Have you heard about the habal habal (modified motorcycle) driver from Cebu who bought a brand new motorcycle in cash, or rather, in coins?
Jeffrey Catayas saved P5 and P10 coins in bamboo slats for 8 months before bringing his savings to a Honda Center in Cebu. The Honda employees helped count his coins and Catayas was able to buy a brand new motorcycle in cash.
Wow. Just wow.
Some quick googling shows that Honda motorcycle prices vary per model and you can also buy second hand, but Php40,000 to Php50,000 seems to be the right price for a brand new motorcycle. And Jeffrey Catayas, a habal habal driver, was able to save about Php50,000 in 8 months. So what's your excuse for not being able to save money?
The thing about saving money is that it's only difficult the first few weeks, but once you've developed the habit it becomes second nature. That's why automating savings is one of the easiest way to build up your savings since you only do the work once by setting the transfer and after that, the cash is whisked to your savings without any effort on your part.
My aunt is an anethesiologist and she has the strangest way of saving up for travel. She sets aside Php500 or Php1,000 every time she gets paid, stashing her cash in the safest place in the universe, under her mattress. Every few months, she looks under her mattress and if she has amassed enough cash, then off she goes on another trip with her family.
An ex-officemate also had a strange way of saving money. We didn't always get our pay through an ATM, that's a fairly recent development, so pre-ATM we would line up at the cashier and get our pay in brown envelopes. My officemate would save the crisp, brand-new bills since she was loathe to part with them. I would often trade her old bills with my crisp, crunchy bills since I knew her saving style and often encouraged her to save more and buy less shoes.
I don't actually have anything that I'm saving for right now, but I continue setting aside money nonetheless because as the last few months of waiting for my initial pay and living on savings have shown, you'll never regret saving money but you'll probably regret losing your head over that impulse purchase.
Going back to Jeffrey Catayas, the habal habal driver, I really do hope that more people read his story and draw inspiration from his achievement. It's truly amazing what you can accomplish when you have enough motivation (i.e. providing for your family) and the will-power to see your goal through.
*Images from Super Balita Cebu and Budimeister