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If you find yourself having to consider personal loans or payday loans on a regular basis, the chances are that you are overspending without realising it. You are certainly not alone and millions of people across the globe are in exactly the same position. Expats and locals in the Philippines can take advantage of the country’s relatively low cost of living to try and save money but in 2019.

Streaming Services

Broadcast television is less popular than ever before and the birth of on demand streaming services means that for most people, paying for content is now commonplace. Unfortunately, many people end up spending far more than they need to on streaming services they never actually use. If you are realistically going to watch over 70 hours of box sets and movies each week and can afford to pay for several on demand services at once, there’s no real issue, but in reality, this doesn’t apply to many of us. Try to identify which services you use the most and which you could live without. It may feel like a sacrifice but your bank balance will be eternally grateful.

Expensive Food

We all love food and the Philippines has some of the best in the world. Fine dining and luxury meals have become very fashionable recently and though it can be nice to enjoy a treat like this once in a while, too much can be as bad for your body as well as your personal finances. Considering how much wonderful fresh produce is available in the markets of the Philippines, it is still possible to eat quality food without having to pay for a professional chef to prepare it for you. Avoiding pre packaged ready meals and other convenience food is also a good move as these every day products can end up costing you a lot of money over time. The occasional treat is fine, but if you are looking to save money and address your overspending, take a long hard look at your eating habits first.

Clothes and Fashion

Thrift stores and charity shops can contain some incredible bargains and if you are smart and bid at the right time, sites like eBay can also be a treasure trove of top quality apparel. Those who don’t shop like this risk overspending by paying top dollar for big name brands. Clothes are important but when trying to reduce overspending, this area of your life is one that needs to be analysed carefully. Always check if you can find a garment cheaper than the first price you see. Even if you can’t, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you haven’t just made an impulse purchase that you couldn’t really afford.


Overspending on transport is very easy to do without even realising. Buying single bus tickets, paying for a car you hardly use and waiting until the last minute to book your flight are all perfect examples of ways you can lose money without even trying. If you’re taking a look at areas of your financial life that you can potentially improve, never overlook transport. Downgrading the car to a smaller model, paying for season passes or weekly tickets and booking flights months in advance will save you a surprising amount of money. Though it isn’t always feasible, try to plan your journeys carefully and be aware of when you’re spending more than you should be.

Forgotten Free Trials

Spotify, Now TV, Apple Music and practically every other content streaming service offers customers a free trial period in order to generate interest in their product. Many other companies have adopted this approach, too, meaning that the “free trial” is now common marketing tool. If you remember to cancel before the paid billing period kicks in, this is actually a great way to enjoy content for absolutely nothing, however, it is incredibly easy to forget what you’ve signed up for. Forgotten free trials account for a huge amount of overspending, especially amongst younger people. Avoid unwanted shocks on your bank statement by setting yourself a reminder a day or so before your free trial is due to run out. This can be done on any mobile device. This way you can decide if you really want to continue with the service and cancel it if you find you don’t use it enough to warrant paying every single month.

Alcohol and Tobacco

Life can be pretty bland without a little of what you enjoy, but alcohol and tobacco can account for a huge amount of overspending. Moderation is key and as the price of these products continues to increase in line with government health regulations, its important to be aware of how much of your monthly salary you’re spending. Tobacco is extremely dangerous and something that practically everybody would recommend you give up. It can be a great way to save money and it will also improve your health significantly. Alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation, but drinking too much can have a serious impact on your body as well as your bank balance. This is an area of life many people overlook, but you may be surprised how much you can save by reducing how much often you pay for cigarettes, wine, beer and spirits.


Gifts make life a little nicer for everybody, but they don’t always have to be expensive. Home made presents, second hand goods and even hand me downs are all perfectly acceptable alternatives to buying a brand new item from a shop. In 2019, many people are struggling with finances, so don’t feel obliged to spend a great deal of money on things like birthday presents and wedding gifts. The thought generally counts for a lot more than the item itself, so don’t be duped in to overpaying if you don’t have to.


Reducing overspending is a process that you can work on over time. Addressing each of the areas we have identified will help you to gradually decrease the amount of money you spend on things that quite frankly, you don’t really need.

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