Planning to save, saving to plan

Cover Art Erka Capili Inciong

Words by

Advisor, Sun Life Financial

Who here had a piggy bank when they were younger? We bet only a few weren’t taught to “save” since the first time they received Christmas money. But, we want to ask now: what does it really mean when we say we should save as adults? We got one of our friends, Jehan De Guzman, a full‑time financial advisor at Sun Life, to talk about the importance of saving, and how saving isn’t just dropping some leftover coins into a piggy bank.

What is saving?

The most basic thing about saving is that you really have to live within your means.

It’s easier said than done because it’s so easy to spend nowadays, but checking your spending habits really is the first and key step. Know your spending triggers and don’t spend more than you earn.

Is spending less the only way I can save? What are spending triggers?

Refusing to buy the most recent gadget and resisting to shop over the weekend sale are only a few ways to save.

Another way—and we strongly suggest this—is to make a cashflow list. A cashflow list is basically a table or chart where you list down all your sources of income per month on one side, and then jot down all your expected expenses on the other. Include absolutely everything that you spend on—leisure, transportation, parking, insurances, business, salaries, tuition fees, loans, clothes, etc. These are your spending triggers. We have a sample and an entire list below so you can create a more comprehensive list for yourself. By writing them all down, you can easily see where your monthly money really goes.

Art Erka Capili Inciong

After making a cashflow list, what now?

Seeing exactly what your expenses are will present you with the most difficult questions: Do I really need a ₱2,500 monthly cellphone subscription? Is it necessary to buy new accessories every month? Is an out‑of‑town trip really something I can afford right now? The cashflow list and the questions you will be answering will, of course, depend on your priorities and non‑negotiables so, feel free to add and remove items for your personal cashflow list. Make sure to also include your investments so that you can really allocate budget for them every month.

If you’re finding it difficult to list where your money goes, then that’s also a sign that you should be more conscious of how you spend your money. Make a cashflow list starting now and it will absolutely make a difference to your spending.

Planning to save is only the first step to successfully managing your finances. It is an equally important step to discipline yourself by doing away with the unnecessary items and religiously sticking to your budget for the non‑negotiables. Once you’re able to plan how to save, we’re sure that there will be more save to make your future plans.

Jehan De Guzman is a full‑time advisor and manager at Sun Life Financial. From being a project manager in a bank to being an interior designer, De Guzman eventually found purpose and fulfillment in being a financial advisor as she takes part in improving financial literacy among Filipinos. As cliché as it may sound, she proudly claims that finding a job you love is indeed possible. If you wish to contact her, you may reach her at 09156488284 and and

We would also like to thank Sun Life Financial for the infographic shown in the article.