Petsa de Peligro: 10 Ways You Can Avoid It

Meaning of Petsa de Peligro

Petsa de Peligro literally translates from Spanish as “Day of Danger” but is more commonly used as a metaphor by millennials who scrape enough of their money to get by just before the next paycheck.

Almost every Filipino experience this problem and it stems from the fact that poor handling of money is prevalent in the Philippines. Which is why bringing awareness on how people can help themselves be smarter with their paycheck is a very important part of personal finance.

Most people go broke at the end of the month because of two reasons. One, they immediately spend all of the money they have in their pockets. And two, saving at least a minimum percentage of their salary is not a priority.

Whether it be before or after payday, we often find ourselves in a situation that eating a pack of ramen noodles becomes an everyday meal just to survive until the next salary.

We’re not here just to help you avoid experiencing Petsa de Peligro, but also to make you aware of how much money you have, and having a plan on spending less and saving more.

And don’t worry! While the guides I write are for fresh graduates, this one is applies to everyone with working experience as well.

As such, if you always overspend your sweldo or just want to learn how to avoid doing so, here are some excellent advice just for you.

1. Set aside (some) of your money

Common sense, right? But you may be surprised by just how many actually don’t set aside a portion of their salary. For most people, payday is equal to shopping for the latest clothes, shoes, and their hobbies that eat up their wallet.

Whatever you do, have the strength to not spend it all at once. Otherwise, you’ve already set a date with a broke version of yourself in the future.

2. Learn to say “No” more often

Let’s face it, temptation is a powerful influence when it comes to decision-making. “Should I buy this shirt that’s on sale?“, “It’s Friday, let’s go get a drink!“, “Samgyupsalamat sounds good right about now.

These things are all readily available to you when have a big fat pocket full of cash that’s ready to be spent. When you say no to these kinds of pressure, you’re aware that they are stuff that you can do without.

Which is why you should…

3. Deposit your money

If you don’t trust yourself (like I do), you should consider putting all of your money in the bank. Not only are you preventing yourself from spending, you’re also actively saving for the future.

I really recommend this one as it is an effective motivational tool. Seeing all of my money in one place increasing every month feels good because it’s a positive aspect of my life.

4. Give it a day before buying something

It’s hard to fight those urges, especially when buying stuff gives you personal joy.

Sometimes, buying something that you wanted may not be worth it after all and regret about it afterward. We call that buyer’s remorse.

The best rule when purchasing non-essential items is to give it at least 24 hours before you make the decision of actually buying. Big ticket items such as a car, home theater, or a phone should at least be given a week (maybe a month, even) before considering if you should get it.

At the end of the day, you will realize that most of the things you want are not actually worth it and that you are just acting impulsively.

5. Keep track of your expenses

Quick question! How much did you spend today? If the answer is “I don’t know”, congratulations! You are one of the many Filipinos that unaware of their spending habits.

Knowing where you can cut corners on your expenses is an important skill if you want to develop a conscious effort of saving money.

Which brings me to my next point…

6. Spend below your means

I’ve been criticizing you all this time, haven’t I?

Let’s change it up a bit. When I was in college, my dad sent me a weekly allowance. While I lived alone, I would only manage to go through the week before coming up empty.

I didn’t realize that I experienced Petsa de Peligro at an earlier age before having to actually work. I was spending my allowance with take-out food when I could have just bought groceries for one-fourth of the price.

I was spending more than I could afford and was always stressed out thinking of a way to make it through the week. Fortunately, I cleaned up my act before graduating from college. Had I not sooner, I would still be eating processed meals at 7-11, and that is not a healthy lifestyle

Now that we’re aware of how we should control our spending, it’s time to…

7. Make a budget

A budget is a financial tool used by businesses, families, and people. In simpler terms, it allows you to know where you put all your money in a time frame (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).

When you have a budget, you know just how much you really have, and if you can still afford to buy all the non-important stuff with the remaining money.

If you want to learn more, I wrote a full guide on how to budget for Filipinos that don’t know how.

Find making a budget hard? Then you can…

8. Try the envelope system

The envelope system is a very helpful way of putting your money where it needs to be. The rules are simple:

  1. Withdraw all the cash for the day, week, or month.
  2. Put them in each expense category (food, commute, etc.) inside a money envelope
  3. When an envelope is empty, you shouldn’t spend anymore on that category.

Obviously, you should be aware how much you should pay for your bills, and how much you need to spend in a given time frame.

This works because it makes you reconsider when making purchases. Is buying that shoe really worth overspending for the week? You decide.

9. Bring home-cooked meals instead

Fact: Cooking at home is cheaper than dining out. Yes, that 2 pieces of chicken (spicy for me) at McDonald’s is really good. No, I don’t think you should eat there when you have a fridge full of food at home.

If you’re really stubborn, I recommend that you…

10. Eat at a jolly-jeep

There’s a good chance that anyone reading this works in a Central Business District (CBD) like in Makati City. You’re probably aware of the mobile canteens or “jolly-jeeps” that are all over the place.

They offer a full meal, starting at 60 pesos. If you’re hungry, you can just order more, and let’s face it, it’s never enough but it will have to do.

No one should experience Petsa de Peligro

I am writing this to all Filipinos, and while the tips here may not be possible for some due to circumstances, I hope to share them regardless, because money is a source of stress for many.

I share these advice hoping that I am able to at least reach out to even just a few people who are wanting to learn and at the same time avoid Petsa de Peligro.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. Have friends and loved ones in need of help in financial literacy? Give it a share to help them out!

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