the beach! 😉


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Author: Colleen Lantajo

Colleen Lantajo loves to write. She contributes to sites that match her own interests, including Urban Ponder, Bentobox Manila, and The Film Traveler. She is a self-proclaimed Otaku, or a youngster obsessed with computers and certain aspects of pop culture, sometimes throwing social skills to the wind. She loves travelling, and is passionate about books, food, arts, and living a hippie life. She once had an acting stint in a music video that caught the attention of FHM. Yeah, she’s got the looks and the smarts.

She is a Registered Nurse, but is currently working fulltime as a Marketing Specialist at a SEO company. She is in the process of getting as much hands-on learning as she can. She intends to be awesome, if not the best, at the SEO circle in the Philippines. So watch out, y’all!

2 thoughts on “Tipid Tips for the Employed but Still Struggling

  1. Skipping takeaway coffees / teas and cooking my own food have been gamesavers for me. Also selling books and stuff is a good way to make life little better. 🙂

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