Payday Wisdom: Make Your Money Work

One of the perks of working remotely is ‘the take-all, take-home pay”. This may be considered as money freedom for many, especially to those who are new to this work environment. So it goes like spend here, buy this and that, travel here and there, until the money's gone. Every extra penny was spent. Realizations come in later when emergencies happen.

In this blog, we will provide you with money management tips that are very much applicable in the Philippines setting. Let’s begin by understanding the nature of the work from home / remote work and freelancing and let’s differentiate each to better understand what we really do here.

Freelance vs Remote Worker

Freelancing and working from home are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences. Here’s a clear definition of each:


Freelancing refers to a type of employment where individuals work independently, offering their services to multiple clients on a project-by-project basis. Freelancers are typically self-employed and not committed to a single employer long-term. They have the freedom to choose their clients, set their rates, and work on a flexible schedule. Common freelance professions include writing, graphic design, consulting, and web development.

Remote Work

Working from home (WFH) refers to a work arrangement where an employee performs their job duties from their residence instead of a traditional office setting. This arrangement can be part-time or full-time and is often facilitated by an employer who provides the necessary tools and resources. The nature of the job remains the same as it would in an office environment, but the location is different.

Identifying the nature of your work whether as a freelancer or remote worker, you can  better understand how earnings are made and how to create a budget around it. Here’s a collective data we scoured on the internet to help us manage our finances wisely.

Set Financial Goals

Like in anything we do, if we have goals and if we know where we are going, we can plan better how to reach it, same applies to setting financial goals. Try answering these questions to help you better understand how to set your goals.

Short term goals:

  1. Do you have a planned trip before the year ends?
  2. Is your birthday around the corner? Or maybe your loved ones?
  3. Do you want to upgrade your gadgets in the next three months?

Long Term goals:

  1. Are you saving to buy your first car in three years?
  2. Are you saving to buy a new house?
  3. Are you saving for your child’s college education?

Financial goals vary from one person to another, having one though is a must so you can align your budget and you will know which one you can prioritize.

Philippine Cost of Living

Let’s move on to the cost of living in the Philippines. Knowing this can help you in the budget allotment in the short term. Many of us who don’t understand this will have a general notion that cost of living here is affordable, well that is if you convert to dollars and compare with US and other western countries’ cost of living.

Here’s a sample cost of living computation based on a research for a single person with a monthly salary of Php30,000. Then answer for yourself if it is affordable.



Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant

200.00 ₱

McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)

200.00 ₱

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)

70.00 ₱

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)

42.17 ₱

Water (0.33 liter bottle)

21.99 ₱



Milk (regular), (1 liter)

98.55 ₱

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)

68.47 ₱

Rice (white), (1kg)

52.17 ₱

Eggs (regular) (12)

115.34 ₱

Local Cheese (1kg)

410.38 ₱

Chicken Filets (1kg)

237.83 ₱

Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)

388.35 ₱

Apples (1kg)

157.78 ₱

Banana (1kg)

83.75 ₱

Oranges (1kg)

148.46 ₱

Tomato (1kg)

90.10 ₱

Potato (1kg)

114.45 ₱

Onion (1kg)

144.90 ₱

Water (1.5 liter bottle)

40.73 ₱



One-way Ticket (Local Transport)

15.00 ₱

Monthly Pass (Regular Price)

600.00 ₱

Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)

40.00 ₱

Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)

14.00 ₱

Utilities (Monthly)


Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment

5,914.51 ₱

Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data

2,051.59 ₱

Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

1,737.95 ₱

Rent Per Month


Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre

17,583.18 ₱

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

9,747.15 ₱

Philippines Government Contributions

As a remote and freelance worker, some companies you work for will not pay for your SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig. And yes, taxes, including the FreelanceTax. As a worker in the Philippines, you are required to make contributions to various government programs. You should opt for a voluntary contribution.

  1. SSS (Social Security System): Provides social insurance for employees and their families.
  2. PhilHealth: Offers health insurance coverage.
  3. Pag-IBIG Fund: A savings program providing housing loans and other benefits.

If you haven’t yet, you can check their website to get more information on how to start paying for your voluntary contributions.

Build an Emergency Fund

As rapidly as remote work and freelancing is evolving, employment in this industry can also start and cease rapidly. Aim to build an emergency fund that can cover 3-6 months' worth of living expenses.

Use your emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or income disruptions without derailing your financial plans.

Indulge Occasionally. "Deserve Ko To" Moments

As a remote worker, it's important to reward yourself occasionally. These "deserve ko to" moments can boost your morale, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.

Why Indulge Occasionally?

  • Motivation: Treating yourself can serve as a reward for your hard work and dedication.
  • Mental Health: Regular indulgence helps reduce stress and prevent burnout.
  • Work-Life Balance: Ensures you enjoy the fruits of your labor and maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.

How to Treat Yourself

  • Dining Out: Treat yourself to a meal at your favorite restaurant.
  • Hobbies: Invest in hobbies that bring you joy, like buying a new book, art supplies, or sports equipment.
  • Travel: Plan a short trip or vacation to a place you’ve always wanted to visit.
  • Self-Care: Spend a day at a spa, get a massage, or simply take a day off to relax and unwind at home.

Indulge Responsibly

While it’s important to indulge, ensure it doesn’t derail your financial goals. Remember:

  1. Stick to Your Budget: Only indulge within the limits you’ve set.
  2. Prioritize Savings: Always save first before spending on non-essentials.
  3. Track Your Spending: Keep track of your indulgences to ensure they don’t become frequent enough to impact your finances negatively.


Find an Accountability Partner

An accountability partner is someone who helps you stay committed to your financial goals. This person, often a trusted friend or family member, can provide guidance, support, and a gentle nudge when you start steering away from your budget.

What your Accountability Partner does

  • Support: They offer emotional and practical support, helping you stay motivated. They should be encouraging and positive, not judgmental.
  • Objective Perspective: They can provide an outside view on your financial decisions. It helps if they have good financial habits themselves.
  • Encouragement: They celebrate your successes and help you overcome setbacks. Choose someone you trust and who respects your financial goals.
  • Consistency: Regular check-ins with your partner help maintain focus and discipline.

How to make the partnership effective

  • Be Honest: Share both your successes and struggles honestly.
  • Stay Open-Minded: Be open to feedback and constructive criticism.
  • Encourage Each Other: If possible, act as accountability partners for each other to create mutual support.
  • Use Tools: Utilize budgeting apps or spreadsheets that both of you can access and monitor.

No matter if you choose to go traditional with a pen and notebook budgeting or use an app  or an online sheet, managing your finances effectively while working remotely can lead to financial stability and a more rewarding work-life balance. With careful planning and disciplined financial management, you can enjoy the benefits of remote work while securing your financial future.

We’ve got more instore for you to help you be successful in the new norm of remote work. Up next, part two of this financial education we wish to share will be planning for your retirement, because it is never too early or too late to start. Sign up to our newsletter and we will deliver them right to your inbox.